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Penn Diarrhea Club Protests Closure of Local Taco Bell


Photo (with edits) from Pixabay / CC0

The announcement that the Taco Bell near Penn, along with other restaurants in the same food court, will close for good by the end of June came as a shock for many members of the Penn community. Students lamented the departure, wondering where else they might be able to find traditional and authentic Mexican staples, such as the Crunchwrap Supreme®.

One group, in particular, was vocally opposed to Taco Bell's closure.

The Penn Diarrhea Club, an SAC-funded club dedicated to the appreciation and practice of diarrhea, will be hit particularly hard the departure of Taco Bell. Located inside the CVS food court, the Taco Bell has long been a gathering point for die-hard diarrhea-heads in the area. Now, they'll have to go elsewhere.

Lucas Kassamin, a rising junior in the College and the president of the Penn Diarrhea Club, told us that Taco Bell's closure is "a slap in the face to the community." 

"It just shows that Penn [which owns the property currently occupied by the food court] doesn't care about our club and its needs," Kassamin continued. "The administration wouldn't dare close Hillel; it's an important space for the practice of religion, communal dining, and the Jewish community at Penn. For the Diarrhea Club, Taco Bell is our space."

The group's official twitter page released a statement decrying the departure of Taco Bell and inviting others to join them in protest this afternoon.

The protest occurred at noon today, as planned, but ended in a matter of minutes when all members of the club had to use the bathroom, and left the event to do so.

During the brief protest, we talked to one rising Sophomore in the club, Emilia Ossendas. She told us that while Taco Bell is a great place for the Penn Diarrhea Club, its departure is made especially painful by the fact that there aren't many other affordable, tasty, diarrhea-inducing options in the area.

"Taco Bell is cheap, fast, delicious, close to campus, and really cleans out your bowels in a fiery, explosive way. It's hard to replicate that experience. We can go to Commons, I guess, but it won't be the same."

At the time of the article's publication, the Penn Diarrhea Club was trying to get students to sign a petition to save Taco Bell. Strangers, they noted, seem unwilling to sign anything with "Diarrhea" written at the top.