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January 17, 2008 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-17

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S

8A - Thursday, January 17, 2008
COKE
From Page 1A
ists pushed the University to cut
its contracts with the company.
The Colombia investigation,
which is being conducted by the
United Nations' International
Labour Organization, has not
been completed.
Members of the Campaign to
Cut Contracts with Coca-Cola,
the student coalition that origi-
nally lobbied the University,
rejected the report, which they
claim was conducted by an "ally"
of the Coca-Cola Company in
India.
"I'm not surprised the Univer-
sity accepted the assessment, but
we don't accept the assessment,"
said Clara Hardie, an RC alum,
who now serves as an adviser to
the campaign.
Hardie said TERIis not avalid
independent assessor because
Coke has been listed as one of the
group'scorporate sponsors.
Coke came under fire in 2004
for allegedly committing labor
abuses in Colombia and engaging
in environmentally destructive
production practices in India.

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

After the University established
the Vendor Code of Conduct in
2004, Students Organizing for
Labor and Economic Equality
brought four complaints against
the Coca-Cola Company before
the University's Dispute Review
Board.Theboardeventuallyruled
that reports of pesticide content
in Coke products warranted fur-
ther investigation. The University
suspended its contracts with Coke
for four months in early 2006 asa
result of the controversy.
Hoffman said the report's
release ended the University's
role in the India investigation.
"That process has effectively
ended," Hoffman said at the
meeting. Hoffman conceded that
the report has raised other prob-
lems referringto the findings that
Coke is contributing water scar-
city.
University alum Amit Sriv-
astava, who now coordinates
the San Francisco-based India
Resource Center, which supports
anti-globalization efforts, called
the report "a scathing indict-
ment of Coca-Cola's operations in
India."
"It seems to me that the report
concludes quite incontrovertibly
that Coke is in violation of the

Vendor Code of Conduct," said
Sayan Bhattacharyya, a Rackham
Graduate School student and a
member of the anti-Coke cam-
paign, at the meeting.
During the meeting, Bhat-
tacharyya and other students
demanded that the University
suspend purchasing on these
grounds.
Hoffman told group members
that the University had already
looked into their concerns
"This is a statement that you
have been listened to," Hoffman
said, thumping the Soo-page
report on his lap with his hand.
"What's the role for the Univer-
sity to play here? Is it to adjudi-
cate and punish, or to affect real
change?"
"This report is broader than
the University, but it probably
wouldn't have happened if not for
the University of Michigan," Nor-
gren said.
She cited Coke's decision to
produce annual environmen-
tal assessments for its plants as
another sign that the company is
acting in good faith.
Judith Walls, a post-doctoral
fellow in the School of Natural
Resources and Environment who
studies corporate environmental
strategy, said she agreed that the
Coca-Cola Company has shown
significant progress on that front.
"In the past they were very
resistant," Walls said, "It's only
recently that they've begun work-
ing on that."

WEBSITE
From Page 1A
MIT's project cost about $24 mil-
lion, much of it covered by grants,
Hardin said. The dScribe team will
need to find funding for the proj-
ect, whether from the University or
from third-party sources.
Although Hardin said the proj-
ect probably won't cost as much
as MIT's, Ross School of Business
junior Blake Emerson said he's con-
cerned that the program would take
away money from undergraduate
education.
"I'd be worried about wonder-
ing why my money is going to fund
people's education that don't go to
COMMENCEMENT
From Page 1A
you what we were goingto do about
graduation. It's not that simple.
That's why we're revisiting the
issue. In retrospect, we wouldn't do
it this way again."
During the meeting, University
officials used a PowerPoint presen-
tation to show students current pic-
tures of Michigan Stadium and its
ongoing construction. Cunningham
said administrators showed the pic-
tures so students would understand
the University's position.
"We wanted to give them as

the University," he said.
University administrators say
the site will also help the Univer-
sity recruit top students. About 40
percent of MIT students said Open-
CourseWare "figured significantly"
in their decision to enroll at the uni-
versity.
Hardin said feedback on the
prospect of a similar program at the
University of Michigan has been
positive, citing surveys distributed
to University students and faculty.
English Prof. Ralph Williams
declined to say whether he sup-
ported or opposed the site, but said
online resources can't replace a tra-
ditional college education.
"I, for one, would greatly regret
a situation in which the University
was simply addressing the world
much information as we could,"
Cunningham said.
Asked whether she thought the
pictures had any impact on stu-
dents and their disappointment
with the situation, Cunningham
replied with a simple"no."
One student demanded to know
why University President Mary
Sue Coleman wasn't at the meet-
ing. Harper said Coleman was busy
with other University business.
LSA senior Sophia Johnson was
frustrated by the administrators'
responses, saying that the football
team appears to be more of a prior-
ity than the class of 2008.
"You guys would move heaven
and earth if we were three months

without listening to the world," he
said. "Learning is not a spectatorial
affair."
John Merlin Williams said open
course websites have more benefits
than disadvantage, though.
"By making your learning con-
tent publicly available, it's not the
same as having a degree certified by
the University," he said. "It doesn't
really hurt the university in terms
of applicants and attendants, that's
what MIT found. It's a marketing
advantage."
Hardin agreed.
"To get a Michigan education,
you've got to go to Michigan," he
said.
- Philip Guichelaar
contributed to this report.
away from the season opener right
now," Johnson said. "We would not
be playing a football game at East-
ern."
Many students at the meet-
ing said the University should pay
whateverittakestoholdgraduation
at Michigan Stadium, something
that Harper said is not a realistic
option.
"Ithink there's areasonable point
where we all would say 'That's too
much,' " Harper said. "What that
point is, I don't know."
Hank Baier, associate vice presi-
dent of facilities and operations,
said the Board of Regents and Cole-
man would likely be the ones to
judge how much is too much.

1

Internship Fair
Tuesday, January 22nd
2-6pm at The Michigan Union
Meet with organizations targeting
UM students
Registration: on-site the d of the event
Check-out participati organizations at
www careercenter.umich edu
Quick Tips
Dress professionally
Bring your resume
Check the fair website for more tips
Secause...sometimes your passion pursues you!
For mre infrmation contact us at:
3200 WAi
(73)47 The Career Center
vwww.catecentes'.mithedu GDvson of student Affaits

A'f

I

DEAN ROBERT J. DOLAN
AND THE STEPHEN M. ROSS SCHOOL

MICHIGAN
ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

OF BUSINESS PRESENT

*1

Character Isn't an Audib
Growth with Integrity

:

A Special Lecture in Honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday I January 21 | 2:00 p.m. | Rackham Auditorium
Book signing immediately following I Open to the public

A

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