Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA’s food inclusivity is exclusive

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Sofia Meija

As a vegan or vegetarian, finding something to eat on campus that will make you feel full and happy is a struggle. Overall, UTSA offers a nice selection of dining services on campus. Depending on what you are craving, you can find that cuisine. Despite this, the vegan and vegetarian alternatives are extremely limited.

Each restaurant usually only offers one vegetarian option or nothing at all, and there is nothing that is technically vegan unless you severely customize your meal. Having one option at a few restaurants can be boring and very unsatisfying. Eating the same thing every day is very restricting and tiring. 

According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, “ensuring great tasting vegan options are available at college is more important than satisfying the requirements of current vegans; it is about offering appealing foods that will invite others to enjoy more sustainable, compassionate food choices, and hopefully, offering the kinds of foods that cast an accurate representation of veganism, so those interested will feel more inclined to adopt the diet.”

All of this applies to allergies too. Being vegan or vegetarian is a choice, but having allergies is not. Not providing alternative options can be frustrating and disappointing, especially when we live in such an inclusive time. UTSA needs to cater to all their students’ needs and provide them with a good meal that will power them through their school day.

Some ideas UTSA could implement in their dining services include offering a salad bar with multiple options for protein, having vegan options at multiple restaurants, providing dairy-free options when it comes to milk or cheese or opening a plant-based restaurant. 

The restaurants on campus that provide a few vegetarian and minimal vegan options when customizing are Freebirds, Freshins, Subway, Sushic, Smoothie King and Rising Roll.

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Hope, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Hope (she/her) is a senior and a communication major at UTSA. She is originally from Montana and moved to Austin when she was 11. In 2022 she earned her associates degree in journalism from Austin Community College. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in journalism or policy and advocacy for environmental issues. Outside of work and school she enjoys playing piano, reading and making jewelry.
Sofia Meija, Graphic Artist
Sofia (she/her) is a 3rd year Marketing major with a minor in Film Studies. She is passionate about creating creative SFX makeup, film and fashion. Her hobbies include painting, playing with her dogs, baking, cosplaying and arts & crafts. Outside of school, she works at Thirteen Floors as a makeup artist. She joined the Paisano in Spring 2023.

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