Category Archives: You should know

Dairy Bar Ice Cream: Udder-ly delicious

Chris Brodeur

By Chris Brodeur

UConn’s Dairy Bar and its ever-growing list of tantalizing frozen concoctions is about as secret as a National Championship.  Students, staff and visitors alike flock year-round to the little brick creamery located on the hilly outskirts of the Storrs campus to grab their favorites.

A Dairy Bar patron always leaves happy, but additionally, thanks to some measures Assistant Manager Jackie Patry instituted when she took over day-to-day operations in 2006, any customer can leave having learned a little something.

Patry, having studied agriculture and animal sciences at UConn as an undergraduate, started a tradition with her employees that prepares them for any inquiry a curious cone drone might pose.  The answers to, ‘Where does the milk for the ice cream come from?’ and ‘How often are UConn cows milked?’ are at any Dairy Bar staffer’s disposal.  As part of their training, they must visit the Kellogg Dairy Center, where the dairy herd dwells, and try their hand at milking a cow.

“We say here that our ice cream goes from cow to cone,” Patry said.  “One of the frequently asked questions from customers is, ‘do you really use your own milk for all your products?, and the answer is ‘yes’.  I figure by having [employees] go up there and actually milk a cow, they’ll never forget the answer to that question.”

Up close with bovines

And really, how could they?  The ritual begins with a walk-through of the Kellogg facilities where rookie scoopers learn the basics.  Two kinds of bovines provide the milk.  There are Holsteins – the traditional black and white spotted breed familiar to most New Englanders – and Jerseys, which are smaller, brown in color and generally more mischievous – the troublesome teenagers of the bunch as any Ag worker will attest.

Armed with rubber gloves, boots and an outfit to which they aren’t too attached (a restroom is always at a cow’s immediate disposal), employees make their way onto a platform that puts them at eye-level with a set of udders.  After treating each teat with an iodine solution to disinfect and stimulate the animals, they’re ready to attach a four-prong suctioning device that pumps the milk through a maze of tubes and tanks en route to a larger holding vessel for pasteurization.

A square device above each cow gives a digital read-out of its output that is tracked constantly.  A bar code scanning system makes data on each animal readily available.  After about an hour-and-a-half, Patry’s kids are stinky and quite possibly splattered, but also enlightened.

So the next time you drop in for some frosty goodness, test the person who takes your order.  You’ll find that everybody at the Dairy Bar is udder-ly attached to their work.

Want to learn more about the Dairy Center?

UConn’s Kellogg Dairy Center home page

Interested in those creamy delights at the Dairy Bar?

Check out their home page for flavors, hours and more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Places to visit, You should know

Freshman 15? or Freshman Fantasy?

Liz Connelly

By Liz Connelly

A college dorm dining hall is like a free buffet. A simple swipe of a student I.D. and the food choices are limitless. A full salad and sandwich bar leads to the pizza, burgers and fries section; next to the pasta and entrée of the day. A freshman’s nervous stomach can keep them away from junk food only so long.

As days pass and nerves dissipate, comfort can turn into hunger. The salad bar seems less appealing and a new student uses any excuse to head for the burgers and pizza instead.

“When students get to the dining halls it’s like a kid in a candy shop,” said Dennis Pierce, director of Dining Services at the University of Connecticut. “At home food is regimented, you eat what your parents buy and make. In the dining halls there are so many options, healthy or unhealthy. We are serving them healthy foods, they just aren’t choosing the healthy foods.”

Campus food myths

Nutrition experts say the “Freshman 15” – that inevitable gain of 15 pounds – is a myth. But the fact remains that almost every new college student fears it an believes it will happen regardless of their habits.

Dr. Nicole Mihalopulos of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah and Peggy Auinger and Dr. Jonathan Klein of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester, studied the issue. Their study found the college freshmen they followed and observed gained an average of 2.7 pounds throughout the year.

Want some Ex-Lax with that pizza?

As ardently as college students believe the myth about weight gain, they also believe another myth: laxatives are put into dining hall foods.

“Every year, about 3 to 5 weeks into the semester, the rumor starts up about laxatives in the dining hall foods,” Pierce said. “Freshmen have a huge issue with stress. Stress about schoolwork, stress about being away from home, and stress about making new friends. This stress can materialize into irregular bowel movements.”

