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Stanford voted most vegan-friendly campus

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Stanford was recently awarded the title of “Favorite Vegan-Friendly Large College” from animal rights group peta2. The award is a testament to the efforts of Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) and Stanford Dining in providing various options for vegan and vegetarian students across campus.

The campaign for the award began last summer, when Stanford Dining provided peta2 with information about vegan options on campus. Stanford received an “A” based on a number of factors. Peta2 then chose 30 small and 30 large colleges to compete in the competition, organized in a bracket style. Students then voted online for their favorite campus until one school came out on top.

The dining staff credits Stanford students with their success in the competition.

“We could not have won the title… without the overwhelming support of our students,” wrote Shannon Munz, Communications Coordinator for Stanford Dining, in an email to The Daily. “Their commitment to voting in each round allowed Stanford to be recognized as the number one large school and we are extremely grateful for their support.”

Every dining hall on campus offers a variety of vegan and vegetarian options. Vegan students can find at least one hot entrée at every meal, as well as soups, side dishes, salads and desserts. According to Munz, Stanford Dining has continued to explore ways to accommodate every student’s eating habits. This past year, for example, every dining hall added a vegan quinoa burger to its menu and installed a soy milk dispenser.

Megan Calfas ’18, a vegetarian who occasionally sustains a vegan diet, said that she is satisfied with the meals in dining halls.

“There have been a lot more vegan desserts recently, which I really enjoy,” she said. “Dessert is always the toughest for me when I’m eating vegan.”

Dining options for vegan and vegetarian students also extend beyond dining halls. Stanford’s newest eatery, Forbes Family Café, features vegan and vegetarian items and maintains a sustainability theme.

“Stanford Hospitality and Auxiliaries manages cafes, catering and concessions on campus that all feature vegan and vegetarian items daily,” said Munz.

Stanford Dining, in addition to their continued work to promote vegan food in the dining halls, has worked with student groups on campus and has run vegan cooking classes for students. Stanford Dining also has a vegan Chef’s Table at FloMo Dining, where students can enjoy a restaurant-style experience with Executive Chef Devinder Kumar.

According to Munz, peta2’s competition provided an opportunity for dining hall chefs to focus more on preparing vegan menus. Some freshman students noted a greater sense of community in Stern Dining between residents, staff and chefs since the competition began.

Munz emphasized that students are Stanford Dining’s first priority, and said she encourages students with ideas regarding the dining halls to talk with chefs and dining hall managers.

“The Stanford community’s appreciation of our commitment to vegetarian and vegan dining choices is equally inspiring,” she said. “We are committed to providing great tasting, high-quality, nutritious and exciting menus that support the diverse set of needs of all of our customers.”

Contact Sarah Ortlip-Sommers at sortlip ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Sarah Ortlip-Sommers '18 is a senior staff writer and former Student Groups desk editor. A senior studying political science, she grew up on the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard (yes, people really live there; no, she hasn't met Obama). Catch her ordering her fifth cup of coffee from Starbucks, singing with Everyday People, or watching Grey's Anatomy. Contact her at sortlip 'at' stanford.edu.