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Killer Cola?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

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Written by Bob Przybyla

This past year University of Guelph students voted voted to instruct the University administration not to renew its contract with Coca-Cola and sign a new contract "in accordance with the University's Ethical Purchasing Policy." As of August, the Coke machines remain. A University is a place that is supposed to operate to a higher ethical code in order to send graduates out with those ethics ingrained into them. Regardless of Coca-Cola's devastating ethical record, the university needs to address a second ethical concern that was not addressed by the referendum question.

As time goes by, more and more research is published that provides evidence linking soft-drink consumption to more and more maladies. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke are all being linked with greater evidence to the imbibing of soft-drinks. At the University of Guelph, there are a myriad of soft-drink machines be it in Centre Six, the library or the residences. All of these machines provide easy access to those bubbly drinks. This easy access lends itself to creating habits in students that can follow them for the rest of their lives.

In my first year, I lived in South Residence, in Mountain. My room was about 15 feet from the Coca-Cola machine. I came to university with a caffeine addiction that blossomed in that year. If I did not drink enough Coke I had headaches, I was irritable and regardless I could not sleep. Now, the machine or the university did not make me drink cola to excess, ultimate responsibility lies with me and my poor impulse control. However, especially for those living on campus with meal plans, there is no barrier to over-consumption. With a meal card you simply swipe and you get a fix. It doesn't even feel like you're spending money.

It is wrong to try and control people into making the right choice. That is why smoking cannot be banned out-right. You can't stop someone from damaging themselves. The question is, is it right to simply provide unfettered access to things that are damaging? With cigarettes there is a minimum age requirement for buying them, the places that one can smoke are restricted, and taxes are placed upon them to make them less economical in order to discourage the act. Shouldn't the university be standing up to the same ethical code when it comes to soft drinks? Shouldn't there be some barriers to this destructive and addicting (in the case of caffeinated soft-drinks) behavior? Or is this solely the responsibility of the students, especially those living on campus, to ignore the path of least resistance?

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  1. Posted by: rachel on Aug 10, 2007 @ 1:53pm

    Good writing! I agree wholeheartedly.

  2. Posted by: Joseph on Aug 10, 2007 @ 3:46pm

    Sounds like a bit of a slippery slope. Claiming Coke shouldn’t be on campus because of its “destructive” and “addict[ive]” behaviour seems absurd to me. Soft-drink machines are banned in public schools because it’s felt students at that age cannot make healthy decisions. Students who are at university, living alone or commuting, are adults and I believe the ‘ball in their court’ to make the right decision. If the CSA, and student body, is so concerned about unhealthy beverage decisions perhaps they should concentrate more on education than downright banning Coke on campus. Now back to my slippery slope comment about Coke and its “addictive” qualities..the question is “where do we stop?” Coffee in the library? Facebook quite addictive too. Oh, and don’t get me started on those Sudoku puzzles! Now, the latter two might affect my studying, but as an adult I’m able to make a balanced decision between studying and downtime.

    Continuing to pursue the fight against Coke because of questionable ethical practices is just fine by me. Pulling this new argument into the mix is showing a loss of focus. Stick with the original argument and don’t think you can make decisions for students by creating barriers.

  3. Posted by: John L on Aug 10, 2007 @ 5:44pm

    Joseph

    I agree. Students at a university should be considered capable of making decisions as to whether or not they'll purchase an item. I'd also comment that there are various other groups on campus who may like the option of purchasing or not purchasing coke, or anything else, without having the CSA make the decision for them. The U of G is populated by adults; let's act accordingly.

  4. Posted by: Dave on Aug 10, 2007 @ 6:45pm

    I am also not convinced of the CSA's argument that Coke should not be on campus. I am an adult, and frankly I like to make my decisions using my wallet. Don't make consumer choices for me.

  5. Posted by: destructo on Aug 10, 2007 @ 10:37pm

    Personally, i drink more pop than i know i should; i don't think we should get rid of it on campus. i think we should switch to pc pop or something else... my issues with Coke have more to do with ethical concerns. and the cost! it's jacked up on campus!

    dave, your consumer choices HAVE been made for you if Coke has an exclusive on-campus contract... right? there's no diversity in the market there.

