Novelty ice creams no longer provided in dining halls

Some students love having ice cream at their fingertips in the dining hall – or at least last year they did. This year, students returned to school to find all the ice cream freezers removed.

Craig Traub, director of resident dining for Auxiliary Services, said the novelty ice cream bars, such as the chocolate éclairs or the King Cones, had little to no nutritional value. Oswego State’s dietitian looked through the ingredients and noticed that some could not even be pronounced and others were totally lacking any type of nutritional benefit to the body. Student comment cards as well as surveys conducted every April are responsible for the alteration.

“I read every comment card that comes in after they were answered by the managers of each dining hall,” Traub said.

The biggest complaint from students is the lack of healthy items.  Because of this, Traub worked to introduce more fresh fruits.

“I was walking through dining centers and the students told me they really appreciate the fresh fruits,” Traub said.

Dining halls have fresh raspberries, blackberries and blueberries due to the push for fresh, healthy choices. Traub also mentioned that vegetables like the green beans and squash are fresh and locally grown.  And that fresh produce is not cheap.

Traub said he and his team are looking for a “win-win.”  One change made to help ease the transition is serving ice cream sundaes twice a week, which used to be provided once a week on Sunday evenings.  The ice cream comes from Perry’s, which is a semi-local ice cream brand located in Akron, N.Y. In fact, much of Oswego State’s produce is locally grown and Oswego State is a buyer from local farms and family-owned businesses.

Students have mixed feelings about the change. At least one student is already missing the ice cream.

“I feel as though in the long-run, it is healthier, but it doesn’t satisfy my nightly cravings,” sophomore Maggie Finnegan said.

But other students don’t feel as impacted and plan to take advantage of other options.

“It really doesn’t matter to me,” sophomore Christopher McNeil said. “I don’t really care for the novelty ice creams. I’d much rather prefer the creamery ice cream, and since it’s open so frequently it shouldn’t matter.”

In addition to serving sundaes, Oswego State also serves cakes, cookies, bars, donuts and muffins, all homemade.  A set of bakers come in at 4 a.m. right to the Oswego State bake shop and begin to bake desserts for the day, as well as pastries and other doughy goods needed for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The daily fresh baked goods are trucked over to each dining hall by 6 a.m. for breakfast, 10 a.m. for lunch and 2 p.m. for dinner.

For now, students at Oswego State will have to satisfy their sweet tooth with fresh-baked cakes, like a German chocolate cake (Traub’s favorite), or hold in their ice cream desires for those two nights of ice cream bliss per week.