The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:

I’ve followed with interest the various stories in the MacWeekly about the fate of Coca-Cola on campus. It was only a couple of years ago that Coca-Cola was the only choice on campus. As I understand it, based on conversations with the Social Responsibility Committee (SRC), the College decided not to renew its exclusive contract with Coca-Cola and went with a vendor that would provide a variety of drink products on campus. I believe this was the correct decision for the campus since it provided choice for the campus community.

I have always believed that Macalester was a place that valued both education and social responsibility. It would seem to me that the best way to deal with the questions surrounding Coca-Cola would be to educate the community and then allow each member of the community to express his or her concern through their purchasing decisions. The College doesn’t buy Coca-Cola; the students, staff and faculty purchase these products. Members of this community currently have a choice. If they purchase Coca-Cola products, they will continue to be stocked by our vendor. If, however, individuals believe that the company that produces Coca-Cola should have its products banned then they can do so by their individual purchasing decisions. If the community doesn’t purchase Coca-Cola then the vendor won’t stock it.

I suspect that if the Macalester community was to stop buying Coca-Cola products, rather than having the College ban them from campus, this would send a stronger message than a simple ban. I urge the SRC to rescind its recommendation to the President to ban Coca-Cola and spend its time educating the community about the issues surrounding Coca-Cola. Then the community can make informed decisions regarding their purchasing habits.

Dan Hornbach

Professor of Biology

SRC Chair clarifies timeline on Rosenberg’s Coca-Cola decision

To the Editor:

I’d like to clarify some statements made in the April 7 Mac Weekly about the timing of the Coca-Cola issues and the speed with which the president’s office is moving. In the article, Prof. Peter Rachleff states, “It’s been five weeks now since the committee recommended to [president Brian Rosenberg] that he write a letter [to Coca-Cola].” This statement may give the impression that the president has been stalling for five weeks on the drafting of a letter to Coca-Cola, but that is not actually the case.

On March 1, the SRC voted to recommend suspending the sale of Coke products on campus. As chair of the SRC, I wrote to Brian Rosenberg on March 2, informing him of this decision and the rationale. In my email to the president, I told him that the SRC would produce a letter to the Coca-Cola Co., a letter which he could edit and sign, rewrite, or reject, according to his own decision on the SRC’s recommendation. Producing the letter for the president’s possible use took some considerable time as I and others did additional background work, wrote a draft, and shared some editing. The draft letter arrived on the president’s desk on March 30. Therefore, though it is technically true that the SRC voted several weeks ago to recommend that Brian Rosenberg send a letter to Coca-Cola, the president has had the SRC’s actual letter for a much shorter time.

It is reasonable for the president to take time to make an informed decision. Like others on SRC, I hope that he will conclude this process soon, and accept the committee’s recommendation.

Marjorie Merryman, Chair SRC

Music Department Chair

Article failed to accurately reflect Macalester community values

To the Editor:

Hattie Stahl’s article on couples at Macalester (“Macalester is for Lovers,” April 7) was a very nicely written article. Without wishing to diminish the obvious research Stahl prepared, I would like to point out the very strong invisible presence pervading her writing. The article fails to address that Macalester, like the entire rest of the world, contains more than heterosexual or marriage-willing peoples.

Marriage itself has never been an indicator of love or happiness, and many male-female couples resist the patriarchal and historically uneven confines of marriage. An equally large population of Macalester’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff are unable to marry because of their sexuality. By focusing the article almost exclusively on biologically recognized male-female wedded pairs, the article sadly joined the masses of heteronormative writing already dominating the media.

The complete invisibility of difference was hardly unusual, but deeply disappointing—especially coming from a paper that should be more aware and appreciative of the multiple identities and approaches to living on and off campus. While I am not an advocate of gay marriage—being against marriage as an institutional state—I am an advocate of equal representation. Stahl clearly forgot that the population she was focusing on was an extraordinarily privileged one. It was upsetting to see such a blatant denial of difference within our community.

Maggie Kinkead `07

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