The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Where’s tha Mayo?

By Ryan Shelton

A group of U students raised awareness, money and a few eyebrows during a two-day condiment food drive on campus this week.

The drive, organized by Aly Sosa, a recent U graduate, was aimed at collecting condiments and money for the Crossroads Urban Center, which houses one of the state’s largest emergency food pantries.

“A lot of people donate food to the pantry,” said Mauricio Rascon, a volunteer and senior physics major. “But condiments are what they need right now?we’re even asking for the ketchup packets you get at McDonalds.”

The idea for a condiments drive came about in late 2007 when Sosa spoke with the resource coordinator at Crossroads about the pantry’s needs. Sosa and a small group of students organized the drive on campus unbeknownst to most of the center’s staff.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” said Glenn Bailey, Crossroads’ executive director. “But it sounds great.”

Students took turns Tuesday and Wednesday passing out cups of hot cocoa in the quad west of the Union and educating passersby about the Crossroads Center’s community service programs. Most students eagerly accepted the hot chocolate, but few donated any condiments.

“We don’t really expect college students to walk around with ketchup and mayonnaise in their backpacks,” Rascon said. “That’s why it helps to have a second day (of collection), because people will come back tomorrow with extra condiments from their houses.”

As Tuesday, the first day of collection, drew to a close, students had filled a small plastic container with more than $100 in donations, but only a handful of condiment packages. On Wednesday, students began filling a cardboard box with hot sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup and other assorted condiments.

“I had a bunch of Taco Bell hot sauce packets at home that I didn’t need, so I stuffed them in my pockets before I left for school and donated them,” said Jon Masterson, a sophomore in biology who heard about the condiment drive from his roommate.

The group collected $275 — $25 short of its goal. The money will be used to buy condiments for the center. Regardless, Sosa remained optimistic and stressed the importance of volunteer work.

“Volunteering in general is very beneficial,” she said. “It helps allow you to give yourself. It might appear minute at first, but it almost always ends up being significant.”

Founded in 1966, the Crossroads Urban Center offers various levels of support to the needy in the Salt Lake City area and has a long history of working with U students. In 2007, in coalition with the Bennion Community Service Center, U students held a hygiene-products drive on campus.

“It’s tremendously important to get students involved,” Bailey said. “They always do a really good job. It provides students with helpful information and valuable experience to work with the community.”

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