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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Killer Coke Campaign Looks to Expiring Contract in 2008

    On Feb. 28, the Social Justice Alliance held an event to raise awareness for their Coca Cola campaign. With over 100 balloons to attract attention, a handful of members asked students passing by between classes to sign petition cards calling on the administration to’ refrain from’ renewing its contract with the Coca Cola Company when it expires in 2008.

    Anita Halasz, one of the coordinators for the ongoing campaign, spent the morning before hand with a few other members fastening over 100 red balloons with campaign stickers to empty Coca Cola bottles. During campus lifetime, she along with about half a dozen other members of the Social Justice Alliance lined the path between the Student Activities Center and the Zebra Path with the balloons.

    ‘Students were taking very well to it, and agreed with the campaign and what we were saying,’ said Halasz on the reaction of the student body. SJA ended up with over 150 petition cards signed by student supporters.

    The campaign has been bogged down in red tape of late, as the administration is reluctant to talk about the contract. But the hesitation is not necessarily due to disagreement over the charges made against Coca Cola.

    ‘They haven’t been opposed to [the campaign], but they haven’t taken the initiative to support it either,’ says Halasz. ‘They haven’t put in as much effort as we have, and there’s no reason for it.’

    When asked why there was a seeming disconnect, Halasz remarked that there was a ‘large divide between students and the administration’ which in turn makes it ‘hard to tell the response of the administration because there hasn’t been clear discussions.’

    The Coca Cola campaign is one of the largest campaigns run by the Social Justice Alliance; it has been ongoing since last year.

    The campaign is seeking to end SB’s exclusive contract with Coca Cola, citing human rights violations spanning the entire globe as grounds for denying Coke a new contract. SB is nearing the end of a ten-year contract dating back to 1998.

    Currently, Coca Cola controls at least 90% of the shelf space on campus, and has exclusive vending rights as well.

    The Social Justice Alliance will be following up this action by holding a discussion with Ray Rogers, the president of Corporate Campaign Inc. He will be discussing the Coca Cola Corporation’s labor rights abuses on Mar. 7 during campus lifetime.

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