Paresky Changes Draw Criticism From Students

The frozen yogurt machine on the second floor of Paresky Commons sat untouched for the first time on Tuesday as the bustling crowd of students rushed into line for lunch. A popular choice for many students, this will be the first year that fro-yo will only be available to students during Monday, Wednesday, and Friday lunch periods. Another student favorite, Perfecto’s bagels, have also been restricted to these days, sparking controversy within the student body on Andover’s decision to change its meal plan.

“Just the restriction itself is kind of disappointing to me. I like seeing that ice cream machine open everyday, it’s just a nice thing to have on campus. But if you only have it three days a week, it kind of [defeats] the purpose [of having ice cream],” said Logan McLennan ’19.

Maca Artunduaga ’18 said, “[I agree with the school’s healthy initiatives], but I do think that they can’t just force healthiness on us. They should make it available for those who want it… There are a lot of kids, and we’re going to spend four years of our lives here. If we’re going to be here and we can only eat certain things, that’s not going to make the experience as much fun as it could be.”

In place of frozen yogurt, Paresky Commons has introduced “Chloe’s Frozen Fruit,” located next to the sorbet machine on the first floor.

Chloe’s Frozen Fruit consists of frozen fruit, sugar, and ice. New homemade energy bars made out of oats and dried fruit have also replaced Perfecto’s bagels. Agatha Kip, Nutrition Counselor and Sports Dietitian, says these replacements are a response to the significant part of the student body that has dietary restrictions.

“[The energy bar] is more dense with nutrients than the bagel. And also the bagels were [made of flour]. Many students are gluten-intolerant. I love that the homemade energy bars are dense with nutrients, but yeah, I suppose on some level, everything we do is reflecting health and wellness, but usually, there’s many more reasons [for changing the menu],” said Kip in an interview with The Phillipian.

Frozen yogurt is a dairy-based product, limiting options for lactose-intolerant students. Paresky Commons currently offers soy- and rice-based milk that also cater to lactose-intolerance and new dairy-free smoothies are being implemented to further accommodate those students.

Paresky Commons also has been trying to control traffic flow in lines before the new 4×5 schedule is implemented next year.

“Given that we’re definitely moving towards a different schedule, that’s going to be a big change. So I don’t want the [Paresky Commons] to be another big change, I want to smooth out everything as much as we can before then, so that the only change is the schedule,” said Kip.

Kip also emphasized the importance of “grab-and-go” snacks due to the time-sensitive lifestyles of many Andover students. She has heard that students often don’t eat substantial meals in order to attend extra-curricular activities at night, and many use the time between classes to grab a snack at Commons.

Martha Gao ’17 said, “It was really nice [to have bagels this morning] because I could just grab one and go to English and be satisfied. But sometimes, when there are no bagels, I can’t find anything else to eat quickly.”

Students are encouraged to input their ideas for new improvements at Paresky Commons. The white board next to the sorbet machine is an active area for new flavor ideas.

“In a perfect world, we would have [frozen yogurt and bagels] all the time, but we just can’t. We can’t offer every single thing all the time. And so, we’re trying to tweak everything. I’ll be very interested to hear about students and what they would love to have more of… And I think it would be better if we thought of it together. [Students] are very clever and very resourceful,” said Kip.