Emmanuel College fellows have their formal menus organised separately to studentsRoar Newsletter / Wikicommons

The steaks were high at Emmanuel College last week (6/5), as the College faced criticism for serving fellows meat at a vegan themed formal.

Part of the ‘green week’ campaign across the University, the vegan formal was organised by undergraduate students, containing plant-based and sustainable dishes. However, Emmanuel College fellows instead enjoyed a “roast sirloin of beef”, amongst other meat and animal products.

Despite the vegan theming of the formal, it soon became clear that the Emma dons were not participating. One student told Varsity, “people thought it was weird and quite ironic that while we were eating vegan food, the fellows were being served steak. It seemed slightly in poor taste”.

Another said that it was “one rule for them and another for us,” adding that “of all the meats, beef is the worst for the environment - it’s a joke.”

Students also turned to Emmanuel’s satirical college newsletter Roar as well as Camfess, to voice their criticisms, with one post on the site reading “shout out to Emmanuel College for serving platters of steak to the fellows at the vegan green week formal.”

Cambridge ‘Green Week’ is a university wide campaign, organised by students. This green week involved a range of activities from sustainability workshops to speaker events, as well as range of ‘green’ formals, showcasing vegan and locally sourced sustainable options.

Whilst students participated in these themed formals, Emmanuel’s high table were exempt. College rules generally mean that fellows have a different menu as it is considered a separate event. In turn, Emmanuel College student union (ECSU) and the green committee had no say over the fellows’ menu.


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Mia Becker, the president of Emmanuel College’s green committee and ECSU green officer, said that she “was very upset,” feeling that they “had completely ignored what we were trying to do, and they didn’t seem to show any interest.”

Becker has since been in contact with the college after the green formal and said “they were open to organise vegan/green events for high table as well which is a step in the right direction.

We also hope that this could be a way to get more awareness among fellows for what our green committee is trying to do, we really need as many people to get involved as possible.”

Emmanuel College has been approached for comment (15/5)