So while four weeks into the semester it may seem like Ex-Lax was mixed in with the alfredo sauce, it’s probably the three midterms coming up that have students catching up on bathroom gossip.

The college lifestyle may be different, but it certainly doesn’t have to be destructive to one’s digestive system or metabolism. Instead of falling prey to the myths, students should take some age-old advice and not believe everything they hear.

Interested in what’s for dinner at UConn’s numerous dining halls?

Follow this link for menus, nutrition info and more courtesy of UConn Dining Services.

Leave a comment

Filed under You should know

The Man Behind the Bar

Ted's Restaurant & Bar

Ted's Restaurant & Bar has been owned by Ryan McDonald since September 2007, when he bought the bar from its previous owners. McDonald is a former UConn student and used to work at Ted's in the kitchen. Photo credit: Mike Northup

Kendra Richardson

By Kendra Richardson

UConn students, locals, parents and alumni alike shuffle into Ted’s Restaurant and Bar looking to enjoy drinks, food, and live music. The bartenders all appear to be college students. Most of them are.

But one of them, Ryan McDonald, a UConn 2006 graduate of 2006, is more than a student trying to earn some extra spending money. He has owned Ted’s since September of 2007.

McDonald, now just 25, graduated with a degree in sociology. As a student, he was a regular customer. He also worked a stint in the kitchen.

After graduating, he got a job as a sous chef in restaurant in his hometown of Litchfield.  He found that working 60 to 80 hours a week and making an annual salary of about $40,000 was not for him.
Back to Storrs

Ryan MacDonald, owner of Ted's.

Then he got a call from the owners of Ted’s. They wanted to sell the campus watering hole. He took out some loans, negotiated terms, and Ted’s was his.

His goal for Ted’s: keep it the same, while spicing it up, too.

“Don’t forget, this is the bar I went to when I was here, if you didn’t know Ted’s, you couldn’t buy it and keep it the same,” he said.

And the same, it is.

It still has the same great food it’s been serving for 20 years. There are $1 pizza slices on Tuesday, huge grinders, amazing chicken fingers. McDonald uses Facebook to promote the bar’s daily drink specials, promotions, and competitions, such as “best halloween costume.”

Ted’s is known for it’s “regulars,” and McDonald has worked to retain that homey feeling. It’s the only bar opened seven days a week, all day, and during the summer.

It is where the UConn community goes. Before they know it, it’s the only place they want to go.

Comments Off on The Man Behind the Bar

Filed under Places to visit, You should know

Are Resident Assistants Out to Get You?

Mike Ryan

By Mike Ryan

Yearning for a job that pays two grand a semester and gives plenty of grief?

Try being a resident assistant – that is, RA as most students know. Many students think resident assistants have cushy jobs. Well here is just one RA experience that could change a mind or two:

The hallway was eerily silent, except for the commotion from one bedroom at the very end. The RA had heard such horror stories during his training, but this was his first night doing full weekend rounds. It was past 2 a.m. Most residents were passed out cold.

The powerful stench of vodka filled his nostrils as he shuffled closer to the end of the hall. He was so exhausted he barely realized he was pounding on the door to room 206. A terrified 18-yr-old boy answered, cracking open the wooden door.

“What’s the problem?”

“You realize your guys’ music is at full volume, right? I can’t even hear myself think. And the hallway reeks of alcohol. Do you mind if I come in and take a look around?”

“That alcohol smell’s not from us, and we’re going to turn down the music and go to bed. And no you can’t come in.”

Slam. So much for a conversation.

This type of rude and rowdy encounter is common for RAs.

And then there’s the questions …

Prity Kharawala is an R.A. who has patrolled the dingy halls of North Campus for two years. Despite being a veteran, she still is surprised by how many timid freshmen ask her ridiculous questions.

“‘Am I going to lose my housing? Are they going to kick me out?’ It feels like the students know nothing about what we’re actually trained to do,” she said.

South Campus resident Tom Hewitt grasps an understanding of the position, having spoken frequently to his RA from freshman year.

“We kind of just want to have a good time,” he said. “Most of my friends see RA’s as hindering their fun, not building our community. [My RA] told me he really just needed the extra cash. It wasn’t about trying to bust us at all.”

