Campus Carry: A Constitutional Right

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In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed a law that permits CHL holders to concealed carry on university campuses in the state of Texas.  However, the law allows private schools to opt out, and Baylor is among several private schools that decided not to allow concealed carry on campus.  Although it may sound irresponsible to let barley-functioning adults run around with guns, that is not the case.  Baylor opting into campus carry would improve the safety for students on campus.

First, it is important to realize that in order to carry on campus you must be a CHL holder. That means that you are at least 21, completed a handgun training class and passed a shooting exam.  Not only does it mean that only trained individuals will be carrying on campus, but only a small percentage of Baylor’s student body are CHL holders, and therefore, only a small percentage will be carrying on campus. It is also important to realize that law only allows concealed carry, meaning it will not be a distraction to the learning environment. Perhaps open carry could be a distraction, but a gun you cannot see cannot be a distraction. Additionally, the school is permitted to ban guns from certain areas of campus. Baylor would be able to ban firearms from specific buildings they feel appropriate. It would not be this crazy environment of students running wild with guns, but rather a handful of individuals who understand the responsibility of carrying a gun.

Currently, firearms are not permitted on Baylor’s campus. If a shooter were to come on campus students would have no way of defending themselves. This past fall semester an active shooter entered the edge of campus, causing the school to be placed on lockdown. Students on campus took cover in classrooms where they sat, defenseless. If the shooter had entered a classroom students would have become easy targets. There is a misconception that a student confronting an active shooter with a gun would make the situation more dangerous. In reality, it would take time for law enforcement to arrive on the scene, during which a student who holds a CHL would be able to calmly and accurately shoot the perpetrator.

Furthermore, concealed carry provides a way for women to defend themselves. Carrying a gun, especially a night, allows women to defend themselves if they are put in a threatening situation.  Recently, there was a string of robberies in which a male entered into females’ apartments and attempted to get into their bedrooms. Although this occurred in off-campus housing, it is possible for it to occur in university-owned housing, or for a student to be approached by a harmful individual in a parking garage on campus late at night.

The idea that campus carry would make campuses unsafe because reckless students would be carrying guns is a myth. Instead, campus would be safer because students would be able to defend themselves. A person who intends to harm others will find a way to do so, regardless of whether or not they are permitted to carry gun on campus. Banning guns from campus does not deter crime, but leaves innocent students defenseless. Carrying a gun is a constitutional right, one that should not be suspended just because you step onto campus.

Brittany Gamlen is a junior majoring in political science. 


How Baylor’s Culture Contributed to Sexual Assault Scandal

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It was only a little over a year ago that the rape conviction of former football player Sam Ukwuachu sparked what is now a nationally known rape scandal at Baylor University.

On August 21st, Ukwuachu was sentenced to six months in county jail and ten years’ probation for raping a fellow Baylor student-athlete. While some articles state that former football Coach Art Briles was not made aware of Ukwuachu’s troubling and violent past, other articles report that a former Boise State coach explained that Briles had been made clear about his past. Yet, even if we do not take into account that Briles may have been notified about Ukwuachu’s past, it seems that Baylor faculty and administration members may have been aware of the possible indictment, as they had taken him off the field on 2014, the year the rape took place.

Questions about whether or not Baylor has knowingly harbored rapists, intimidated their victims, and failed to provide the necessary Title IX protections brought about a significant number of investigations and cases against the Baylor Title IX office, athletics department, faculty, student policies, and Christian beliefs.

Among those questions posed, the ones that have received little attention are how the student policies and Christian beliefs espoused by Baylor have fed the crisis that has taken place. While the media has focused more on the laws broken, the Title IX office, and the backlash against victims by faculty, other students have been discussing how the student policies, culture, and Christian climate at Baylor have led to the high number of sexual assaults on campus.

