George Mason was recently selected as one of the top universities in the country for vegan dining by Peta2. Photo By Jenna Beaver

The dining options at George Mason University recently had Mason named one of the top vegan schools in the country by Peta2.

The Most Vegan-Friendly College competition, sponsored by Peta2, has been going on for a few weeks now.

Regional District Manger of Sodexo Denise Ammaccapane was contacted earlier this month and told about Mason’s placement in the top 32 universities for the “Large U.S. School” category.

The competition, according to Ammaccapane’s knowledge, was based off of recommendations, and she suspected the Mason recommendations came from two students who had visited chef Peter Schoebel’s office last semester.

“Evidently, two female students were in chef Peter’s office last spring asking about vegan/vegetarian [options]. … Well, I guess they were happy because they must have submitted [Mason].”

Peta2 posted this about Mason on their website:

“Prospective students wanting to be within a stone’s throw of the U.S. capital and within arm’s reach of delicious vegan food – look no further. Within the past year, GMU has really kicked its vegan offerings into high gear, in direct response to negotiations and discussions with students. Starting this fall, the school is offering a host of new dishes. Try the latest craze on campuses nationwide by digging into some vegan mozzarella cheese pizza, straight out of the oven. Looking for hearty meal on the go? Pile on the vegan deli slices at the dining-hall sandwich station, and finish it all off with some creamy vegan ice cream from the dessert bar.”

Mason has had vegan options all along, according to Ammaccapane. However, she still hopes to improve the menu through contact with students.
 “[Vegan options are] one of those things that we are constantly trying to add more things [to]. For instance, we have had two meetings with the Environmental Action Group, [some are] vegan and vegetarians, so we’ve had two meetings and we’ve decided that we are going to meet … every two weeks,” Ammaccapane said.

Ammaccapane hopes this interaction with dining will provide students with a variety of healthy options that fits everyone’s diet and preferences.

“This way [we say] ‘Hey, come tell us what we can do better. If you are buying local, is that a concern, what are the items you are looking for so that we can make sure to bring them in.’”

This type of student-to-administration interaction is important to Ammaccapane because no one within the dining office is vegan or vegetarian, making it difficult to rely solely on employee preferences and concerns.

“If you need [something] and we can get it, we’re going to get it, [and] if we can’t we’ll tell you why we can’t get it,” Ammaccapane said.

The competition, which is based on votes from readers, couples schools together and has them compete for votes against each other. Mason went against the University of Maryland and was eliminated in the first round.


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    this is great, however as a vegan i don’t quite agree. the few times i go to Southside no one can help me when i ask for vegan pizza (they say they don’t have it or don’t know what i am talking about) and when i ask for a Boca they try to give me a Morningstar patty (most varieties of this brand are not vegan). Never have I seen vegan ice cream available. So maybe Southside is an okay bet for vegans, but what about the rest of campus? The options need to extend further than just a single spot on campus. You have very little choice in the JC and SUB 1, and almost no choice elsewhere (fruit or veggie cups anyone?). Eating the same limited variety of food everyday for 3 and a half years is getting really old.