BORED AWARDS: THE BEST OF UVM IN 2020
Whooo boy – it’s been a WILD year at UVM! Climate strikes, Snow days, and COVID-19 – there’s been no shortage of highs and lows. We choose to celebrate the highs.
We’ve been pulsing the UVM community for “what’s good” at UVM (and beyond) for five years now – finding the best of the best in everything from best eats to best classes and everything in between. This year we asked for thoughts on 39 unique categories that cover a variety of campus – and over 500 of community members nominated and voted on the winners.
If you’re interested, you can check out the historical BORED Awards Archives and read up on past winners. But it’s 2020 and we’re looking ahead (by reflecting on the past). So without further adieu – here’s the best of the best of UVM in 2020 (with a little commentary from us, your friendly neighborhood UVM BORED team):
Best Dining Hall:
Central Campus Dining
Runner Up: Redstone Dining
We’ve been running the BORED awards for 5 years now – a for four of those years the defacto champ for Best Dining Hall has always been Simpson Dining (Redstone); but it’s 2020 and in steps a new challenger to take the throne. 3 years after Central Campus Dining opened, the tables have been turned – literally; seems the all-you-can-eat breakfast bar and do-it-yourself discovery kitchen amenities have won over the hearts, minds, and stomachs of our peers.
Best Retail Dining:
Runner Up: New World Tortilla
How sweet … literally! Skinny Pancake earned their place as #1 after being runner-up last year to Brennan’s. No matter the storm, the Skinny Pancake menu holds it down with their sweet and savory crepe options. Breakfast, lunch or dinner Skinny P is a vibe, if you are lucky you can find an empty chair, enjoy or crepe and feel the good energies!
Best On-Campus Coffee Stop:
Runner Up: Cyber Café
Oh, our lovely Henderson’s has proven to be the coffee-spot, for the 4th year in a row and honestly this is no surprise. What made us fall in love in love with Henderson’s? Is it the specialty caffeinated drinks, the lovely staff, the Mirabells treats, the prime location that it’s in, the fireplace, the smell of fresh brewed coffee – shall we even go on?
Best On-Campus Food Truck:
Lucky’s Chinese Food
Runner Up: Ahli Baba’s
If you’ve had the dumplings from Lucky’s Chinese Food, you know why they’re the winners of this category. For the last 27 years, Lucky’s Chinese Food has blessed our campus with delicious meals – no wonder they have a 4.5 star rating on Yelp. Keep being great Lucky! Once we’re back on campus we’re coming for a helping of lo mein!
Runner Up: Mr. Mikes
At UVM, strong opinions on Pizza are like LL Bean boots – everyone’s got em’ (and they’re quite literally EVERYWHERE). We added this category back in 2018 to try and get to the bottom of what the UVM consensus and in that time crown has gone from American Flatbread to Mr. Mikes, and now, back to American Flatbread. A well-deserved win for sure. In our book, some cheesy local pizza at a table by the wood-fired oven and really make a cold winter night pretty magical. Plus, dare we say, the New Vermont Sausage is hands down one of the tastiest pizzas you’ll find this side of Chittenden County.
Best Bagel Stop in Burlington:
Burlington Bagel Bakery
Runner Up: The Bagel Place
There are so many places to get a bagel in Burly, and what a better place than Burlington Bagel Bakery. Regardless of how you feel about the bagels themselves, you can’t help but dig the location – BTV Bagel Bakery used to just be available on Shelburne Road (great stop for your pre-hike carbs), but this year they opened a second shop down where Bruegger’s used to be. Not your jam? on the other side of town, the Bagel Place gets the 2nd place crown. With the Burlington Bagel Bakery being located on Church Street and The Bagel Place being located on Williston no matter where you are in Burlington there will be bagels!
Best Late-Night Food Stop:
Kountry Kart Deli (KKD)
Runner Up: Mr. Mike’s Pizza
Sorry Mr. Mikes but you have been runner up again to Kountry Kart Deli, but you were so close by just one vote. Kountry kart Deli has taken the cake for third time in a row. Located next to the Flynn theatre and open till 3am Kountry Kart Deli is the spot for breakfast during non-traditional breakfast hours. Their shiners truly shine!