It seems most students are aware that as part of its student policies, Baylor expects all students to wait until marriage for “physical sexual intimacy.” Those who do not know this is part of the student policies have most likely heard about it, but thought it was the campus joke told to freshmen. In addition to that policy, Baylor’s strict alcohol policies have created a culture of silence when it comes to issues related to a sexual relationship or alcohol abuse. This culture of silence has contributed to an environment safe for the rapists and hostile to survivors of sexual assault.

Women who have been assaulted after a night of heavy drinking are afraid to report their case for fear of judgment, lack of compassion and helpful services, and fear of possible punishment. Freshmen are less likely to report a case of sexual assault after a night of drinking because they are underage and live on campus, which means that any trace of alcohol on their person and/or in their system is punishable by fine up to expulsion. Baylor’s strict alcohol policies also result in this scenario: a freshman student gets drunk at a party, and, out of fear of being punished, decides to spend the night at another person’s house. This, while any crime committed against her would not be her fault, puts the student at greater risk to be assaulted. Yet, if she is assaulted, the Baylor community is likely to ask why she thought it would be safe or “lady-like” of her to spend the night at a stranger’s house rather than to go back to her dorm, without taking into account how its policies contributed to such a decision.

Another scenario is important to consider: two students have been dating each other for a while and have a sexual relationship. One day, one partner assaults the other. Because Baylor has a student policy against pre-marital sex, the survivor is less likely to report the assault due to a belief that his or her claims will not be taken seriously.

If we sat down and had a frank and open conversation with many female and male students at Baylor, we would find that Baylor’s policies have contributed to the silencing of survivors directly or indirectly.

Instead of running away from the accusations, we should take the time to reflect on how our culture and long-standing policies have contributed to the rampant sexual violence seen at Baylor University. Baylor had, and still has, a lot of work to do with its Title IX office, Counseling Center, Athletics Department, and other offices within the university that contributed to a hostile environment for survivors. But that is not all Baylor has to work on. Baylor must also consider how its policies regarding sex and alcohol and heteronormativity have contributed to the problems we see today.


Katie Mendez is a junior majoring in international studies. 


Jubilee Food Market

Image courtesy of News Channel 25

Before Mission Waco opened the Jubilee Food Market, the North Waco neighborhood qualified as a food desert. This means that the closest grocery store was over two miles away (specifically, 2.2 miles away).

This may not seem like a problem to Baylor students. Most of us have our own cars or roommates and friends who will drive us to get necessities, as well as food plans to eat on campus.

However, many people in the low-income area of North Waco do not have their own vehicles or drivers licenses, so they must rely on the Waco Transit system (which stops running at seven p.m.) or walk to access affordable, healthy food.

The food desert then results in these people buying groceries from convenience stores, which overcharges for very low nutritional content. This explains the phenomenon of obesity and health issues in struggling communities.

Luckily, Mission Waco and executive director Jimmy Dorrell came up with a creative solution to the food desert. In January 2016, the organization began plans to build and operate a nonprofit grocery store at North 15th Street and Colcord Avenue. Since then, they have successfully renovated the space and stocked the store. Jubilee Food Market officially opened on November 21, 2016.

Though the presence of a grocery store satisfies North Waco’s food desert, Dorrell claims that Jubilee Food Market represents much more than that. He hopes that this project will help North Waco residents break the habit of bad eating by presenting them with healthy options. Dorrell also hopes to staff the store with a nutritionist who is equipped to help customers choose healthy options.

Jubilee Food Market welcomes shoppers from anywhere, but Mission Waco implemented an “Oasis Card” system to give discounts to those who live in the area. These cards provide discounts on groceries to ensure affordability.

However, owning and operating a grocery store includes a slim profit margin, and because Jubilee aims to provide an affordable product to those who need it, they sell most products at prices barely above wholesale.

Furthermore, the Oasis Card system, while increasing people’s ability to afford products, decreases the profit. In an effort to save on stocking costs, Mission Waco has plans to build a greenhouse next door to Jubilee, which will facilitate the growing of fresh produce to be sold in the Food Market. Even with this, Mission Waco will be in large part relying on grant money and donations to continue to operate the store.

