25 Percent of Students Eat at Franklin's Table. Penn Should Cover Costs.

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Photo by Christina Piasecki / Daily Pennsylvanian 

The lovingly home cooked meals I carry with me down Locust walk always feel tragically floppy whenever I see someone stride past me with a take-out bag from Goldie. It’s silly, I know. My parents put hours of work into prepping enough meals to last me the first few weeks of school, and I’ve happily eaten this stuff since childhood. But still, sometimes it's hard to escape the glaring realities of inequality at Penn.

I never realized I wanted Franklin's Table so badly. I didn’t even realize how big a deal it was until I saw everyone else carrying those tenderly mass-produced DK bento boxes around campus. Yet, here I was, a vulnerable freshman with a near carnal desire to fit in. Where was I supposed to go for lunch — Houston?

Good god.

For tens of thousands of Penn freshmen like me, this reality is all too real. We are cut off from the fount of the West’s culinary heritage not by choice, but by financial necessity. Penn somehow expects us to be happy, healthy students on a diet of Frontera, dining halls, or even, of all things, home cooking. 

But freshmen like me know that Franklin's Table is the only real source of meaningful sustenance on campus. Yet somehow we’re expected to pay extra for the luxury of fresh, artisanal, organic ingredients?

If this is what Penn calls “inclusion”, count me out.

My lifestyle deserves to be subsidized. Sure, tuition’s pretty high and all, but I think it’s pretty reasonable to demand that Penn cover all Franklin's Table bills from now on. 

Better than subsidizing parties and underage drinking, at least.

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