Best Student Club or Organization:
Ski & Snowboard Club
Runner Up: UVM Program Board (UPB)
The Ski and ride dude and dudettes have spoken again – The UVM Ski and Snowboard Club (SSC) has taken this crown twice in the 5 years we’ve voted on this category (and came in second twice); and it’s pretty easy to see why. When they’re not shredding some sweet pow (this is super hip SSC language, right?) they’re hosting killer rail jams, film festivals, and lounging like the cool kids they are in the Clubhaus. To survive a VT winter you’ve got to find a winter activity – and the SSC has been keeping us going year over year over year. I’m sure having over 2k members and an awesome social media manager in former BOREDIE Jimmy McCarriston doesn’t hurt either…
Best Intramural Sport: Broomball
Runner Up: Canoe Battleship
Broomball is to UVM what chocolate is to peanut butter. They go hand in hand. Or…the broom goes in your hand. Not the ball. You know what I mean. This sport removes the barrier on how bad we are at balancing on skates while keeping all the aggressiveness of regular Hockey and we’re here for it. Our only question is…why no actual brooms? Also…how did we not Canoe Battleship was a thing. We’d like nothing more than to sink battleships and take names in the Forbush Natatorium – screaming “B6” at the top of our lungs as it reverberates off the pool-room tiles.
Best Varsity Sport: Basketball
Runner Up: Hockey
Close call on this one Catamounts, with hockey just 2 points behind basketball to take the lead. The energy at these both of these sporting events is unbelievable – there’s just so much pride within Catamount County and this is where it all comes out. Basketball and Hockey games are the perfect activity to bring your friends and fam to experience, because you are granted a great time. Tickets to games are free for students, so once we are back to a better norm be sure to snag a ticket and don’t forget to bring your game face!
Best UVM Sporting Event:
Runner Up: Pack the Gut
A annual favorite. Who doesn’t love a great hockey game? The experience is tactile. The smell of the ice. The cool chill on your face. The sound of the skating (and the Pep Band – who was impressively present in a number of our BORED Award categories). The free swag. The student section cheers. The thrill of a Catamount win. The list goes on and on. When in-person events are back to being the social norm, you better bet you’ll find us in the student section screaming go cats go!
Best Club Sport:
Runner Up: Running Club (ha!)
You can’t get more quintessential college than frisbee – an activity represented in every college viewbook and college-set movie/tv show in existence. Layer on top of that how awesome Team Rukus and Team Chill are (just peep this highlight reel)…this is a deserved win. When you have a chance give both @uvmteamchill and @uvm_rukus in Instagram and follow along all this season’s sweet moments. Also…can we talk about the irony of the Running club being runner up? THE BEST.
Best On-Campus Event:
Week of Welcome
Runner Up: UVM SSC Rail Jam
Back for its second year carrying the ‘Best On-Campus Event’ torch is Week of Welcome – that epic week of fun, connection, and limited-edition WOW coffee tumblers that we come to expect from the start of our fall semester. We live for it. A celebration of our return to campus. Fun connections with our friends. Comedy. Music. Food….so much free food. Did we mention the free coffee? There’s a little something for everyone here and the vibes sustain us for the ups-and-downs of the semester ahead. How can any other event contend when this one is so big it spans the length of an entire week (and then some). And in a post-COVID world, silent disco won’t seem so weird after we’re all Zoom-Dance Partied out.
Best On-Campus ‘Fest’:
Runner Up: FallFest
Even though we didn’t have an actual, full-blown Springfest this year it still managed to take the crown. That should tell you how beloved this annual celebration is to our campus. Transforming the Jeffords Parking Lot with food trucks, crafty activities, photo-stations, and musical performances is the perfect way to celebrate the end of the spring semester. We dug that the UPB team pulled together an instagram live Social Distancing SpringFest to help celebrate, and while we desperately want to know who was lined up to head bring some tunes to the lot this year, we’ve already set the date for SpringFest 2021 … we are so ready!