Jubilee Food Market is more than just a grocery store; it represents a change in the Waco community. If the store continues to operate, it will help North Waco residents change their eating habits and live healthier lives.

Unlike convenience stores, Jubilee Food Market aims to improve the lives of its shoppers by offering fresh produce at low prices and discounts. Baylor students have the ability to support this business. Instead of making large donations or volunteering our time, we can choose Jubilee Food Market over H.E.B. or Walmart. Having students pay full price will help in the effort to stock and operate the store and will help Mission Waco begin similar stores in Waco’s other food deserts.


Nikki Thompson is a sophomore majoring in professional writing and rhetoric.


Us and Them: Talking US Politics Across the Pond

Image courtesy of Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Before I left for the UK, I and everyone else getting set to adventure around the world were required, on pain of death, to attend a study abroad orientation. We learned things like how to be safe in foreign countries (“Just don’t walk around with your nose in your phone”), how to dress for the weather (“Texas is not normal—you will need a winter jacket”), and how generally to assimilate into our new home (“Just… don’t act so touristy”).

All of our study abroad advisor’s advice was invaluable, but there was one thing that he told us that, in my experience, has proven true over and over again.

“Especially now,” our advisor said, as I crammed my mouth full of free pizza, “people are going to ask you about politics. You may be the only American person some of these people ever meet, and you need to be prepared to answer them.”

Sure enough, in the six-odd weeks I have been on British soil, every single native I have ever had a conversation with has somehow found a way to bring up the election.  Some people are really clever about it—

“So how’s the weather in Texas?” a classmate asked me over coffee a couple weeks ago.

I tried and failed to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius in my head, and defaulted with, “It’s a lot warmer than here!”

The classmate laughed. “Oh, really?” he asked. “Not a frigid wasteland yet?”

I tried to think if I had ever heard anyone use the word frigid to describe east Texas before, and while I puzzled over it, he clarified, “You know. Because of the President.”

“Oh,” I said, clueing in. “Politics.”

After the initial broaching of the subject, all the conversations generally flow the same way.  What do you think of it all? Did you vote? What do you think he’ll do? What do you think he can do? And although no one says it—because nearly everyone in the UK is wary of the Trump administration—the main thought lying beneath this line of questioning is always how could you let this happen?

There is an obvious way to answer this question, and I am always tempted to let my frustration at current events get the better of me and to give the obvious answer. It would be so easy for me to shrug off my country, denounce nearly half the population who put their support behind President Trump and say, “Well, I didn’t vote for him. Ask them.” Classic Us-Them rhetorical device—easy and self-gratifying.

It is so easy to vilify people when we do not agree with them. Any six year old can tell you that the best color is blue and that anyone who thinks otherwise—green, maybe?—is just stupid. But I have spent a lot of time trying to convince the people I know that I am not a six year old, so I have to stop and think before I say anything else—Isn’t this divisive rhetoric the thing that I hate most about the Trump administration? Don’t I think that close-mindedness is the world’s most costly sin?  How hypocritical would it be for me to throw every right-leaning American I know under the bus, just to take the easy way out?

So when people ask me how I or anyone else in the United States could let any of this happen, I stop.  I think hard. And—because it would not feel right to do anything else—I try to understand.

There are some bad people who voted for Trump, I tell them. But everyone has a bottom line, I say. For some people, that bottom line is social equality. For others, maybe that line is abortion, or the economy, or the Supreme Court, or something else that, for those people, allows no compromise. Or maybe some people are unhappy with the way things are, I say. Maybe they really think that this new President can change things for the better.

I disagree, but if everyone agreed with me, we would burn every disgusting tomato crop to the ground, and then what would we dip our fries in?

