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Will I Be Eating Tofurky?

Posted by on Monday, November 21, 2016 in College Life, Commons, Dining, Food, Freshman Life, General Information, Health, Thanksgiving Break.

As a vegetarian, people always ask me if I’ll eat Tofurky on Thanksgiving and when I respond that I won’t, they always follow up with, “but then what will you eat?” On behalf of the greatest foods to ever exist-I’m talking brussels sprouts, sweet potato, roasted vegetables and pie-I beg to differ. If you ask me, the best foods on Thanksgiving are hands down the sides and desserts, usually 100% vegetarian. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

And that thought reminds me of when I talk about food on my campus tours as a Tour Guide. I always say that, as a vegetarian, I never ever have any trouble finding enough nutritious food for my meals and snacks here on campus. In fact, I often struggle with deciding where to eat-too many good vegetarian options at too many places! Yes, we have the all-vegetarian kosher café (Grins) and it’s unreal and I can eat literally anything on its menu, but I really do love so many different options available at the dining halls all around campus. And if that ever proved to not be the case, I know I could ask for accommodation, as many students with very specific dietary restrictions do. And I have a story to prove it:

When I volunteered to do Move Crew, I was reminded of how accommodating the dining staff is to all students, dietary restrictions or not. Let me back up: Move Crew is when upperclassmen volunteer to wake up at the break of dawn on First Year Move in Day to move in all the first-years. We greet all of the cars with our bright T-shirts, loud cheers, and big smiles; it’s one of my favorite things to do on campus. In fact, I remember so vividly the Move Crew when I moved in and just how much that totally confirmed my making the right decision to come here, so my volunteering to do Move Crew every year since as just felt like paying the appropriate dues to Vanderbilt. For more on Move Crew check out this awesome video from my own First-Year move in!

My friend Kayla and I ready for Move Crew 2016!

Anyway, back to the part where my vegetarianism comes in: I arrived at the Commons Dining Center at 6:00am with the rest of the upperclassmen who volunteered, because Commons was providing us breakfast before taking on the day-we needed all the strength we could to move in every student with as much energy as the last! I noticed there were only chicken biscuits and fruit available, which was disappointing to me because I was hoping for a substantial (vegetarian) breakfast for myself. I saw a dining worker and went over and asked her if there was a vegetarian option. Instead of saying no politely, like I had expected her to, she asked me if I had 5 minutes. Since I had arrived with plenty of time to eat breakfast before heading to my respective Commons house to start move in, I told her that I did in fact have 5 minutes. She completely floored me when she came back 5 minutes later with freshly made scrambled eggs and a warm biscuit that the chef made just for me.

Now I had this hot plate of delicious food while my friends around me were eating their chicken biscuits out of tinfoil. They assured me their breakfast was good, too, but were totally jealous of my plate of hot food. And I was so appreciative! Not only accommodated, but so incredible satisfied and impressed with the dining hall’s want to meet my needs, I left with a full belly and full heart, ready to welcome the First-Years to the best campus in the world (for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike).

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