Although many changes in life at Bowdoin may go unnoticed, the appearance of new paper cups in the dining halls has sparked anything but indifference among the student body.
In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, the Dining Service replaced the old eight-ounce paper cups with a much-maligned six-ounce version at the start of the semester.
"They were already small," said Ruiqi Li '13, reflecting the general disdain among students. "This is almost down to water cooler size."
Many students upset with the change say they understand the motivation to cut down on paper waste, but thought that the move to six ounce cups was an ineffective method.
"[The cups] are kind of annoying," said Isabel Low '13. "It promotes taking more. I can see where they're coming from, but I don't think it's the most effective way to do it,"
"Oh they're despicable," added John Lehman '10. "All I do [now] is use up more paper, because I use more than one."
Director of Dining Services Mary Lou Kennedy defended the decision.
"We think it is both better for the environment and for our budget to encourage reusable mugs and reduce paper cup usage," she said. "Rather than take the cups completely away, which has not worked well in the past, we are reducing the size of the cups making them less costly and hopefully less attractive for use."
The statistics regarding paper cup usage at Bowdoin demonstrate the environmental impact that paper cup waste alone can have. In a single year, the Dining Service went through 220 cases containing 1,000 cups each.
This data encouraged the reduction in the size of the disposable cups explained Dining Services employee Patty Silevinac.
"Yes, the cups are smaller. We are trying to decrease our carbon footprint, be ecologically responsible and encourage everyone to bring their reusable mug," she said.
Another major complaint from students regarding the new cups concerns the lack of a suitable drinking lid.
"Too small and no lid to drink out of!" exclaimed many of the anonymous comment cards posted at Thorne Hall.
"We are searching all over the planet for sip lids," said Associate Director of Dining Services Operations Michele Gaillard. "So far, no luck."
The student response to the new paper cups has been undoubtedly negative. Elliot Munn '11 voiced the general community frustration.
"If their goal is to reduce cup use by making them totally unusable, they may have succeeded," he said.