  6. Posted by: Brian on Aug 11, 2007 @ 1:21pm

    "It is wrong to try and control people into making the right choice"

    Then later:
    "Shouldn't the university be standing up to the same ethical code when it comes to soft drinks? Shouldn't there be some barriers to this destructive and addicting (in the case of caffeinated soft-drinks) behavior?"

    I'm sorry that I do not understand the argument that you are trying to put forward. Would you like Coke removed or not? If you believe that the "killer cola" is wrong for the university then say it. This is way too many quotation marks but I just don't understand why I just had to read about your first year of university and your self control issues. We all know that excess sugar (soft drinks) isn't the best thing for you. I think that Joseph hit the bull's eye though, education is the key. Isn't that why we are in university?

  7. Posted by: Brad on Aug 11, 2007 @ 8:26pm

    Destructo;

    The consumer choices have not been made for anyone, unless they believe that the university is the entire universe, and even then, the bullring and the 2nd floor UC vending machines have an option besides Coke. You can easily waltz down to No Frills, or Ultra, and grab yourself a random-number-pack of whatever floats your boat, or fall back on the ever-so-popular water, which is even better for you! ^^

    Bob;

    This argument was not based on the fact that soft drinks are bad for you... If it was, the bullring and all of the CSA-operated vending machines would not serve pop, or energy drinks. We voted to *change* the coke contract to a different supplier (like Pepsi, for example), because people want/need their daily soft drink fix.

  8. Posted by: Joseph on Aug 12, 2007 @ 2:37pm

    I think a poorly structured article is creating a lot of confusion. The author seems to contradict himself throughout or at least demonstrates an inability to drive one point home. Brian highlighted exactly what I’m referring to.

    I’m still trying to get my head around this one though. The CSA’s referendum question proposed we switch beverage suppliers, not once was it ever brought to student’s attention that an underlying motive to this constant fight against Coke was because of health. While I respect the CSA’s ability to provide me health and dental coverage, coordinate a bus pass, and even supply those ad-packed daytimers I do not, repeat do not, need my student government coordinating/controlling my dieting decisions.

    Again, as I said before, go ahead and fight Coke because of all the evils they have put on this world and in India (news flash, Pepsi has been slapped with similar allegations in the past too) but don’t try and strengthen your argument to remove Coke on campus because it’s bad for my health.

  9. Posted by: Rishi on Aug 12, 2007 @ 6:52pm

    I was talking to an engineering student about this once. He told me that at a University in B.C. the engineering students had designed a new building for the school. This building was not allowed to have water fountains because of the school's contract with Coke.

  10. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 12, 2007 @ 10:46pm

    Did they cut off the water taps in the washroom too? What about the toilets, do they now flush Coca Cola instead of water? Yes, we all know Coke creates exclusivity contracts with campuses, some stricter than others. This still doesn't force students to drink Coke, they can use a tap to fill their water bottles if they’re so inclined.

    There's a lot about economics that is inherently flawed, but there's one thing about it that I know is true: "consumer demand determines supply". Coke wouldn't be on campus if students didn't "demand" the stuff in the beginning. Even if an exclusivity contract was somehow amended to allow other suppliers on campus, say Pepsi and PC, do you really think there is going to be any significant change in consumption patterns? Chances are no.

  11. Posted by: j on Aug 13, 2007 @ 8:59am

    The question was hardly unbiased, I remember that ballot.

    "Coke has done x and y atrocities around the world, killing lots of people.

    Oh, do you still want to keep coke on campus and fund the death machine?"

    Exaggerated, yeah, but that was the gist of it.

  12. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 13, 2007 @ 11:10am

    Settle down now…
    I think you read my statement wrong which read: “There's a lot about economics that is inherently flawed, but there's one thing about it that I know is true: "consumer demand determines supply". Coke wouldn't be on campus if students didn't "demand" the stuff in the beginning.” Please note I wrote “…in the beginning.” I’m fully aware that students voted to remove Coke on campus, I actually voted in favour of it too, to see how far the CSA could take it, which unfortunately I see most efforts will be flooded with red tape. But you cannot deny the fact that Coke was only allowed onto campus and has thrived on campus because students purchase the stuff at their free will…in the beginning and still do.