Best Campus Personality / Celebrity:
Walter from Central Dining
Runner Up: Gary Derr
This dude took a year off as our Campus personality winner – but he’s back and all feels right with the world again! Walter has warmed the hearts of the many students who have walked through the doors of the Central Campus and Cook Dining Halls (RIP, Cook). His endearing smile and presence have been felt throughout our UVM experience, making us feel more at home with each passing day. Thank you, Walter, for being you. Don’t ever change.
Best Official UVM Social Media Account:
Runner Up: @universityofvermont
Wow a surprise win! You like us, you really like us! We’d like first like to thank our runner up – the University of Vermont’s various official social media accounts are known for their scenic photos that capture the true beauty of our campus, and personal stories of epic UVM staff, faculty, and students. We wouldn’t be here without you. Literally. Here, at UVM Bored we try to capture what happening in the day to day life of students on and off campus. Sounds like you think we’re doing a decent job – thanks for keeping up with us!
Best UVM Media Organization:
Runner Up: The Vermont Cynic
At first we weren’t sure we actually qualified for this category – our intent was to shout out the numerous literary magazines, weekly news publications, and video production peeps that exist on our campus. But whether it be vanity or commitment to the integrity of the voting process, we let it slide. In some ways we definitely are a media organization. Producing videos, writing blogs – heck “social media” has the word right in it. We’re honored that you dig the work we put out consider us a valuable media resource. Shout out to the Cynic for placing as a runner up. We hope that other media organizations can one day be as great as we are.
Most Iconic UVM Landmark:
Runner Up: The Water Tower
How could anything else win this? We get the looming silhouette of the Water Tower is as iconic as it is majestic – but nothing can beat the sheer magnificence of the illustrative Catamount perched on it’s rocky throne. Is it walking through the world with determination or is it ready to ‘tackle’ the hard problems in a way only a catamount can? It’s one cool cat. Thank you for being there for us Catamount. A beacon of hope. I’m 92% sure rubbing your nose got me an B+ on my stats final.
Best Residence Hall:
Living and Learning (L/L)
Runner Up: University Heights South
So there’s all this research out there that says puzzles, brain teasers, and mazes are good for the brain – so it makes sense that the labyrinth that is Living and Learning would satisfy so many folks (and that they’d be smart enough to follow us). How do you get from A to D the fastest? I certainly don’t know – but I’m sure one of you has it figured out and your brain probably looks like this.
Best Learning Community:
Runner Up: Outdoor Experience
This is Sustainability’s second win in a row – and it sustains us. Whether it’s exploring the natural beauty of Vermont, investigating (cooking foods with) local food systems, and rethinking, reusing, and reducing our carbon footprint – these folks are set up to live in the world we all want for our future. Doesn’t hurt that they’re set-up snugly in UHeights South and Harris in the heart of Athletic campus. Keep all that in mind when you make your LC rankings – any maybe give em’ a follow in insta!
Best Place to Nap On-Campus:
In my Own Bed
Runner Up: Redstone Trees (In a Hammock)
Y’all so practical. It’s true though…what better place to sleep than in the comfort of your own bed? A large majority of you have agreed that napping in your own bed beats everywhere else on campus – and it’s just so factual that we can’t even think of anything sarcastic to write about it as we type this remotely…from….our beds.
Best Hammocking Spot On-Campus:
Runner Up: Dementor Garden
Really is there any other place more calming on our entire campus? This little slice of woodsy utopia that is nestled on the edge of Redstone campus is hands-down the best spot to pop up your hammock and decompress between classes – without being too far from the action. The shade is not too little or too much. The breeze is never full-blown wind. The trees almost seem like they were planted with hammocks in mind. Pure zen. Change my mind. Also…can we talk about how we’re just calling the runner up spot “Dementor Garden”? Y’all are amazing. Keep up the good work.
Best Free Pens On-Campus:
Runner Up: UVM Program Board (UPB)
If you’ve been following the friendly beef between us and UVM Program Board (UPB), or if you are on UPB, you probably scrolled directly to this section to see who won. These the results we’ve all been waiting for. Well, the people have have spoken and we’re proud to announce that once again our pens have claimed the top prize for writing utensils on our campus. Thanks for the votes – all 183 of you! Coming in second are our friendly Student Life siblings in UPB, with 90 votes. They talked a lot of game, but in the end the votes don’t lie! Don’t worry, UPB – we love ya regardless. See ya at the family reunion. (We know people will have ‘feelings’ about this win, so here’s the receipts).
