GreenYes Digest V98 #125

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GreenYes Digest Tue, 2 Jun 98 Volume 98 : Issue 125

Today's Topics:
Coke & Corporatization of Campus
GreenYes Digest V98 #123
Waste Wi$e downlink forum
Zero, My Hero

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Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 11:54:00 -0400 From: "Bill Sheehan" <> Subject: Coke & Corporatization of Campus



Protesting Students Made Valid Points

The article =93Always something: Students protest Coca-Cola=92s presence on UGA campus=94 should have been on the editorial page, not the front page. The expression, =93Always something=94 implies =93Those silly students, always protesting!=94 In this day of politically apathetic students, this is not valid.

The article trivialized the students=92 concerns about a big corporation using its power to buy advertising space (the naming of the refreshment center) in a public university; and Coca-Cola has not only failed to support a container deposit program in Georgia, but it also has been instrumental in stopping the bottle bill.

The students had valid points. The news article could have been about a possible rebirth of political awareness on the university campus.

Betsy Rivard, Atlanta


University Deal With Coke Stops Short

The deal is in the can. The University officially has sold out, and University President Michael Adams is our chief pitchman.

Athens' own "World of Coke" opened on Friday at the Terry College of Business. The Coca-Cola Refreshment Center, a bone the University threw to the mega-corporation in exchange for a $1.5 million grant, beckons students inside with glowing drink machines, and the company even gave out free soda in commemorative Terry College of Business bottles on Friday.

I realize criticizing Coca-Cola in this state is as dangerous as comparing yourself to Jesus Christ, so I'll direct my remarks toward the University.

Have you no shame?

At the grand opening, President Adams actually endorsed the soft drink, saying, "Don't work all the time - come into the lounge and grab a Coke." What does drinking soda have to do with getting an education? Granted, a two-liter of Mountain Dew has gotten me through a few all-nighters, but I don't understand why we need such a blatant product tie- in on our campus. Well, actually, I do.

It's called money, and Coca-Cola ponied up plenty. This is nothing new in academia really. For decades, if not centuries, wealthy alumni have kicked in the cash to get buildings named after them. That's not exactly a secret. It's done out in the open, with publicized ribbon-cutting ceremonies and the names of alumni emblazoned across the front of many buildings on campus.

But the Coca-Cola deal seems more sticky than sweet, at least for students.

When an alumnus donates money, it's out of fondness for their memories of their glory days, or hell, just for sheer glory of having a building named after them. Coca-Cola, on the other hand, gets to advertise to students. They get to pitch their pop to every single student who walks into the Coca-Cola Refreshment Center.

Admittedly, when I first heard about this idea, I blew my top, but frankly, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. My mind is foaming over with great ideas for future product tie-ins.

Why not? Where there are corporations to cow-tow to, there's money to be made. And we've got a lot of advertising space on this campus.

Here's my list of suggestions:

-- The Nissan North Campus Parking Facility: Every space will face a shiny Nissan logo.

-- Microsoft Student Transit: When students board the buses, a recording of Bill Gates' voice can ask, "Where do you want to go today?"

-- Nike Field: The Bulldogs already sport the Nike swoosh on their jerseys, so why not go the whole ten yards? Besides, nobody remembers that Sanford guy anyway.

-- The Virginia Slims Women's Studies Center: "You've come a long way, baby." Enough said.

-- The McDonald's Arch: This one's my favorite, because it's such a natural. They might want to erect a second one and paint them yellow, but we're ready to bend over for corporate America, right?

These suggestions are just off the top of my head, but I've got one more. In the middle ages, professors were required to wear caps and gowns every day. At Cambridge and Oxford universities, they still do. So, why not adorn the sober black with logos. Faculty could trade space on their mortar boards in exchange for corporate grants.

Students might need some time to adjust to being taught by professors dressed like race cars, but we'll have a few extra weeks under semesters to get used to the concept.

President Adams is guiding the University into its first ever $1 billion budget, and with such a willing spirit and with a little corporate support, he can make it $2 billion by 2000.

There's money to be had, so let's get out there and sell, sell, sell!

=AD Neil Swanson is opinions editor for The Red and Black. His column appears each Tuesday.



This is in response to the Coke protest by Students for Environmental Awareness at Sanford Hall on Tuesday. I do not understand what the big deal is. So what if Coke has a room dedicated to them? It makes sense that if they donate a large amount of money to our university that they somehow get recognition. Private individuals get rooms, even entire buildings, named after them. Would you think they are trying to take over the university, as you are accusing Coke of trying to do?

I can think of at least 10 causes that are more worthy of protest than bottle-shaped tables. Why not dedicate your time and effort to things such as Habitat for Humanity? If you are willing to stand out in the hot sun and exert energy, do it for a good cause, not because corporate America is "taking over." Your fears are irrational.

Why don't we all just sit back, take a deep breath. Coke has one more advertisement, and we have $1.5 million.

