Protest erupts during Coca-Cola pouring rights forum

More than 30 students protested against SF State’s potential pouring rights agreement with Coca-Cola Co. at the J. Paul Leonard Library Wednesday.

The protesters demanded better communication from the University moving forward with the agreement, citing a lack of shared governance at SF State.

“We demand a public town hall forum with President (Leslie E.) Wong himself,” said Celia Lobuono Gonzalez, a member of the Real Food Challenge, after the group marched into the library room where the town hall meeting was held. “There’s a petition out there with more than 800 signatures, so we’re representing a much larger body.”

Students opposed to the sale of pouring rights at SF State chant while marching in the J. Paul Leonard Library, during a meeting with Coca-Cola, a potential company that may begin supplying all beverages on campus Wednesday, Oct. 14. (Brian Churchwell / Xpress)

Students opposed to the sale of pouring rights at SF State chant while marching in the J. Paul Leonard Library, during a meeting with Coca-Cola, a potential company that may begin supplying all beverages on campus Wednesday, Oct. 14. (Brian Churchwell / Xpress)

Students and faculty members joined in the protest, which was announced prior to the event through emails and Facebook posts.

Four representatives from Coca-Cola Co. attended the open forum meeting. The soda company’s prepared presentation was delayed by nearly 20 minutes due to the protest, as University Corporation Executive Director Jason Porth attempted to keep the meeting’s agenda on schedule.

Mary Beth Carpenter, region asset manager at Coca-Cola Co., said she was shocked by the student involvement at the meeting.

“I must say, this is a first for me, so if I’m a little nervous it’s just because it’s a first,” Carpenter said. “We value the right to free speech, so right on San Francisco for sharing your views.”

After reading a list of demands, the protesters marched out of the room and said they were not interested in hearing the beverage company’s presentation. The protesters demanded that the university run all major decisions that effect students through the Associated Students, Inc. on campus and asked to be invited to an open town hall meeting with Wong, to further discuss the pouring rights agreement.

Students opposed to the sale of pouring rights at SF State chant while marching in the J. Paul Leonard Library, for a meeting with Coca-Cola, a potential company that may begin supplying all beverages on campus Wednesday, Oct. 14. (Brian Churchwell / Xpress)

Students opposed to the sale of pouring rights at SF State chant while marching in the J. Paul Leonard Library, for a meeting with Coca-Cola, a potential company that may begin supplying all beverages on campus Wednesday, Oct. 14. (Brian Churchwell / Xpress)

Pepsi Co. will visit SF State for a second town hall meeting Thursday but according to An Bui, president of the Real Food Challenge, there will be no protest during tomorrow’s meeting.

Xpress will follow up with more details about the protest.

Latest comments
  • yay awesome!

  • I’m glad to see the Xpress cover such an important student issue!

  • Anyone who has the time to get upset over something so trivial needs to pick a harder major. That’s right Johnny Dreadlock, your Ethnic Studies degree isn’t going to pay the bills in the real world.

    • Idiot pessimist. There are many problems in society and they all deserve attention. These same people will be the ones who help change the world for the better.

  • College students astound me with their stupidity. These entitled brats will complain about how they have to wake up at 11 am to get to class on time.

  • Isn’t Pepsi just as evil? Or is their range of cane sugar colas more appealing to these real students? Maybe they are shills for YUM Brands.

  • …Obese children who cut back on their sugar intake see improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol readings and other markers of health after just 10 days, a rigorous new study found. …On average, the subjects’ LDL cholesterol, the kind implicated in heart disease, fell by 10 points. Their diastolic blood pressure fell five points. Their triglycerides, a type of fat that travels in the blood and contributes to heart disease, dropped 33 points. And their fasting blood sugar and insulin levels – indicators of their diabetes risk – likewise markedly improved.

    One expert who was not involved in the new research, Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that the study “strengthens the existing evidence on the relationship between added sugar intake and metabolic disease.”

    AND

    …Artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes, researchers are reporting.

    Basically what you drink today has long term effects on your health and weight.