The final vote was held in the UConn Dairy Bar Friday to determine which scoop flavor would represent this year’s senior class. But how does the creation of the Senior Scoop really work?
Jessica Sokol, the associate director of Student and Young Alumni Engagement, ran the table in the Dairy Bar where seniors could vote and helped demystify the production of the Senior Scoop. Sokol said seniors submitted a few hundred flavors at the beginning of the fall semester. These flavors were then cut to 20 by the UConn Senior staff and the Dairy Bar staff based on similarities in flavor, making sure there was a variety in the final choices and giving the underdog a chance. These 20 flavors were then presented to 13 senior judges who then narrowed it down even further to just five flavors.
On Friday, the same 13 senior judges were given a scoop of each of the five flavors being debated: Chocolate ice cream with oreos and marshmallow swirl, cake batter ice cream with cookie dough and marshmallow swirl, cheesecake ice cream with graham cracker crumbs and caramel swirl, vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels and a peanut butter caramel swirl and cake batter ice cream with Twix pieces and caramel swirl.
These seniors were picked from the Dairy Bar staff and a variety of organizations around campus.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Kylie Baker, a seventh-semester animal science and pathobiology major, said. “I was in the George White Library studying and my advisor, who’s Doctor Zinn, the head of the Animal Science Department, walked in and was like, ‘Hey, I have a job for you.’ And I accepted right away.”
“I’m the Assistant Student Manager here [at the Dairy Bar], so they had me and my Student Manager doing it,” Caitlyn Rodriguez, a seventh-semester horticulture major, said.
“I am the vice president of programming for the Student Alumni Association,” Cullen Farragher, a seventh-semester physiology and neurobiology major, said. “We work under the UConn senior advisor, Jess. She’s our advisor for our club, so every year a senior on our eBoard gets picked, so I was picked.”
While these lucky 13 were enjoying their ice cream, even more seniors came in to vote based on the flavors written down on paper ballots. Sokol explained that not everyone could taste test the flavors just yet since the five flavors were only made in small hand-mixed batches. These paper ballots will be tallied up and the No. 1 ice cream voted by them will represent a 14th senior judge. By Friday afternoon the flavor was decided and it will be announced Tuesday on the Dairy Bar’s social media.
Baker, a chocolate lover, was surprisingly unhappy about the chocolate ice cream-based flavor.
“I’m not a fan of the marshmallow swirl unfortunately,” Baker said. “But the chocolate covered pretzel has chocolate, has salt, it’s great.”
Farragher and Rodriguez seemed to be in agreement on their favorite of the five at the time, but were both considering other flavors as well.
“So far [I like] the Twix one, but I’m excited to try the cheesecake one, because I haven’t tried that one yet,” Farragher said.
“Right now, I really like the cake batter with Twix pieces, as we were talking about, we’re hoping the Twix pieces can be smaller than what was sampled,” Rodriguez said. “But then my second favorite is the cake batter with the cookie dough in it.”
Although the flavor will be announced Tuesday, it still has a long way to go before it’s available for tasting. At the beginning of the spring semester, the naming contest will begin. Those who either submitted the winning flavor or the winning name are then given an ice cream-shaped plaque in the Dairy Bar next to previous winners. The newly named and chosen senior scoop will then be unveiled at One Ton Sundae on Feb. 8, 2019, and will be made available to purchase at the Dairy Bar from that point on.
Ethan Haggerty, the manager of the Dairy Bar, said the senior scoop is only made once in one humongous batch. This batch is astronomical, consisting of 160 three-gallon tubs and 140 half-gallon tubs of the ice cream, which usually lasts until Commencement.
But as seniors made their pilgrimage to the Dairy Bar to cast their votes, they walked into a sight even more exciting than any amount of free ice cream: A very hungry Jonathan the Husky! UConn’s favorite pup was treated to a large bowl of his favorite doggie ice cream topped with a small bone-shaped dog biscuit, to the delight of everyone present. Unfortunately, he was unable to fill out his own ballot due to his unopposable thumbs.
With such amazing ice cream options to choose from, it sounds like this year’s senior scoop could rival even the legendary Charter Oats flavor.
Rebecca Maher is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.