I do not know what the future will bring, and I cannot know if anything I say about politics or America or anything else actually sways the people here who ask me about those things. What I do know, though, is that defending these people that I disagree with—trying to understand them—is a good thing. I know that America needs my understanding more than it needs my anger, and—above anything else—I know that we are stronger together than we are divided.

Chelsea Teague is a junior majoring in professional writing and rhetoric. 


You’re a Supernova and I’m a Space-Bound Rocket Ship

Image courtesy of Harvard University

Stumbling upon a number of articles published in the last two weeks on Supernova 1987A, a phenomenon observed unsurprisingly in the year 1987, I had two questions. First, why were people so excited to talk about it on its 30th anniversary? Second, what is a supernova? They look pretty darn cool in all of the pictures.


Supernovas are exploding stars. The last explosion within our own galaxy is thought to have been around a hundred years ago. In a binary star system, a white dwarf star builds up matter that it takes from its companion star until it becomes, in a sense, overloaded. These are called Type I supernovae. They are actually used as a standard measurement of light throughout the universe because they are considered to all produce approximately the same amount of energy. Type II supernovae are from single stars. The supernova is somewhat like its final grand breath. As the star runs out of fuel, matter flows into its core until it is overloaded and the core collapses in on itself. Its own gravity pulls it inwards. If you forgot just how small our sun really is, one of these explosions releases more energy than our sun will throughout its entire lifetime. (Don’t worry. Our sun isn’t big enough to create a supernova. Its death will be much less impressive.) These explosions carry debris containing incredibly important elements vast distances. This allows the birth of new stars and the birth of elements (the laws you learned in chemistry do not apply in the explosion of stars).


On February 23, 1987, Ian Shelton spotted 1987A while in the Atacama Desert in Chile. It was just a new star that appeared when he developed one of his photographs from the night in the observatory. It was in fact so bright that it could be viewed without a telescope. The supernova itself was not rare. It was it proximity that made it the sort of rare event astronomers live for. Over the next few months, and the next few decades, information gained from the supernova progressed alongside scientific advancements. There was a five-hour difference between detections of neutrinos in Europe and Japan. There were many questions about the phenomenon. Was it the explosion of Sanduleak or a companion star? Did the neutrino particles (rare and still little-understood particles that play an important role in these explosions) detected actually have mass? Questions like this led to new discoveries about supernovas that have been applied to the other ones we observed afterward. They are still studying 1987A today. Since, you know, the universe is mind-blowing and this phenomenon is STILL GOING ON.


If you are more confused than you were five minutes ago, that is okay. Studying these things always reminds how little I really know, how littler we all know. I think often we try to understand the world as if we created it. We did not. It doesn’t matter what you believe about the origin of the universe, of universes. None of it says that a human being created the laws of the universe. We are all attempting to understand laws and ideas that do not necessarily fit within the parameters of own minds. That doesn’t need to scare us, though. There is a freedom in knowing that the limits we put on ourselves do not apply to the rest of the world.


Katherine Estep is a junior majoring in neuroscience. 


Sources – Check out Supernova SN 2008D



Terminate the Department of Education?

Image courtesy of Saul Loeb

This past week, Congressman Thomas Massie filed a bill that is only a sentence long and reads, “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”  Although it is unlikely that the bill will pass, it presents an idea that might sound erratic and unrealistic at first glance.  However, the one-line bill offers an idea that would greatly improve the education system in the United States.

President Carter created the Department of Education in 1979 primarily to appease teachers’ unions after they supported his campaign.  Since then, it has continued to serve as a political tool for both parties to advance their agenda rather than a means of supporting American children’s education.  In 2001, President Bush created the No Child Left Behind Act which took an unrealistic approach to evaluating schools.  Although not responsible for creating the act, the department has worked to enforce it and see its continued existence.  More recently, President Obama’s administration furthered the Common Core State Standards initiative, dictating what teachers do in the classroom.  Thus, the department has not positively influenced the curriculum in classrooms but instead hurt the curriculum by unnecessarily controlling it.

