Editor’s Column: A Slice of Tradition

Colgate is a university rooted in tradition. Visit the university website and you’ll find an entire page dedicated to some of Colgate’s most beloved traditions such as the torchlight ceremony and our lucky number 13. Another often unmentioned facet of the Colgate experience is the importance of food. It’s a simple fact that Colgate loves its ice cream – chipwiches and the Sunday Sundae bar are two examples of this. Attend any Colgate event and you can usually find yourself a cup of Raider Passion ice cream from Gilligan’s. When the weather returns to its icy, frigid nature, I turn to my first love – a hot, steamy, delicious slice from New York Pizzeria. A true Colgate tradition in its own right, “Slices” unites the campus.

Over family weekend, despite my mother’s many attempts to book a dinner reservation following the Shimon Peres lecture, we found ourselves at Slices with my roommate, a Slices fan to the core. I realized this was a momentous occasion for my mother, who had never experienced Slices despite her numerous visits over the past two years. In witnessing her first visit to Slices, I reflected on my own. 

It was two years ago on my first day of Maroon-News Pre-Orientation, my first day on campus, and within the hour, the entire upperclassmen population had told me about the glory that was to come for dinner that evening – our first slice. It was a typical teasingly warm August evening and we were treated to our first pies of Slices in the gazebo on the Village Green. It was undeniably a fitting introduction to Colgate. Slices was a tradition that I would come to learn was integral to The Maroon-News experience. Each Tuesday during our layout sessions, we gather around pies with ranch and discuss campus news.

Since that first slice I have had many more encounters with the establishment. And despite the occasional burning sensation in the roof of my mouth, I have remained a dedicated Slices fan over the years.

This Family Weekend, I found I wasn’t the only student introducing my parents to the ninth best “slice worth traveling for.” Families filled the booths of Slices enjoying a late dinner after the lecture. The Zagat Guide tells of the “pies [that] come out of the oven with a pillowy, bubbly upper crust (the lower part is thin) covered with the most satisfying ratio of sweet tomato sauce to salty mozzarella cheese.” Zagat clearly hit the nail on the head with this one. The slices were enjoyed by the parents, as demonstrated by the sheer number of pictures documenting the meal. I even proved to my parents how monumental the occasion was by posting an Instagram of my mom with her first slice – a truly Colgate ’gram.

Towards the end of our visit, an alumnus and his wife asked my roommate to take a picture of them in front of the “Slices Come Plain Only” sign. They intended to send the snapshot to their daughter, a Colgate alumna, whom they knew would be quite jealous of their late night snack.

Traditions are part of what makes Colgate so special – one of the most inexpensive of snacks, a $1.50 slice can carry so many memories, inspiring the cravings and nostalgia of alums everywhere. 

I’m glad that I was able to share such an enjoyable Colgate tradition with my parents. While the chipwich gets all the fame, I think alums and Zagat can agree that ice cream is nothing without a slice beforehand. Eat your heart out, Colgate.