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It took 80 chicken nuggets and 3 orders of waffle fries a day to get Theodore D. Bressman ’06 through finals last year.
So Bressman’s return to campus this fall was tainted by disappointment, as his first visit to the Science Center revealed an unwelcome development: exam-time supplier Chick-fil-A was gone, replaced by the California-styled Mexican food station Catalina Cantina.
For Bressman, who is spearheading a petition to bring back the deep fried goodness, the substitution was a poor one.
“Ninety percent of my Board Plus went to Chick-fil-A,” Bressman said. “The dipping sauces, the waffle fries are the best and rare in New England. The students should have been consulted.”
Bressman has already collected 85 signatures via e-mail and has decided to take his campaign to the masses, personally appearing at the Greenhouse to collect signatures supporting the chicken franchise.
He said he hopes to collect exactly 333 signatures— a figure inspired by the number 33, worn by Bressman’s favorite athlete, the appropriately fowl-named basketball star Larry Bird.
“There comes a time in a man’s life when he must stand up for something that he believes in,” Bressman said. “I believe in the future of Chick-fil-A at Harvard.”
Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) director of campus restaurants Cheryl Walker said she would consider Bressman and any other students’ concerns.
“I’d be happy to look at the petition and work things out...I’d be happy to meet with them,” Walker said. “Anything is possible.”
Walker explained that the franchise change followed an e-mail survey and focus groups conducted last spring.
Most respondents were tired of Chick-fil-A and were looking for something new she said, with particular interest in ethnic food.
“We loved Chick-fil-A. It was here for 10 years,” Walker said. “The students said they wanted food that was ‘fast, healthy, and portable.’”
Although health was a consideration, it was not the deciding factor, Walker said.
Bressman said health concerns shouldn’t limit students’ choice.
Fast food is hard to find in Cambridge, he says, with a trek to Central or Porter Squares necessary to satisfy a McDonald’s or Wendy’s craving.
“I admit, fast food is not the healthiest of foods. But I am in decent shape,” said Bressman, member of the JV basketball team. “Well, perhaps a touch overweight.”
Andy D. Litinsky ’04, sees the move as part of a greater Harvard program to encourage the infiltration of healthy eating.
“Getting rid of Chick-fil-A is a liberal Harvard conspiracy designed to enforce Berkeley-style health food on all of us,” Litinsky said.
Bressman said he is not overly optimistic about the chances of his petition having any effect.
“I’m going to be able to keep on trucking if this falls through, which it looks like it might,” Bressman conceded. “But I wanted to send a message. I like Chick-fil-A. I like it a lot.”
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