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Results of campus-wide cereal poll revealed

Emma Russ | Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Breakfast lovers across campus expressed mixed reactions to the upcoming dining hall cereal selection changes that will be implemented next fall. Notre Dame Food Services revealed the long-awaited results of the annual cereal survey conducted March 24.

South Dining Hall will add Cheerios, Rice Chex, Trix and Captain Crunch to its selection.

Raisin Bran Crunch, Captain Crunchberries, Fruity Pebbles and Cookie Crisp will be eliminated from South.

New to North Dining Hall will be Cheerios, Blueberry Morning, Raisin Bran Crunch, Roasted Nut and Honey, Cookie Crisp, Cocoa Krispies and Fruit Loops.

North will lose Kashi Heart-to-Heart, Low-Fat Granola with Raisins, Banana Nut Crunch, Raisin Bran, Golden Grahams, Captain Crunch and Trix.

Not everyone responded positively to the survey’s results and the upcoming changes.

“Any statistician would agree that the cereal survey is poorly conducted,” junior Kyle Smith said. “Not enough people were able to participate in the survey for it to be an accurate measure of student opinion.”

South Dining Hall manager Marc Poklinkowski said 1,100 students, roughly one-eighth of all undergraduates, responded to the cereal survey.

The survey was conducted during lunch hours at the dining halls. Some students said they were not in the dining hall during the survey.

“It is patently outrageous that the survey happens only one day of the year for one lunch period,” sophomore Alex Andre said. “Some people don’t even eat lunch.”

Andre said an online survey might increase participation in years to come.

Other students expressed frustration about the survey itself, which allowed students to pick their top three cereals from a list of 60.

“I like to eat a different cereal every day,” senior Molly Casanova said. “That could be anywhere from five to seven different cereals per week, depending on how many times I eat breakfast. It doesn’t make sense that we only get to pick our top three cereals.”

The day before the survey, General Mills and Kellogg’s sent sales representatives dressed as Tony the Tiger and the Trix Rabbit to stimulate interest in their products and attract people to the survey.

“The people dressed up in the cereal suits were an ineffective method of attracting students to the cereal survey,” Smith said.

Despite the criticism, many students were happy with the outcome of the survey.

“I was very pleased to see the results of the cereal survey,” sophomore Kelly Deweese. “I noticed last year that many of the healthy cereals disappeared from the menu and were replaced with sugary cereals. This year South Dining Hall will again have Rice Chex and Cheerios.”

Because students tend to form individual preferences for a particular dining hall, food administrators provide a separate survey for each one.

“It gives the student another possible location to find their favorite cereal if it isn’t in their usual dining hall,” Poklinkowski said.