Education is not delegated as one of the enumerated powers held by the federal government, implying that state and local governments hold authority over it. Therefore, the Department of Education is often considered unconstitutional.  Abolishing the Department of Education would return the responsibility of managing school to local government.  City and town governments are best fit to manage schools because they are familiar with the specific needs of their community.  Every town in the United States is different, and the federal government is incapable of understanding the students in each of those towns.  In contrast, local governments know the individual students in their schools and can devise curriculums that are tailored to their community.  This would create proficiency standards that are less arbitrary, as well as ensure that students are learning relevant knowledge and not being “taught to tests.” Parents would have a larger role in educating their children instead of the federal government.

Will Congressman Massie’s bill become law?  Probably not.  Yet, it is important to understand the current problems our education system faces.  Partisan politics should not be what determines the material taught in classrooms.  Abolishing the Department of Education would improve the quality of education in our country.  If nothing else, it would save the federal government billions of dollars in tax dollars.  After all, it makes more sense to pay taxes to the school down your street than to a bureaucratic branch of the government.  So, while Congressman Massie may sound radical, he might be on to something.

Brittany Gamlen is a junior majoring in political science. 


The Baylor You Willfully Ignore

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“I stand with Baylor.”

This phrase was uttered by forty-five Baylor students in a video entitled “The Baylor We Know” by Amy Zukoski.

The video is composed mainly of student testimony regarding how they each see Baylor. Statements such as “Everyone is so welcoming,” “Baylor is a loving community that accepts me for who I am,” and “Everyone has values,” were common throughout the video.

While not directly stated, it can be inferred that this video was made in response to Stephen A. Smith, a popular sports correspondent for ESPN, who encouraged parents to persuade their daughters against going to Baylor, citing recent Title IX violations and sexual assault scandals.

“The Baylor We Know” emphasizes the Christian values, inclusiveness, and what is claimed to be overall happiness experienced by Baylor students.

We all know about the firing of Art Briles and Ken Starr, the 52 alleged rapes by 31 football players over four years, the physical evidence of Art Briles’ and other coaching staffs’ cover up of athlete misconduct, but you may not know that the Big XII Board has officially withheld 25% of Baylor’s future revenue distribution awaiting independent verification of “proper institutional controls” or that Baylor has just received a one year accreditation warning. While it is not likely, we are at risk of losing our accreditation.

Baylor has given me a lot of opportunities. I came to Baylor specifically for the Professional Writing & Rhetoric major, and I think that I am a better writer for it. I have been honored to serve as editor of The Mug, and I have grown through my participation in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC) and the Honors Program. I have learned a great deal at Baylor and have made friends with whom I will be in contact for the rest of my life.

This does not mean that there are two Baylor Universities to understand: a good one and a bad one. There is one Baylor University. Baylor University is the place where I am writing my honors thesis overseen by outstanding faculty and where women were raped and were actively prevented from getting the justice they deserve. Baylor University is the place where at least a fourth of my classes had a stated Christian focus and where Title IX standards were actively ignored. Baylor University is the place where I ran across a football field in a bright yellow jersey alongside the chancellor as the football coach waved from the sidelines and where that same chancellor and football coach protected guilty parties from punishment.

Am I proud to be a Baylor Bear today? No. No I am not. In fact, it is my duty, as a Baylor Bear, to be disappointed in a school that I have placed so much of my faith in, that I have invested so much time in, that I will be paying off for the next twenty years, that, in future job interviews, I will have to defend. I will not say that I stand with Baylor. I will not applaud Baylor for trying to rectify its actions, as these violations of national policy, of human decency, should never have occurred in the first place. No matter how much I have enjoyed my time at Baylor, this “Baylor that I know” is the same Baylor that rape victims know. They are one in the same.

