Students love free stuff

“As I left my last class Wednesday a little before noon, I decided to stop by one of several tents and get a free T-shirt. I wasn’t planning on a hot dog. After waiting in a long but fast-moving line, I showed up at the table with the hot dogs. Amazed, I looked at two trays: one with a sign that said vegetarian.”

As I left my last class Wednesday a little before noon, I decided to stop by one of several tents and get a free T-shirt.

I wasn’t planning on a hot dog.

After waiting in a long but fast-moving line, I showed up at the table with the hot dogs.

Amazed, I looked at two trays: one with a sign that said vegetarian.

These are vegetarian? I asked. Maybe I’ll eat one after all. Pleasantly surprised, I grabbed my vegetarian hot dog and T-shirt and left the tent.

Last year on Student Appreciation day I was merely excited to get a free T-shirt. I didn’t feel appreciated, per se, but free stuff is always good.

Returning for my second year at the university, I truly felt appreciated. They had included everyone – meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

It’s always great, as a vegetarian, when people provide alternatives. The Country Diner, for example, has a veggie burger on its menu – something that is hard to find at most restaurants. In most cases, vegetarians are left eating salad.

Next week, try eating a full meal in the Student Union without meat. You can do it, but your options are severely limited. You could count the number of meals available on one hand.

After you’ve done that, try to avoid eating animal products altogether – just for a meal.

When asked why Country Diner thought to include a vegetarian burger on their menu, Terry Key, an assistant manager at the restaurant, explained: We had a few people who asked for them… some people just like to have vegetarian alternatives. There are a couple of regular customers who come to the diner for the burger, Key explained.

I’m excited to see supply and demand working so flawlessly in the local economy.

I don’t know why the university decided to provide the meatless hot dogs. Perhaps some outspoken vegetarians petitioned the people behind Student Appreciation day, or wrote Proenza several hundred letters.

In any case, I must extend my thanks to whoever is behind them.

And while we’re talking about Student Appreciation day, let’s talk about how it was financed. I’m currently clinging to the hope that it wasn’t paid for with student fees or tuition.

If it was, then technically the students paid for their free stuff. Hopefully Student Appreciation day was provided for through alternative funds.

If not, I no longer feel appreciated.

I will continue to hope, though, and retain my sense of appreciation. Feeling appreciated is much better than being concerned about where my hard-earned money is going, anyway.

All in all, I would say the university’s Student Appreciation day was a success. Good thing it wasn’t interrupted by any bomb threats. I doubt anything could have ruined the day faster than that would have.

I didn’t go to the Food, Fun and Facts fair, but a free hot dog and T-shirt were enough to let me know that the university appreciates its students.

UA, I appreciate you, too.