Café Suzie recently transformed into a creperie, a change that came much to the surprise of most Mills students. The crepes are generally a hit, and the cafe’s transformation – complete with new, charming decor – overall is accepted, at least for now. But I have to ask – where was the outreach by Bon Appetit? Where was the input of the Mills community? Who knew that the College was even contemplating a change? This was obviously planned in great detail, but to my knowledge, the students were none the wiser. Perhaps administrators told students who came to the College Services meetings that are held every now and then, but in any case, it is safe to say the idea was not widely advertised. To change a facility on campus without sufficient student input is rather alarming.
But the café’s mere change is not my only main concern. I also take issue with the contents of the creperie, because it is apparent that no vegans designed the menu. In fact, when I walked into Suzie’s, I saw a great display of candies and crepes that I found all uneatable. Aside from the candy, the batter used to make the crepes contain dairy and eggs, so the recent move to make-to-order is not helpful (I wonder if that, too, was merely a business decision as now some of the crepes are more expensive if made with all the ingredients the packaged ones previously came with).
On a socially responsible campus that prides itself on inclusivity and asking its students to affect positive change, veganism should be supported as a viable vehicle for doing just that. Bon Appetit’s insensitivity to the vegan population on campus is disappointing, to say the least.
Vegans, of course, refrain from eating any product made with animal ingredients, largely as a means of protest against animal exploitation, though the reasons are plenty. By closing off an entire dining option to vegans, the College is sending the message that vegan food options are merely a fringe preference, and in turn is undermining its platform as a truly progressive institution.