You may have noticed a surprising lack of Nantucket Nectars at Gingers, or a disappearing favorite drink at the Underground. These are the aftereffects of a new contract that the university has made, and the Pulse went to speak with a Housing and Dining Services representative to gather the details on this new change in beverage choice. Below are the findings from this interview, in a Q&A format.
What is this new contract, and what does it do in general?
The contract is called the "Pepsi Pouring Rights Agreement." It which limits the serving of drinks to primarily Pepsi products and makes them "preferred under agreement." The only beverage choice in all dining locations will be Pepsi products, with Entropy and vending machines being the only exceptions.
When was the deal voted upon, and when did implementation begin?
The contract negotiations began last year, and was implemented on January 11th, 2008.
What are the specific effects of the Pepsi Pouring Rights Agreement?
The majority of dining locations were already serving Pepsi products solely Ė since all they had were fountain beverages (served from a tap). The real change comes in Entropy, vending machines and locations that also served bottled drinks: Entropy along with the overall vending machines on campus now have to keep a ratio of 7:3 with majority Pepsi products, and the locations that served bottled drinks have to convert entirely to Pepsi products.
Why was the deal made? What are some of the benefits of it?
The deal was made primarily because of the serving cost. It was simply cheaper than the alternatives with an assured level of service that could meet the university's standards. As an aside, since the time the agreement was done to the time of implementation, area rates went up 18% and Carnegie Mellon was not affected as a result of the agreement.
Were students or Student Senate consulted on the changes?
There was a meeting with Senate to announce the new changes before implementation, but there was not much information prior to it outside of the administration. There were no formal solicitations of student input. Since the implementation, Kim Abel, Director of Housing and Dining, has been talking to formal student groups such as the SDC, responding to questions from students, and explaining the ramifications and the details surrounding the agreement.
Is there any chance of reversing it?
The agreement is a legal arrangement with Pepsi, so nothing can really be done.
This sort of deal isn't very extraordinary in the world of higher academia, with many universities and colleges across the nation also making similar agreements. Because of the relatively high student interest that the Pepsi Pouring Rights Agreement has stirred, Housing and Dining Services has encouraged students to relay their input through comment cards at the dining locations, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and telephone (412) 268-2139.
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