Students to vote on Coca-Cola boycott


Referendum could see Coca-Cola and Nestlé products return to SU outlets

A REFERENDUM is to take place among UCD students to query the boycott held by the Students’ Union (SU) against Coca-Cola and Nestlé products. Students will be asked to vote on whether the SU should continue to boycott the products, refuse to sell them in SU shops and continue to reject advertising from the companies as they have been mandated to do since 2003.

cocacolaThe decision to bring a referendum on the issue was taken by a group of students who claim the boycott of these products is no longer relevant to students. A group spokesperson explained, “practically, none of the existing undergraduates voted to boycott these products. It was a past student body that voted it in. And now the issues have changed.”

The spokesperson commented that in light of new information about the alleged abuse of Columbian workers by Coca-Cola, which was the reason behind the boycott against Coca-Cola products, students no longer had any reason to insist on a ban of these products by the SU.

“The International Labour Organisation released a report in October saying Coca-Cola work practices in Columbia were of a high standard and those allegations, as far as they were concerned, weren’t true. If one was to present those fi ndings to the students, I am confi dent they would see sense and see that the boycott isn’t necessary.”

Of the initial referendum held in 2003, the spokesperson explained, “there was a lot of evidence at the time it was voted in, whether that was credible or not is open for debate.”

However, the proposal has been met angrily by SU Campaigns and Communications Offi cer, Dan O’Neill who criticised the timing of the referendum, saying that it would interfere with the SU’s campaign against the potential re-introduction of third-level education fees.

Mr O’Neill described the referendum as a “massive distraction” to the SU’s fi ght against third-level education fees, arguing that “it was really short-sighted of them to launch this on us now, when we’re at the cusp of fi ghting on one of the most important campaigns, which is the fi ght for free education for all”.

Despite his reservations about the timing of the referendum, Mr O’Neill expressed that he will campaign to uphold the boycott against Coca-Cola products being sold and advertised by the SU, adding that he will be “disappointed” if students voted to dissolve the ban.

The referendum will be held in tandem with executive council elections, which are scheduled to take place at the end of this month.

UCDSU was the first SU to boycott Coca-Cola products following allegations regarding the treatment of staff by the corporation. Nestlé products were banned from sale in SU shops in November 1994 following a World Health Organisation (WHO) statement that the use of powered milk products, promoted by the company, in countries where there is no clean water supply caused the death of up to one million infants per year.

5 responses to “New Laureate for Irish Fiction set to lecture at UCD
  1. Thank you for writing this! You’ve made really important observations that i hope are noted by this committee and add to the discussion.

    Another fun fact: we were denied permission again almost exactly a year ago by the President’s Cabinet (Kuncl’s, not ASUR) to launch a publicly accessible website. This was after increasing pressure all year to go online as well as a well-established belief amongst students and faculty that we’d lost readership and quality as a publication for not having done so.
    I was told that in the Cabinet’s meeting about this, the largest opponent of was the admissions department, due to the belief that the paper’s quality would shed a bad light on the university. My attempts to arrange permissions for the website, unfortunately, were always directed to the Marketing department.

    For the administration to claim that they are in full support of the Bulldog Weekly and its goals and that it’s entirely the student body that does not want it to move forward is just a lie.

    (That’s more than I intended to write – sorry! Anyways thank you for keeping this conversation alive you put it so well. And the amount of alumni support the Bulldog is getting is amazing!)

  2. just a quick detail comment: the person whose quote about “rich white males” started the discussion is nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them/their, not she/her. so if their story is going to go far and wide, it’d be great not to misgender them.

    1. Hello I’m afraid I’m not sure whose quote and misgenderment you are referring to, I don’t seem refer to rich white males. Might you have the wrong article?

  3. I don’t have any issues with the Ghibli list. As far as the non-Ghibli list is concerned, I would only substitute Satoshi Kon’s “Millenium Actress” for “Perfect Blue.” I have those two movies in my personal library, along with each of the Ghibli movies of course.

  4. V.V.: Thank you for that lucid and passionate analysis of the Bulldog debacle (good backstory!). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–committed and talented students like yourself (and Laura, and Michael, and all the other editors and writers through the years) are what made my job more than worth the weekly drive from L.A. to the I.E. That inspiration continues. I hope your optimism is warranted and the paper stages a comeback free from university meddling. The involvement of marketing doesn’t bode well, but I’ll share your optimism for now.

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