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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student


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Not so Knox proud until there is a consistent commitment to inclusive food

I am tired of writing about the same thing but at this point, I don’t even know what to do. I am not so #KnoxProud that the only Halal option at the caf on Founder’s Day was French fries.

I am guessing we are all tired of hearing the same spiel about caf food not being edible or not being up to the mark, but has anything changed? I must say yes. On some days, the Caf surprises me with the quality of food they have and the diverse range of options available. One time the bread pudding was so soft, warm and sweet, I had the perfect nap that took me to another universe.

International students like sophomore Meher Khan also told me that the food tasted just like the one she would have at home. Such days make me feel like I am finally able to make sense of calling this place I have lived in for three years, home.

But does that mean students, especially students with medical, religious and moral dietary restrictions, consistently get good food? Absolutely not.

On some days like Feb. 21, the Caf will have five pork options and one Halal wings option that have no sauce as compared to two non-Halal options, which are sauced and spiced. It is amazing when your first meal of the day is dry wings, while others can enjoy five different pork options. Pork is never Halal or Kosher so it always excludes any conforming Muslim or Jewish student on campus. Yes, this is about inclusiveness.

One of the itemized menu cards for the Caf (Areesha Saif)

I must put in a disclaimer that when I criticize the Caf, I intend no offense towards the workers. Every single Caf worker I have ever interacted with has been extremely helpful and sweet. I cooked during I Fair and all of the Caf workers helped us out, respected our food, and made us feel welcome. Cooking for such a large number of people made me realize that the workers have a very hard job, which made me appreciate everything they do.

However, the problem is not the workers but the corporation, and the college not doing enough. I am certain if you can have five pork options, you can have more than one Halal option. How hard is it to include Muslim students? So many Muslim students I know, including myself, are not even able to keep up with the Halal diet here because sometimes there are no options or the options are barely edible. Only sometimes do we get food like everyone else.

You can’t choose when you want to be inclusive and when you don’t, and you can’t choose to give us good food on some days and none on others.

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About the Contributor
Areesha Saif
Areesha Saif, Staff Writer
Areesha Saif '24 (she/her) is a Political Science major at Knox. She has been working as a Staff Writer since Winter 2023. She grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, which in her very biased opinion, has the best food in the world. Awards: Honorable Mention Critical Review ICPA 2024

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