June 18, 2019 | 72° F

Dining halls use cage-free eggs

Photo by Shawn Smith |

Rutgers Dining Services began using cage-free eggs this year after students in Rutgers United for the Welfare of Animals got backing from the student body.

This semester, Rutgers switched to cage-free eggs in all of the dining halls after students worked more than two years for the change. While the change costs students more in their overall meal plan, the change was not very significant at the per-student cost.

Joseph Charette, director of Dining Services, said students in Rutgers United For the Welfare of Animals came to him more than two years ago with the idea to switch to cage-free eggs. After crunching the numbers, he told the group they would need to get backing from the student body.

In their first attempt, students of RUWA asked pedestrians on College Ave for petition signatures to pass the change, Charette said. After getting the required signatures, he told the group the petitions would need to be redone and signed only by students who actually have meal plans and use the dining halls.

Constance Li, a Rutgers alumna, helped begin the change over her final two years at the University. She helped with the petition signatures and inform students about what the change could mean.

“It would cost about six cents more a meal, and we told people this,” she said. “The average vote was around 15 cents more per meal.”

After their second attempt, members of RUWA delivered another petition to Charette, also showing that not only students with meal plans were willing to make the change, they were willing to pay up to $84 more a year.

The petition was presented to the Board of Governors this past July, and Charette said it was passed.

People do not think it’s worth it to save 15 cents when they realize what it buys, Li said, and the life it would provide for the chicken that gave them that egg.

By Shawn Smith

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