by Josh Lofy
Orientation is a busy day for many incoming freshmen and transfer students. People get lost trying to find out where their ID pictures are supposed to be taken, trouble finding parking in the overcrowded lots, don’t know what their major is and a whole slew of other small but day-ruining problems. However, there are some accommodations, like lunch, that should come from simply showing up.
I like to take my time to find a parking spot, find out where to go, and mingle with those who are hosting the event. One question I didn’t think to ask about was, “Are there any vegetarian lunch options available?”
I’m a vegan, so my food ethic (read as “Is it grown locally?” and “Did it suffer for me to eat it?”) is a lot different than many of the students on campus. However, I had expected some kind of vegetarian or vegan option for lunch.
But there was no food available for me. Instead, all I got was a pickle. There were white bread hot dog buns available as well, so I thought I might try to make a chilidog. The only problem was that when I asked the catering chef if there was any meat in the beans, she said yes. This left me with nothing to eat but a pickle and a plain bun with a side of lemonade. I wasn’t biting.
Needless to say, I was not happy about this. Donna Noce, a biology graduate student on campus, says that if she had been at this orientation she would have felt left out, frustrated and hungry. “It’s unfortunate that meat is viewed as such a staple part of the human diet that people who choose not to eat it are not even considered at events like that.”
Therese Elmore, the Orientation Program Coordinator, apologized for the oversight in the menu. She said that Aramark, the catering company for the lunch, had forgotten to provide that option at this event. Savannah Andrews, who was working for University Outreach Services, said that Aramark would provide vegetarian options at all other orientations this summer.
Elmore has also said that CSUB was charged based on the amount of people that were estimated to attend, and there was no consideration for their negligence to bring a vegetarian option to orientation. This is not fair to any of the students on this campus, or to those who were not able to eat a lunch on July 30th.
With more student involvement in our food options, we would have an honest and equal representation of our student’s diets. Students for Sustainability, the primary vegetarian interest group on campus, have not yet renewed its charter for the year. It’s effects showed while I starved because of this corporate negligence. It is well past time for this to change.