Students split on new ice cream venue preference

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    Student opinion shows a split preference between the new Cold Stone Creamery and Union Grounds' remodeled ice cream station.

    Students like Mari Sweeney, a first-year early childhood education major, think that Union Grounds wins points for convenience, but Cold Stone's wider variety is more attractive to consumers.

    Sweeney said when it comes to quality and variety, she prefers Cold Stone.

    "But when it comes to the price, Union Grounds, because you can use Campus Cash," she said.

    Sweeney also said she likes the option of ice cream in the Brown-Lupton University Union because it no longer limits students to Market Square's frozen yogurt.

    Varun Pramanik, a senior strategic communication major, said he prefers Cold Stone for its exceptionally friendly staff. 

    "I just like the atmosphere that the staff generated," Pramanik said, "Plus the quality of the ice cream. It was creamier, it tasted better."

    He explained that Union Grounds is less "creative" than Cold Stone because it only provides the most basic mix-in options for the ice cream.

    Emma Rusthoven, a first-year pre-business major, said she prefers Cold Stone because it reminds her of hometown of Chicago.

    She also said, "I think Cold Stone has more options and more toppings,"

    However, Rusthoven said she spends a lot of time in the BLUU and would choose Union Grounds over Cold Stone for convenience. 

    Cold Stone won over sophomore nursing major Winta Wolana because the staff shows more "delicacy" in mixing the toppings and ice cream together.

    "Cold Stone is more of a guilty splurge on my specific student budget, however," she said.

    Wolana, a commuter student, said she spends much of her time in the BLUU and enjoys the accessibility to the "signature purple vanilla flavor" at Union Grounds.

    Despite mixed opinions, Executive Director for Student Affairs Administration Mike Russel said he has only received positive feedback regarding the new Union Grounds ice cream station.

    Russel said the Sodexo staff is responsible for the toppings and four flavors of ice cream, but there will always be vanilla, chocolate and strawberry available.

    "It is very unlikely that we will expand beyond four flavors at one time because of limited freezer and serving space," he said. "[Sodexo staff] will continue to experiment with and change up toppings."

    When asked about competition, Russel said Union Grounds wishes the best for Cold Stone Creamery, but that its staff is not concerned with how sales will be affected.

    "I was once told that there can never be enough ice cream," he said.