Now, when students walk into The Grille and ask for five chicken tenders and fries, they are no longer able to use a meal swipe; they must use declining balance dollars (DCB). In fact, for a while the only chicken tender option for a meal swipe was three pieces with chips, not even fries; and this went for the wraps as well.
Students across campus are not taking kindly to the changes at the Grille. “I think the five piece with fries should be brought back as a meal swipe,” Brian Doty FCRH ’16 said. “I loved having that option at The Grille.”
Doty is not the only person on campus who feels this way. In fact, Stephen Watts, FCRH ’17, created a petition on Change.org entitled “Bring back the five chicken strips with fries meal swipe at the Grille.”
While some points in the petition are a bit hyperbolic like “chicken strips are the last bastion of American freedom,” Watts and some of his supporters make some good points. For example, “a bag of chips isn’t worth as much as two strips and fries,” is certainly true. If Fordham was trying to substitute fries out of a meal swipe, a bag of chips that has more air than chips is not the way to do it. And, quite frankly, three chicken strips is not a meal for a college student. As Tahseen Hasan, GSB ’16, points out on the online petition, “is not worth $10 of my meal plan money.”
The petition also argues that “the lines are longer since everyone gets wraps now.” While this should not be the main reason to change the policy, it is a good observation. The Grille was crowded to begin with, but people who ordered a three or five piece meal with fries made traffic flow more smoothly. The chicken and fries are ready most of the time and just need to be placed in a container. Now, people do
not think their hunger will be satisfied with just three chicken tenders and a bag of chips or a piece of fruit and instead opt for wraps which take much more time to make and slow the line during The Grille’s busiest times.
At the time of publication, 68 people have signed the change.org petition and Watts’s goal at the start was 100. On a campus such as Fordham’s, you would think more people would be up in arms about the meal swipe changes and would want to sign the petition. As I started to look into this issue more, however, I discovered people like Mike Trotta, GSB ’16.
When I asked him about his thoughts on five chicken strips and fries being removed from the list of meal swipe options at The Grille, Trotta said it didn’t affect him at all and he never even thought about buying the meal. Then, I mentioned that it used to be a meal swipe, to which he responded “Wait, really? Why didn’t anyone tell me this?” The reasons there might not be as many signatures on this petition are because people do not know about the petition itself, or some, like Trotta, did not know the meal swipe was an option before.
Responses like Scott Abuso’s, FCRH ’16, on the petition, which states he signed “In defiance of Sodexo tyranny,” and then continued on to paraphrase Braveheart, might lead one to believe that this issue should not be taken seriously, but it should be and has been. Even the hyperbolic responses on the petition show there are plenty of people who want the five chicken strips and fries as a meal swipe again, and many others give very valid reasons as to why it should return.
The Grille has recently brought fries back onto its menu to accompany wraps, three chicken strips and hamburger meal swipes due to popular demand, but the five piece and fries remains absent. Fordham should continue listening to students and bring back the meal swipe because, as Christina Costello states, “Chicken strips are freedom.”
Anthony Pucik, FCRH ’16, is a communication and media studies major from Brooklyn.