LETTER: A Coke-free campus is possible

Two major campuses recently chose to end their financial ties with Coca-Cola. City University of New York (CUNY), the largest urban public university in the United States removed Coca-Cola vending machines from its campus in Queensborough, and DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the U.S., decided not to renew its contract with Coca-Cola over this past summer. How long, one wonders, will it take for the University of Illinois to dissociate itself from a criminally liable corporation such as Coca-Cola? Coke is synonymous with “murder” in Colombia, “pesticide” in India, and “union-busting” in Turkey, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

The University of Illinois did not have an exclusive beverage contract before 1997, so going back to the non-exclusive contractual arrangement won’t be hard. A non-exclusive contract will give students more choice, and it will certainly save the University from the embarrassment of being associated with a global corporation that values profit over human lives and environmental conservation.

Coalition Against Coke Contracts (CACC), a campus and community group has been working toward creating awareness about the issue of University’s contract with Coca-Cola. To celebrate consumer choice as well as possibilities of socially fair business, CACC has planned alternative soda tasting on the Quad at noon on Oct. 12. More information on this event can be found at http://caccuc.blogspot.com. Also, information about the global campaign to shed light on Coca-Cola’s abuses can be found at www.killercoke.org.

Stephanie Murphy

Sophomore in LAS