Mini Opinions: Overrated UVM staples

Opinion Staff, Staff Writers

Welcome back, Cats!

In celebration of our return to campus, the opinion writers want to share their hot takes on what we consider to be overrated UVM staples.

Join us as we dissect some Catamount classics.


Emma Petrequin: Guayakí Yerba Mate

Nicole Bidol

Guayakí Yerba Mate is the most overhyped drink on campus. 

I personally prefer drinks like kombucha or tea, and the health consequences of Yerba Mate certainly do not attract me to the beverage.

One can of Bluephoria Yerba Mate contains 28 grams of sugar, according to Guayakí’s  Bluephoria tea can. To put that in perspective, a glazed Krispy Kreme donut contains 10 grams of sugar, according to the brand’s website

One Guayakí Yerba Mate has the sugar intake equivalent of nearly three donuts. 

The drink may market itself as a health conscious caffeine alternative, but many consumers do not realize the amount of sugar they are drinking on a daily basis from a beverage they may consider to be good for them.


Lucas Martineau: Vermont Winter

Winter, though beautiful, lasts too long at UVM.

Nicole Bidol

There are good aspects to the season, such as the mountain peaks coated in dazzling white snow that blankets spots where summer grass once stood. 

However, after a while, it just sucks. 

Snow becomes muddied and sludge-like. Some days it seems the sun barely rises. Sweater weather is dead and huge coat weather has taken its place. 

Frostbite warnings reach your inbox while you’re on your frigid trek to your not-canceled class, and you can’t even read them because you’re wearing several pairs of gloves. 

Winter could be great—if it lasted three months instead of six.


Grace Visco: Central Dining

Central Campus Dining is UVM’s most overhyped dining hall.

Nicole Bidol

Everyone loves to complain about the Grundle’s food, but I don’t think Central’s is anything spectacular. 

The ambiance of Central Dining may seem picturesque and modern at first, but in reality, it gives off hospital cafeteria vibes. I prefer eating at the Grundle or Redstone, where the space actually feels like a dining hall. 

There’s something fun about eating shitty food under dingy fluorescent lighting. It doesn’t get more college than that.

Central Dining may seem ideal, but don’t knock the other dining halls.


Christophe Meunier: The Naked Bike Ride

The Naked Bike Ride isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Nicole Bidol

When I first heard about it, I imagined thousands of students on bikes throwing caution to the wind and speeding around campus wearing nothing but pride and school spirit. 

As a two-time participant, I can say this description is nowhere near accurate. Most people aren’t naked, most people aren’t on bikes and the area in which it takes place is only the little circular road in front of Harris-Millis. 

It’s still a good time, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nowhere near the momentous experience that the gossip would lead you to believe.


Miranda Degreenia: Ben & Jerry’s

I’m a fan of their tasty treats, but Ben & Jerry’s isn’t what it seems.

Nicole Bidol

When the ice cream company was acquired in 2000 by multinational consumer goods conglomerate Unilever, Ben and Jerry’s inevitably began to go against its own missions.

There have been several ethical issues with Unilever as a company including pollution, unethical resourcing and controversial political behavior among many others, according to a 2019 article by Ethical Consumer.

On the Ben & Jerry’s website, the company emphasizes the importance of keeping “big money” out of politics as well as taking action against climate change.

Yet in February 2019, Unilever was associated with two political groups that are known to lobby for free trade at the expense of the environment, according to an article by Ethical Consumer. 

The aforementioned action by Unilever completely goes against what Ben & Jerry’s claims to stand for, demonstrating the corporation is using Ben & Jerry’s’ social platform to market and make a profit.

While Ben & Jerry’s will always be a beloved Vermont staple, there are other great local ice cream companies, such as Sisters of Anarchy, which advocates for social justice and sustainability, that deserve more attention.