On-Campus Spotlight: SAVVY

What is SAVVY?
SAVVY, or the Student Association of Vegan and Vegetarian Youth, is composed of an enthusiastic group of diverse students interested in a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. Established over a decade ago, SAVVY prides itself for being the first and only vegan club on campus. The club works closely with dining services and the Rochester community to provide an open and warm outlet for students to learn about vegetarianism and veganism. SAVVY goes beyond simply veganism/vegetarianism, promoting a healthier more sustainable lifestyle.

Why should students join SAVVY?
For the majority of college students, eating is a mindless habit, to which we dedicate little thought. SAVVY focuses on teaching students about the foods they consume, where these food come from, and how to improve their diets. SAVVY welcomes all individuals and consists of a diverse member population, everyone from hardcore vegans to omnivores.

When does SAVVY meet?
Every Thursday at 6:30 on the second floor of ITS.

What events is SAVVY responsible for?
SAVVY sponsors meatless Mondays every week. Recently the group hosted a movie screening of Knives and Forks. Just this past month they held their annual “Vegan Challenge.” (A huge success, with over 184 participants.) The group is teaming up with the Gandhi Institute this Thanksgiving Weekend to host a wilderness trek.

What philosophy is SAVVY trying to promote?
SAVVY hopes to promote a philosophy of openness and acceptance. One of the several challenges SAVVY faces is the common misconception that portrays the organization as a special interest designed to convert the student body. The club’s purpose is not to convert students to a vegan or vegetarian diet. Instead, SAVVY hopes to raise awareness about vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. The organization has made enormous progress in the past ten years towards creating an open environment that is accepting of vegetarianism. However, close-mindedness towards the group still exists. Members of SAVVY are often questioned about their choice to live a meatless lifestyle or follow a meatless diet. For example, members are often approached with the question, “Where do you get your protein from?” This year and in years to come, SAVVY hopes to correct these misconceptions and foster awareness across the University campus.

What would you like to say to someone who wants to try becoming vegetarian/vegan but isn’t quite sure?
Converting to veganism/vegitarianism is different for everyone. Some may prefer a “cold turkey” approach while others choose to take a gradual approach by alternating meat and no-meat days. SAVVY members warn that at first the process can be difficult. Often it takes upwards of three weeks for students to alter their eating habits. It often helps to use the buddy system — doing it with a friend can provide the support necessary to live a meat-free diet.

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