Rand cup size change: explained


Sarah Friedman, Senior Writer

Despite the start of classes, sorority rush and the upcoming presidential inauguration, the buzz in Rand Dining Center for the past couple weeks has seemed to be centered around something that may seem more trivial: cup sizes.

The to-go paper cups available in the dining center, which used to hold more than 20 ounces of liquid, have been switched to smaller 16 oz. cups, sending students across campus into a tizzy. The Hustler decided to investigate the change.

In our efforts, we found out the change wasn’t due to an effort to combat obesity or to save money (although the new cups are slightly cheaper), both common theories floating around campus. Rather, the smaller cups are more similar to the size of the reusable plastic cups available in Rand in order to encourage students who are planning on staying in to eat to use the reusable cups, said Bill Claypool, the assistant director and executive chef of Vanderbilt Campus Dining.

“We made the change primarily because we noticed that many customers would use the larger paper cup even when dining in,” Claypool said. “We moved to a cup that is the same size as the reusable cup in hopes that guests would use more reusables and put less paper into the waste stream.”

Several of the  managers of campus dining made the decision together, believing that it coincides with their focus on protecting the environment.

“Yes, they are slightly less expensive but one of the things we’re focusing on is getting the paper usage down at Rand, particularly when people are dining in,” Claypool explained.