Saying “I stand with the Baylor I know” would be fine if that were all that Baylor is – chapel and sorority functions and small class sizes and coffee. But this is not the case. The joy that you have experienced is not a more legitimate Baylor experience than that of the women who have been assaulted and systematically prevented from achieving justice. There is more to Baylor. Thus, to say you “support the Baylor you know” is indicative of a willing ignorance of the horrors that some Baylor students have experienced and, furthermore, to delegitimize their struggles all for the sake of wearing green and gold, of drinking coffee at Common Grounds, of shouting “Sic ‘em” – without feeling guilty.

I will not be ignorant.

I will stand with Baylor when their standards meet national standards. I will stand with Baylor when all those who were raped or assaulted or threatened and were denied justice under Baylor’s watch receive what is their due. I will stand with Baylor when students who have been assaulted can come to know the joys that Baylor has to offer – as I have. I will stand with Baylor when athletes are held to the same standards as their fellow students. I will stand with Baylor when “no” does not mean “Go Bears,” but “no.”

Until that day and long after, I will support those who have been harassed and assaulted, I will watch and encourage Baylor’s attempts to rectify their mistakes, and I will remain a Baylor Bear. Yet it will be a while before I am proud to say so.


Lee Shaw is a junior majoring in professional writing and rhetoric.




The Women’s March: Its Importance and Its Drawbacks

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On January 21st, women from across the nation took to the streets to make a statement: they are not going to let this election and political administration take away their rights.


Women of all races, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, and from all areas of the country united to make a visual statement: women were not backing down in the face of opposition.


While many women and men who attended the marches have stated they had never witnessed so much unity, there were other groups of women within the feminist community who did not feel so welcome. Indeed, the Women’s March was the most peaceful and clean feminist march that has taken place in decades. Many women of color held up signs with snippets of their stories, making a direct appeal to President Trump’s racial, ethical, and religious incendiary messages. Yet despite the fact that many marginalized groups were welcomed into the conversation in many areas, we must allow room for the criticism and input of those who did not experience the same level of peace and unity many other women experienced.


Experiences of women of color

One Native American women created a thread on Twitter in which she detailed her experience at the Women’s March. She details the horrifying details of white women walking through their prayer group, taking pictures of them without their consent, and asking if “they” still existed.


Many black women held up signs asking women if they would be as vocal in protests against police brutality and racism. Other women pointed out that more white women voted for Trump than any other racial group.


Other minority groups speak out

Pro-life women also reported feeling left out of the conversation because of the proportion of pro-choice women over pro-life women in attendance. Differences in the ideological beliefs between these two groups sparked debate among some women, including many conversations within my group of peers.


Immigrant women also felt the need to speak out against another issue that suppresses them so much more than white women, that immigrant women and white women do not have equal initial status.


Women with physical and mental illnesses were also not given a wide stage on which they could present their personal struggles. Among many of the criticisms and pushback I have encountered is the fact that white women seemed to be enraged more over President Trump’s comment about sexually assaulting women than the incidence, his actions, or the results of his to-be-enacted policies.


Although the women’s march will always remain a bright spot in the historical timeline of Donald Trump’s presidency, we must admit that if we want to ensure equality for all women everywhere, we have to expand the conversation to other issues that may not seem to be feminist on the surface level.


Katie Méndez is junior majoring in international studies.


Food Insecurity

Image courtesy of Data USA

As college students, we may find ourselves perpetuating the myth that we eat nothing but ramen to save cash. While this is certainly true for some students, especially at an expensive institution such as Baylor, much of this can be confidently labeled an urban legend. In college, students certainly must learn to budget their meals and spend as little money on food as possible. However, this struggle is diminished in contrast of the poverty found within the city of Waco.


East Waco stands out as the city’s lowest income area, with a median household income of $15,190. For comparison, the median household income in East Waco is lower than 70% of the median household income throughout all of Texas. In all of Waco, 29.4% of individuals live below the poverty line. This means that 29.4% of people in Waco are not making enough money to afford the necessities of life. Though this negatively affects individual Waco residents, 30.9% of families in Waco also live below the poverty line. One of the many struggles these families face is food insecurity. By definition, food insecurity occurs when a person does not have consistent or reliable access to nutritional food.


