A stereotype goes along with accommodation in any of the University’s residence halls. For example, it’s not hard to imagine East Quaders in pajamas made from organic cotton going to class or a sit-in at University President Mary Sue Coleman’s office. Or a troop of West Quaders heading to practice in blue-and-maize sweats, passing a group of engineers and art students waiting for the bus back to Bursley with either brick-laden backpacks.
The underlying principle for these stereotypes is that just with a residency listing, one can reason what another student is most likely to do (in South Quad, homework), to wear (in Alice Lloyd, leggings) or to eat (in East Quad, granola). To test whether campus stereotypes could predict eating habits in residence halls, we solicited a week’s worth of data from University Dining Services about the consumption of cafeteria classics in each dining hall: fountain soda, salad, soft-serve ice cream, cereal and granola. In many cases, the dining preferences in certain cafeterias are distinct but difficult to attribute to traditional stereotypes. What do peculiar eating habits indicate about a residence hall’s tenants? You can decide.
The East Quad dining hall, known for its broader selection of vegetarian options and activist produce policies, plays host to a clientele whose food tastes aren’t so alternative and forward thinking as their edgy hairstyles and progressive politics suggest.
East Quaders might advocate sustainable produce, but that doesn’t mean they eat it. East Quad consumes less salad than any other dining hall – a dismal .3 servingss per diner compared to an average of .6 in all dining halls. Perhaps some residents haven’t forgotten the insect garnishes that made it into East Quad’s salad bar last year after a switch to sustainable local produce eliminated the frozen shipping process that usually kills off lettuce inhabitants. More likely, it’s that vegetarians are less often driven to subsist on iceberg lettuce in the face of paltry meat-free options.
Whatever the case, it’s doubtful that East Quaders’ disdain for the salad bar implies a disregard for calorie counting. Full calorie soda is something to be wary of for guys who wear tight girl pants. Out of 10 drink options offered at juice and soda fountains, Diet Pepsi is most preferred. The juice drinks, Orange and Fruit Punch, slosh in pathetically at ninth and tenth place.
Of course, East Quaders might be saving their calorie allotment for the soft serve machine. East-Quad serves the third highest amount per capita of ice cream, .6 cones per diner. Like almost all dining halls, its diners show a strong preference for chocolate. Hopefully, Diet Pepsi isn’t being paired with chocolate ice cream.
When it comes to cereal, East Quad follows the campus trend of preferring cereals advertised as adult and health conscious to the breakfast food’s rainbow, childish counterparts. Like in most dining halls, Cracklin’ Oat Bran reigns supreme, while Lucky Charms, a favorite sugary cereals in other cafés, falls to 12th place.
Granola consumption: average.
For reason beyond this article’s scope of reasoning, West Quad eaters are the secret freaks of the dining services system.
Pepsi, a classic cola heralded by commercials as the drink of a generation, never falls below third place for most consumed soda in a dining hall except at West Quad, where it’s ranked sixth. The soda’s almost equally adored kin, Diet Pepsi, is ranked seventh. In the duo’s places are pink lemonade at first and Mountain Dew at second – two underlings that receive moderate attention in other dining halls.
West Quaders are also eccentrics in terms of ice cream consumption. While the average residence hall diner eats .5 servings of ice cream per meal, diners in West Quad only manage .01 servings. That translates to 1,715 fewer cones than the campus average of 2,390 cones served that week.
West Quaders eat an average amount of salad, about .6 servings per diner, but they don’t enjoy the same quality lettuce. West Quad is one of two dining halls with salad bars that blend more nutritious Romaine lettuce with empty-calorie head lettuce at a one to one ratio: most dining halls mix in twice as much Romaine as Iceberg.
West Quaders keep it mostly mature with their cereal selections, choosing Special K Red Berries, Cracklin’ Oat Bran and Honey Bunches of Oats most often. But Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios slip in as the fourth most eaten cereals.
As in the cases of ice cream and Pepsi, West Quad also has the lowest consumption of granola.
Alice Lloyd, though a smaller dorm, houses two learning communities and a slew of archetypical Hill-area freshmen – hungry freshmen, as it turns out. With higher rates of salad, ice cream and granola consumption than most other halls, it would seem Lloyd diners might be trying to eat through the stress of their first years in college.
Ice cream consumption in Lloyd, at .92 servings per person, is almost double the campus-wide average of .5 servings. Only Betsy Barbour girls eat more, at 1.2 servings per diner. Lloyd is also one of two halls where vanilla ice cream is preferred. A strong, possibly violent allegiance to chocolate ice cream is demonstrated at every other residence hall but Bursley. It seems Alice Lloyd Greeks and North Campus engineers can have at least one thing in common.
To make up for all that ice cream, Lloyd has the highest consumption of salad at .83 servings per diner. Lloyd also has the best ratio of Romaine to head lettuce, at five to two.
Cereal-wise, Lloyd keeps to the oats and Special K, with Lucky Charms squeezing in before Grape-Nuts at fifth place. Lloyd diners eat the most granola per capita of all dining halls that serve it.
South Quad and Bursley
The South Quad and Bursley dining halls are the two biggest on campus, servings respectively 14,581 diners and 14,107 diners in a week. You might expect dining halls servings a large mass of people to adhere to typical eating practices, but these dining epicenters have some idiosyncrasies of their own.
When South Quad’s Honors students are refueling, what do they reach for? Sugar in the form of corn puffs. While Cracklin’ Oat Bran still has a steady grip at number one, South Quad is the only dining hall where sugary cereals – Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap’n Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios – rank second, third and forth.
A love of sugar doesn’t extend to ice cream, though. South Quad has the second-lowest rate of ice cream consumption at .2 servings per diner.
South-Quaders don’t enjoy the best Romaine to head lettuce ratio, at a disappointing five to three – and they consume just .45 salads per diner.
South Quad is onboard with Pepsi and Diet Pepsi but has a preference for lemonade before all else.
Servings the second most people after South Quad, the Bursley dining hall on North Campus presents some offbeat eating habits.
While Pepsi holds on to the number one spot at Bursley, Diet Pepsi only comes in fifth.
Bursley, along with Alice Lloyd, serves diners who prefer vanilla ice cream is to chocolate, but Bursley diners don’t have Lloyd’s affinity for ice cream. They have the third-lowest consumption of ice cream at .2 servings per diner.
Bursley is one of four dining halls where sugary cereals break into the top three preferred. In this case, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms are the second-most consumed.
Bursley consumes the second-most salad at .73 servings per diner, despite having a mediocre ratio of one to one, Romaine to head lettuce.