The new “Student Center” is here, and the cafeteria is fully operational. At first look, it is reminiscent of the Epcot Center at Walt Disney World. Even though I am a junior at Temple, I was quite overwhelmed during my first visit. And despite the fact that I must walk through the monstrosity every day, I refuse to eat there.
The enormous amount of money it must have cost (14.2 million dollars) worries me. Half of this figure came from housing money. Which means WE paid for it.
There are already plenty of places to eat — on and near campus. What will happen to the trusty vendors? They’ll more than likely be forced to close up shop. Frankly, I don’t want that to happen, I like the carts (for the most part).
In 1999, before construction on the Death Star began, students spent 2.7 million dollars in the cafeterias run by Sodexho-Marriot, according to eyeonsodexho.com.
Now, if you take into consideration that the new cafeteria is larger than the one in Johnson & Hardwick, and the fact that there are now more students at Temple now than there were in 1999, you can at least double that figure. On-campus vendors will not be able to compete with the crippling power of the Death Star.
This, in and of itself, is enough reason not to eat at the new cafeteria. But you must also take into account that Sodexho-Marriot is the largest institutional shareholder in the Corrections Corporation of America, which makes all of its money by running prisons. Prisons in 20 states, 29 municipalities and Puerto Rico, according to their Web site. What all of this means is that when the CCA makes money, Sodexho-Marriot makes money.
That is why I refuse to eat in the Death Star. It is also why you should not eat there. When a person is incarcerated in a CCA prison, Sodexho-Marriot makes money lots of it.
Privatized prisons have only begun to rear their ugly heads around the world. If a private company can do it cheaper than the state can, you better believe that governments across the planet will begin to contract more and more corporate prisons.
Call me a liberal schmuck, but I couldn’t live with myself if I supported that. Perhaps I am being too critical. But as for now, I am not setting foot inside the cafeteria, I can only hope others will take my lead. I just won’t give up my principles for some brick oven pizza.