    Be careful when you make statements like “the majority of students on this campus want ethical products not made in sweatshops” and don’t back it up with any numbers. “Majority” is a bit vague. Do you mean the majority of students on SAS who run the campaigns? The majority who are involved with the CSA? I can see you’re passionate about the anti-Coke campaign which I think is honourable since so many students sit back and allow things to happen around them.

  13. Posted by: j on Aug 13, 2007 @ 11:35am

    Also, the majority of students voting to get rid of the Coke contract is just flagrantly wrong.

    If I remember correctly, the last election barely made quorum. So assuming 16,000 students, around 1600 (10%) voted. Even if all of them voted 100% to get rid of the contract (which they didn't), 10% does not make a majority.

    It's a shame that more people couldn't take the time to vote, but saying the majority of students voted to cut the contract is a flat out lie.

  14. Posted by: Steve on Aug 14, 2007 @ 9:52am

    I agree with Jonathon. When are you hippies going to realize that all the industries that you attack are funding the education that you recieve. Or do you honestly believe that your education only costs what you pay in tuition? Poor deluded souls...

  15. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 14, 2007 @ 12:04pm

    Steve:
    I still do think it is important to challenge these industries that, in a roundabout way I suppose, do fund our education through corporate taxes. It would be passive and almost irresponsible as citizens to just sit back and allow all organizations to operate at their free will, regardless if they pay into the tax system. Just because they pay taxes doesn't mean they are exempt from being socially, environmentally, and economically responsible. How about look at it this way, as citizens we pay taxes but are still bound to the law and required to act socially and environmentally responsible in society.

    I do question why Coke receives the blunt end of this build up rage against anything and everything “corporate” and “institutionalized.”

  16. Posted by: Nicolen on Aug 14, 2007 @ 3:23pm

    First of all, I am not a hippie. I am a microbiology student. I am not niave or stupid, I've done a lot of research on this and, because I have a conscience and care about other people besides myself in this world, that's why I am supporting the campaign. I think that anyone, regardless of political affilitation, should care when their actions (directly or indirectly) are causing another person pain, starvation, disease or death. But maybe that's just me.

    Second of all, student elections are absolutely THE MOST LEGITIMATE way of measuring student opinion. The fact that over 3000 students voted (the majority of all voting students) to end the Coke contract is a lot more persuasive than a few loud "anonymous"people who post over and over again on thecannon.ca. Seriously. The fact that you write students aren't interested in these issues doesn't make it true. Although I do find it kind of humorous that you pretend it does, over and over and over again.

  17. Posted by: Steve on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:02pm

    Nicole:

    Alas you have hit the nail on the head. The reason why coke gets targeted is because they're on campus, and hippies have this overwhelming desire to feel as though they can make a difference within their sphere of influence. I suggest a daily exercise. Stand up.. put your arms out to either side... rotate in place. This is your sphere of influence. No one outside of it cares about your issues.

    If pepsi was here you wouldn't like it either. It was been pointed out that they are also not liked. Who's next.. Jones soda? that tastes awful? besides.. i'm sure they've fired someone for toking up at some point, so they're also likly an enemy of the hippy nation as well. So, you'd be unhappy with any choice that's made is essentially what i'm communicating. So what do you want the administration to do? why do you waste time, energy, and natural resources communicating your dislike of Coca-Cola? And believe me.. the number of printed copies of the Ontario that i have paid for are definately a waste of all three. (with the exception of the one time that the engineering building ran out of bathroom tissue)

  18. Posted by: j on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:09pm

    Ok... 3000 students. 18% instead of 10%. Still not a majority.

    In any case, ok, say the Coke contract goes. What do you replace it with? It's been made clear that Pepsi has similar allegations on its collective head and ethically, you're looking at the same issues.

    Pepsi and Coke are the two big options... sure there are smaller, less known suppliers. But good luck getting students to buy those drinks.

  19. Posted by: j on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:11pm

    Though.. if the CSA could manage to get some kind of cola that used pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup, they could double my tuition and I wouldn't complain.

