The StuBop’s Benefits Go Beyond Your Appetite


Located in the Reed Campus Center, the StuBop is always bustling with students taking a break from the rigorous academic day. While most students love spending time at the StuBop, they might not know that both the StuBop’s food and social environment benefit their mental health.

A key feature of the Williston campus, the StuBop is a long-time favorite of Williston students. Included in the prospective student campus tour, the StuBop acts a central campus hub. Serving treats such as brownies, French fries, and fresh-baked cookies, Williston students turn to the StuBop to curb their school-day cravings. The StuBop is open from eight a.m. to four p.m. every school day and is run by Sage Dining Services’ employee Michelle Fasoli.

Fasoli has worked for Sage Dining Services for five years, all of which were spent behind the StuBop counter. Fasoli finds that her typical day is very busy, due to high student demand.

“In my typical day, [there’s] a lot of rushing and multitasking,” she said. “It’s very fast-paced but fun.”

Fasoli’s favorite part of her job is being able to make students happy with the food she serves.

“My favorite part of the job is making the kids happy with treats,” she stated, smiling. “You know, I spoil them.”

Junior Anaya Akpalu loves the StuBop’s smoothies and appreciates that the StuBop offers an alternative to the dining hall.

“I love the mango smoothies,” she noted. “I go here when I don’t want a substantial meal, so I don’t go to lunch or breakfast at the dining hall.”

Anne-Valerie Clitus ’21, goes to the StuBop about once a week to enjoy a grilled banana-chocolate chip muffin.

However, the StuBop’s snacks are doing more than just preventing midday hunger.

According to a 2011 study by Dartmouth University, “The past 80 years have seen immense progress in research … showing how certain foods change brain structure, chemistry, and physiology thus affecting mood and performance. These studies suggest that foods directly influencing brain neurotransmitter systems have the greatest effects on mood.”

The study goes on to explain how specific types of food can boost a person’s mood. The article states that “Our favorite food usually trigger positive emotions. Even the smell of food can evoke a strong emotional experience.” This means students buying their favorite foods at the StuBop are also helping their mood.

Beyond snacks, the StuBop also provides an environment for students to hang out and relax, another key element of mental health. Sophomore Emeline Bruce enjoys the StuBop’s curly fries and popcorn chicken, but regularly goes there to simply spend time with friends.

“I go to the StuBop to get food and hang with friends,” she said. ” I really like it when people gather here and there are things going on.”

Ty Johnson ’21, spends time at the StuBop everyday and also enjoys its social atmosphere.

Spending time in a social setting can also help combat sadness and stress. With the pressures of academics, athletics, and arts placed on Williston students, finding a way to relieve stress is important. In a June 2019 article, Time reported that “the strength of a person’s social circle … was a better predictor of self-reported stress, happiness and well being levels than fitness tracker data on physical activity, heart rate and sleep.”

While students’ appetites may lead them to the StuBop, they leave in a better headspace, whether they are conscious of it or not.