October 30, 2008

Sound Off: Should We Kick Coke?

The Kick Coke campaign, which has been relatively quiet on campus so far this semester, is once again heating up. A big debate went on between the VSA and student representatives for the Kick Coke campaign at Sunday night's VSA Council meeting.

For those of you not familiar with the Kick Coke campaign, students across the country are campaigning to have Coca-Cola products removed from college campuses because of the alleged human rights violations made by the Coke company. Read more about the campaign here.

Now Mads wants to know: Should Vassar kick Coke?

Leave a comment or vote in our new poll.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

i love coke....lets kick pepsi

Anonymous said...

Punish coke because of ALLEGED crimes?

I'd like to put people in jail because of ALLEGED crimes, and see how that plays out...

Coke hasn't been proven guilty of anything. Why should they be punished?

And Coke fans are just going to get their Coke off-campus and bring it on-campus anyway, so we are asking "should we punish Vassar, by virtue of reduced on-campus vending machine sales, because coke has been accused of wrongdoing".

Ummm, no.

Anonymous said...

People just want to be angry at a corporation and Coke happened to be the one that people managed to be fed the most negative information about in this case.

If we kick Coke and let everything else slide we're just showing our ignorant willingness to be led astray by information about who gets caught, not who's actually perpetrating things like what Coke (which by the way is not one evil person as people like to think of all corporations as) supposedly did.

That wasn't very well articulated, but I hope the point gets across. People don't want to hate Coke because of what they supposedly did, they want to be angry at an establishment.

Anonymous said...

is there really NOT ONE THING, I can't quite put my finger on, that is going on right now that might be, idk, A FUCK LOAD MORE IMPORTANT THAN ALLEGATION ABOUT THE COCA-COLA COMPANY????????
might the kick coke movement merely be seizing the opportunity to strike now that the tide has turned against corporation and big business over the past few months in order to push their selfish agenda on "self-righteous" campus who will immediately latch themselves on to a cause they know nothing about simply because it seems like the "in" thing to do.
STFU AND LET ME DRINK MY GOD DAMN COCA-COLA IN PEACE!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are plenty of other less-than-ethical companies supported on campus, but if it helps some people sleep better at night, go ahead.

Anonymous said...

I personally feel Kicking Coke is very necessary.

However, my "kick" involves kicking coke from the east side dining room of acdc to the west side one.

I mean, come on. It's so far away, and that's more than an alleged crime to me.





Also, having cherry coke is crucial to my survival at this school, so don't fuck with it.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't see how purging the campus of Coke is going to do anyone any real harm. Pepsi is exactly the fucking same, and anyone who says differently is too picky for his own good. So if it appeases these uberliberals, go ahead, kick it.

Anonymous said...

Check out the Misc website for articles and student op-eds on the Kick Coke debate!

Anonymous said...

I think if we kicked coke the ultimate harm would be to the low-wage employees that will lose their jobs if Coca-Cola loses clients like Vassar and other institutions. We'd be punishing the little guys for the big guys' mistakes.

Anonymous said...

2:55 - kick it to please the uberliberals? come on. why dont we go to war for oil for the uber-right-ies?

i agree with 138 and 240. vassar kids love to be 'activists'. its like a rite of passage. i bet you could rile up a fair group of vassar-ites against mott's for their exploitation of apples for juice and sauce.

fortunately, college is only four years long. and there is a big world out there. and these kick coke jokers will realize that soon enough.

Anonymous said...

they exploit their workers who are the most poor and the most uhhhh poor and stuff! did you know there are unfortunate people in the world! did you know coke has blood on its uhhhh hands! dont you know your convenience hurts other people!

nah just kidding. i wish these kids would STFU.

and unfortunately no college is not just 4 years, some of these people will protest SOMETHING until they die, in fact if there was nothing to protest they'd die

and i love cherry cokes in the morning. so please, go away

Anonymous said...

During this semester, our society has been introduced to a financial crisis, a frightening prospect for VP, and a resurgence in ugly racism. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq continues, the planet is getting warmer, our constitutional rights disappear, more digits get added to the national debt, and we are running out of petroleum. Something seems ironic about how the only protests this semester are about Coke and Columbus...

Anonymous said...

thank goodness no decision have been made yet, and according to this update the student government remains unsure about all of this.

thank goodness. because when people like Royce Drake try to impose his sense of right and wrong onto individual consumers, that's a scary thing. if a majority of vassar wants to rid the world of a certain brand of soda, than they can damn well make that choice themselves and not be forced into it by a small minority.

Anonymous said...

word, 4:02. it should be an individual choice.

Anonymous said...

so much freaking word 4:02. thank you.