    Like Jones, sorry Steve, but it's good :p

  20. Posted by: j on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:23pm

    Well, that's not so bad then. As long as the choice is there.

    Seriously though, I really would like to see some kind of real, cane sugar drinks offered on campus. Jones, Boylan, etc. It's a bit healthier for you than Coke/Pepsi/RC/whatever and tastes divine. So hard to come across though.

  21. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:24pm

    Jonathan, check your facts, the university does not subsidize tuition based on messily
    profits it would receive from Coke vending machines and at different locations around
    campus. That would be Hospitality Services that supplies Coke that is separate from the university and tuition.

    Steve, it seems like you’re out to track down and hunt hippies with a shot-gun of conservative anger

  22. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:41pm

    I'm happy you mentioned what happened at NYU Nicole. I think that would be a very viable solution on campus and one to negotiate with Coke. Seems difficult to achieve, but it would set a strong precedence.

    Look, I’m opposed to unethical business, human rights, and environmental practices as much as the next guy or girl. But the solution to dealing with Coke on campus is not eliminating it from campus altogether based on what the “majority” of students voted on in the last CSA election.

    Removing Coke from campus will just piss off students. We do have to keep in mind there are students that might be more interested in opening a fresh cold Coke instead of researching allegations against the brand. We need to find a balance between pleasing these students who pay just as much student fees and tuition as the student who would rather be out protesting Coke than drinking it.

    To the best of my knowledge the Bullring, the Daily Grind, and some vending machines already offer alternatives to Coke. I know the Bullring is the CSA, but I wonder how the Daily Grind was able to negotiate the ability to offer more than just Coke products.

  23. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    Jonathan, they would have to take on debt one year and recover the next year. The university administration does not bail them out.

    It sounds like you're falling into a trap so many lefties fall into thinking the university has some kind of unlimited budget to pay high union salaries, upgrade everything on campus in one go, and lower tuition..all at once mind you. It reminds me of when I was a kid thinking my parents bank accounts, although much larger than mine at the time, was limitless.

  24. Posted by: Steve on Aug 14, 2007 @ 4:53pm

    So.. Coke is evil.. and you will spend much time, money, paper that i am forced to pay for. But you refuse to purchase a less evil beverage when you do your groceries, and instead rely on hopitality services to supply you. I can therefore see how this matter is in fact dear to your hearts. Face it... half of the "issues" on campus are raised by hippies who want to hear the sound of their own voices.

    Also, i like the idea of the geneneric vendo who can supply a diversity of products.

  25. Posted by: Brad on Aug 14, 2007 @ 5:24pm

    As far as I can remember, The Bullring serves Pepsi, and if they have had similar allegations against them...

  26. Posted by: Mel on Aug 14, 2007 @ 5:37pm

    I realize I'm jumping in a bit late here, but here's some tidbits:

    The university is 100% unable to move from Coke until the contract ends (forgive me, I don't at the moment recall what year that happens in). If the contract is broken early, Coke will undoubtedly take legal action against Hospitality, and possibly the university itself. And guess who ends up having to pay for that?

    Regarding the Fair Trade issue, keep in mind that Tim Horton's does not have a fair trade policy in effect. Since there is a contract with Tim Horton's on campus, it is impossible to go exclusivly Fair Trade.

    In my humble opinion, if you want fair trade, buy it. It is availble on campus in some areas, so buy it instead. Simple solution to what is a far more complicated issue than it first appears.

  27. Posted by: Alex on Aug 14, 2007 @ 6:26pm

    I completely agree with the ethical records of Coca Cola being poor and that the university should consider not resigning the deal. however, based on the second argument... maybe we should ban coffee, fried foods, chocolate bars, or any sweetened beverage with artificial sweetener for fear of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. its a matter of choice so let people make their own decisions and bear the consequences.

