Along with Jonathan the Husky, basketball and the wind, the Dairy Bar is synonymous with UConn culture. Since 2012, graduating classes have been able to partake in the tradition of creating the Senior Scoop, the official ice cream flavor of the senior class. Last Friday at the Dairy Bar was the second part of the process: Voting on the final flavors. Small batches of the top five flavors were made for a panel of senior judges to try and vote on, and seniors could come in and cast their vote based on the given descriptions. Seniors received a water bottle, Senior Scoop sticker and UConn Senior button for voting, the latter of which could be shown for a 25 percent off their purchase, a discount that many seniors took advantage of.
“I’m the Senior Events intern, so I work with Jess Sokol [Associate Director of Student Engagement] and we kind of put these events together for the seniors,” Kim Testani, a seventh-semester communications major, said. She was facilitating the voting table at the Dairy Bar. “The Senior Scoop we do every year with five different flavors. We have 17 official judges and then we have everybody come in and start voting on it.”
Earlier in the semester, seniors could submit their own Senior Scoop creations by choosing a base flavor, mix-in and swirl. The submitted flavors are narrowed down to a select few for a panel of senior judges to further narrow down to the top five, which was announced on the UConn Senior Instagram account earlier last week. The five flavors in contention were mint ice cream with Kit-Kats and fudge swirl, cake batter ice cream with brownie pieces and mocha fudge swirl, chocolate ice cream with graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow swirl, cheesecake ice cream with graham cracker crumbs and raspberry swirl and coffee ice cream with brownie pieces and mocha fudge swirl.
“I work in the creamery in the back, I’ve been there a year now,” Elizabeth Turani, a seventh-semester computer science major, said. As one of the official senior judges, she was tasting the five flavors at the Dairy Bar. “I asked my boss, Bill, who’s in charge of everything, and obviously, since we work in the creamery, we have some pull and he got me on the committee. I’m really liking the cheesecake ice cream with the graham cracker crumbs and raspberry swirl. Really disappointed by the s’mores themed one because I was looking forward to that one, but it’s just not great.”
The official senior judges include students chosen by departments like Turani, as well as other prominent senior leaders on campus.
“They’re seniors that are probably in executive positions, Tier III organizations and then there were people from my office that got chosen since we do a lot of work for the event,” Testani said.
The cheesecake flavor was one of the most divisive among students, with some of them really liking it and others expressing disappointment.
“I think my favorite so far was probably the cake batter ice cream with the brownie pieces and mocha swirl,” Testani said. “I was not a fan of the cheesecake with the graham and the raspberry, which was pretty surprising because we all thought it was going to be really good. But we know that the judges kind of get smaller batches, so if they actually end up making the flavors, they’re probably going to end up tasting better than what we got to taste because it’s all hand done.”
On the other hand, Caitlyn Splaine, another senior judge and one of the voting seniors I managed to catch on the way out of the Dairy Bar expressed favor for the cheesecake flavor.
“I think a front runner, I agree with Lizzie, is the cheesecake one which is really good,” Splaine, an animal science major, said.
Some students wished their chosen flavors had gotten picked, but still liked the top five.
“I voted for the cheesecake and graham cracker and raspberry swirl because I never had anything like it,” Samantha Garcia, a seventh-semester communication and human development and family studies double major, said. “I hoped that mine would have gotten in, but it didn’t. I picked [something] like caramel and brownie and vanilla.”
Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.