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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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    A New Contract With an Old Problem

    In these United States, there are protections for small businesses from huge conglomerates. Monopolies for example are prohibited. Or they’re supposed to be at least. Stony Brook never got the memo.

    When students are craving something to drink between classes, they turn to the Coca Cola Company for hydration. They may do it unknowingly, but it happens every day. From Powerade to Dr Pepper to Godiva Coffee drinks, students pour tens of thousands of dollars into the already deep pockets of Coca Cola. And for the most part, they have no choice in the matter.

    The exclusive beverage contract that the university is seeking to sign when the current one expires early this summer will succeed once again in severely limiting the options that the campus community will have. 90 percent of the drinks sold will be products of one company, all vending machines will be owned and operated by one company, and no directly competitive products are allowed on the shelves of the university. Love Snapple? Don’t expect to see it anytime soon if Pepsi or Coke signs on. Love Poland Spring? Too bad. Red Bull? Same.

    We understand that exclusive contracts have their draws. Money of course is the largest one. But from what we are hearing from students, there has been little to no effort on the part of the administration to seek alternative funding from other sources to cover the difference in compensation. We of course support the distribution of scholarships, but at what cost to the students who are already here? At what cost to workers in Central America or India suffering at the hands of the companies who instead provide funding for a rarely filled stadium on Long Island? To be able to weigh the well being of a human with a sum of money is, quite frankly, a little nauseating.

    There will never be a perfect company. Every company that we invite into this university will come with its skeletons tucked away in the closet. We do not ask the university to be perfect. But we do ask some effort. And in all honesty, we have yet to see any.

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