In 2015, Texas ranked number two in national food insecurity, following California. According to the national report, many families are forced to prioritize paying for housing, utilities, or medical care over buying groceries. If people cannot afford healthy food, they will continue to succumb to sickness, resulting in more medical bills. Food insecurity and poverty, then, are clearly linked. People can easily find themselves trapped in the cycle with no way to get ahead.


Fortunately, students at Baylor have been blessed with the ability to pay for food, housing, utilities, and education. It is very likely that none of us will ever find ourselves living below the poverty line or suffering from food insecurity. However, this does not mean we should not be concerned for the well-being of our community. Both Baylor University and the city of Waco have multiple resources with which students can volunteer and begin making a difference in the greater Waco area.


The Baylor School of Social Work developed the Texas Hunger Initiative, which aims to end hunger through “policy, education, research, community organizing and community development.” This organization tackles the issue on a broad scale, hoping to have a long-term effect on families struggling with poverty and food insecurity. The McLennan County Hunger Coalition, collaborate with food pantries, churches, businesses, and individuals to help specific families develop food security through donations and helping families sign up for food stamps and other support programs. Other organizations, such as the Food Planning Task Force of McLennan County and the Food Research and Action Center attempt to end the problem through practical ways, planning, and research.


Nikki Thompson is a sophomore majoring in professional writing and rhetoric.

Your Definitive Guide to the Most Misunderstood British Foods

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There have definitely been a few bizarre surprises that Britain has hit me with since my plane touched down at Heathrow.  For instance, why does everyone drive on the wrong side of the road?  Why do people here think two packets of ketchup are appropriate for a large McDonald’s fry?  And what the heck is so “cheeky” about Nando’s, your typical London chicken chain?

As a Texan stumbling through life in the UK, however, the biggest shocks of my British experience have definitely been food-related.  No queso here—instead we have blood sausage, haggis, and Marmite!  To help any prospective UK study abroad adventurers, I have put together this definitive guide to misunderstood British foods—try not to knock it before you try it!



Marmite is a food that lives in infamy in many American tourists’ hearts.  An almost too-salty spread made from yeast extract, Marmite is probably one of the most misunderstood British foods I have ever come across.

“A lot of first-timers make the mistake of just eating a spoonful straight from the jar,” says Elana, an England native and Marmite superfan. “That’s gonna taste awful.”

The real way to eat Marmite, according to my British sources, is to coat a piece of toast in butter, and then spread a tiny amount of Marmite on top.  “I can’t really describe the flavor,” Elana told me over Marmite and toast, “but it’s good.”



Most Americans know haggis as “all that meat shoved in a sheep stomach,” and quite honestly, that is a pretty accurate description.  Haggis is made of leftover bits of sheep—the heart, the liver, etc.—and onions.  It is stuffed into either a traditional sheep stomach or an artificial casing, and then boiled for a couple hours.  Afterwards, you end up with something a lot less disgusting than it sounds!

A note for my fellow Louisiana natives: if you have ever eaten boudin, you know pretty well what to expect from haggis.


Black Pudding

Also known by its more metal name, blood sausage, black pudding is often served fried as an element of the full English breakfast (which also includes fried eggs, bacon, tomatoes, hash browns, and a slew of other delicious foods).  I have to say, everything that goes into black pudding is a little bit freaky—it is some kind of wicked concoction of congealed pig’s blood, oatmeal, and lard—but if you can get over the ingredients, the end result is an epic treat for your taste buds.


The UK is full of foods that take some time to have a steady relationship with, but for adventurous eaters everywhere, it is a great place to get some lunch!  Here is to many more exciting meals abroad!


Chelsea Teague is a junior majoring in professional writing and rhetoric.