KSU chosen as finalist in vegan-friendly competition

Hannah Reed

Kent State is in the running to be peta2’s favorite vegan-friendly college.

Peta2, PETA’s youth division, hosts the Favorite Vegan-Friendly College contest annually, but this year, it’s up to the students to vote.

PETA’s college campaigns assistant Kenneth Montville said the organization looks for schools that go above and beyond to accommodate their vegan students.

“We want to celebrate schools that are doing amazing things for their vegan students,” Montville said. “By doing this contest, we are not only praising schools but also letting them show the trend to other schools.”

Montville said there are 32 universities as contestants, all of which have already received an A on peta2’s Vegan Report Card.

“Back in October, we launched a massive online feature that ranked every school on their vegan choices,” Montville said. “We looked at that report card and picked out all of the As.”

Dining Services Director Richard Roldan said Kent State is the only college in Ohio to receive an A on peta2’s Vegan Report Card this year.

“Right now, we are in the top 16,” Roldan said. “It’s really exciting for us.”

Roldan said Kent’s vegan choices have become fairly popular with everyone on campus.

“There has always been demand for vegan food, but a small population of vegans,” Roldan said. “We’ve come a long way with how we prepare vegan food, and it’s not just for vegan students anymore but for any students wanting a healthier lifestyle.”

Roldan said Dining Services offers a vegan option every day at the various cafes and markets on campus. The vegan menu recently has been updated, and students can now choose from items such as stuffed zucchini ratatouille, quinoa, Luna Burgers, and vegan tacos.

“The options are really more like restaurant-style cooking now,” Roldan said. “It’s not just some tofu with sauce on it.”

Roldan said another program provided by Dining Services is Veggie-A-GO-GO, which offers fresh vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices for students when they call ahead of time.

“We’ve done so many things,” Roldan said. “We’ve really come a long way with our vegan choices.”  

Montville said the contest will have two winners — a big school and a small school — that will be chosen exclusively by voters, so it is up to the schools to promote the contest and get students voting. Voting for the first round ends Wednesday at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced March 31.

Students can cast their vote and find more information at www.peta2.com.

Contact Hannah Reed at [email protected].