We’ve all been there before. In between classes, walking around, trying to figure out the next move. However, there’s little to no money in the wallet and eating at restaurants or places such as Wawa, Starbucks and 7/11 are out of the question. The end result? The food trucks.
Yes, those iconic food trucks that are seen quite literally everywhere on campus, with a variety of cuisines that are so accessible, it can make the average person’s mouth foam like a rabid dog’s.
But this is all in the eyes of students. To people such as members of Drexel administration, they are a symbol of resistance and a damper on “public safety and related traffic conditions.” And, as a result, on Dec. 12, a law was proposed by the City Council of Philadelphia, with support from Drexel, that would have shut down every food truck on the 3300 Market Street block.
Soon after the proposal, students mobilized and created an online petition to save the classic quick-bite spots. The petition gained traction fast with over 7,300 signatures. Food trucks are a staple on campus, and the possibility of them being taken away sparked outrage throughout the campus neighborhood.
The food trucks mean a lot to the students. More than being part of the flurry of color and smells that make up our walks around campus, they provide a variety of cheap food options that are fairly hard to come by in the city. Most food trucks offer a substantial amount of food close to campus at a higher quality and cheaper price than it’s available elsewhere, if it is at all.
Around these parts, school spirit is hard to come by. It’s obvious that we lack the unique campus feeling that other schools have the privilege of naturally having. In an eternal drought of Drexel culture, food trucks give us a drop of life.
On top of that, food trucks are how small businesses have managed to remain and thrive in the university space. It’s no secret that Drexel is a force of gentrification in West Philly and has had a storied history of either directly or indirectly forcing small businesses out of their locations and often out of business. Food trucks have allowed small, family-owned businesses to continue to exist and allow the owners of those businesses to build connections with students.
Luckily, Mayor Jim Kenney used his veto power and saved the food trucks. However, it is safe to say this will not be the last time Drexel will try to rid student institutions of them in the name of safety and traffic. Only time will tell how this saga will continue.