You asked, we answered: Sriracha, student satisfaction and more

Each week, TSL answers your questions about anything at the 5Cs. Ask us a question at with the subject line “Ask TSL.” Include your name, school and year if you want.

Question: “Word on the street is that the sauces at Frary and Collins are getting watered down. Would like investigation ASAP!”

The short answer, according to dining hall staff, is no — but it’s complicated.

Spokespeople for both Frary and Collins Dining Halls said the dining halls are not watering down their sauces — specifically the Sriracha, about which rumors have been flying. 

Frary’s chef manager Amanda Castillo said doing so would risk introducing bacteria into the bottle.

“We would not compromise the flavor our students know to expect,” Castillo added via email.

But Frary executive chef Travis Ellis mentioned that the Sriracha brand Frary uses, Huy Fong Foods, changed its recipe this past spring in response to a change in the chili peppers they use. 

In 2017, HF Foods’ sole supplier of chili peppers stopped growing peppers for HF, only to come out with their own Sriracha sauce the following year. A spicy situation ensued, and the two have since been embroiled in a two-way lawsuit.

If any supertasters noted a change in flavor at 5C dining halls, this might be why.

The Huy Fong Foods Sriracha bottle is known for its classic rooster logo and distinctive green cap and is used in dining halls across the 5Cs. 

“If at any time you come across a bottle that looks like it may have been compromised, please let one of our team members know. We will replace it immediately,” Castillo said.

Question: What was Pomona’s admissions rate for last year?

 Pomona College has repeatedly declined requests to release its admissions rate for last year, but should include the information when it releases Pomona’s 2019-20 Common Data Set, likely in spring 2020. 

“Our aim is to help move the admissions conversation toward finding the best fit and away from the focus on admission rates,” Adam Sapp, Pomona’s director of admissions, said in March.

TSL will report the rate when it becomes available, as well as Claremont McKenna College’s acceptance rate, which the school did not release last semester.

Question: Which school has the highest student satisfaction?

Quantitative measures for student satisfaction at the 5Cs were not available, but TSL did find some similar rankings.

Princeton Review ranks Pitzer College highest of the 5Cs for “Best Quality of Life Colleges” at No. 20 in the nation.

Niche’s “Best Student Life in America” ranks Pomona No. 39, Scripps College No. 110, Pitzer No. 149, CMC No. 236 and Harvey Mudd College No. 741 out of 1,579 total colleges.

Niche’s survey considers factors such as student survey data, party scene, athletics, campus quality and diversity. More detailed information on Niche’s methodology can be found on its website.

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