Vegetarians, and Paleos, and Vegans, Oh My! University adapts to changing dining landscapes through inclusive menu options


Madeline Diamond & Barbara Bell, Editor-in-Chief & Print Managing Editor


Dining Services offers a wide variety of options for students with all kinds of dietary needs. Whether it is a certain diet for health or religious reasons, a specific food allergy, or even just the pickiest of eaters, different dining locations throughout campus have got you covered.

“Dining is an evolution. The model for what we do is always shifting and changing,” General Manager of Resident Dining John Cummins said.

This can be partly credited to the growth of certain dietary trends, including veganism and the Paleo diet. Cummins stresses that the ideal dining experience is one that meets the needs of all students and encourages frequent input and feedback.

To accommodate students with allergies, University Dining created a program called Touchstones.

“The concept of [the program] was to individualize allergen dining,” Cummins said.

As part of his role as General Manager of Resident Dining, Cummins recently participated in an allergen training program in Colorado.

“Allergens are very individual [and] reactions are personal, so we strive to have individual relationships and contact with people who have food allergies,” Cummins said.

Executive chef Kyle Murphy leads a group of people who work to keep the food served clean and fresh, and locally sourced for the most part.

“For vegetarian items, I try to supplement protein with tofu, beans, and cheese,” Murphy said. As far as vegans go, “we try to supplement for the lack of protein with tofu, white beans, kidney beans, refried beans, grains, and quinoa to meet the caloric needs of students for protein intake.”

As far as allergies are concerned, “we put a lot of that into the students’ hands,” Murphy said. “We can’t take all the allergens out of the food, so we educate the supervisors and culinary leads on the top aid allergens and put the power in the students’ hands to take control of their diet.”


Hacks and Highlights in Bostwick, from John Cummins, General Manager of Resident Dining


  • The Whole Body station features vegetarian and vegan options at every meal
  • All of the hot vegetables served at Route 15 have few to none added adulterants and all vegetables are processed on site
  • Bostwick Marketplace makes all dressings and sauces from scratch


Hacks and Highlights in the Bison, from Executive Sous Chef of Retail Sarah Lincicome:


  • The Bison offers vegan cheese and vegan mayonnaise at the East Street Deli and the Firehouse Grill
  • Gluten-free breads and wraps are available at the Mexican station, the Grille, etc.
  • Bada Basil always has a gluten-free pasta option
  • There is always a vegetarian entrée at the Daily Dish on Wednesday nights
  • Vegetarian soup option daily
  • Seitan is now offered in addition to tofu at the majority of the stations
  • Try the new crudité tri-salad as an easy vegetarian option on-the-go



“I love Siam, but I have to ask for most things without oyster sauce. Also Cherry Alley’s tofu scramble, Amami’s veggie panini, and Bull Run’s hummus,” Katie Dwyer ’17 said, referring to her her favorite off-campus vegan options.

“Even as an upperclassmen, I take advantage of all Bostwick has to offer. It best allows me to creatively integrate foods from different stations,” Amanda Besselman ’18 said.

“When I ate exclusively on-campus as a vegetarian, in both the cafeteria and the Bison, my diet definitely got repetitive. Part of the reason I waited until my senior year to become vegan is because I have my own kitchen and can cook my own food, which is much more conducive to my diet,” Sarah Dickert ’16 said.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to accommodate your dietary preference and help both on campus and at restaurants,” Dickert said.

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