Column – Cola Wars come to campus

When will Coca-Cola’s tyranny over GW end? All I see these days is the red cup glaring like a communist banner. There seems to be some revisionist history at work: a year ago, it was the faux-iced over Pepsi cup – albeit in a cooler blue – that dominated the GW landscape. Yet today, it seems that Pepsi cup never existed. I wonder if there are any photos of Pepsi cup-wielding students in the administration’s glossy publications. Have they been airbrushed to reflect our school’s new contract?

Don’t get me wrong; I think the Coke-Pepsi battles were great. Every candidate had to declare whether they were pro-Coke or anti-Coke. Some Student Association candidates ran their entire campaigns on the theme (and if elected, I promise to bomb Pepsi back into the Stone Age), but now that the war is over, what do we do?

If this were post-WWII America, the answer would be easy: build houses and breed like rabbits. But we are an urban college – no room for houses. And I doubt anyone wants to breed like rabbits around here, which is a good thing. Instead, we worry about other things like education and quality of life. Though cola still weighs heavily on my mind.

To keep our future SA candidates busy, I challenge them to run on a pro-Pepsi platform in the coming election. You know the SA wonks are already gearing up for the next one even though it’s in April; they live for this stuff.

Maybe it’s unrealistic to think GW will tear up its Coke contract after one year, but there is good reason to do so. Why not spend some cash on our own soda fountains and have Coke and Pepsi next to each other? Safeway sells Coke and Pepsi, and sometimes RC Cola, too! So why can’t the MC Store – or whatever they call it this week – sell Coke and Pepsi, too? It’s a buyer’s market, people!

Besides, can you imagine the Zen-like oneness that will follow from seeing the red and blue Coke and Pepsi logos side by side? It would be like seeing the sun and moon in the same sky every day! Perhaps in the era of two-party systems, of Democrats and Republicans, of Macs and PCs, of Coke and Pepsi, we also need a third party, to round out the choices. Maybe we need the Green Party, Linux, and yes, maybe we even need Royal Crown Cola.

Is there anything wrong with a little choice in our beverage selections? Truth be told, I usually head over to Au Bon Pain and buy an Orangina or an iced tea. I don’t even really like soda. But if I do decide on an icy, carbonated beverage, is it so wrong for me to walk to a soda fountain and pick the soft drink I prefer? I think not!

I wonder, too, what GW gains from signing one contract with a specific distributor rather than purchasing any brand it chooses at any time? Who is really benefiting from this arrangement? Surely not the students whose choices are limited by the decision to stock only one brand.

The cola companies and distributors are the ones who benefit. But no longer will we let them dictate our drink of choice. Let’s show them that we will drink whatever we damn well please and we will drink it wherever we want. Coke drinkers next to Pepsi drinkers next to RC Cola drinkers, all singing a happy song: Cola `round the world, baby, cola where I want to. Throw Surge in there, too – what the hell, I’m feeling generous.

Forget the Pepsi challenge I issued to any SA candidate this spring. Here’s a better idea: the unified cola ticket. Lets have a little more cola unity and a little less cola divisiveness.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.