  28. Posted by: Daniel on Aug 15, 2007 @ 2:42am

    I know very little about the effects of soft drinks, but I must say that all I have read not only fails to argue, but also fails to illustrate exactly what statement people are trying to make from this vague topic of "Killer Cola". So I'm just interested in a few questions for my own information that might aid in this thread as well. Could informed people answer the following questions with confidence:

    Are 'soft drinks' unhealthy simply because they contain sugar?
    Are all carbonated drinks unhealthy? That is, is it unhealty to drink a carbonated fluid, even say, club soda?
    Is Aspartame unhealthy (which is in both diet coke and coke zero)?
    Are diet coke, diet pepsi or other diet drinks unhealthy because of the aspartame?
    When the term 'soft drink' is used, does it mean all sugar containing carbonated beverages?
    Is there any more distiction to be made?
    Informed answers only please.
    Thanks.

  29. Posted by: Mark on Aug 15, 2007 @ 9:08am

    I completely agree with Jonathon and Steve. The issue here is really the quality of the education that we're getting, and what the CSA is doing for us as students at UofG. Which, lately, has been pretty well nothing. It's all of your own choices to buy a particular drink on campus, whether it be coffee, pop, or water. If you don't like the choices offered, nobody's forcing you to buy it! Bring your own drink of choice from home, don't try to take something that benefits all the students and departments(U of G's concract with Coke) away from us.

  30. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 15, 2007 @ 9:45am

    Daniel:
    "Killer Coke" has, traditionally, referred to allegations against the brand because of unethical business practices mainly in India. The “killer” in the “Killer Coke” campaign has never been paired with the health side effects of Coke before (not to my knowledge that is.)

    Truly, I think it’s something the author of this article, Bob, tossed in without actually researching the Killer Coke campaign.

    To answer your specific question(s) about what is bad in soft drinks, it’s the sugars and calories in regular soft drinks that are bad for you. I’ve read conflicting research on the negative effects of carbonation, some say it is bad for you and some there is no effect.

  31. Posted by: on Aug 15, 2007 @ 10:50am

    Hello - I would like to reiterate that the coke-based referendum question was NOT a CSA question. It was run during the CSA elections yes, but a third-party campus group named "Students Against Sweatshops" presented the question and conducted the campaign.

    While the "killer-coke" campaign began largely in 2003 under the CSA's External Commissioner office, in the past few years it has been other campus groups that have been taking-on this cause - though many individuals affiliated with the CSA have expressed their personal views on the matter, the CSA as a whole has not focussed it's energy on this issue.

    That being said however, in the last referendum, students voted with a 64.44% majority to ending the University of Guelph's exclusivity contract with Coca-Cola. Contrary to "j's" statement, exactly 4780 people responded to this question, representing about 28% of the student body. This is a MAJOR increase over previous election participation. Because the CSA's mandate is to advocate for student interests on-campus, and the Coca-Cola issue has been clearly identified as a student interest, we must now take action.

  32. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 15, 2007 @ 11:36am

    Meaghan,

    I see contradictions:

    You said, “the coke-based referendum question was NOT a CSA question” and further you said “the CSA as a whole has not focussed[sic] it's[sic] energy on this issue” (the issue being coke).

    You conclude by saying, “Because the CSA's mandate is to advocate for student interests on-campus, and the Coca-Cola issue has been clearly identified as a student interest, we must now take action.”

    So, is the CSA taking action on this or is it something the CSA is not focused on? And what exactly does the CSA plan to do with this as a mandate? We've seen enough Killer Coke demonstrations, heard enough presentations, and seen enough posters around campus.

    I still do look at the election numbers with a close eye and highlight the fact that despite 4780 people came out and voted and 64.44% of those voted in favour of the Killer-coke question, this still only constitutes 18% (based on 17,000 enrollment) of students on campus…which is a clear minority. Therefore, approximately 13,900 students have not expressed a desire to remove Coke from campus.

    Do be tactful, because I’m confident of the 13,900 that have not expressed an interest to eliminate Coke some are Coke drinkers.

  33. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 15, 2007 @ 11:45am

    I truthfully think the best and most fair approach the CSA can take with this issue is a handoffs approach. Let me elaborate though. It’s safe to say students are more or less divided on the issue about Coke so it certainly can’t be something that the student union that represents everyone can take one side over the other.

    Let “Students Against Sweatshops” pursue this issue, as they are the ones that put forward the referendum question. This way they can act as a lobby group on campus for the issue (and please don’t correlate only negative thoughts with lobbyist because there are lobbyist in the government with all issues, good and bad).

