I want Wawa! I cannot tell you how many times during the school week that those three words go through my head. Temple is without a Wawa on or even near campus, and for those of us used to the joy of the touch-screen hoagie and the tasty, cheap coffee, this is a tragedy. Not only is it inconvenient for the Wawa-lovers (of which, I assure you, there are many), but it also does not make sense. As a Philadelphia school, we should have Wawa, a company that is area-based and has been operating here for over a century, over 7-Eleven, a Texas-based company that has gone international.
Wawa has an area history. The Wawa Dairy Company was founded in 1902 in Wawa, Pa., and still operates from this location. Wawa contributes to the community, giving to AIDS and cancer research, and assisting in non-profit fundraising. Even the name Wawa has a local history – it is the word for the Canada goose in the language of the Lenni Lenape, a Native American tribe that once lived in this area.
7-Eleven did not come into existence until a quarter of a century after the Wawa Dairy Company was founded, and it started in Texas. And 7-Eleven has recently gone international. We now have the pleasure of eating stale 7-Eleven pretzels in Japan. 7-Eleven’s Web site also makes no mention of any sort of charitable contributions or programs to give back to the community. We have got a winner.
Besides location, the other obvious reason Temple should have Wawa is that Wawa’s food is of a much better quality. I look at the hot dogs on the horizontal turn-style at 7-Eleven and my stomach churns. You cannot beat a Wawa hoagie and you can have it made any way your heart desires. And oh, the coffee. I do not normally enjoy coffee, but I salivate at the mention of Wawa’s brew. 7-Eleven is substandard in all of these categories. Even their slushies are worse, and it is pretty difficult to mess up a slushie.
Now, I was the first person to assume that Temple students are forced to live without Wawa because the Temple administration cut a deal with 7-Eleven. The Marx of my Intellectual Heritage class is getting to me, so I was prepared to blame the bourgeoisie. I was wrong.
Richard Rumer, the Associate Vice President for Business Services, said that the Campus Walk Partners, who lease the buildings on Liacouras Walk, offered the 7-Eleven space to Wawa first around five years ago, and Wawa refused them! So the question is not why Temple will not allow us to have Wawa, but rather why Wawa does not want our business.
There are 7-Elevens all across the country and the world. If I had chosen to go to college in Michigan, it would make sense that I be stuck with 7-Eleven, because Wawa simply does not exist there. Pennsylvania is one of the five states where Wawa is located, so logically, Temple should have Wawa. But apparently, we could be in Michigan for all Wawa cares. They want nothing to do with us.
Temple students desire the superior product that Wawa provides, yet we get 7-Eleven by default. The Campus Walk Partners tried to support a local company, but their path was blocked – by the company itself! The Temple administration wants Wawa, and the Temple students want Wawa. My question is: Wawa, why don’t you want us?
Emile Haertsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.