If Kraft Dinner is an essential part of a university experience, 15 University of Calgary students can consider the requirement fulfilled.
On Wed., Nov. 28, the Students' Union hosted the Mac and Cheese Cookoff as part of the Tuition Action Comittee events. Fifteen entrants competed to create the best variation of the KD treat using a variety of ingredients like ketchup, mayonnaise, cheese, chili peppers and tuna.
The event was one of several designed to raise student awareness before the Nov. 30 Board of Governors meeting where members decide the amount of the tuition increase for 2002/03.
SU Vice-President Events and Tuition Action Committee Chair Chris Kerr explained that the week-long campaign was a good way to get attention both within the university and community-at-large.
"It's difficult to host [events] for a two, three or four-week period to keep people interested," said Kerr. "It's easier to host four events in one week to motivate people to attend the meeting."
Five judges from the U of C community rated the participants' culinary concoctions and awarded prizes. The panel included Gauntlet Buzz Editor James Keller, U of C Registrar Dr. Gary Krivy, Associate VP Student Affairs Dr. Peggy Patterson, Campus Security officer Keith Uthe and SU President Barb Wright.
Both Patterson and Krivy commented on the individuality of the dishes. "It's wonderful," exclaimed Krivy. "We've had basic Kraft Dinner right down to really hot with chili peppers."
Patterson was impressed with the contestants' ingenuity.
"It's great because it reminds me of the individuality of students," said Patterson. "They have the same ingredients and the mix is totally different."
Bystanders expressed favourable opinions on the idea.
"It's pretty fun but true--tuition is insane," said fourth-year Developmental Art student and non-KD consumer Kerry Graham. "It's pretty interesting and catches people's attention about an important issue."
Fourth-year English student James Chimirri-Russell was persuaded to stop and mix an impromptu mozzarella, tuna, mayonnaise, milk and margarine meal by Kerr's enthusiastic vocal enticements.
"I like the event because [Mac and Cheese] is a staple of student diets," said Chimirri-Russell. " And on an apathetic campus, it's good to see something nice and overblown."
First-place winner Kael Crichton received four tickets to the Dec. 15 Watchmen concert as a reward. Runner-up Jana Hanova was presented with a Blue Light special gift pack. Ula Plochocka, Desiree Kopp and Gavin Preston all received movie passes for their respective third, fourth and fifth place finishes.