Campus / Killer Coke / News / Student Senate / November 5, 2009

Student Senate: Group attempts Coca-Cola ban

As senators and interested parties gathered in the Round Room of CFA last Thursday, the issue on the collective conscious was that of the so-called ‘Killer Coke’ resolution.

The latest step in an ongoing campaign backed by Estudiantes Sin Fronteras (Students without Borders) and sponsored on the Senate floor by Safety and Services Chair Gabe Paz, the resolution sought to receive Senate backing for a push to formally ban all Coca Cola products from being sold on campus.

After a long and spirited debate on the issue, the resolution was voted down in a roll-call vote, with 15 in favor, 16 opposed, and three abstentions. The resolution would have required a minimum of 18 votes to pass.

“I was sad that the resolution didn’t get passed, just by three votes,” Estudiantes sin Fronteras Co-President Rosie Worthen said. “I was a bit disappointed because it did get pushed to the end of the meeting. A couple of senators did leave, and there were a couple of absences. So, that was a little bit frustrating.”

The hour-and-a-half discussion on the resolution featured a multi-media presentation highlighting Coca Cola’s human rights abuses around the globe and similar measures that had been taken by other colleges in the region.

Towards the end of the debate period, however, tempers began to flare as it became apparent that there was not the upwelling of support the resolution’s sponsors were expecting.

“I thought that it was a very good discussion,” Student Senate Treasurer Liesl Pereira said. “I think that there was a bit of incivility at the end. I thought that the Students without Borders who came gave a very nice presentation and were very willing to answer questions […] I thought it was very productive. It didn’t sway me, though.”

Despite the apparent setback, supporters of the movement remained unperturbed and plan to continue the campaign.

“I think it helped,” Worthen said, “personally, because we heard the arguments of the senators about voting for their constituents’ consumer rights, what they were worried about and what their constituents were worried about. So that will help us plan in the future to address those issues […] It showed us we have to work harder, and be more positive about it.”

In any case, this is not the last time Senate will encounter this issue by a long shot.

“We’re hoping to bring a resolution next term,” Worthen said. “To do more research, get more student support, talk to Helmut more, talk to the administration more, and just to come back and present the resolution again.”

Also addressed during the meeting, albeit with far less contention, were two constitutional amendments affecting committee assignments, a presentation on how to present a green fee application, a resolution on student art spaces in the Quads and a discussion of the policy for bringing in outside speakers for clubs.

For more information, please see the Senate minutes or review the meeting as broadcasted on the TKS Web site.

Andrew Polk

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