By | Ahmed Al-Sakkaf
No more Meatless Mondays. They will now become Pollo-pescetarian. HSU Residence Hall Association decided last Monday, Oct. 9th by a unanimous vote to incorporate white meat into Monday’s dining services, and add more vegan and vegetarians options throughout the week to compensate. Chicken, turkey and fish will now be served at the J cafeteria on Mondays.
“We came to a vote last week, instead of one whole day for vegetarian and vegan options, we’re going to incorporate it more throughout the week,” Destiny Mendoza, sitting President, said.
Meatless Monday is an international movement that launched in 2003. Its goal is to reduce global meat consumption by 15 percent. In Spring of 2015, about 700 HSU students signed a petition in support of Meatless Mondays. RHA then voted to implement Meatless Mondays at the J starting Fall 2015.
Ron Rudebock, director of Dining Services said that the foot traffic in the J has dropped by 15 percent on Mondays compared to compared to other weekdays.
RHA National Communication coordinator Nicole Laureano said that besides the dip in sales at the J on Mondays, dining services didn’t see an increase of sales anywhere else on campus.
“The big question was where are people [students] going to eat? Are they not eating? Are people starving themselves? Or leaving campus in order to get what they want?” Laureano said.
Many students around campus dislike Meatless Mondays at the J cafeteria. Cynthia Godinez, a student coordinator who works at the J cafeteria, hears students complain and express their frustration about Meatless Mondays.
“Students come in and they literally roll their eyes and scoff because they hate Meatless Mondays,” Godinez said. “People complain about Meatless Monday all the time… I hear it, I hear it.”
A large amount of the food served on Mondays is dairy-based and contains a lot of cheese, making it hard for students who are lactose intolerant to eat at the cafeteria.
“They [students] want to see less cheese,” Mendoza said. “We had Ron from Dining come in and we told him to lay off the cheese.”
Godinez thinks that the food served on Meatless Monday isn’t healthy as it contains large amounts of fat.
“You’ll think something like Meatless Monday is healthy, but it’s not healthy, it’s all cheese. It’s very heavy greasy food,” Godinez said.
With the dip in the number of students going to the J on Mondays, a lot of food went to waste said Godinez.
“A lot of food goes to waste because of Meatless Mondays,” Godinez said. “We [Dining services] waste a bunch of food, we waste a bunch of money.”
Last year, chefs from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) visited HSU and suggested changing Meatless Mondays to include some meat. This was to avoid steering students away from the J on Mondays and avoid making them feel excluded.
The changes made are open to reevaluation and change.
“If this is not the solution then we’ll reevaluate,” Mendoza said, “it’s not set and stone. Nothing is set and stone.”