  34. Posted by: on Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:11pm

    Thanks for your comments.

    I would argue that it is near-to-impossible to gage the opinion of all Guelph undergraduates. Currently, the official referendums are the best way to determine this, because of their extremely high turn-out (relative to other methods) and legitimacy.

    The CSA gives all undergraduate students the opportunity to vote, and we have worked hard to eliminate barriers to voting (such as online elections, for example), but we can't hand-hold people. Our students are adults and we will not force them to vote, but they must recognize that, in doing so, their are silencing their voice. The CSA can only listen to those students who make their voices heard and I for one will not make assumptions about the opinions of those students who do not vote in elections.

    It is true that the university is moving forward with renewing it's non-vending machines Coca-Cola contract, pretty much regardless of what we do. The work of students is thus pretty much done on this aspect.

    I expect however, that since students have expressed their desire to end the University's exclusivity contracts with Coke, the CSA will work to lobby the university when its vending machines contract is up for renewal in August 2008.

  35. Posted by: Steve on Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:28pm

    The reason why the majority of people fail to vote is because the CSA fails to have any impact. The best service the CSA ever provided me in 4 years so far was... hrm.. well.. give me time on that. I'm sure with all that money they must have done SOMETHING... I agree that there should be a student body government. However, I believe that any funds it recieves should be donated to it. Let those who want the CSA(or the Ontarion) vote with their wallets, and we shall then have an accurate accounting of the opinions on campus.

  36. Posted by: Steve on Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:37pm

    I remembed what the CSA has done for me. They gave Bob's dogs a place on campus. Definatly a massive political impact on the world around you!

  37. Posted by: Mark on Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:39pm

    Completely agreed. Maybe it's just the artsies in the school that don't use computers, but I'd like to see some new ones in our computer labs. Not money flushed down the toilet that could go towards....hmm.....OUR EDUCATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE ON CAMPUS. If you don't like Coke, don't buy it, it's as simple as that. I hear there's water you can get in the UC.....for free even!

  38. Posted by: j on Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:57pm

    I'm sensing some serious engineering rage in these comments... Steve/Mark.

    In any case, they are touching on an important issue.. a lot of the undergraduate base simply does not feel like the CSA adequately represents their interests as students. It's no doubt a serious problem... I'm just wondering what the executive plans on doing about it?

  39. Posted by: Mark on Aug 15, 2007 @ 1:09pm

    I don't know about everybody else, but I come to school to learn and get a degree, not worry about what type of pop they're serving in the cafeteria. If this is what my tuition is going towards, it's going to make me sick.

  40. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 15, 2007 @ 1:15pm

    What the executive plans on doing about it you ask? Chances are nothing. They will go through their one-year terms, dabber in a few non-campus political issues, spend hours in meetings, and finish their year leaving not much more than pinprick in the evolution of this university.

    Meaghan from the CSA pretty much highlighted this impact with her last statement:

    “It is true that the university is moving forward with renewing it's non-vending machines Coca-Cola contract, pretty much regardless of what we do. The work of students is thus pretty much done on this aspect”

    The “university is moving forward….regardless of what we do”. I think this pretty much sums up the impact of the CSA. At least the CSA is being honest about it. Perhaps we are seeing some positive change.

    So, my question is a budget question. If the “work of students is thus pretty much done on this aspect” (coke) and the university (ie. Hospitality) is moving ahead with what they want, then the question is how much money exactly has been spent (approximately) on these Killer Coke campaigns? I don’t care if it’s CSA or SAS funds, still the same student fees. And why continue if no impact is being made and likely won’t be made?

  41. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 15, 2007 @ 1:17pm

    Imagine having a federal government that tried to mandate what kind of beverage citizens were allowed to drink, would be frightfully similar to communism, wouldn't it?

  42. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 15, 2007 @ 1:57pm

    …and I know some uninformed reader will throw my last argument back at me by saying that the university itself is essentially mandating what beverage we drink by signing an exclusivity contract with Coke. However, you have to realize the difference between the university and the CSA. The university is a not-for-profit organization/institution; it is not a representative body, hence why top administration are hired through a type of interview process and not elected by the campus population. Furthermore, the CSA, unlike the university, is a represented body elected by its constituents.

