Volume 93, Issue 9

Tuesday, September 14, 1999


Editorial Board 1999-2000

Milking the cash cow for a latte

Milking the cash cow for a latte

When initial rumours of a possible Starbucks location in D.B. Weldon Library starting circulating this June, the whole idea seemed too outrageous to be true.

After all the controversy over Coca-Cola's extensive presence on campus, the powers that be surely would never consider bringing a Starbucks into the fold. And even if they did, why on earth would they decide to do it in Weldon, where consuming any sort of beverage has typically yielded a penalty only slightly less severe than death? It just didn't add up.

Now, only months later, the rumours have become a reality but the questions have yet to go away. What conceivable explanation could university administration have that would justify this unexpected union? What brilliant argument could they serve up that would possibly explain this sudden reversal of long-standing university policy? Surely it's not for our convenience – it's hard to make such an argument when a perfectly functional Tim Horton's is only seconds away from Weldon's main doors.

Perhaps administration felt the student body were studying too much? Or maybe they wanted to give us the luxury of being able to choose between a cafe latte and a French vanilla? No. Sadly, the only logical explanation we're left with involves money. You can almost bet that a huge cash settlement was at the heart of this deal, thus proving yet again that greenbacks really are what make the university go round.

However, even by our admittedly low standards, this is bad. The addition of a Starbucks has taken Western to new heights in the corporate sellout department, placing us just slightly below the Olympics in the big money brown-nosing category. Come to think of it, we're probably only one phone call away from becoming the official University of Sydney 2000.

Do we really want this? Western's got enough of a reputation as it is – the presence of a faux-chic cash cow like Starbucks will do nothing but cement our status as hoity-toity rich kids. What else can we do to make ourselves look even more ridiculous? Club Monaco outlets in Natural Sciences? Volvo dealerships in the University Community Centre?

Why don't we just go the whole nine yards and replace Weldon with a Chapters – that way, students can switch from haphazardly flipping through textbooks to haphazardly flipping through magazines. One thing's for sure – it would certainly make administration proud. After all, they've already proven to us that the lesson they're most interested in teaching is Consumerism 101.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999