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Exploring halal & other diverse food options at Marquette University: a guide to dining for students

Updated on: Nov 8, 2023
Exploring halal & other diverse food options at Marquette University: a guide to dining for students
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As a vibrant and diverse campus, Marquette University recognises the importance of catering to its students' diverse dietary needs and cultural backgrounds.

Whether you follow a halal diet, have specific food restrictions, or simply enjoy sampling a variety of cuisines, Marquette's dining services enable you to dive into a world of food.

While the University may be Catholic at its root, students of all faiths and backgrounds enrol on courses at the University every year, so the food options have been designed to respect each individual’s dietary preference according to the religion they observe.

What role does religion play at Marquette University?

Marquette University is a Catholic and Jesuit institution established by John Martin Henni, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1881. Therefore, faith and spirituality are an inherent part of the teaching on campus; values carried out in staff and faculty behaviour, and the private University's overall mission.

It may be a predominantly Catholic University, but people of all religious backgrounds and beliefs are welcome at the University to contribute towards discussions around faith.

For example, Marquette University's Muslim Student Association provides a welcoming community for Muslim students and hosts events throughout the year, including an annual Eid al-Fitr celebration.

Around 68% of the student body defines themselves as Catholic. Muslim students are estimated to comprise approximately one per cent of the student body.

Muslim students, therefore, show concern about the ability to find readily available halal food on the University campus, where most first-year students spend their time.

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The changing food preferences of students

Dietary preferences stem from various sources, including ethical concerns, bodily intolerances and nutritional fads.

Young people make more deliberate food choices than the generations before them, with veganism, in particular, showing signs of continued growth.

Over the past five years, the search term 'veganism' has increased by 580% on Google as the plant-based diet receives more widespread acceptance in the media and restaurant kitchens worldwide.

The current estimate for how many vegans are in the world is 88 million, around 1.1% of the world's population. Religion is a major factor affecting a student's food choices, as Marquette University is a religious institution with dutiful values underpinning the mission of the University.

A diverse variety of dietary choices and eateries

Research has shown that students enrolling in courses at Marquette University have a more diverse range of food preferences than ever before. Socially conscious and self-aware, students want to be offered variety in the food they eat.

Naturally, the issue is more pressing for religious students - for example, Muslims, as their religion requires meat to be halal. But food choices, in general, have evolved to be more idiosyncratic in younger generations.

What is halal meat?

The English transition is 'permissible': to adhere to Islamic law, animals must be healthy during their slaughter, with a Muslim present to recite a dedication. At the same time, the animal receives a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.

Specially-trained slaughterhouse workers must use a surgically sharp knife to comply with the koran; all blood is then drained from the carcass.

Some people observe similarities between halal and kosher meat; however, there are differences: Jewish law strictly forbids the use of stunning and the consumption of sciatic nerve and particular fats.

Additionally, it is not required to mention the name of God before slaughtering every animal, unlike the process for halal meat. If meat is halal, it will be labelled as such so Muslims can make informed dietary choices.

In addition, it is illegal to label food as halal if it has not been prepared and maintained correctly.

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Halal food options on-campus

Marquette University recognises the dietary needs of its diverse student population, including those who observe a halal dietary lifestyle.

The dining services department at Marquette offers a variety of halal food options for students, including halal meat options in select dining halls and halal-certified packaged meals at campus convenience stores.

Straz Tower's dining hall offers a dedicated Halal station where students can enjoy delicious Halal meat dishes prepared separately from non-Halal items. Additionally, Cobeen Hall also provides Halal options in their dining hall.

These dining halls strive to accommodate students' dietary needs by offering a dedicated space for Halal food preparation.

Marquette University's dining services department also accommodates Muslim students during Ramadan by providing pre-dawn and post-sunset meals, known as suhoor and iftar.

These meals are open to all students, regardless of religious affiliation and are served at the University's dining halls. With these initiatives, Marquette University demonstrates its commitment to creating an inclusive campus environment that respects and accommodates the diverse needs of all students.

Allergen-free options

About 16 million US adults have food allergies. Marquette University is aware of the demand for diversity in its food options and the necessity of offering all its students a fair range of options.

The on-campus dining halls contain a "Simple Servings" station, which provides meals free from the top eight allergens, making it easier for students with food allergies to find safe options.

Students can even devise a personalised meal plan with help from individual consultants at the University to keep them safe.

Vegetarianism and veganism

Until recently, vegetarian and vegan diets were considered unorthodox. People with vegan preferences struggled to find suitable alternatives to meat or well-balanced meals that were not just cheese and lettuce!

Vegetarian and vegan options are available at every meal at Marquette University food locations, and the University also offers kosher, halal, and gluten-free options.

According to a survey on the college pulse website, 1 in 10 college students adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet. This makes their dietary choices more unique than the general population, and as such, Marquette University prioritises providing alternative food options as standard alongside meat options.

Vegan organisation Peta estimates that more than 25% of the meat market is expected to be plant-based by 2050, so veganism is no longer the sideline interest it once portrayed.

The campus halls' vegetarian options

The campus dining halls, such as Cobeen Hall, Schroeder Hall, and Straz Tower, offer extensive culinary choices. Students can enjoy a range of dishes like the veggie stir-fry at Cobeen Hall, the Mediterranean-inspired falafel wrap at Schroeder Hall, or perhaps the flavourful tofu tacos at Straz Tower.

Marquette's famous cafes, including Brew Bayou, offer an assortment of tasty treats, such as the vegetarian caprese sandwich and the quinoa salad.

Grab' n' Go options like the hummus and veggie wrap at the 707 Hub provide quick and convenient meal solutions for those on the go.

With its diverse array of food choices and incorporating vegetarian options into various menus, Marquette University ensures that students have a satisfactory dining experience that satisfies their cravings and fuels their academic pursuits.

Which vegetarian options are available at Marquette University?

Marquette University offers a wide range of nutritious vegetarian food options to ensure students are fully nourished and can concentrate during their studies.

The dining halls on campus provide an array of vegetarian dish options so students can enjoy satisfying meals. An emphasis on freshness and quality ingredients is also present so that students can indulge in flavourful salads, vegetable stir-fries, hearty grain bowls, and other plant-based proteins.

Marquette University strives to create innovative and diverse menus, incorporating vegetarian options into various cuisines, including Mediterranean, Asian, and Mexican. Additionally, the University's cafes and eateries feature an assortment of vegetarian sandwiches, wraps, soups, and sides, ensuring that students have plenty of choices throughout the day.

Whether students seek a quick bite between classes or a sit-down meal with friends, Marquette University is committed to providing a good range of vegetarian food options for the campus community.

Is Marquette University right for you?

At Marquette University, students can trust that they will find Halal meat options that align with their dietary requirements and enjoy a fulfilling dining experience while on campus.

If you want to learn more about how your eligibility matches Marquette University's admission criteria, start a conversation with a friendly Edvoy counsellor and download the app today. The process is easy, and the advice you receive is impartial because Edvoy believes in empowering students to make informed decisions about their education.

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