Student Organizations: Food Review


Harvard student organizations entice students with offers of free food at their meetings. Unfortunately, meetings tend to be scheduled for the same evening, and sometimes the specifics of the food offer ings can be rather vague. What exactly does ‘non-pizza’ dinner mean?

Miscommunication and missed opportunities become rampant. I would like to briefly discuss some of the dinners that I have had at various organizations’ meetings. While this article is composed entirely of personal, first-hand experiences, my memory may be inaccurate. I hope that my efforts here will also encourage student organizations to improve their culinary offerings.

In no particular order:

Harvard Law and Health Care Society (Sept 20)

I was overwhelmed by the high quality of the pizza, which ranged from BBQ chicken to Hawaiian. The boxes were delivered right as we arrived, providing the taste of freshly baked crusts. While it may be ironic for a “health care” society to serve fatty pizza, I am not complaining.

Women’s Law Association (Sept 27)

I was rather disappointed with the WLA fare. They only served cold snacks; the crackers, cookies, and vegetables were tasty but unfulfilling. However, the WLA apparently served awesome desserts at their Big Sis / Little Sis meeting, so I expect great things for the future.

Federalist Society (Sept 27)

After leaving the WLA, I attended the Federalist Society meeting: good pizza, plentiful drinks, not too crowded, all under a banner of James Madison. The atmosphere was very uplifting and friendly, except for too many people wearing suits (on their way to firm events, I suppose).

American Constitutional Society (Sept 20)

I attended the ACS meeting to elect the 1L board members. While the Federalist Society and ACS may be ideologically far apart, they are very close culinarily. ACS also served pretty good pizza, and if I were a centrist, I would be hard-pressed to choose between the two societies.

Harvard Asia Law Society (Sept 14)

HALS advertised Indian food, and they delivered — chicken tikka masala, samosas, spinach, and so on. While I am glad to see HALS embrace all aspects of Asia, I was confused by the initial absence of rice on the menu. Fortunately, the rice came eventually, as well as a lot of extra dishes to prevent the food from running out.

HL Central (Sept 28)

The first HL Central meeting was very good, and from the previous descriptions, it is easy to see why the organization is so proud of its “no pizza” policy. The Sept 28 meeting likewise served fantastic food — chicken tikka masala, chicken curry, vegetable fritters, samosas, etc. However, an extremely unfortunate oversight occurred – someone forgot the drinks!

Jewish Law Students Association (Sept 28)

I satisfied my need for liquid sustenance with a trip to the JLSA Ice Cream event, for the per capita two scoops of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or in my case, frozen yogurt. I learned long ago the importance of going to ice cream events early, for otherwise the stuff will melt too soon. Did you know that Ben’s last name is Cohen? Me neither.

ACLU (Oct 3)

This brand new Harvard organization served turkey wraps, small croissant sandwiches, salad, and bottled water. It would have ben nice to have had a choice of other drinks. I greatly enjoyed the dinner entertainment, an ACLU movie on the Patriot Act.

Real Estate Association (Sept 20)

I had two good helpings of Papa John’s pizza. This Harvard-wide association then had a strange undergraduate speaker who made us all raise our right arm forward in a Naziesque position, and made some politically incorrect comments about cheap real estate in submerged New Orleans.

Canadian Law Society (Sept 30)

I stumbled upon a CLS BBQ after walking out of my dorm. Pretending to be from Hamilton, Ontario, I was served a very American-looking cheeseburger, with American cheese. The Moosehead Lager and other beers did add a nice touch of Canadianness.

Journal of Law and Technology (Sept 19)

JOLT is supposed to be wealthy, and it certainly spent a lot at the Cambridge Common happy hour. The flow of food — chicken wings, nachos, sweet potato chips – and alcohol was nonstop. The conversation was delightfully non-technical, and perhaps oddly enough, the visible JOLT leadership seems all female.

I hope to explore, in a later installment, numerous other student organizations not currently listed. My sources tell me that BLSA serves good food, ranging from Thai to Southern to Mexican, but unfortunately I have not attended any of their events after the initial BBQ. However, I am always delighted to accept invitations.

Libin Zhang is a 1L with an extensive email filter. He is a section representative for HL Central and the Women’s Law Association.

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