Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

Loyola Arrives at a Beverage Contract Decision

December 10, 2007

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Loyola University Chicago's contract with its current provider of beverage services, Coca-Cola, is set to expire on July 31, 2008. In selecting a new provider of beverage services across the lakeside campuses, the University took into account the cost of the beverage services, the preferences of students, faculty, and staff in beverage selection, the concerns of some members of the Loyola community regarding controversial activities of some vendors in foreign countries, and the ability of the vendors to provide a full range of services to the Loyola community.

Over the course of several months, the University engaged in an extensive evaluation of potential beverage service contracts:

  • A selection committee consisting of staff members from various departments, as well as students, was formed to review the proposals submitted by Coca-Cola and other beverage service companies.

  • The University conducted an online poll of students, faculty, and staff to ascertain beverage preferences.

  • Representatives from the Coca-Cola Company attended an open forum on campus to field questions from attendees.

Based on these and many other factors, and subject to obtaining further input from our Jesuit community in Colombia, the President's Cabinet has decided to agree to a non-exclusive five-year contract with both Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes, makers of Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, and R.C. Cola, among other beverages. Rather than signing an exclusive ten-year contract with a single vendor, this strategy will give the Loyola community more flexibility and choice in beverage selection.

Our Jesuit community in Colombia has reported that information from the trade unions connected with Coca-Cola in Colombia shows that there is no direct link between Coca-Cola and the death squads. As a result, the University has accepted the recommendation of the President's Cabinet and feels that it will both satisfy Loyola's beverage preferences and meet the expectations of our community.

We know that some members of our Loyola community will find this decision to be difficult because of their strong convictions that the truth regarding Coca-Cola in the world economy and their stance on human rights in Colombia has not been fully revealed. Others may feel that a fair compromise has been reached. Whatever your feelings, you should know that the members of the committee and the President's Cabinet took very seriously this decision in light of our institutional commitment to social justice. We will continue to be alert to ongoing dialogue about this subject and will again review our position at the close of this new contract.

Special thanks to the members of the committee, Timothy McGuriman, Sam Perry, John Planek, Megan Barry, Warren Hale, Lydia Wylie-Kellerman, Wendy Crupper, Ted Lancette, and Whitney Herrig, for their hard work and careful consideration of the issues of this decision. For more information, please contact Timothy McGuriman.

Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.