Students and Staff Discuss Diet Options on Campus

Lower Debot. (The Pointer Photo/Allison Piette)

Soon after a petition that critiqued UWSP’s dining facility’s vegan and vegetarian options circulated around campus, the UWSP dining team hosted an interactive forum asking for student opinions on current dining options.

Cailey Wolf created the petition calling for a UWSP Dining and Summer Conference and Chancellor Thomas Gibson to add more vegan and vegetarian options in dining halls. The petition has accumulated nearly 500 signatures.

Wolf stated in the petition, “I have a few friends who are vegan who are forced to go off-campus and buy food with their own money and let their meal plans go to waste because dining won’t do anything to accommodate.”

The UWSP dining team hosted a discussion for all meal plan participants who are vegan or vegetarian to talk about how dining and Summer Conferences can meet their needs more effectively Oct. 13.

UWSP sophomore, Grace Molter, has not had too much difficulty navigating a vegan diet in UWSP dining facilities.

Grace Molter (The Pointer Photo/Annika Rice)

“I’ve had a decent experience because I’m not a picky eater,” Molter said.

Molter said that there aren’t comfort food options for vegan and vegetarians.

However, she has seen an improvement in options from last school year to this one.

“They really do take people’s feedback,” Molter said, explaining that she had a friend working at the Plain and Simple station of Upper Debot who would report her feedback to the dining team.

Savannah Harshman lived in the residence halls last school year as a freshman, but she said that she now lives off campus due to the difficulty of finding food she could eat in UWSP dining facilities.

Savannah Harshman (Savannah Harshman Photo)

Harshman is diabetic and was frequently sick from the Debot food.

Harshman must avoid high fructose corn syrup.

She dealt with food labels being noted incorrectly numerous times, which was dangerous for her health.

“I could never get food that I could actually have, which would suck when you’re trying to do school.” Harshman said.

All UWSP meal plan participants can work with UWSP’s registered dietician, Becky Konkol.

Becky Konkol
Becky Konkol. (UWSP Photo)

UWSP also has a Net Nutrition website that lists dining options at each dining location on campus.

Konkol stated, “If students have medical conditions or severe food allergies that will require modified menus, we work very closely with them to develop a menu or plan that will work for them. Those students then plan out what they would like to eat and we prepare those meals for them separately.”

Konkol assert that the UWSP dining team is always looking to make their menus more inclusive and reflective of the needs of the students, which is why they hosted the vegan and vegetarian forum.

There is a feedback form link on the dining website for students to utilize.

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