Creative crowd curbs chocolate cravings: Creative Elite hosts chocolate-a-thon


Sophomore Marissa McDougall breaks chocolate into bite-sized bits.

Eleni Gotter, Photographer

The Creative Elite held an event that brought students, faculty and staff together with the power of chocolate on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Fine Art Center Room 213 became a chocolate depot with as much variety in the chocolate as there was in the people who showed up.

Sanitation was important, so students, faculty and staff dressed in latex gloves before consuming the chocolates to make sure that germs were not spread.

Assistant Art History Director Sam Howell paid out of pocket for the chocolate for this event. He wanted to clarify that “no state funds were expended.”

For this reason, Howell did ask for donations to help “defray the enormous expense of purchasing all these chocolates” so that events like the chocolate-a-thon can continue to happen in the future. And it was surely worth a couple of dollars to try the vast array of chocolates.

Howell explained his reasoning behind choosing to hold this event.

“I thought the chocolate would appeal to a very broad spectrum of faculty, staff and students on campus, bring everyone together on sort of a level playing field, and just create a buzz of excitement,” Howell said. “Exposing students to the larger world can actually be done by showing them all the varieties of chocolates there are, even just in the Pee Dee.”

Howell bought 77 different types of chocolate. People had a chance to walk around the room and pick which types of chocolate they wanted to try.

Howell even created a handout to help everyone navigate their way through the maze of different chocolates.

Howell warned people with a disclaimer: “Note: If samples are not very, very small, you will fill up on these rich chocolates and lose your appetite very, very quickly.” Many soon found this to be true.

Howell also made a point for people keep the wrappers intact and to not throw them away because a couple of students will be making a collage out of all of the wrappers of the chocolate that was consumed.

“This was an awesome event because it not only gave a chance for students to get together, but there were a lot of professors; even one the deans of education, Dr. Lee, was here,” senior Liz Hoy said. “It was fun to see all of us interact. I think we should do something like this again, so hopefully everybody donated a little bit and we can do another event just like it, but without chocolate.”

There was chocolate in many forms and from many places.

There were some strange combinations of chocolate, such as chocolate with bacon bits (which many found enjoyable), chocolate with chili peppers, chocolate with burned caramel and sea salt, and the list goes on.

There were some chocolates that were fruity, some that were nutty, some that were minty and some toffee-flavored. There were also some of the classic, plain milk and plain dark chocolates.

“Life is more than just Hershey Bars,” Howell said.

Attendees who enjoyed the chocolate and would like to see things like this done in the future gave a great deal of positive feedback.

Super senior Tiffany Thomas said that the chocolate-a-thon was “amazing.” She added, “I think that we should have more opportunities like this on campus because a lot of people are willing to be creative, but they don’t have an outlet and they don’t know how to express their creativity.”

Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Ann Stoeckmann explained her reasons for liking dark chocolate the best.

“I am always drawn to the darker chocolates,” Stoeckmann said. “90 [percent cocoa] was too high, 80 [percent cocoa] was OK; I just always liked the darker ones. A little more bitter, not so sweet. Maybe my palette has changed. [Dark chocolates] are healthier for you too, [so] maybe that’s why I have grown to like them more.”

Chair of the Department of Sociology Dr. Joel Thayer explained why he attended the event.

“I like dark chocolates, so this was too good of a temptation. Events of this type get people together,” Thayer said.

Even people who love chocolate would be overwhelmed with the amount of chocolate that was served at the event.

This event has people asking, “What will the Creative Elite do next!?”