Kelly Googe freshman Wildlife


I'm inclined to believe the business major who claimed Coca-Cola isn't overtly trying to gain control over the curriculum. Consider the following:

1. Grade school children are often made to watch Channel 1, "educational" TV donated with the stipulation that commercials for products like Coke are played;

2. At an Augusta high school recently, a student sporting a Pepsi logo on his shirt was expelled during an event in which the entire student body was ordered to spell out the word "Coke" for visiting Coke executives;

3. By the time they arrive at the University, it's probably no wonder when controversy about the new refreshment center in Sanford Hall spurred an Athens Banner-Herald man-in-the-street interview of students about corporate influence in academia, seven in eight didn't see any ethical issues associated with corporate strings being attached to donations;

4. After college, some of our alumni may represent us in Atlanta. Guess what beverage is donated free to all state legislators and is exempt from reporting requirements because it's classified as an "agricultural product?" You guessed it: Coke!

When you have this sort of womb-to-tomb presence, I'll wager a lot of things are just understood.

Jennie Alvernaz research coordinator crop and soil sciences



The debate over the recent protest by Students for Environmental Awareness against Coca-Cola and particularly the letter by Jennie Alvernaz in Friday's edition of The Red and Black raise some interesting issues about corporate activity on campus.

There is a much more insidious issue with regard to all this, namely the "corporatization" of education in this country. Some universities are more interested in sponsorship from Nike than in allegations about human rights violations by Nike in Southeast Asia. We have universities replacing full-time faculty with part-time staff, graduate students and short- term contract teaching staff to cut costs. Corporations are sub-contracting much of their research activities to universities. This is a great threat to academic freedom. Certainly, Coke is unlikely to demand changes directly in the curriculum. But, such corporate presence on campuses can affect academic freedom in other ways.

I know of faculty on this campus who have been "dissuaded" from doing work critical of the poultry industry because the poultry industry "gives so much money to the university." Pharmaceutical companies fund research to come up with the results "they want" to gain regulatory approval or competitive advantage. This is much more frightening, both for students' and professors' abilities to learn and teach in a free environment and for the safety of society. Can we trust studies paid for by companies with vested interests in getting "the right results?"

Andrew Herod associate professor geography


Concerning the negative attitude and protests toward Coca-Cola on this University, not only did Coke donate $1.5 million to build Sanford Hall, it donated Sanford Stadium's scoreboard among other donations through the years. Members of the SEA are now protesting the new lounge in Sanford Hall. Give me a break!

After all Coke has done for this school, they are going to protest a little $50,000 kickback. Some members of the SEA claim it is free advertising. I am not sure what kind of family they come from, but in mine $1.5 million is not free. I don't think Coca Cola had advertisement in mind when they donated the money.

David Ziff sophomore accounting



Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 15:19:13 EDT From: Subject: GreenYes Digest V98 #123

Re: Trends in profit taking. Hello this is the most im portant information= I have seen. What is GRN doing about this issue. Sue Nelson


Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 17:15:06 -0600 From: "Katharine P. Bennett" <> Subject: Waste Wi$e downlink forum

Dear GreenYes Subscribers:

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Continental Breakfast and Registration is 7:45 - 8:30. We'll then introduce three local business representatives who will share their company's waste reduction measures. The actual downlink runs from 9 until 11 AM, Colorado time and will feature four speakers, including Ken Brown, waste analyst for the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (authored <italic>Source Reduction Now!</italic>), Nancy Hirshberg, Director of Natural Resources for Stonyfield Farm, Inc., Jim Bosch, Environmental Team Leader for Target Stores, and Jim McCarthy, General Manager of Government & Public Affairs for CITGO Petroleum Corporation. During the downlink, guests can phone in questions to the panelists, via a toll-free phone number.

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Come join us and glean some great ideas for your own company! To find out more about the EPA's Waste Wi$e programs, visit


Kat Bennett, Longmont, CO Program Manager

Eco-Cycle, Inc.


Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 04:28:58 -0400 From: "Bill Sheehan" <> Subject: Zero, My Hero

[Forwarded from Cathy Evans]

When we last met at the CRRA conference this month, you asked for a copy of my letter on zero waste which appeared in Waste News last year. It ran on October 27, 1997.

Zero, My Hero=20

J. Winston Porter asks, "When is enough enough?'' (July 28 issue) and asserts that if 50-percent recycling is hard to reach, 100 percent is not the solution.=20

I agree that 100-percent recycling isn't a reasonable goal, but I am a strong advocate for zero waste. In my view, zero waste does not mandate an expansion of recycling activities but rather calls for a stop to the production of waste. In a fully developed zero-waste system, nothing is produced that can't be used at some place in the system.=20

In arguing against 50-percent recycling, Porter makes some strong points in favor of zero waste. Defining and measuring recycling rates may be difficult, but zero disposal requires no measuring.=20

If, as Porter states, our trash is hard to process, has no value and is expensive to recycle, then we probably should not try to recycle it. We should eliminate it at the source.=20

The zero-waste concept is simple, and the benefits are compelling. I believe we should acknowledge that there is no place where waste goes away, and we should begin to act accordingly.=20

If we can run robots on Mars, surely we can accomplish zero waste. We only have to decide that we want to.=20

Kathy Evans=20 Freelance recycling consultant


Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 08:02:55 -0400 From: "Bill Sheehan" <>

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End of GreenYes Digest V98 #125 ******************************