The Carillon brings you the weekly news from the University of Regina.
by Ai Lin Choo
VANCOUVER (CUP) - The University of British Columbia may lose some of the private funding it receives if students and faculty don't start drinking more Coca-Cola.
According to the terms of a recently revealed exclusivity contract with the soft drink bottler, UBC is required to purchase 33,600,000 cans or bottles of Coke over a 10-year period, ending in 2005.
If the university fails to meet its target consumption, Coke has the right to continue to provide soft drinks on campus exclusively for an additional two years, with no funding for the university during the additional period.
UBC is not currently on schedule to meet its consumption quota.
Steve Clark, Coca-Cola's Western Canada spokesperson, confirmed that UBC's minimum consumption requirements were not being met, but said it was still too early to judge what the situation would look like in a few years.
"We're kind of in the middle of the deal. We're working closely with the university and the [student association] to put a plan into place to achieve the original goals of the agreement," he said.
According to Erfan Kazemi, the president of the university's student association, extending the exclusivity deal with Coke by two years could limit other sources of funding the association receives.
The association would not be able to draw funding from another soft drink bottler if Coke was able to provide beverages exclusively for two years at no charge.
Arts Undergraduate Society representative Rob Nagai said the student association currently depends on the Coke revenue and might have to consider other deals in the future to offset the funding loss when the Coke contract expires.
"The money, once you've got used to it, it's hard to get rid of," he said.
Under the contract with Coke, UBC receives close to $8.5 million over 10 years. To date, the university has used the funding to improve disability access, student services, the library, and to compensate UBC Food Services and UBC Athletics for the losses they incurred as a result of the exclusivity deal.
The student association receives about 29 per cent of the sponsorship money.
The terms of the contract between the university and Coke had been kept secret until earlier this summer when the B.C. Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled that UBC and Coca-Cola were obligated to disclose details of their agreement.
The ruling came in response to a court challenge initiated by two student newspapers, the Ubyssey and Capilano Courier. The papers took legal action to have the agreement made public five years ago after a Ubyssey reporter was denied an access to information request.
Questions or comments? Email Marie Olinik, Acting Technology Co-Ordinator.