Stop complaining and take action

We all have something to complain about. Whether it is about something as trivial as our roommate waking us up with their alarm or as awful as three exams on one day, we all do it. Life happens, we complain and then we deal with it. Some things are just out of our control.

Yet when you complain about something that you could actually change and not do anything about it, this is where I see a problem.

Last week’s Opinion article entitled “Dining hall quality is spiraling downward” (Feb. 28) is something that really grinds my gears. I myself am a vegetarian, and sometimes it is hard to find a satisfying meal on campus, just because I am tired of eating the same things.

Yet I have to deal with the fact that the majority of my peers do not share my same diet and therefore eat meat. I believe that the reason no one eats veggie burgers (which have always been available in Eickhoff) is the blatant fact that vegetarians on our campus represent a minority.

The response that you will get from a Sodexho manager is that if the meatless burgers are defrosted and prepared just in case one student comes by and wants one and the rest are not eaten, they will be tossed in the trash.

The vegetarian menu is still posted outside of Eickhoff, and vegetarian options haven’t gone anywhere. I constantly want more meals with tofu, but it is an uphill battle since not many people will eat them!

I am in the Student Government Association (SGA) as a senator at-Large, and my main responsibility and interest is Dining Services. I serve as the Dining Services Liaison, attending the bi-weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. which are open to everyone and anyone.

What really gets me is that I don’t know where the idea that our dining hall quality is deteriorating comes from. The only major changes I have seen have been improvements based on student input, and it is impossible to please every single person who eats on campus.

I am confused as to why the writer of this article did not choose to send her complaints and gripes about Sodexho and Eickhoff to either Sodexho themselves, or find a way to reach the organization on campus that works to make the lives of students at the College a little better (I’m talking about SGA, by the way).

So open your eyes to what opportunities there are to actually change what you dislike about the dining program. Nothing will ever get done if all we do is complain and complain without taking action.

So if you are dodging flying latex gloves while attempting to eat, let an SGA representative, or better yet a Sodexho manager, know!

The meetings are publicized on the Dining Services Web site, which can be accessed through the College’s main page or directly at tcnjdining.com. You can attend a meeting or, if you’d like a written reply, send in your comments, concerns, complaints, etc. to Sodexho at sdhugg@tcnj.edu.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, concerns can always be sent to sgasodex@tcnj.edu. Or if that is too hard to remember, just send comments to sga@tcnj.edu and they will be forwarded to me. This is a sure way of knowing your issue will be addressed at the next Dining Services meeting by one of your own peers.

Meagan Terry

Dining Services Liaison

Vegan food choices avoid animal cruelty

I could understand the frustration students feel about the lack of vegetarian and vegan options at the College (“Dining hall quality is spiraling downward,” Feb. 28). Students go to school to be informed and apply their knowledge to the real world.

Who really wants to wake up every morning knowing they are going to pay for animals to be crammed into cages, beaten and then bled to death? When young people learn that more than one million animals are slaughtered for food every hour, they understandably want to avoid being part of that violence.

Animals on modern factory farms are deprived of everything that is natural to them and they are treated in ways that would warrant felony cruelty-to-animals charges if the victims were dogs or cats.

The animals are confined to crowded, filthy warehouses and dosed with powerful drugs to make them grow so quickly that their hearts and limbs often cannot keep up – they frequently become crippled or suffer from heart attacks when they’re only a few weeks old.

Is it too much to ask conscientious individuals to eat a healthy, humane diet and put a stop to all this violence?

The good news is one in four college students feels vegan options are important for reasons ranging from cruelty to animals, environmental protection and better health.

Colleges are rapidly increasing their vegetarian-friendly options because of student demand for healthy meals that do not contribute to animals’ suffering.

From faux BBQ “ribs” and soy cheese pizza to vegan cheese cakes, vegetarians can eat all the delicious food they want without supporting practices such as confining animals in tiny cages or slaughtering them.

If you visit peta2.com/college, you can see the full list of peta2’s “Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges” and get tips on compassionate consumer choices. Peta2.com is the youth-oriented division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Pulin Modi

College Campaign Coordinator for peta2.com

Hackett is wrong, but not alone

I would just like to take a moment to defend Brian Hackett, something no one ever seems to do.

While I never agree with what he says, the color he brings to The Signal is beneficial for both the paper and the campus it serves.

It is nice to read a very liberal opinion and then turn the page to find Hackett ranting and raving. He provides a balance not previously seen in the Opinions section, and I for one appreciate it.

Now I’m not saying that he’s right in his opinions; for example, I don’t like Bush, the Republican Party or his constant focus on “liberal hypocrisy.”

He pointed out a democratic senator who was a Klansman, when I’m sure there are plenty of ignorant politicians on the other side of the aisle who belong to the same organization.

What I am saying is that Hackett is not the only “overly biased” person who writes for the paper, as Samantha Negravel so eloquently put it in her letter last week. Nearly every week Tom Stone, the liberal equivalent of Brian Hackett, writes his politically charged pieces on how America sucks and Bush is a moron.

Personally I’m sick of reading both columnists’ work; it gets very repetitive . “Blah blah imperialism” . “Blah blah liberals.” But I suppose that if you are going to have one such biased viewpoint in the paper, you may as well have an equally biased perspective from the other side included as well.

All I’m saying is that if we are to condemn Hackett for being overly biased in his conservative opinions and not those of writers such as Tom Stone as well, then we ourselves are being biased.

Patrick Bieger