Students and guests will no longer need to travel off-campus for food that fits some religious dietary restrictions.
As of this year, University Housing’s Dining Markets made the switch to several different chicken products. Peter Testory, Director of Dining & Culinary Services for University Housing explains this change, “All unbreaded, boneless, skinless chicken breast and thigh meat served in our Markets are Halal certified. The unbreaded, boneless, skinless chicken breast is also antibiotic-free and a 100% vegetarian fed. This allows for any of our recipes that do not contain other ingredients that are not allowed by the Halal diet to be consumed by our students and guests that follow Halal requirements.”
Halal food includes any food that falls under specifications outlined in Islamic law and mostly addresses meat.
This change will allow diners with Halal needs the ability to eat a variety dishes at any Housing Dining location with confidence.
This accommodation makes a big difference to students. Agalia Ardyasam, Equity & Inclusion Committee Chair of Associated Students of Madison (ASM) explains, “The switch to Halal-friendly chicken shows that our voice is being heard. This is not only a victory for Muslim students, but for anyone who upholds the idea of inclusivity for all. I’m thankful that Housing is working together with us towards this goal.”
Yaseen Najeeb from the Muslim Student Association (MSA) echoes Ardyasam’s words. “MSA appreciates the effort to make minority students more comfortable on campus. By introducing Halal chicken into the dining halls, Housing has shown attentiveness to the needs and suggestions of their students. We see this as a step in the right direction to becoming a more inclusive campus.”
University Housing also has other products that are available upon request, and has some that can be cooked at the time of being ordered.
“We are extremely excited about this change,” says Testory. “Helping to ensure that we are satisfying those that require Halal certified food and making it as easy as possible to access these options is the right thing to do for our students and guests.”
University Housing strives to meet all dining and allergen needs presented by students and guests. If you are in need of an allergen or dietary accommodation, visit the online menu for a listing of what is served daily in each of Housing’s locations or visit NetNutrition for additional nutritional information. You can also contact University Housing’s Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-262-3994 to discuss options in our Markets for accommodating whatever dietary concern you may have.