The tangy smell of tomatoes and beef grows stronger as one descends the escalator connecting the first and second floors of Baker University Center.
Across from West 82, a line of hungry college students twists and turns around the Bobcat Student Lounge. Each of them is inching closer to the edge of Bobcat Depot where they can pick up a small Styrofoam plate to start building his or her own ultimate nachos. There is an assortment of toppings across the four tables, including cheese, meat, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
But what’s a nacho bar without nacho-flavored chips, Doritos, Bugles and Pringles?
Every Wednesday at noon, University Program Council (UPC) puts on Flavor of the Week. Sponsored by the Senate Appropriations Committee here on campus, the event has been a tradition for four years.
“I think it’s just a good way to get students involved in doing something fun with free food,” says Hannah Hershfield, UPC Public Relations Executive.
Although flavors sometime overlap during the year—such as chocolate and chocolate-covered strawberry—the organization tries its best to not repeat any flavors within the same year. Each week, a UPC programmer and group of event planning associates (EPAs) come together to brainstorm a flavor and which foods would work well with it. But if the creativity bug isn’t biting, the whole UPC board will come together to decide.
This week’s theme came from a special cause.
“We’re doing Nacho for Bobcathon for their dance week, so they did one activity a week to spell out ‘dance,’” says Jenna Sopko, UPC University Events Executive. “Today is ‘n,’ so we did nacho for flavor of the week.”
Out of all the flavors they’ve ever done, Hershfield’s favorite is cheese and Sopko’s favorite is chocolate. One year when UPC used to hold the event in Front Room, they did Red Velvet as the week’s flavor. People were able to sample items such as hot chocolate, whoopie pies, cookies, popcorn and cake.
Some Flavor of the Week selections haven’t been as great of a hit; take jalapeño for example.
“We definitely have some flavors that have been way more successful than others, and then we look back and we’re like, ‘Why did we even pick that flavor?’” Sopko says with a laugh.