Anonymous said...

im liberal and care about some issues and not others. i do not march through vassar demanding that everyone care enough to agree with me and restricting access to things i do not agree with.

by the way not everyone on this campus even agrees that even IF the charges against coke and other corporations were proven that we should ban those companies from campus.

saying to support local beverage companies is ridiculous. support them if you want. some people do. but do not dare say "oh want soda? well here are these more expensive options you might not even want. want coke? walk blocks away and buy it, sorry we kicked coke! yay us!"

Anonymous said...

some schools "kicked" coke when pepsi gave them a shitload of money. why don't we try to get on that, thus making the liberals and the money-grabbing conservatives happy?

Anonymous said...

People should also realize that by kicking Coke, you're not just kicking Coke. You're kicking other Coca-Cola products, including water and ice tea.

- another liberal who doesn't drink coke but also doesn't want to force his opinions on others.

Anonymous said...

No.

Anonymous said...

so we shouldn't kick coke just because there are bigger problems? that's pretty faulty logic. yeah, they are not the worst company out there and there are other issues to deal with in the world. but coke is also guilty of some pretty shady shit that i don't want to support. i think this is a good opportunity to make a stand against a sketchy company and it really requires minimal effort on your part. i promise you will survive drinking generic soda.

and what's wrong with wanting to be an activist? there are some things worth changing. stop being so bitter.

Anonymous said...

Before 7:01, this comments page reads like an Asshats For Palin forum. Shame on you apathetic, self-important douchebags.

Anonymous said...

7:01, if *you* want to be an activist, that's FINE. I would never, ever try to prevent you from sending letters to Coke, to your congressman, or to international regulators. Furthermore, I would never try to force you to drink Coke. You can boycott them all you like.

But that doesn't mean you get to force me into changing my preferences. you can try to educate me, send me data, try to convince me, whatever. but i don't consider myself an activist. i'm not into that. deal with the fact that i don't give a shit about the "shady shit" that goes into my delicious soda, and leave us all alone. fight your own battle.

Anonymous said...

the reason why you guys don't care is because it's not affecting people you identify with. If this were happening to white people, you'd guys would be throwing a fit , but since minorities are the ones being affected by this, you guys could care less.

Anonymous said...

i meant that if coke were subjecting white people to horrible working conditions, putting them in positions to get killed etc.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe I came to school filled with disgusting people like you guys.. it's def. time for me to get out of here

Anonymous said...

8.01 i ain't white and i love me some coke.
i'm a bad minority huh? disloyal or some shit. you want to kick coke? kick it. i want to keep it.
deal with it.

Anonymous said...

so 8:01... basically you're saying that anyone who drinks coke is racist? do i have that right?

this whole movement is absolutely insane. and this insinuation that anyone who isn't a coke activist is either racist or ignorant is ridiculous. i'm with 8:51. this isn't up to some student group to decide on my behalf.

and if my vsa reps vote for this ridiculous resolution, i'm going to be pissed.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, this comment thread is scary, and not at all what I expected of Vassar students. 7:01 has it right. If you don't want to be an activist, that's great. Drinking generic soda doesn't count as activism. If it were a real lifestyle choice that you were being forced into, that would be one thing. Soda is not a lifestyle. I personally find it frightening that you don't care about the company's practices, 7:24, and would rather just think about your "delicious soda".

Boyd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The issue isn't whether or not coca cola is a flawed company. It probably is. But that doesn't legitimize a group of pretentious activists trying to make decisions for other people. If they want to boycott coke on a personal basis, that's fine. But it's not up to them to dictate what other people can and cannot drink based on their own personal concerns about the company.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a step back for a moment, and evaluate the arguments being offered against the kick coke campaign. These arguments are mostly advocating "consumer choice" and not wanting someone else's activism to be "shoved down your throat". CAN'T YOU ALL HEAR HOW APATHETIC, LAZY, AND SELFISH YOU SOUND? You care about having a "choice" between coke and other brands of soda, but think of the choices coke is depriving of its employees, who can't even join/organize for a union to get themselves humane treatment and health benefits without fearing for their lives.

Open your eyes. Read a book. You fucking privileged, entitled children, you don't even realize or give a damn what other people spend their lives suffering through and fighting against, and what kind of a CHOICE do you think they have?

And how DARE you victimize the people on this campus who actually do give a damn and are trying to change shit. Are you all really so bitter and cynical, and if so, ask WHY, what is wrong with the world that made you so apathetic, why did you give up already?

So what if coke is just one of many corporations with human rights violations. We have to start somewhere. Stop being so god damn hostile to the people who are trying to change what is fucked up in the world.

Anonymous said...

