In a move no public affairs officer thought they'd ever have to do, Dining Services has released the breakdown of the cost of Nutella, and apparently it's not $5,000. On Tuesday, Columbia College Student Council representatives told Spectator that Dining Services director Vicki Dunn told them that the weekly tab for the nutty spread was running close to $5K. Dining declined to provide specific numbers for that article.
But after the national news media picked up the story last night, the University has changed course, claiming that the cost of Nutella during the first week it was served in February was about $2,500. Since then, the price tag has climbed down significantly, to about $450 per week.
We've asked Dining what could have led to the $5,000 figure. In the mean time, read the press release, titled—we're not joking—“NUTELLA-GATE EXPOSED: It's a Smear! Says Columbia," after the jump.
NUTELLA-GATE EXPOSED: It's a Smear! Says Columbia
Columbia University officials today denied press reports claiming that campus dining halls were running rivers of nut-brown ink to the tune of $5,000 per week in allegedly pilfered Nutella.
Columbia Dining Services emphasized the mundane fact that the ongoing weekly cost of Nutella supply is actually less than one-tenth the purported amount originally reported on a student blog and quickly picked up by other media. It is true that in the first 3-4 days after Nutella was recently added to the dining hall selections, demand was indeed extraordinarily high, with students enjoying a large amount in that initial short period. However, the actual cost was only about $2,500, and quickly went down to $450 per week for dining halls that serve some 3,600 students, seven days a week at three locations. Ironically the media attention to Nutella-gate has cut down on the amount people have been taking in recent days.