Oct. 27, 2010
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
University takes bite out of stress with ‘Cookie Month’ event
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – What’s your favorite cookie, chocolate chip, gingerbread or oatmeal raisin? Do you prefer your cookies soft, crunchy, hot out of the oven, with or without icing? Turns out Slippery Rock University students aren’t picky – they’re satisfied to scarf down a sugar cookie, especially one provided free by the University.
The University Union distributed free cookies and cider to students Tuesday to mark National Cookie Month. Although the program was scheduled to last two hours, the pumpkin-shaped cookies went faster than Cookie Monster could say, “Me want cookie.”
Students ate the first 108 cookies in 20 minutes. So the Union ordered 72 more and 10 more gallons of cider. All was consumed in a few minutes.
“One thing that all students like is free food,” said Rachael Hudson, a counseling graduate student from Aliquippa, who dolled the dough. Christopher Cole, director of the Union, said the program was offered for the fun of it and as a stress buster.
“One of the missions of the Union is to create a little excitement and give students something different,” he said.
Operation cookie, in the Lobby of the Union, resembled a sundae bar at camp. Students showed their ID and received one cookie on a stick. They had the option of covering their cookie with orange, cloud white or meadow green icing, heaps of chocolate chips and sprinkles.
While the edible ornaments didn’t promote academics, several students said they liked the event because stress can take its toll.
“Sometimes being a full-time college student can be stressful, especially this time of year when mid-terms are present,” said Brittany Bednar, an elementary education major from Freeport. “Small activities such as simply decorating a cookie are a fun way to relax and have fun with friends on campus. When free food is offered, especially cookies, no student will pass up the opportunity.”
Bednar said she and her friends saw signs hanging in Boozel Dining Hall advertising October as National Cookie Month.
“When my roommate and I saw there would be free cookies to decorate, we couldn't pass them up,” she said. “The cookies were delicious, especially because I was able to add as many chocolate chips as possible. My favorite cookie is chocolate chip.”
The cookie is as American as apple pie. According to Ezinearticles.com, America leads the world in cookie baking and eating and spends more than $550 million annually on Nabisco’s Oreos alone. The first commercially available cookie in the U.S. was the Animal Cracker, introduced in 1902. Girl Scouts began selling cookies in 1920, and Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1930 at the Toll House Restaurant in Massachusetts.
While chocolate chip is the official cookie of Pennsylvania, it is not the biggest seller nationally. Oreos, Chips Ahoy and Oreo Double Stuff are the three top sellers, according cookie-collection.com. While there are as many as 2,000 varieties of cookies, Wikipedia describes a cookie as a “small, flat-baked treat, usually containing fat, flour, eggs and sugar.”
Colleen Lugar, an SRU health and physical education major from McMurray, said “everything is better with chocolate” and that Tuesday’s program satisfied her sweet tooth.
“Events that SRU holds for its students definitely are a great way to take a break and do something fun with my friends,” she said. “We are always looking for something fun to do in between studying. Providing short, sweet entertainment is the perfect way to relax.”
She agreed that college students love free food, saying, “Even running to the store to grab a few snacks can quickly add up.”
Kevin Jewel, a health and physical education major from North Versailles, said the cookie event “was a nice way to have a little snack during Common Hour, meet with some friends and relax between classes. The main reason I came out was to get a free cookie. Not only is it free food, but it’s a free cookie.”
He said gingerbread is his favorite cookie and rated SRU’s cookies a B. “The cookies were pretty good, not mom's cookies, but pretty good,” he said.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.