Campus Community / People of SU / Science, Technology and Health
Written by Sofia Marti
April 19, 2022
Image credit: Courtesy of Chartwells
The Convergence Zone Café by Microsoft, located in the Sinegal Center for Science and Innovation, is the first and only 100 percent plant-based eatery on campus. To learn more about the importance of introducing vegan options to the broader campus community, I spoke with Brie Bordner, director of Dining Services at Seattle University.
The idea behind opening the cafe was to recognize the growing number of students on campus who are opting for plant-based diets. When the Sinegal Center was under construction, a team from Chartwells—the university’s food services provider—came together to conceptualize the idea. The team realized quickly through direct student feedback and data collection that the prevailing request was for more plant-based and vegetarian options on campus.
“By Seattle University offering a cafe on campus that is solely plant-based, we are able to better our planet through utilizing plant-based options versus traditional animal protein,” says Bordner. “This option hopefully also continues to educate students that there are delicious, nutrient-packed options without animal-based meats.”
Another big part of opening a plant-based eatery is to encourage students to participate in Seattle University’s goal of building a healthy sustainable future for all.
“If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would have the same environmental impact as taking 7.6 million cars off the road,” says Bordner. “Through Seattle University offering a plant-based eatery option, we are able to adhere to continue driving excitement about sustainable eating.”
To get a student perspective, I spoke to Kamea Halliburton-Gatto, ‘23, who visits the café frequently.
“Although I have my own kitchen and the ability to cook, it can be very hard as a college student to eat healthy affordable meals,” says Halliburton-Gatto. “Now that the café is open, I have the option to introduce healthier eating choices in a convenient, affordable way.”
The Convergence Zone Café holds great promise to be a hit on campus and will hopefully be the first of many plant-based dining options available to the SU community.
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