You walk into the dining hall and you know something is wrong. You have a leaden feeling in your stomach. You do not yet know why, but you make a beeline to the ice cream. You open the lid. You look down. Strawberry. Another lid. Strawberry. A third lid. Strawberry. Fourth. Purple; but still, the damage is done. People of Yale, have we not all experienced this horror, this atrocity?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that everyone hates strawberry ice cream. “Foucault once said ‘Strawberry ice cream is the worst,’” Grace Phillips ’15 said. An extensive survey of YDN readers concluded that 97.7 percent of people despise strawberry ice cream, and the remaining 2.3 percent have neutral feelings about it (data falsified). And strawberry ice cream is particularly pernicious because it prevents us from fully enjoying other flavors. While a cookies and cream tub lasts about two hours, a strawberry one stays in the dining hall for three days, stealing precious real estate from other, more popular flavors (Fig. 1).
These statistics may seem frightening on their own, but the effect of strawberry ice cream on the collective Yale psyche is even more frightening. Students interviewed all revealed that the dangerous overabundance of strawberry ice cream in dining halls had ruined their days, weeks and even semesters.
Shikha Garg ’15 recounted her experience during reading week in Dec. 2014. She had hoped to find relief from the stress of finals in the dining hall, but instead found only strawberry ice cream in the ice cream bin. She immediately collapsed to the floor, letting out a wail, as a single tear fell down her cheek. Garg was willing to share this painful experience because she knows she is not alone. Indeed, 69 survey respondents reported experiencing intense pain as a result of the strawberry ice cream epidemic on campus.
However, not everyone hates strawberry. Jackson McHenry ’15, campus cultural critic, mover and shaker, says, “Strawberry ice cream is not that bad.” He is wrong. Because data (Fig. 1).
All is not hopeless in the land of frozen dairy desserts. There are avenues for change, though they may be fraught with obstacles. Recently, the Yale Dining survey arrived in your inbox. YCC elections are approaching. In other words, the time has come for us to demand that Yale Dining give us more of the ice cream we want. The time has come for us to ask — no, insist — that YCC President Michael Herbert speak on our behalf.
But even outside of the typical, shopworn systems of power, individuals can find ways to enact change. If you see strawberry ice cream in the dining hall, bring it to the dish return. If you see strawberry ice cream, carve “I hate this” into its surface. If you see strawberry ice cream, remove it from the dining hall entirely.
You may think that this is a trivial concern. You may believe that there are more important dishes on the proverbial menu of stressors afflicting our student body. This is not the case. Change begins with the smallest of actions, the quietest of statements.
Let our voices be heard. Let our palates be satisfied. Let our taste buds be freed.