NU CARES: first ever vegan-based club

NU CARES advocating for veganism on campus

Ben Schian 

This semester the first ever vegan-based club was founded at Niagara University. Niagara University Club for Animal Rights, Education, and Sustainability (NU CARES) has a mission to spread awareness on the sentient nature of all animals, to promote an environmental consciousness and to encourage an overall healthier lifestyle. The club discusses what actions we, as students, and as human beings can do to help animals, the environment, and ourselves. Despite only being the first semester NU CARES has been established, this group of dedicated students has already come together to accomplish a lot.

Students of NU CARES

On Saturday October 14th, NU CARES was able to go on a club field trip to Asha Sanctuary, which saves the lives of farmed animals who would’ve been killed in the cruel animal agriculture industry. Within a week after this field trip, NU CARES hosted their first ever speaker, Rachel Pawelski, who founded the Veg-Club at Canisius College. Rachel spoke about the path that Canisius took to become a more vegan-friendly college, and she provided insight on how Niagara University can follow this exceptional model.

As a vegan-based club NU CARES has a strong focus on food. More specifically, they are focused on the food service at Niagara University. NU CARES recently had a meeting with the executives from Metz to discuss the food options that are offered to the students of Niagara University. NU CARES and Metz Culinary Management will be working together in the future, as partners, to promote more vegan and vegetarian options. In the short-term, Metz has made it clear that they are willing to offer even more plant-based options in the Gallagher Center. This will allow students, faculty, and the community to enjoy healthy and tasty food, completely free from any animal products, whether they’re sitting down doing work, or on the go.

“Having more vegan options offered by Metz makes me feel more comfortable inviting friends and family to come eat at the dinning commons. As a commuter, it is also nice to know that Metz will be offering more plant-based options in Gally, because I do not always have the time to sit down and eat in the dinning commons.” said Maggie Gerard, a spirited member of the NU CARES family.


While Metz will be the ones making and serving the food, NU CARES will continue to do their part to educate the students, faculty, and community about the benefits of adopting a plant-based lifestyle.  Looking long-term, NU CARES would like to see Niagara University eventually catch up to Canisius College in terms of offering vegan options. Students at Canisius can enjoy a 100% vegan station in their dining hall. In addition to this station, 25% of all of the food in the dining hall is vegan, and 100% of the desserts are vegan too. Obviously, this is not an overnight change but if we are ever going to reach this point as a university then students and faculty need to prove to Metz and the university that it is worth their investment.

Niagara University and Metz Culinary services have been making amazing strides towards improving the eating experience for students, but there is always room for more improvement.  NU CARES will promote veganism, as well as the progress being made by Metz to ensure that the student body can enjoy the best possible dining experience. It is a very exciting partnership between a new student organization and the food service management, which will surely lead to many positive changes for the university and its students.

Reaching out to Metz to give feedback is very easy. You can contact them on their website, social media, or email any of the executives from the dinning commons. It is vital for students to communicate with Metz when they do or do not like how things are going. The only way to improve is to communicate, and let them know what is and isn’t working. If you are interested in NU CARES you can contact the club through social media or talk to either (or both) of the co-presidents/co-founders, Ben Schian and Jess Michalski.

Article by:

Co-founder & Co-President of NU CARES

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