Over 100 colleges and universities across the country, as well as a large number of restaurants and food service organizations worldwide, have instituted “Meatless Mondays.” For a number of weeks, it seemed as though the program would be put into place at Kenyon. However, at an Oct. 14 Student Council meeting, it was unanimously vetoed.
Meatless Mondays encourage people to reduce their meat consumption and consider the environmental implications of their dining choices. Through this, the initiative aims to improve human health as well as the health of the planet.
“On another campus that has multiple dining halls, [Meatless Mondays] would make sense, but because we have one dining hall, the amount of food that you can actually get is already really slim,” sophomore class president Skyler Lesser-Roy ’22 said. “And for people who have dietary restrictions, restricting them even further isn’t really the way to go.”
Students spoke out at the Student Council meeting against this proposal, particularly athletes who rely on protein in their diet. However, athletes were not the only students against the initiative. One student, Matthew Rosen ’21, expressed concerns about how Meatless Mondays would decrease meal options. “As a student on the autism spectrum, I have a very limited palette. I often struggle to fulfill my nutritional needs with my limited palette,” he said. “I’m reliant on meat for my protein. Meatless Mondays would have negative effects on my health.”
Student Council members generally agreed that, while Meatless Mondays are a good idea in theory, having a single dining hall makes them difficult to implement.
“At the end of the day, I am opposed to this proposal as it has the potential to inconvenience students and disrupt their day. Furthermore, if students wanted meat, the only option would be for them to go out to eat, which would put a financial burden on them,” Jake Barnett ’20, chair of the Housing and Dining Committee, wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Even though this idea was unsuccessful, there are always ways for students to express their concerns and desires, environmental or otherwise, to AVI.
“AVI accepts feedback in person, through my committee, through comment cards, and even on Twitter. AVI does a great job responding to student feedback, but they cannot respond to what we as students do not tell them,” Barnett wrote.