By Bill Dewahl, Staff “Writer”
For years, the Lower Kimball chalupa combo has been a staple of the Holy Cross dining experience. In exchange for one of their eight weekly Lower meal swipes, students could indulge their palate with a meal unrivaled at any other campus dining location: a beef or chicken chalupa, handcrafted by Kimball’s finest chalupa artisan, Ivana; a bag of warm, freshly baked tortilla chips, often complimented by house-made pico de gallo; and a drink of the student’s choice, be it canned or fountain. This meal was always the perfect lunchtime companion for relaxing and enjoying an episode or two of “Family Feud” on the televisions in Lower.
The future viability of this iconic feature of Holy Cross has been placed in peril by recent actions taken by President Donald J. Trump. In response to President Trump’s proposed 20% tariff on imported Mexican goods, Holy Cross Dining announced it would no longer be offering the chalupa combo for a meal swipe. Instead, students will now have to purchase chalupas with dining dollars, cutting into the funds they can spend at other campus locations, like Cool Beans and Crossroads.
According to Linda Nardella, the Director of Holy Cross Dining Services, “the expected tariffs that are being brought on by President Trump’s proposal have simply made the current meal swipe arrangement unfeasible due to the rising cost of chalupa ingredients.” She continued, “While it is regrettable to come between the students and one of their favorite meals, it is a financial reality we will all need to accept.”
Many Holy Cross students have reacted angrily to this decision. This past week, dozens of students showed up for a pro-chalupa demonstration outside Kimball, many holding signs that read “Not My Meal Plan.” Demonstration organizer Bryan Wood, a junior and scratch disc-golfer, opined, “We don’t care what they have to do or which president they have to impeach. Trump. Boroughs. They’re all fascists. All I know is that we, the students, demand the chalupa meal swipe.”
Some students, however, are in favor of the change. Jillian Corns, a junior sociology major, claimed, “It was about time our majority white school, in the year 2017, finally stopped appropriating Latinx cuisine. It was racist, ignorant, bigoted, and indicative of the student body’s privilege.”
On the other end of the political spectrum, Gerald FitzBenjamin, a sophomore and local opossum beautician, lauded the meal plan change for “giving business back to the American food in Lower Kimball, like the grill and microwave pizza stations.” When informed that burgers were also being transitioned from swipes to dining dollars, Mr. FitzBenjamin obstinately replied, “Wrong! This dining change is going to make Lower great again.”
This early into the chalupa drought, it is hard to predict what may be next for this classic meal option. Only time will tell how the Trump and Boroughs administrations will interact regarding what will likely go down as the Great Chalupa Fiasco of 2017.
Photograph Credits: Comfort Food