The Lapenta pickle jar: Stability in an era of change

Giovanni Paolo Tagliafierro, Sports Editor


The Lapenta pickle jar has cemented itself in Iona dining lore over the years as one of the go-to food options for students.  


While some students may argue the over delicacy of the jar’s contents, it is impossible to overstate the importance of what the Lapenta pickle jar has symbolized during the difficult, ever-changing, past two years.  


Iona College dining facilities, like all other areas on campus, had to make drastic changes to their regular operations during the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. These alterations included the installation of plexiglass in all food areas, as well as the removal of nearly all the self-service food stations.  


All self-service stations other than one: the jar.  


Richard Riggins, the director of dining at Iona, discussed the difficult nature of deciding whether to leave the grab-your-own pickles within reach of the Gael student body or to remove the service entirely.  


“When faced with a quandary of this magnitude, you realize off the bat that the decision is not going to be an easy one,” Riggins said as he stood overlooking the jar. “We established a committee with leaders from various departments and had a few grueling weeks of discussion.” 


“At the end of the day, we felt that there was really only one way we could go about this.”  


Riggins explained the committee’s majority opinion that a potential uproar among the student population would be unavoidable if the jar was taken away. The director and his peers could only foresee panic and anger in the event that the service was suspended.  


Opponents of this stance highlighted the absurdity of leaving an unsealed, unprotected container of room-temperature food in a high-traffic area, nonetheless, a container which encouraged students to reach into and serve themselves. They followed by saying this decision effectively contradicted every single other preventive measure that the school implemented.  


Fortunately, this was a fight that food services would not lose.  


“The choice to leave the jar was not as black and white as some people seem to think,” Riggins said. “Our students needed, more than ever, a beacon of hope. Something that screamed: ‘The world ISN’T ending; some things AREN’T going to go away.”  


It is impossible to deny that a lot has changed in the world and on-campus. Before March 2020, the Lapenta pickle jar was just another great part of the special Iona dining experience. During the peak of the pandemic and now in this disorientating, new world, the jar serves as an anchor to “normal.”  

DISCLAIMER!!! This article was intended for comedic relief ONLY as it was apart of the Ionian’s April Fool’s Day issue.