Opportunities abound with new contract

UVM will have a new beverage contract.  

For those of you rejoicing the departure of the wicked Coca-Cola Co., hold on just a second.  

The new contract is out for the highest bidder, and there is no guarantee Coca-Cola won’t outbid the competition. But there is a chance for change.  

That chance is to be found in the terms of the contract.  

We could make a deal that allows local products to compete with Coca-Cola products — or whatever company wins the bidding war. This is an opportunity that was so restricted under the old contract that it might as well not have existed.  

There is only one problem with that: We do not believe that local products can compete with a giant corporation’s prices. And we do not believe that students would choose those local products over cheaper corporate products.  

An SGA poll conducted in the spring of 2011 showed that a higher percentage of students liked having Coca-Cola on campus than want the company to leave campus. And a higher percentage of students have no opinion either way than want Coca-Cola’s demons exorcised from UVM.  

So really, UVM is too apathetic about corporate products to choose more expensive local options if the two sat side by side on Marché shelves.  

The real opportunity lies in the potential profit to be turned by a new beverage contract.  

The current contract that is set to expire provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to various areas of UVM, including about $150,000 to student financial aid per year.  

We could sign a new deal that brings in even more money for the University. Putting the contract out to bid means that beverage companies will be trying to woo us. We are the prettiest girl, and everyone wants to take us to the dance.  

Whether Coke, Pepsi or — heaven forbid — Polar, we have the leverage. This is the true opportunity, the opportunity to provide funds for a cash-strapped school.  

While groups like VSTEP may see a future where Coca-Cola will not be able to peddle their evil, tainted wears, The Cynic sees a future where our beverage contract provides more financial aid for students.  

A future that should set everyone to rejoicing.