With anyone seeking to make a change, there will be opposition and resistance. Therefore, resistant is expected when I address the lack of vegetarian options in the Longwood dining hall. Initially the resistance will come from the Director of Longwood Dining, because he is the person I will first contact. I predict that he may not be very apt to accepting my idea. He may feel threatened or even a little embarrassed to admit that he isn’t providing enough of a nutritious food selection for the vegetarians and vegetable lovers of Longwood University. Acknowledging this as an issue may distort his reputation, therefore, he may respond with something along the lines of, “Kim, I appreciate the time and commitment you put into researching vegetarian foods at Longwood University. I will consider this proposal for next year. Thank you and have a nice day.” This response addresses my proposal yet, gives the vibe that he is respectfully rejecting my idea.
The next resistance I anticipate to encounter is the resistance from the food supplier, ARAMARK. ARAMARK has the potential to respond in two ways. The first response could be that the vegetarian food is sufficient for the student and faculty; the second being that no one has expressed the desire for more vegetarian food. However, this simple assumption could be countered by a survey of the students and faculty of Longwood. A survey could be sent out to the students via email, as well as placed at the entrances of the Longwood Dining hall. I project that this survey will prove that the Longwood community does have a need/desire for more vegetarian foods. If that isn’t enough data, I could point out a survey previously conducted by ARAMARK itself that concluded, “nearly one-fourth of all college students are actively seeking vegan/vegetarian options”. Another potential reason for resistance is the additional money and work/training this would cause. More money would be needed to purchase the additional ingredients and vegetables needed for the vegetarian meals. However, I believe the main component of the resistance will come from the additional work. In order to incorporate the vegetarian meals, new recipes would have to be developed and selected, the chefs would have to be trained to cook them, and the fresh vegetables and foods would have to be monitored through storage.
Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) published an article on their website commending George Mason University on their variety of vegan and vegetarian foods. This change was brought on by a vegan student activist who sat down with the head chef of their dining hall and discussed the option of additional vegetarian and vegan foods. Students provided potential vegan recipes the dining hall could implement in hopes of persuading the dining hall to incorporate these meals. They were successful in their attempts, proving that there is currently a demand for vegan/vegetarian foods in the college population. One more interesting fact I discovered was that GMU provides a list of the vegetarian foods that can be found at the various eateries on campus.
All of the resistance points I mentioned are plausible and possible reasons for rejecting my proposal, however, it is important to also identify the benefits of this change. I agree, initially the dining hall and ARAMARK may not see immediate results for their extra money and work, however it is important to examine the long term benefits that might arise. This addition will not only increase the satisfaction and health of the vegetarians of Longwood, but also the overall campus. This increased satisfaction will cause more students to purchase and utilize their meal plans even after they move to off campus housing. Longwood is also expanding as a school and accepting more and more students each year. By accommodating the various students’ diets, this will encourage students to incorporating this factor when choosing schools.
Huling, R. (2010, September 2). George Mason University Students Score More Vegan Options. In People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://www.peta.org/mediacenter/news-releases/George-Mason-University-Students-Score-More-Vegan-Options.aspx