Icy temperatures and a pandemic couldn’t freeze out this year’s One Ton Sundae, the traditional opening event of the Student Union Board of Governors’ Winter Weekend. Normally marked by a winding line of students reaching back as far as Jorgensen and a free-for-all of ice cream flavors galore in huge containers, the popular event was much more subdued this year, with only about four students arriving at a time to pick up their bucket of ice cream from the Student Union Terrace. Students had to sign up in advance with SUBOG, which released a link on their Instagram account the week prior, and specify what time they were picking up their ice cream and what flavors they wanted.
“I thought the sign up process was pretty easy, but I was nervous that they were gonna run out,” Molly McGuigan, a fourth-semester communication major, said. She cited Husky Tracks as her favorite Dairy Bar flavor, however, mentioned Graham Central, one of the Gifford’s flavors offered in the dining halls, as another overall favorite. Sam Dorman, a fourth-semester political science major, was a first-time One Ton Sundae goer with McGuigan.
“I think it’s a better way to do it, to be honest, even if there wasn’t COVID,” Tulsi Patel, a fourth-semester nursing major and SUBOG committee member, said.
“I signed up with all of my roommates and we were all able to get our ice cream, which is honestly easier this year since we didn’t have to wait in line”Shelby Houghton, Sixth-semester Political Science and Human Rights Double Major
The organization’s Major Weekends committee had to do some strategic planning to adhere to safety guidelines, garnering a bit of controversy on social media in response to the capacity and rollout of the event.
“First off, it was definitely known that we wouldn’t be able to do the traditional ‘students can scoop for themselves,’ which was heartbreaking, but we had to keep to COVID protocol,” Tianna Felder, sixth-semester consumer behavior major and Major Weekends Chairwoman, said. In years past, students were given a large plastic bucket – although not one ton – to fill their heart’s desire of ice cream with a wide selection of Dairy Bar flavors. The committee determined they would provide the buckets pre-scooped for students, which were sealed with a cap on the tables outside. “We also have to keep in mind that the Dairy Bar is partnering with us in this, so to have them scoop 400 individual flavors for students is a lot to ask of them. So that’s when the idea of having pre-selected flavors came into mind.”
Felder was checking in students with Jakub Pirog, SUBOG’s Outreach committee chairman and social media manager. She acknowledged the limitations of the event, especially for seniors. Traditionally, students get their first taste of the Senior Scoop at One Ton Sundae – this year, the winning flavor is chocolate with Oreos and peanut butter caramel swirl.
“With the whole issue of having only 400 buckets available, we decided to release 35 extra buckets to seniors,” Felder said. “What ended up happening was that we had an overflow of responses, and so with that overflow, instead of denying them ice cream, we decided to come up with the alternative of providing them with a pint of the senior scoop.”
Once students picked up their ice cream, they could select from an assortment of pre-packaged toppings, such as rainbow sprinkles, Oreos and gummy bears.
“At the end of the day, everyone is getting ice cream and everyone seems pretty happy about it,” Felder said.
Students who were able to attend the event enjoyed the absence of lines and pre-scooped ice cream.
“I signed up with all of my roommates and we were all able to get our ice cream, which is honestly easier this year since we didn’t have to wait in line,” Shelby Houghton, a sixth-semester political science and human rights double major, said. She signed up through SUBOG’s Instagram immediately after sign-ups opened. “You get to choose two or three flavors and different flavor combinations on the Google Form.”
“My favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla ‘cause I’m vanilla,” Vanessa Menendez, an eighth-semester music education major and one of Houghton’s roommates, said. She picked out the bucket with chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate and vanilla. “I’ve gone once before but I honestly prefer it this year. I think it’s cleaner and it’s less crowded and I get to do it with all of my buddies.”
Houghton and Menendez were joined by first-time One Ton Sundae attendees Natalie Wong, an eighth-semester music education major, and Julia Padget, an eighth-semester digital media and design major. The former had never been able to attend because she had had student teaching on Fridays, and the latter attempted to go last year, but was thwarted by the rain.
Winter Weekend had kicked off with SUBOG’s virtual Q&A with “Hamilton’s” Anthony Ramos and included a limited, in-person screening of “Crazy Rich Asians” in the SU Theater on Saturday and Valentine’s Day Care Packages for students who signed up – available for on-campus students to pick up and shipped to off-campus students.
“I’m really excited to see everyone’s expression when they see all the really cool goodies that we had in there, like face masks and candy and notebooks,” Roshni Mehta, a sixth-semester molecular and cell biology and French double major, said. She serves as SUBOG marketing vice chair.