9:24, i like coke. not everyone in the world, or even on this campus, is going to agree with you. did you see today's misc? one girl wrote a really interesting piece about Kick Coke's many flaws, and why consumer choice is so important in a social movement like this. just because i and many other students oppose your position does not make us racist, elitist, ignorant, or morally corrupt. that accusation is baseless, and you're only making it because you're losing this debate.

in other words, stop being a pretentious self-righteous ass.

Anonymous said...

9:24: First, the allegations against coca cola are shaky at best. I'd suggest you read the discussion of this in the Misc.

Second, just because not everyone on this campus wants to abandon ship because of some vague, circumstantial claims of union busting or environmental damage doesn't make us apathetic. You should climb off your high horse and realize that just because you don't like something doesn't mean that you have any right to prevent other people from liking it.

Anonymous said...

The previous comment was not to equate drinking Coke with slavery. That would be idiotic. It merely points out that boycotting is pointless unless your goal is to change the overall situation, not just for yourself. Telling someone that it's okay for them to boycott Coke as long as they don't try to get it off campus is completely missing how seriously people are taking this issue.

If you want to be apathetic, I can't stop you. If you try to intimidate people from making a difference in the world, you're showing the same complicity that has allowed so many injustices in this world to happen.

Anonymous said...

What difference DOES this make in the world? Doesn't it just cause Coca-Cola to shut down some bottling companies at the very worst, which necessarily means cutting some people? Is Kick Coke going to give those people jobs next?

Anonymous said...

What difference DOES this make in the world? Doesn't it just cause Coca-Cola to shut down some bottling companies at the very worst, which necessarily means cutting some people? Is Kick Coke going to give those people jobs next?

Anonymous said...

I mean, talk about rich, entitled elitist assholes, this moral crusade doesn't really take into account those (poor) people who could lose jobs because of this.

Anonymous said...

I'm still not seeing how my drinking Coke, or Vassar's selling Coke, hurts either myself, my fellow students, or the United States. What they do on other continents may be shady, but it seems as if they are a successful American corporation. They're a huge sponsor of education and sporting events. They make a good product, and people seem to enjoy drinking Coke.

As for the sex slave analogy, it is totally misguided. Consider this: if you were to take a vote at Vassar asking "Should people be allowed to own sex slaves?" I think you would resoundingly see that they answer "No." I'm talking probably 99-100%. Take that same poll about whether we should have Coke or not? The Mads poll puts the percentage of people supporting this Kick Coke fad at 33%; the Misc poll puts it at 25%.

Being an activist is great. But until you get a majority of a city, state or country on your side, you cannot make policy change. You should try to educate, but never not force this down people's throats. This is an age-old question of democratic theory. But the answer is always pretty simple: go with the majority. Coke hipsters: you have not, in any substantial way, shown that a majority of students support you or your cause.

Anonymous said...

9:24, and others like him or her. The reason we are hostile is not because we are "subjected to your activism." The reason we are hostile to Kick Coke is because it is trying to, guess what, kick Coke. Without a majority of campus supporting it, without much unambiguous evidence about the alleged abuses. Basically what you've been giving is vague stuff about how in buying Coke (which some of us don't even do!) we are supporting the abuse of workers somewhere in the world. And because you believe these allegations and because you think you shouldn't give the company money, you think the entire school you go to should just agree and see things just the way you do. And if they don't, THEY'RE clearly the ones who are wrong. Wait, who's the entitled one here?

Be an activist all you want. Stand outside the College Center with posters with some info if you want. But having your relatively small group demand that Coke be banned from Vassar, and then calling anyone who challenges your misguided campaign entitled, racist, or apathetic is not going to get you anywhere.

Maybe, it's time to go back to the drawing board.

Anonymous said...

I am kind of sick of this. My not supporting kick coke makes me elitist, ignorant, stupid, privileged, narrow-minded, selfish and every other negative adjective you could throw out. really? vassar as a college, as a campus (meaning the students who make vassar, and ALL of us, not just you guys supporting it), not partaking in buying the products of a big-bad corporation that is just that, big and bad, is the aim of the petition. This is a symbolic rejection of the bad corporation and how it mistreats people and at the same time an opportunity for local beverage manufacturers to gain a share of the market that the big-bad corporation was keeping from them. I hope I summarize correctly.
first, it is not going to change a thing. yes yes, we have to start from SOMEWHERE you say, but where will this lead us to. Kick pepsi next, then starbucks, then...so in the service of the people let us kick kick kick these big-bad giants (where incidentally, people, despite the suspect allegations of terrible treatment actually work)and get in the glorious idealized local produce. Ah give me the local any day! personally, no thanks. you take the local and glorify it. i'll take coke. i wont glorify it, but i will NOT kick it. will NOT.
eat that.