    So, before someone out there passionate about fighting Coke to its bitter demise responds to my communism comment by saying the university administration is mandating we drink only one type of beverage, I’m saving you the embarrassment and making you realize now that the university operates as a organization and the CSA a representative body. Two very different things.

  43. Posted by: Steve on Aug 15, 2007 @ 2:51pm

    @Mark:

    This is what your tuition is going towards. Here's a bucket. Don't mind the smell, i already used it a bit.

  44. Posted by: Bob Przybyla - Cannon editor on Aug 15, 2007 @ 4:14pm

    I would like to say that the discussion that has sprung from the above article is impressive and appreciated. I would like to respond at this time to several points that were directed to the author in previous comments.

    1. The reason there seems to be a contradiction between "It is wrong to try and control people into making the right choice" and the questions at the end of the article because I was presenting the various sides of the argument so as to inspire debate.

    2. This article used the Killer Coke camaign as a jumping off point, to note that some negative aspects of soft-drink companies have been brought up publicly on campus while the health aspects of the beverages have not explicitly been discussed.

    3. My intention with this article was not to explicitly give my opinion on the matter but to provide information so as to begin discussion and debate on the subject.

    Thank you to everyone for your comments, it is my desire to make thecannon.ca first and foremost a place for discussion.

  45. Posted by: Joseph on Aug 15, 2007 @ 4:57pm

    In response to Point 3 about not explicitly giving your opinion, this confuses me since the title of this section of thecannon is "News Opinion"

    Is there something I'm missing, isn't this where the author should be stating their opinion. With that in mind, what is your opinion on this matter, Bob?

  46. Posted by: Alex on Aug 15, 2007 @ 6:18pm

    Jumping in here a bit late, but I do have one question for someone I think is from the CSA. You said the university has already gone ahead and renewed its contract with Coke with non-vending machines, I’m assuming this means what is sold in center 6 and other checkouts. You also said that the Coke vending machine contract in being renewed at the end of August 2008.

    If all this effort has gone into these campaigns and nothing happened with the non-vending machine contract, why is it going to be any different with the vending machine contract? And I guess like others were asking, what does the CSA plan to do? If the current strategy isn’t working, what is the new strategy?

  47. Posted by: Lori on Aug 23, 2007 @ 4:58pm

    I think people don't quite understand how voting works. You will never get 100% of people to vote in any election. Any time someone does a vote tally to determine how many of anything. Out of 10 you can estimate a majority vote. This is how it works. If they had 10% of people or higher vote than they can estimate a majority. Because voters represent the people, then vote and don't let others represent you.

  48. Posted by: Lori on Aug 23, 2007 @ 5:04pm

    I would also like to state that people should not be calling others names like hippies because they have different opinions then you. That is ignorant behaviour and only devalidates you view point. You are now adults, act like it!

  49. Posted by: on Sep 2, 2007 @ 8:00pm

    Hey Alex, thanks for asking this question! The University says the reason it renwed its contract with Coke for fountain pop is because Coke and Pepsi were the only bidders on the University's contract offer. Currently in Canada there aren't ethical beverage suppliers who do contracts this size supplying fountain pop and the University was unwilling to wait until this became a possibility in the early new year.

    With vending machine pop its a different story. There are lots of alternatives to major corporate softdrinks (and were being sampled in the UC during to campaign for the ethical beverage referndum question). As for strategies, I'd love to hear what you think, please get in touch if you want to bounce some ideas around, I'd be really happy to talk about it with you:)

  50. Posted by: silvie on Sep 27, 2007 @ 7:06pm

    I had a chance to speak with the head of hospitality services at the end of last year regarding the coke contract.

    The bidding process for all beverages was closing some time at the end of the school year (I don't remember anymore, my apologies)

    After an hour long convoluted conversation with him I found out these facts about their tender: the tender was open to all different types of beverages. suppliers do not have the requirement to provide their drinks in both fountain pop form or bottles. yet it is "industry norm" (his words) to have carbonated beverages provided in both forms only. Only coke and pepsi offer fountain pop as well as bottle/can form. Is this a monopoly or industry norm?

    silvie

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