Confirmed victory

Keep Nao&Zen in the Student Commons, and keep Burger King out.

This petition made change with 299 supporters!

The Commonwealth Times wrote an article on this so called "fast food face lift" that can be read by clicking this link.

When visiting the Student Commons any time after 2pm, there never fails to be a huge line for arguably the best dining option on campus, Nao&Zen. This might be because it is one of the only quality vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options on campus, or maybe because it is one of the only dining options that can be both healthy (with a choice of a variety of vegetables along with brown rice) and delicious (Croutons has had a sharp decline in quality over the past year). Maybe because it is a VCU staple when there's NOTHING else to eat, because it's a place that can ALWAYS be counted on to be consistently good (unlike the rather temperamental Shafer Court).

I don't know about you, but when I think of vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free, I certainly don't think of Burger King. When I think of appetizing, I certainly don't think of Burger King. Even when I think of fast food, Burger King is far from the frontrunner. At only a short GRTC bus ride away, Burger King is already accessible to students who are provided with free bus passes, but since it's already next to Cookout and farther away than McDonald's, it gets overlooked because it is simply NOT WORTH IT. Having an accessible Burger King won't make it any more healthy or quality, it'll only lead to students that are fatter and/or more bitter that Nao&Zen is no longer in the Commons and that they have to be reminded of that fact with a giant BK logo each time they walk through.  

In addition, VCU's relatively large vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free student populations have EXTREMELY limited dining options as it is.  Although Shafer Court seems to have made a small effort to cater to these students, the food choices are sub-par, and are frankly unacceptable considering these students are paying thousands for their tuition and expensive meal plans, and in return are pushed aside and (for the most part) ignored.  If these types of dining options were improved, they would benefit not only these students with specific dietary requirements, but any student who is trying to eat better or even just explore other options.  With a huge variety of Richmond area restaurants that cater to vegetarian/vegan dietary needs with food that can be enjoyed even by those with unrestricted diets, VCU's array of options, in comparison, is embarrassingly lackluster.  Getting rid of Nao&Zen would only make this situation worse.

Replacing Zoca's mediocrity with everyone's favorite Taco Bell makes perfect sense, but why get rid of something great and replacing it with something awful; essentially taking one step forward and 10 steps back.  Although student surveys may have shown otherwise, if almost any VCU student was asked flat out, "would you rather have Nao&Zen or Burger King?" the responses would be close to unanimous, and would certainly be unanimous among students that do not eat meat, animal products, and/or foods that contains gluten.




Whether you love Nao&Zen, hate BK, or just support the cause, write a comment with your signature and/or email the overseer of VCU dining services, Dan McDonald, at

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