This semester AVI took initiative in starting conversation with students. Previously, students could express concerns and recommendations via comment cards, but now AVI would like to engage in face-to-face conversation with those they serve.

Garret Tyk, resident director of AVI, will meet periodically with a Student Senate committee made up of Karsten Hess, Elizabeth Derstine and Ellen Conrad.

“[Tyk] approached us asking if we could get a few people from student senate to gather students and maybe have a meeting with him or someone else from AVI at least once a month,” said Hess.

During the first meeting, two students, Bobby Switzer and Naomi Gross, voiced their desire for more meat-free meals.

While there is no official count of vegetarians and vegans at Goshen College, students are receptive to the possible changes.

Cara Paden, a junior, would enjoy the addition although she is not a vegetarian. “It would also be nice if they gave more options without any dairy for those who would like to be vegan,” Paden said. “I’m sure I could eat completely vegetarian if I tried hard, but my meals would all be the same without more variety.

AVI already offers some vegetarian options on a regular basis at the fusion station. “When I started here, we only did that sometimes; now we try to offer a vegetarian version of each dish at the fusion station,” said Tyk of changes that have already taken place.

Other requests at the meeting were more specific: offer hummus and rice and beans every day. However, Tyk acknowledged one drawback of trying to fulfill requests. “We have limited space, so adding something usually means taking something away,” said Tyk. “Our goal with these meetings is to come up with a balance that satisfies as many people as possible.”