No renewal for Coca-Cola

Students returning to the March or Marketplace next year may find a broader selection of beverages in the coolers.


The current Coca-Cola contract that currently supplies beverages to the University is ending on June 30, 2012, Vice President of Finance Richard Cate said.


The contract will not be renewed and will instead be put out to bid among other beverage companies, Cate said.


 “Coca-Cola could be one of the vendors with whom we contract next year, but we have decided not to have an exclusive contract with any one vendor,” he said.


“I have been in consultation with the SGA leadership about the matter and there is a team of students from which we are soliciting input about the principles that will guide the process,” Cate said.


A student group that has been involved in the new beverage contract is the Vermont Student Environmental Program (VSTEP).


VSTEP created a resolution to end the Coca-Cola contract, Vice President Shana McCann said.


“The two biggest problems [with the contract] are that there are not a lot of choices or local food options, and the exclusivity of the contract,” McCann said.


The Student Government Association (SGA) met with half of VSTEP and debated what a feasible option would be.


“There has been a lot of student support for what we want on campus,” sophomore Alyssa Ravech said.  “A lot of students don’t want bottled water.”


The resolution needed 1,300 student signatures in order to be voted on in SGA, and the petition acquired almost 1,500 signatures, McCann said.


“We had more people sign the petition than vote for the SGA president,” McCann said.


The resolution, which supports a new, sustainable beverage agreement that has a shorter contract period, would have less exclusivity and allows revisions throughout the contractual period, according to the VSTEP declaration.

Other student groups that have been involved in the Coca-Cola campaign to end the beverage’s contract on campus include SGA, the Eco-Reps, Inter Residence Association, and the Office of Sustainability, VSTEP’s resolution stated.