Cooling Off Around Storrs

By Mike Corasaniti

Beating the heat in Storrs, Connecticut is rarely an issue for students at the University of Connecticut.

For the majority of time spent at school, the common fashion trends among students consist of heavy jackets, hats and gloves rather than shorts and sandals. But, when Spring hits the UConn community, students still have plenty of options in terms of staying cool.

At any time of day, ice cream is always a hit for students, parents or anyone else visiting Storrs. And although many frozen yogurt venues have been opening up on and around campus in recent months, the place to go for ice cream is and has always been the Dairy Bar ever since it opened it’s doors to the UConn community in 1958.

“Especially when it starts to get a little warmer around here, this place gets so packed that the line starts to go out the door,” said junior marketing major and Dairy Bar employee Kurt Wehr.

Dairy Bar

The Dairy Bar offers more than 24 different flavors of ice cream to students.

The Dairy Bar, which has been at it’s current location in the George White building since 1998, offers more than 20 different ice cream flavors to customers (including seasonal flavors like peppermint stick and pumpkin) that are made exclusively from the milk of UConn-housed cows.

UConn Cows

The cows that make the milk for the ice cream for the Dairy Bar are housed on Horsebarn Hill.

One challenge though presented by the Dairy Bar however is it’s location. For students living on the opposite side of campus, their ice cream could be a good 20-minute walk or bus ride away. Luckily, Dairy Bar ice cream is filtered through the Blue Cow at a much more central location in the Student Union, as well.

Blue Cow

The Blue Cow brings Dairy Bar ice cream to a more central campus location in the Student Union.

For students looking for some caffeine in the morning or afternoon (or looking to avoid some of the ice cream calories), iced coffee is a popular way to go as well. For many, including sophomore exploratory studies major Tiffany Chen, the jumbo iced coffees at The Beanery are the obvious choice.

“It’s by far the biggest iced coffee on campus…No other place on campus offers such a big coffee serving and I like that,” said Chen.

Benton Museum of Art

The Benton Museum of Art is also home to the oldest cafe on campus, The Beanery.

The Beanery, located on the first floor of the Benton Museum of Art, offers snacks and deserts, signature lattes and the legendary jumbo iced coffee, the biggest iced coffee that one can buy on the UConn Storrs campus.

Jumbo Iced Coffee

The jumbo iced coffee, the largest iced coffe on UConn’s campus, is sold at The Beanery.

A popular spot to enjoy an ice cream or iced coffee is at Swan Lake, located at the base of the Chemistry Building. For years, Swan Lake was the most popular spot for swimming on campus, and from 1901 to 1930, it was home to the annual Sophomore-Freshman rope pull, where undergraduates would compete in a tug of war in the middle of the lake for a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Swan Lake

Swan Lake offers shade and a scenic view for students.

After 1930, the annual rope pull was moved to neighboring Mirror Lake where it continued on still for a number of years. Along with the competition though, Mirror Lake provided another popular spot for swimming when it was warm enough as well as “laking,” a common practice for fraternity members to throw each other in the lake at any time if they were caught not wearing the Greek letters of their organization.

Mirror Lake

Students can relax in the shade, fish and even swing while hanging out at Mirror Lake.

Today, students are no longer allowed in the lakes (although, as per University rules, they are allowed on the island in the middle of Mirror Lake if they somehow make it to it without going by water), but it is still one of the most popular spots on campus to cool off and enjoy the sight of the fountains, the breeze and shade provided.

Mirror Lake Swing

Two swings are set up under one of the large trees next to Mirror Lake.

Sophomore accounting major Kyle Levesque frequently stops by the swings by Mirror Lake when he has a free moment.

“[It’s] definitely my favorite little places to stop by on the way to class,” Levesque said.  “Or anytime, really, when I’m just looking to relax in the shade.”

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