Volume 91, Issue 93

Wednesday, March 25, 1998



Soft drink deal may turn flat for USC

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

Western's thirst for a single beverage on campus increased last week as administration members met with the University Students' Council to discuss a possible deal.

Although talks are still in the preliminary stages, determining how to spend the potentially large revenue from an exclusive beverage contract may prove troublesome down the road as the USC and administration seem to have different ideas in mind.

Council would like to see all incoming revenue (predicted to be around $10 million) from the deal go towards student aid, but the administration is not willing to commit to a single avenue for the funds.

Ryan Parks, USC president, said last week's meeting with administration provided an opportunity for council to let their intentions surrounding a deal be known. "We are excited about a single beverage deal where profits go to student aid."

However, Peter Mercer, Western's VP-administration, said any contract would involve many potential dimensions and admitted the administration would like to see the 2001 Canada Summer Games play a role when allocating funds from a possible deal. He added it is unlikely all the revenue from a contract would go strictly to financial aid.

"I don't think you'd be likely to find that a university would want to tie itself down to one exclusive object," Mercer said.

"It was obvious the administration was very prepared [at the meeting] with ideas for the Canada Games," said USC president-elect Ian Armour. Parks added he suspected there would be proposals from the administration about the money going towards the new stadium to be built in time for the games.

He added he doesn't think revenue from a possible beverage deal should go to building a new stadium because there is currently a large fund-raising campaign in place to raise the necessary funds. "It is easier to raise money for something tangible like a stadium than it is for student aid," Parks said.

Jim Walden, general manager of the USC, explained the council and the administration have agreed to be partners in the deal and will eventually have to agree on where the money is spent.

"We have been invited to be a part of the process, now we would like to determine the conditions of this partnership."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998