Home Re: PepsiCo divides campus

Re: PepsiCo divides campus

by admin November 9, 2010

Re: PepsiCo divides campus

by admin November 9, 2010

Re: PepsiCo divides campus

by admin November 9, 2010

Re: PepsiCo divides campus

by admin November 9, 2010

This is an abridged version of a letter sent by the VP services to CSU president Heather Lucas last week:

With a view to better understanding students concerns regarding the sale of bottled water on campus and the university’s beverage contract, discussions between university representatives and student representatives began late in the Spring. These discussions were pursued by both groups in good faith throughout the Summer and Fall. The university’s representatives who participated in these meetings took the student concerns very seriously and brought them forward to my predecessor, Michael Di Grappa.

The university’s contract with PepsiCo was due to expire in early December of this year. Given the magnitude of the dossier, the looming deadline for its expiry, and given that it was clear that no definitive decision would be reached with respect to bottled water on campus before such expiry, the decision was made to extend the contract. Despite this decision, the students’ concerns were not overlooked or ignored. In fact, Di Grappa required that the renewal agreement with PepsiCo contain a provision which, if necessary, would permit the university to prohibit the sale of bottled water in businesses operated and controlled by the university on campus as well as the sale of bottled water through Pepsi’s vending machines located on campus.

In hindsight, it is regrettable that the student representatives were not advised earlier of the decision to sign the contract on Oct. 29, but students’ voices were heard and it was never the intention of anyone at the university to mislead or to be anything less than truthful.

The representatives of the university who were working with the student representatives were not privy to the decision to sign the extension and their professionalism and credibility should not be questioned.

On a final note, and with a view to clarifying any misperception that might exist on this front, it should be noted that efforts to organize a meeting with PepsiCo encountered a series of genuine obstacles. That having been said, we are hopeful that the student representatives will accompany the university representatives to a meeting with PepsiCo which will be organized by my office. Whatever actions will be taken to address the concerns that have been raised can only be properly analyzed with all of the relevant facts and will likely involve a series of smaller initiatives over a period of time. I welcome your participation and contribution to this process.

The university remains committed to the principles of sustainability and we encourage the students to continue to be part of discussions regarding the future of bottled water at Concordia. In this regard, my office will contact the CSU shortly to set up a meeting so that we can begin the process of moving forward.

Roger Côté

Acting VP services

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We are saddened to see that Pepsi is advertising their Pepsi Refresh Project on the Concordia campus despite the opposition voiced by the Concordia Student Union. Pepsi also approached the Dawson Student Union about promoting their project on our campus. However, due to their unethical business practices, we declined. In adhering to the Dawson College policy on commercial advertising on campus, the Dawson administration respected our decision to forgo advertisement of the Pepsi Refresh Project. We are very proud of our administration for respecting the decision made by their students and are dismayed to see that the Concordia administration did not do the same. It is inexcusable that the administration would ignore the will of students. Students have the right to decide what sort of advertisements are present on their campus and the student union is the mechanism by which students have their opinions represented to the administration. We wish our colleagues at the Concordia Student Union good luck as they endeavour towards making the Concordia administration more transparent and accountable in the contracts they sign.

Amanda Arella

Deputy chairperson, Dawson Student Union

Quebec representative, Canadian Federation of Students

Editor’s note: The space used by the Pepsi Refresh Project was rented out by the Concordia Ukrainian Student Union, and not directly by the administration.

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We are saddened to see that Pepsi is advertising their Pepsi Refresh Project on the Concordia campus despite the opposition voiced by the Concordia Student Union. Pepsi also approached the Dawson Student Union about promoting their project on our campus. However, due to their unethical business practices, we declined. In adhering to the Dawson College policy on commercial advertising on campus, the Dawson administration respected our decision to forgo advertisement of the Pepsi Refresh Project. We are very proud of our administration for respecting the decision made by their students and are dismayed to see that the Concordia administration did not do the same. It is inexcusable that the administration would ignore the will of students. Students have the right to decide what sort of advertisements are present on their campus and the student union is the mechanism by which students have their opinions represented to the administration. We wish our colleagues at the Concordia Student Union good luck as they endeavour towards making the Concordia administration more transparent and accountable in the contracts they sign.

Amanda Arella

Deputy chairperson, Dawson Student Union

Quebec representative, Canadian Federation of Students

Editor’s note: The space used by the Pepsi Refresh Project was rented out by the Concordia Ukrainian Student Union, and not directly by the administration.

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This is an abridged version of a letter sent by the VP services to CSU president Heather Lucas last week:

With a view to better understanding students concerns regarding the sale of bottled water on campus and the university’s beverage contract, discussions between university representatives and student representatives began late in the Spring. These discussions were pursued by both groups in good faith throughout the Summer and Fall. The university’s representatives who participated in these meetings took the student concerns very seriously and brought them forward to my predecessor, Michael Di Grappa.

The university’s contract with PepsiCo was due to expire in early December of this year. Given the magnitude of the dossier, the looming deadline for its expiry, and given that it was clear that no definitive decision would be reached with respect to bottled water on campus before such expiry, the decision was made to extend the contract. Despite this decision, the students’ concerns were not overlooked or ignored. In fact, Di Grappa required that the renewal agreement with PepsiCo contain a provision which, if necessary, would permit the university to prohibit the sale of bottled water in businesses operated and controlled by the university on campus as well as the sale of bottled water through Pepsi’s vending machines located on campus.

In hindsight, it is regrettable that the student representatives were not advised earlier of the decision to sign the contract on Oct. 29, but students’ voices were heard and it was never the intention of anyone at the university to mislead or to be anything less than truthful.

The representatives of the university who were working with the student representatives were not privy to the decision to sign the extension and their professionalism and credibility should not be questioned.

On a final note, and with a view to clarifying any misperception that might exist on this front, it should be noted that efforts to organize a meeting with PepsiCo encountered a series of genuine obstacles. That having been said, we are hopeful that the student representatives will accompany the university representatives to a meeting with PepsiCo which will be organized by my office. Whatever actions will be taken to address the concerns that have been raised can only be properly analyzed with all of the relevant facts and will likely involve a series of smaller initiatives over a period of time. I welcome your participation and contribution to this process.

The university remains committed to the principles of sustainability and we encourage the students to continue to be part of discussions regarding the future of bottled water at Concordia. In this regard, my office will contact the CSU shortly to set up a meeting so that we can begin the process of moving forward.

Roger Côté

Acting VP services

Leave a Comment