Pizza for your thoughts

By Natalia Achucarro

A free slice of pizza? Just to answer a question? Sounds too good to be true! But fourth-year finance student Axl Dang made it possible with his creation of The Pizza Chronicles.

The Pizza Chronicles is a project Dang created that is designed to give away free slices of pizza to Cal Poly Pomona students who are willing to answer a question. Dang walks around campus with boxes of Little Caesars pizza, and randomly chooses a question out of a pre-made list of about 50 to ask students.

The entire concept was created based on a nightmare Dang had. He used his bad dream as a way to bring his ideas to life.

“I had a nightmare that inspired all this,” said Dang. “Everybody was looking down at their phones at the grocery store and nobody was looking up. I wanted people to start connecting and reconnecting with human beings. So I started thinking, ‘How can I come up with an idea that is similar to this but with my own spin?’ At the time I was thinking about all this, I was eating pizza. So I thought, what if I give out free pizza and ask people silly questions, regarding what’s your favorite Pokemon to really in-depth questions like what love means to them.”

Dang set this plan in motion during fall 2013. He purchases the pizzas with income from working two jobs. Dang typically chooses one pepperoni and one cheese pizza so both meat eaters and non-meat eaters can participate and enjoy the free food.

Dang’s ultimate goal is to show students that they are all connected and go through similar life experiences.

“My ultimate goal is to have someone go onto the Facebook page and see someone else’s really embarrassing moment,” said Dang. “It can cheer them up and show them how they can relate together.

“I want people to feel that we are all connected. It’s funny, because the way I can make people feel connected is through the power of pizza.”

The Facebook page currently has over 200 likes and is a social hub where students can browse the pictures of people who participated. Above the images are the questions and answers that subjects answered to earn their free meal.

The name was altered from Cal Poly Pizza Chronicles to just The Pizza Chronicles in order to expand the concept to other college campuses.

“Originally, it was called Cal Poly Pizza Chronicles and I wanted it to be ‘The Pizza Chronicles’ because I didn’t want it to be just solely based at Cal Poly,” said Dang. “So, next quarter I am going to start going to different colleges and different campuses like UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, UCLA and USC, and start to do it up there.”

The main idea that Dang wishes students to take away from the project is that everyone is connected to each other and to always follow through with your ideas.

“Students should just know that you’re not alone in this world,” said Dang. “That’s the point of this. It is to show connectivity through human beings, and not take life too seriously. And lastly, if you have any thought, idea or action that you want to do, just do it. Don’t think of the reasons why not; think of the reasons to do it. If you can think of at least one reason to do it, jump on it and do it.”

Daniela D’Ella, a fourth-year graphic design student, was a participant of The Pizza Chronicles and enjoyed the experience of free food for a story.

“Axl was really cool, so the experience was fun and made my night a little more exciting,” said D’Ella. “I think it’s a cool way to meet someone and hear a little about them over some good food.”

She had already known Dang prior to the encounter, so she didn’t hesitate to take a slice of pizza from him.

“I had seen Axl around before, so it didn’t feel as weird like it would have if it had been a stranger,” said D’Ella. “I chose to cooperate because I was going to be working most of the night and was already starving, so I was down to answer some questions for free pizza.”

Other students who follow the Facebook page are extremely eager about the free pizza as well.

One Facebook comment on The Pizza Chronicles page said, “When, who, how, what [and] where do I get free pizza. This is a huge deal.”

Another posted a comment on the Facebook page, supporting the man behind the project.

“This is such a legit program, big shout-out to Axl!!!” said a user.

Students interested in The Pizza Chronicles can visit the project’s Facebook page.

The Pizza Chronicles

Racieli Andrada / The Poly Post

The Pizza Chronicles

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