Where there’s freshmen, too often there’s alcohol

Andrew Roberts has managed RAs for a few years. He moved to North Campus in 2009, and saw the behavior of new college students.

“The reality exists that people are going to drink. When we call students into our office, we don’t promote or condone the practice. But we also do not yell at any students or try to get them booted from school. It’s just not our style.”

Still want to slam that door in your RA’s face?

Interested in becoming an RA?

Check out this page for some useful information.

For more information on UConn Residential Life, follow this link:

UConn ResLife home page.

Leave a comment

Filed under You should know

Dumpster diving at the library

Dumpster

A few daring students found a treasure trove of old and rare books inside the dumpsters behind the library. Photo credit: Allison Lex

Allison Lex

By Allison Lex

The dumpster behind Homer Babbidge Library is always filled to the brim. But not with discarded candy wrappers, old coffee cups and used tissues. It is brimming with books.

“It was like a treasure trove,” said one student who crept across campus in the middle of a winter’s night to rescue stacks of books from the giant metal bin two years ago.

UConn’s main library has ushered in the digital age, in part by tossing away countless books, regardless of their condition.

“As far as I understand it, the director of the library is taking low circulation books and seeing if there are digital copies of them elsewhere,” a library student employee said. “And if there are, they throw [the books] away.”

A variety of titles

Among these books are volumes of environmental records, public service announcements and other itemse used less frequently than other research materials. But many of the books that take the trip to the dumpster have recently passed through the library’s conservation lab, meaning they have been widely circulated and are in close-to-new condition.

The conservation lab, part of the university’s preservation department until it was recently disbanded, repairs library books that are worse for wear so they can be returned to Babbidge’s shelves.

The move to digitization has also sent books to the dumpster. As a research library, Babbidge sees an influx of new materials on a yearly basis. Digitizing books removes the need to pay for increased storage as the library’s collection grows.

The process itself is far cheaper than traditional book repairs, which require expensive material and hours of manual labor.

“At only a dime per page, [digitization] is among the lowest of any other ethical efforts in the industry,” said David Lowe, leader of the Digital Program Team.

The digital age

UConn is not alone in the move to digitization. Other major universities, including New York University and Northwestern University, have also expanded their preservation departments to include digitization.

But at UConn, these two departments are separate. And while the leader of the digitization department says the two speak to each other on a daily basis, their efforts still seem counterproductive.

“We fix things so they can be kept longer,” the student employee said. “[The other department is] responsible for digitizing things so they can be thrown away.”

But while the two departments work in conflict with one another, some enterprizing and adventurous students are able to reap the benefits. The dumpster diving students of two years past are now the proud owners of more than a dozen books and other publications, including copies of the “Clean Air Act of 1977,” “American Midland Naturalist” and “Polish Folk Stories.”

Not exactly bestsellers, but treasures nonetheless.

Comments Off on Dumpster diving at the library

Filed under Strange and unusual, You should know

Greek life with a twist: Alpha Delta Phi

Bridget Shannon

By Bridget Shannon

Someone sporting a sweatshirt with a ΔΧ on the front is fairly easily recognized on the UConn campus as a member of the Delta Chi fraternity.  But the green and white ΑΔΦ that represent Alpha Delta Phi is mostly a mystery.  The fact that people don’t know about this new fraternity hasn’t stopped the gentlemen of “ADP,” as they refer to themselves, from forging a new future in Storrs.

Stephen Pizzo founded the fraternity in Spring 2008, and since then the organization has clawed its way onto the national stage. It is one of the fastest growing chapters of the fraternity in the country.  For the members of Alpha Delta Phi, it’s a part of their UConn identity.

Sure, the community service and aim for academic excellence are resume boosters.  But looking past that, ADP is a group of very close friends who share a connection meant to last well past the four years in Storrs.

Welcome to Alpha House

The guys can usually be found lingering around “2nd House” on Hunting Lodge Road.  They may be hanging out around

Members of the UConn chapter stand outside the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity house at UMass. Picture taken by Stephen Pizzo.

a bonfire in the backyard, or conducting a formal Pledge Event.  The members genuinely enjoy each others company- one reason the number of brothers has doubled from Spring 2008 to fall 2009.

“People have slowly started to notice us largely because we’re a literary fraternity, and we put education and public service as our main tenets,” said Mason Banwell.

