At the beginning of the fall term, the Drexel Veg Club, then only a few weeks old, created a petition stating that student dining halls need more healthy options for students.
More fresh fruits, vegetables and a wider variety of plant-based options were all part of the platform, as well as Meatless Mondays.
But nearly three terms later, the petition has only 52 signatures, equivalent to the support of 0.4 percent of Drexel students.
Freshman Elizabeth Calio, a vegan and an active member of the Veg club, doesn’t think this is because there isn’t widespread support for the petition’s goals — rather, she thinks the light response is due to a lack of publicity.
“Being vegetarian can be really hard for students on the meal plan. I know some of my friends were vegetarian, and they went away from that just because at the dining hall it’s really hard [to find vegetarian options],” Calio said.
Many of the Veg Club members are freshmen, Calio said, so good dining hall options are very important to them.
But the options have gotten a lot better since Aramark took over as Drexel’s food service provider, Calio said.
“At the [Handschumacher Dining Center], they actually have a vegan station now, which is really cool,” she said. But she noted there’s still progress to be made: less fried food, more vegetables and fruits, dairy-free salad dressings, and more filling vegetarian options at Northside Dining Terrace.
She says that the organization’s goal is to get signatures from mainly freshmen because they pay $1,895 per term for dining hall service.
In the fall of 2017, Calio said Drexel Veg will have a table at the freshman dorms to garner more support for the petition.