Apparently Urban Planning graduate students are a feisty bunch. According to Murph, after University Party member and MSA’s Architecture and Urban Planning representative Tristan deBarros sent an email to all the urban planning students asking them to email all the student government representatives in support of a resolution that would seek to install a Taco Bell in Pierpont Commons, “Now, he, the MSA e-mail list, and the UP students list are all getting bombarded as every single UP student weighs in on why inviting Taco Bell is such a bad idea.” Hopefully Mr. deBarros was reading the responses, since there’s plenty of great reasons not to support a Taco Bell.
Of course, the whole process was made possible by the nature of Pierpont: there’s only a few spaces available for food vendors. If the University constructs a “street,” as suggested by planning professors and students in their “North Campus Redux” report (overview) there might actually be space for more than one restaurant, or the rents might be reasonable enough so that a small business could compete with a gigantic corporation, which can cut costs so much they can theoretically make profits serving fewer customers than a local business. Yes, the market exists, but no, it doesn’t always perfectly reflect what people “want.”