Anonymous said...

924, I am neither privileged nor entitled, and you have NO IDEA what I've seen or been through in my life. Just because I don't want to take part in your protest does NOT, I repeat, does NOT make me a bad person. Just because my beliefs are different from yours, doesn't make me immoral, or privileged, or sheltered. It just means that I have a different point of view, which I actually AM entitled to-freedom of thought, anyone? I have seen some incredibly judgmental, discriminatory shit come from both sides of this debate, and frankly, I am SICK of people making me feel like a bad person for not getting worked up about this protest.

I understand where you're coming from-I do. When you believe so fervently about something, it hurts when people disagree with you, or don't care as much. However that DOES NOT make it right to cast judgment on those people. You just have to accept that yes, they have a different point of view. And while you may disagree, you need to respect them, just the same. Even if they don't extend that same respect to you.

This is kindergarten stuff, people. But then these anonymous things always bring out the worst in people.

Anonymous said...

if the vsa considers this INSANE resolution, which a clear majority of the student body DOES NOT SUPPORT, i suggest that we all contribute $1, go to target, and buy as much coke as humanly possible. then we get to support our big-bad corporation (because as reed dunlea and the activists say, that makes us racist and privileged).

and you know what? after we buy all those bottles, we shouldn't even drink them. we should just throw them in the trash. not recycling. trash. because obviously if we reject kick coke, we reject all of liberalism. we hate puppies and want to drill in alaska. we're really just selfish assholes.

let me tell you something, Kick Coke. don't imply that the TREMENDOUS opposition you face is racist or elitist or classist. we're not. we are, however, mad as hell that a small group of annoying, whiny hipster activist douches are trying to impede consumer choice.

stop being annoying and leave everyone the hell alone.

***and if you haven't already e-mailed your vsa representative to tell them how much KICK COKE IS RIDICULOUS, please do so NOW***

Anonymous said...

Did you stop to think that perhaps these allegations against the Coca Cola corporation are in fact more representative of endemic problems faced by workers in such countries as Colombia and Guatemala. Do you think for one second that the same sorts of atrocities don't happen to people in these countries working for other companies? Coca Cola is just getting picked on because of its sheer size and power. By kicking Coke off of Vassar campus we are doing nothing to get at what is really the root of this problem.

Anonymous said...

ding ding ding we have 2 winners. 11:55 and 12:12. some of the other ones are good but sound a little crazy.

Anonymous said...

Can't we just kick Reed Dunlea off campus instead?

Anonymous said...

Also, I know for a fact that many of the leaders of this campaign have done cocaine, the real killer coke (full disclosure, I've done it too). The narcotic industry has a far bloodier history then the soft drink business as far as I know,

Anonymous said...

ouch. And you know what? It's true.

Anonymous said...

12:26 gave me an idea. i'm going to drink an extra coke every day, bought right here at school. we need to make these people see that by trying to ram their preferences down everyones throat, theyre just making more refreshing coke go down some throats.i'm not going to just buy them and throw them out. i have also written an email to the administration. make your voices heard! and vote with your dollars. let's all be seen around campus drinking coke, diet coke, cherry coke, and other sodas owned by coke.. not in a pussy nalgene but in a can. so they know.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm glad we all care about human rights, environmentalism, unionization, exploitation, corporatism, etc. In theory we all care (being a liberal campus and whatnot), but there is a vast disconnect between our rhetoric and our reality.

Maybe we're reluctant or unwilling to admit it, but let's face it: we have all been branded. Coke has been ingrained into your middle-class identity. In essence, we're defending the "right" to institutionalized greed and oppression over the recognition of basic human rights and dignity.

This campus was incredibly disrespectful to the right-leaning MICA group this week. Most of the student body would never associate with this organization, yet this Kick Coke case study reveals that many of us will vehemently defend their neoliberal/conservative economic principles.

No one on either "side" should be blamed or attacked, since we're all implicated and in a sense, we're all victims. I think it is very unfortunate that we're all so worked up about issues of convenience when our privilege blinds us to a broader awareness of immense global suffering.

Removing Coca-Cola will not solve this, because the issue is larger than Coke. But please, let's at least think about these issues rather than ignore their existence altogether.

Anonymous said...

"In essence, we're defending the "right" to institutionalized greed and oppression over the recognition of basic human rights and dignity."

SENTENCES LIKE THAT BOTHER THE HELL OUT OF ME. You activist hippies need to get the hell over yourselves and stop assuming that everyone cares about the same things that you do.

Anonymous said...

3:07, do you consider yourself to be a fundamentally selfish person?