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OP-ED: The Ability to Have Guac at Penn

Tortas Frontera Opening with Rick Bayless

It’s 5:00 pm after my three hour chemistry lab. In years past, this was the best time of the evening. I would run over from the Chem building to Frontera, get in line, and ask for my favorite—fully dressed guacamole and chips. This is my one release. It’s my 30 minutes of pretending I don't have any homework to do afterwards or meetings to attend later that night. It’s my 30 minutes when my best friends and I can get together before we head to Van Pelt and study the night away. Ask any alumnus what their favorite Penn food is: 9 out of 10 will not say something from Chipotle, but rather Frontera’s guac.

Today, though, I walked in and asked for my usual order. “Sorry, we're out of guac,” said the cashier. This was not the first time. This has happened to several of my friends, as well. Instead of funding activities like Wharton career fairs, we need to focus our funding on Frontera. They are always out of guac. This is a problem that gets swept under a rug of issues that the university just does not want to mention, but keep in a little box labeled “problems that don’t really apply to us.” It seems as if our cries for a normal amount of guacamole go unheard.

With Penn’s competitive culture, guacamole is the one safe haven I have. I save up my dining dollars weekly just so I can spend it on the guac. Sometimes, I splurge and buy the fully dressed guac. Other times, I keep it simple. The school’s main focuses should be making sure that its students are happy, healthy, and thriving at Penn (TAP). However, with no guac, there is no school. Penn is taking away things that, for the most part, are our only options to get away from the academic and financial pressures on campus.

I respect Penn. I do not respect how underfunded Frontera’s guac budget is. So, here I am at 5:00 pm after my three hour chemistry lab, writing a letter to a prestigious administration that is supposed to support my obsession for guacamole. I ask of you something simple and something feasible: give me back my guac.