In response to Nabeel's article, this is certainly a point that needs to be brought up on this campus but unfortunately not everything resides in the administration’s hands here at Virginia Tech. I myself am aware of Halal food's history on this campus as it was once abandoned due to a lack of demand from students. However, every year the question is brought back up, "Why can't we get it back?" The question typically dies out as quickly as it's brought up, but seeing the question arise once again in our Muslim community’s Facebook group, I posted the following in response.
"Nabeel was certainly right to bring up this issue, but unfortunately, the point of blame should not be put entirely on Virginia Tech as it so seems to be in his article, but rather on OURSELVES. The fact of the matter is Virginia Tech wants to put Halal food on the menu, they know of our struggles and our desires, but Food and Dinning Services is hesitant because they are unsure of the demand, which is why Halal food failed the first time around. The rule of thumb when it comes to investments is that the return must be greater than the costs. Virginia Tech needs to hear from OUR community that an investment would truly be beneficial and would pay off well. How else could they expect to know the profitability when not enough people are speaking up! Call it apathy, call it feelings of entitlement, call it ignorance but at the end of the day, if you want something in life you have step up and work for it.
The reason I'm saying all of this is because last year I went to the head of Dining Services, Ted Faulkner, and said, "WE want Halal food. What can WE do to make it happen?" His response to me was to show him the interest and TOGETHER WE can make it happen. I brought it back to you all and the idea seemed to die in a thread right here in this group (feel free to search for it). Now I partially feel responsible for letting it die, but the fact of the matter is that this is a GROUP effort that includes our Muslim community AND Virginia Tech. It isn't a one-way street so if you all want to periodically return back to trivial blames and insubstantial demands, go right ahead, but be warned that nothing will result from it. If you actually want to make this happen then stand up and LET'S actually work TOGETHER to bring about change.
Working with the administration is manageable and the channels necessary to make it happen are there. If this is something that you all actually want then let me know so that WE can make this happen.
The response thus far has been amazing and from what I can tell, this has been the most engaged our group has ever been in regards to this issue. There has been talk of mobilizations, grassroots groups, and cross-organizational coalitions all so this can be accomplished. It's actually inspiring to see a group so anxious to bring about positive change. If we succeed, the precedent will be huge for both sides. It will ensure Virginia Tech’s willingness to welcome and accommodate minority groups as well as aiding in our own ability to be fully active members of the greater-Virginia Tech community while still being able to be better practitioners of our religion.