Douglas food caters to vegans, vegetarians


Chlorissa Saint Arbor, freshman English and Spanish major and freshman sociology major Jessica Jimenez sit in the Douglas Hall dining area Sept. 9 and enjoy the newly implemented vegetarian menu.

By Jennifer L. Collins

While some meat-lovers have balked at new dining options in Douglas, vegetarians have rejoiced.

Douglas Hall now serves a vegan/vegetarian menu, and the only time meat is served is when it’s on the hall’s international menu. The vegetarian choices are offered alongside the international menu, which features cuisines from other countries and sometimes includes meat. The change occurred as part of transition to destination location dining, where each residence hall’s dining location offers different food choices in response to student demand.

“Our goal is to serve our customer base, whether they’re living with us or not, to the best of our abilities…,” said Residential Dining Director Richard Fritz. “It’s not a wise use of resources to try to have everything in every place.”

From the beginning of the semester to Thursday, Douglas Hall has served 90 people per day for dinner. This is a decrease from spring, when Douglas Hall served 111 people per day for dinner, according to Housing and Dining. Fritz and Scot Ostrander, a food administrator, said they expect the numbers to increase as Fritz intends to start marketing the program in October. As the menu is new, it is being tweaked.

The menu change was made in an attempt to provide more food options to students.

Mylan Engel, Vegetarian Education Group adviser, said he believes demand for vegetarian and vegan options has increased. He believes having vegetarian or vegan options in residence halls can be a deciding factor when students are choosing to attend NIU.

Freshman Anthony Chesney said he eats meat at Stevenson or New Hall. It’s not too inconvenient to walk to New Hall, Chesney said.

“I guess they can have their own type of food. I don’t mind,” Chesney said.

He would recommend Douglas Hall to anyone who is vegan or vegetarian.

Freshman Arsal Nihal said he would recommend students go if they are vegetarian, vegan or would like to try the international food.

“When it’s good it’s good. When it’s bad it’s bad,” Nihal said.

Ostrander said students can ask dining staff members for samples at any time. Housing and Dining is collecting feedback from students to improve Douglas Hall’s menu. To provide feedback, call unit manager Brian Pringnitz at 815-753-1738 or Ostrander at 815-753-9649.