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Princeton students rush to class with seconds to spare, finish papers in the darkest hours of the night, and cram last-minute for exams. And with these Ivy League habits comes an addiction: coffee. College students, including myself, come to rely on it.

But to get one cup of coffee, the University requires students to swipe into a dining hall, charging them up to $18.00 for one cup of coffee. The University shouldn’t be doing this. Coffee should be free.

We love coffee for different reasons. Personally, I like its taste; the caffeine is simply a bonus. Reading, writing, studying, and even talking are better over a cup of coffee. But making students use a swipe for coffee is ridiculous. Students on block meal plans, with limited numbers of swipes, are hit the hardest. Meanwhile, independent students may either lack the money for coffee or the free time to make it.

The solution is simple. Instead of having coffee cups and machines just inside the dining hall, they would be outside of it as well, perhaps in the common room at Rocky or in J Street at Wilson. Students who want coffee would either bring their own cups or use the ones the dining hall provides. The cost of coffee and cup-washing will be negligible compared to the cost of actual food.

Coffee with a friend — or a professor — is a great way to have a meeting, and charging the price of a meal is ludicrous. By providing courtesy coffee, the dining halls wouldn’t be losing money. It’s a common sense change that would only have positive effects.

Mason Cox is a freshman from Albany, Ore. He can be reached at mwcox@princeton.edu.

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