Best On-Campus Job:
The Dudley H. Davis Center
Runner Up: UVM Program Board
I mean…it’s the Davis Center – the hub of our campus experience. UVM’s Living Room! With thousands of people coming to the Davis Center for retail, studying, petting a therapy dog, catching up with friends, or just simply walking through – the student staff makes it so there are always people ready to help you! Employing over 70 students to manage everything from managing building reservations, production set-ups, the information desks, building tech, and more – these students are a part of a close team that gets to work in one of the busiest, most action-packed buildings in the entire state. Every day is an adventure, and these peeps get to live it with their DC fam. Plus…working at the first LEED Gold-certified student center in the nation probably looks pretty good on a resume!
Best UVM Staff Member:
Runner Up: Bonny (Harris / Millis)
What would central dining be without Walter? Our knight in shining armor, always ready with a friendly hello or a witty quip. Many an 8am hour have I have made my way through central with nothing but gunk in my eyes and Walter always seems to put a bit of sparkle back in my soul. To get me through the day. Thanks Walter! There’s something to be said about our UVM Dining staff, whether it be Walter or Bonny, or last year’s runner up Fumiyo – these folks are the true unsung heroes of our UVM experience. We see you.
Best UVM Department:
UVM Environmental Sciences
Runner Up: Department of Student Life
No surprise here! We are known for being one of the first environmentally focused schools in the country and for that we should celebrate. Of course the department of student life is one of the greatest UVM departments right behind ENVSC. Life on campus would be much more dull without them. How lucky are we to have these wonderful departments.
Best Class Year:
Class of 2023
Runner Up: Class of 2021
This one was a BATTLE – one we thought might result in a four way tie; but in the end the new UVM class (#UVM2023) came through with an upset, unseating #UVM2021 our previous two year champ. For context, here were the breakdowns: 2023 (29%), 2021 (28%), 2022 (23%), 2020 (20%). 2023 is an impressive group – with an estimated 2,600+ students from 44 states and 14 countries, they were the highest academic credentials of any incoming class in UVM history when they arrived last August – boasting an average SAT score of 1275 and an average ACT of 28.9. Shout-out to #UVM2020 though – in our book, you win the MVP award for finishing strong in a pandemic; in our book that definitely counts for something. We love our #uvmgrads.
Best Study Spot:
The Howe Library
Runner Up: The Davis Center
An introvert’s paradise. Put aside the knowledge that there’s always someone around here chewing loudly – you’re in the Library, that distant hum of the fluorescent lights and musty smell of books is JUST the right combo to get me into the mood to feed my brain or cram sesh for that upcoming test. Where else can you experience the thrill of just THINKING about popping up to the third floor and just screaming at the top of your lungs. Chaotic evil we’d never engage in, for sure, but the thought alone allows us to decompress like none other and brings us life. And Howe!
Best Place to Pull an All-Nighter:
Residence Hall Study / Common Room
Runner Up: My Room
This win makes a lot of sense. It’s almost impossible to pull an all-nighter in your room. So many distractions. If you can, major props to you! The common room is a great compromise for folks who want to beat the temptation of sleep but still be in the comfort of their own home – and hey, while a little itchy, that lounge furniture is just good enough for a power-nap.
Best School /College:
College of Arts & Sciences
Runner Up: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Best Class / Course at UVM
Sorry CALS, but the people have voted, CAS is the best college at UVM second year in a row. Some may argue that CAS won because it’s the largest school, we call those people haters. Congrats CAS – well deserved!
