Campus / Killer Coke / News / May 27, 2010

Coke machines cut off

Throughout spring term, there have been several instances of what the Campus Safety Log describes as “criminal damage” to Coca-Cola vending machines throughout campus. On these machines, the power cords were cut. In all, nine vending machines had their power cords cut and eight of them were explicitly Coca-Cola machines. The other was a Vitaminwater vending machine, whose parent company Glacèau is owned by Coca-Cola.

“We’ve had a number of incidents of that type which would indicate that it was not an accident,” Director of Campus Safety John Schlaf said.

The first recorded incident this term was on January 12. The last recorded incident of this type was on May 8. All incidents were recorded in the Science and Mathematics Center (SMC) except for the location of the Vitaminwater machine, which was located in T. Fleming Fieldhouse.

On whether or not there are still Coca-Cola vending machines on campus, Schlaf said, “I don’t know. But I assume there are.”

Throughout the school year, there has been a push on campus from Estudiantes sin Fronteras (Students without Borders) to remove Coca-Cola products from campus. When asked if they knew anything about the incidents, co-presidents of Estudiantes sin Fronteras senior Vicky Daza and junior Rosie Worthen both said they did not know who might have done the damage to the vending machines.

“I haven’t heard anything about that,” Worthen said.

Daza also recently sent out an e-mail to the Estudiantes mailing list that stated,“Vandalism is counterproductive to our goals of working towards institutional change within Knox campus.”

Schlaf said that the vendor decides whether to fix the product and send it back to the school in a situation like this, but “they will ultimately replace the cords.”

There have been several recent developments with the campaign to get Coca-Cola products removed from campus.

Last week, Student Senate reported that there were enough signatures on a petition to get Coca-Cola products removed from campus to move the decision to a school-wide vote.

Shortly after a survey was sent to campus asking students whether they would support the removal of Coca-Cola products from campus, Worthen sent out an e-mail to the Estudiantes list stating that the survey had “problems with security issues” in that it was impossible to prevent anyone from voting multiple times.

“We’re just really frustrated about it at this point,” Daza said. “We have to start all over every year, and now the seniors are leaving. I don’t know what they’re going to do about it.”

Daza also said that Student Senate president Sam Claypool, junior, took responsibility for the problems with the survey because “she didn’t set up a security system for it,” Daza said.

“We’re going to talk to the administration and see if they can do another survey in the fall,” Worthen said.

Annie Zak

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