Dining halls to offer special options during finals

Buckley dining hall will serve the traditional Specials Under the Tent all week, beginning with a Super Sundae Bar on Sunday, April 30. Many other dining halls will also offer special options during finals week. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

Dining halls across the University of Connecticut campus will serve special meals next week to break up the drudgery of studying for finals.

“We want to do things like this to give students a break from all the studying and cramming they’ll be doing all week,” Gelfenbien Manager Dave Barbera said.

Gelfenbien gave students the opportunity to vote for their favorite fusion bar, a weekly feature at Gelfenbien, which will be served for dinner on Thursday, May 4.

“That they had a hand in deciding which bar they’ll have for that last night is something they’ll enjoy,” Barbera said. “It’s the night before the last day of finals; students will be looking for an escape.”

Barbera predicts the Mac and Cheese bar will be the winner, but the official results will not be posted in the dining hall until Monday.

Buckley dining hall will serve the traditional Specials Under the Tent all week, beginning with a Super Sundae Bar on Sunday, April 30.

The sundae bar will have more toppings than the regular weekly sundae bar, including flavored whipped creams.  

Buckley Manager Susan O’Keefe said she tries to make meals during finals week fun for the freshman honors students who are the most frequent diners at Buckley.

“Honors students are really focused on school work so I feel like I try to make fun things for them during finals week because they work hard,” O’Keefe said.

On Monday, Buckley will serve appetizers including mozzarella sticks, soft pretzels, buffalo chicken dip and mini spring rolls, under the tent.

“A lot of students come just for the bars and that’s their dinner; they head for the tents and that’s that,” O’Keefe said.

On Tuesday, students will be able to decorate their own cookies and cupcakes.

“The students who do participate enjoy having a little creative fun in the middle of finals week,” O’Keefe said.

On Wednesday, there will be a waffle fry bar, which is something new to the tents.

“(Students) can build their own waffle fry creations,” O’Keefe said. “That’ll be a first so we’ll see how that goes.”

On Thursday, there will be a Fantasy Dessert Bar in Buckley with an assortment of pies, brownies, cream puffs and lemon bars.

“Sweets are sweets. Who doesn’t like sweets, especially when you’re stressed?” O’Keefe said.

Student responses to the tents are typically very positive, O’Keefe said.

“They really like it; it’s a fun monotony-breaker, a little ray of sunshine,” O’Keefe said.

Putnam will extend its omelet bar hours Monday through Friday through lunchtime.

“Students’ body clocks will be a little out of whack with late night studying so having a popular breakfast option to have around the lunch hours should be well received,” Putnam Area Manager Steve Sharkis said.

Putnam will also offer a stress-relieving Zen Juice blend, of blueberries, spinach, carrots and fresh mint during finals week.

“It’s our hope that this blend will help the student reduce their stress during finals,” Starkis said. “All four ingredients are known to help reduce and relieve stress. Spinach also is high in amino acid tryptophan, which promotes better sleep.”

North will offer daily grill specials during lunch and dinner.

McMahon will serve homemade kettle corn on Wednesday and Thursday during lunch and dinner.

South will have a sundae bar during dinner on Thursday.


Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.