AS 096: Demons, Drugs, and Dancing
Runner Up: CDAE 002: D2: SU: World Food,Pop & Develop
Ok…so we weren’t aware of this one; but UVM has a number of awesomely named classes (ie – How to Speak Dog, anyone?) so we’re not completely surprised and now this is at the top of our list for Spring 2021. Who wouldn’t want to pop into Fleming 101 to discuss Drugs, Demons, and Dancing?! Knowledge baby. Described as an interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between the mind, brain, behavior, body and the physical world – this unique exploration seems like totally our jam. Maybe it can shed some light on how our dancing makes it seem like I’m being possessed by demons?
Runner Up: Brendan Fischer
Professors help make our academic experience worthy while. Having a professor you adore makes it all the more better. Joan’s ‘Area of Expertise’ is “Prevention of Mathematics Anxiety” and we can appreciate that to our core. ‘Rosi’ as she’s known to many of her students, is an amazing instructor, a helpful advisor, and a caring mentor – and we appreciate the heck out of people who dedicate themselves to our success. Congrats to Joan Rosebush, keep rocking!
BURLY & BEYOND
Best Local Band:
Runner Up: The UVM Pep Band
For the second year in a row 99 Neighbors takes the win for ‘Best Local Band, and let me tell you, they have earned it! From higher ground concerts, to the BSU Fashion Show, then Fallfest and now music festivals like Made in America – this Burly boy band is bringing the heat everywhere they go. Congrats, 99 Neighbors for the win, be sure to check them out! And for the UVM Pep Band, we got to give you all some love, you all bring so much energy to the games, keep on jamming!
Best Live Music Venue:
Runner Up: ArtsRiot
Water is wet! The sky is blue! In other completely obvious, and not at all contested news – Higher Ground is the preferred music venue of choice for UVM students; and why wouldn’t it be. They book some of the best, most high-profile acts in Burlington with a decent space to really jam with the band. We’ll be interested in seeing if their plans to move (expand?) move forward next year; and we’re just as interested in seeing what happens with our runner-up ArtsRiot, who are heading into a brave new world.
Best Local Hike:
Runner Up: Camel’s Hump
Folks were of two minds on this one, but we get it. Camel’s Hump might have the views – but the sense of accomplishment for having climbed the epic peaks of College Street and maintaining lung capacity are triumphant yet again. The promise of adventure heading down towards a majestic Lake Champlain; the intimidation of staring down Old Mill, climbing those uneven sidewalks after a day of food, friends, and sun. Oof. My quads can feel it just typing this. There is truly no more perilous, strenuous, and beautiful hike in all of the greater Burlington Area.
Best Off-Campus Coffee:
Runner Up: Uncommon Grounds (😭)
Muddy Waters is the perfect comfy wood and brick hangout, and it’s right on Main Street. It is the perfect spot to pull out your laptop, grab a beverage, baked good, chat with some friends. Fun Fact: there are notes in the walls of Muddy Waters that you can pull out, read, and leave a note for someone else.
Best Place to get a Haircut:
The Dorm Bathroom at 3AM
Runner Up: Indigo
Uhhhh, okay, so…congrats to “The Dorm Bathroom at 3am” for being the best place to get a Haircut. Who knew. Definitely 2020 vibes right here. Ultimately this win just proves that catamounts are determined. Yeah, we want haircuts at 3am and yeah, we are going to get them…somehow! But, if 3am haircuts aren’t your vibe then maybe just check out our runner up, Indigo Salon on Battery Street.
Best Place to Bring Out-of-Town Visitors:
Runner Up: Burlington Bay for Creemees
From Mt. Philo to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory – we’ve all got our list of places to bring folks to experience the magic of Vermont, but nothing is quite as unifying as the magic of the Burlington Waterfront. You can sit. You can swim. You can walk or bike. You can even try to catch a glimpse of Champ. And when the sun goes down…oof. That scenery hits JUST right. There’s no better place to explain why we love where we live without having to say a single word.
Most Instagramable Spot Downtown:
The Waterfront / Boardwalk
Runner Up: Church Street
If you’re looking for a scenic spot to take some awesome pictures, you just have to agree that the Waterfront is the place to go! Boasting an amazing view, the crystal-like lake, the gorgeous green mountains scene in the near distance – even the sunsets down here just feel infinitely more magical. It’s definitely a place to visit when you’re looking to stunt on the gram. #nofilter