Wadham SU passed a motion to eat vegan food in Hall five nights a week in a meeting last Sunday.
The motion in its original format was proposed by James Kenna, a 4th year Engineer, and seconded by Ali Hazarti. It suggested that “from Tuesday and Friday, the catering staff produce only vegetarian food.” Meat could be served on Monday, the only other day of the week Wadham offers dinner.
Kenna’s original motion noted: “Immediate and drastic action is needed to battle climate change…serving vegetarian food for four days of the week gives a strong message on where the college stands on climate change and reducing the college’s own carbon emissions.”
During the meeting of the SU – which is equivalent to a combined JCR and MCR – Kenna’s motion was amended by Ben Szreter, a second year History student, who suggested that the mandate was changed to five days of vegan food. The amendment was taken as friendly and the motion passed.
Szreter later commented: “I do not agree with the motion. However, if the purpose of the motion was truly to make an environmental change with our food consumption, my amendment was the logical conclusion of the argument.”
Szreter also expressed concerns about the impact of vegan food on access.
“Five days of vegan food may sound intimidating to students across the country, and many Wadham students I’ve spoken to have said that they would have applied to another college if this policy was in place when they were applying” he added.
Other students were more positive. Sam Greenhalgh, a third-year Medicine student, commented: “Wadham is the college the world needs, but doesn’t deserve. I for one look forward to vegan meals and feel that the intramuscular vitamin B12 injections we will inevitably need will only serve to strengthen our resolve.”
Earlier this term the college’s SU passed a motion not to serve any meat on Monday and offer two vegetarian options instead.
Alexander Walker, the leader of the “No To Meat-Free Mondays” campaign, commented on the five days of vegan food: “I’ll eat my hat if this is actually introduced. Well, not a leather hat, that wouldn’t be vegan. Not that I actually have a leather hat.”
Others at the college did not feel as strongly. In a perceptive and analytical remark, French finalist James Rothwell told The Oxford Student: “Lolity lol.” Josh Davis, a first-year who proposed the original meat-free Monday motion, said: I agree with Sarah Pine, VP and grand overlady that ‘this is just one more step towards the anarcho-feminist lesbian vegan utopia that we have been fighting for for so long.”
The motion mandated the SU Food Rep to carry out the above points, which will be brought to the next Food Committee meeting of term.