House chef Willie Tucciarone tossed a piece of chicken at Banwell as Pizzo sat down next to him and agreed.

“We’re genuine and upfront about our ideals and we stick to them,” he said.

A bunch of guys sitting around a table eating the chicken all nodded their heads as Derek Welch, the house carpenter, swung the back door open bearing the wooden coffee table he just finished building for the living room.  Welch doesn’t live here, but he keeps busy building tables, shelves, and chairs for 2nd House.  Derek and Willie ask for nothing in return for building or cooking: that’s just the way it works here.

Alpha Delta Phi was founded in 1832 at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.

Living and working together

“These guys are some of the best friends I have ever, and will ever meet in my life,” Banwell said.  “We stand by each other not because we have to, because we want to.

Twelve UConn fraternities are part of the official regulated system, and  about 10 percent of students overall are fraternity members.  These existing organizations didn’t work for the guys of ADP, so they started their own group.

“We were looking for a purposeful organization that valued academics,” Banwell said.  “Plus we wanted a more relaxed and informal feeling than the other fraternities offer.”

A sign advertises Alpha Delta Phi's annual dodgeball tournament. Picture taken by Stephen Pizzo.

For example, the group recently held a dodgeball tournament on campus that raised money to send books to Africa.  Those who happened upon it might think it wasn’t very organized.  Balls were flying everywhere and it looked like a bunch of guys just fooling around.  But as it turns out, ADP made more than $250 at the tournament.

ADP is a group of close friends who have fun together while working for a great cause. What could be better?

“We’ve got something that works for us,” said Banwell.  “Nobody is telling us what to do or how to do it, like some of the other fraternities here work.  Plus I just hurled a bunch of balls at my

friends for an hour while raising money to send books to Africa.  What more could you ask for?”

UConn Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi website

Alpha Delta Phi National Organization website

Books For Africa website, a charity that Alpha Delta Phi supports

Leave a comment

Filed under You should know

Wings? Pizza? Fast food heaven in Storrs

Steve Magouirk

By Steve Magouirk

Chow. Grub. Snack. Cuisine. Delicacies. There are dozens of different names for food, but the name doesn’t change the fact that students at the University of Connecticut like it, love it, and want more of it.

So when dining hall food becomes too much to bear, where should a Husky turn? There is no simple answer.

With 12 different restaurants within delivery distance of campus, deciding what off-campus cuisine to indulge in is never an easy choice.

Here are some tips:

Fly to these Wings

Almost everyone agrees that if chicken wings are what you fancy there is no better place than Wings Over Storrs. Delivery food aficionado Christopher Capela, said they: “Give a good amount of wings for a reasonable price.”

Wings measures servings by pound, rather than pieces, ensuring the customer doesn’t get ripped off by the tiny piece that supposedly constitutes a “wing.” The meals advertised as “enough for one” range from $7 to $10 depending on whether you want boneless wings, boned wings, or a chicken wrap.

Calzones anyone?

D.P. Dough, the calzone specialists, is another favorite among students. With an unmatched 45 different ways to stuff one of their patented calzones, it is tough not to find something for everyone. While the usual price tag of $6.49 per calzone might seem a little steep, D. P. Dough offers three for $13 Mondays, the equivalent of buying two and getting one free. The only problem with the deal: expect to wait up to an hour for delivery due to high demand.

The pizza dilemma

It may be unanimous where to get certain foods, but with pizza there is no such luck. The two main pizza shacks are Sgt. Pepperoni and Randy’s Wooster St. Pizza. Which one is best? Sample both to find out.  Some students say price is what makes the difference. One of the most popular deals at Sgt. Pepperoni is $20 for two 16-inch pies and an order of breadsticks.

Randy’s offers a deal for an 18-inch pie for $10 as an everyday special and a dine-in only special of “All UCANN Eat” every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The special includes unlimited wings and pizza.

Dining hall food is not going to satisfy a college student forever and the delicacies of the Student Union get old fast. When hunger strikes, it’s good to know the university offers everything from goat curry to pizza.

The only problem? Too much choice.

Does this article have you hungry for some good eats?

CampusFood – Menus and more info from places to get food around UConn.

Comments Off on Wings? Pizza? Fast food heaven in Storrs

Filed under You should know