By Paige Gould
On campus, students are rallying together to escape the Starbucks spell. Currently in the works is a petition that challenges the status quo by eliminating the current monopoly on coffee.
Stepping into the coffee scene, let’s illuminate the average student’s lived experience to better understand the importance of coffee. Coffee is a portal through which an aroma entices students to gather and engage in camaraderie. In this rich culture, there lies a college experience that students journey through, where each sip uncovers a new detail of this caffeinated magic.
Thus, an iced coffee is an integral part of a college student’s story. When they are presented with an illusion of choice, Starbucks portrays a plethora of beverages. This is a falsehood.
Why so much “fuss” over Starbucks? What does this have to do with historic Palestine’s integrated history with Israel and colonial powers?
Following Hamas’s attacks on Oct. 7, 2023, Israel’s siege of Gaza has led to more than 27,000 deaths, according to AP News. Many students and student organizations, such as Students for Justice in Palestine, are actively boycotting brands associated with alleged human rights violations and genocides, leaving them with no on-campus coffee options. The petition argues that this exclusivity not only stifles true choice but also contradicts the ethical principles that students hold dear.
Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan stated, “Our stance is clear. We stand for humanity.” Ironically, Starbucks claims that it aligns itself with humanity while suing the Workers United organization over a pro-Palestinian post on social media.
Starbucks is undoubtedly committed, but not to the cause that it claims to be. This company is solely focused on its capitalist interests. By protecting Israel, Starbucks uses its capital and power to sanction genocide against Palestinian children, women and men.
Shifting focus, imagine sipping on your favorite brew, knowing it was sourced ethically, with a commitment to fair labor practices and environmental sustainability. The petition aims to make this vision a reality, aligning our caffeinated drinks with the values we hold dear.
Coffee is not just a beverage; it's a personal experience. Recognizing the diverse tastes and preferences of students, the petition proposes an exhilarating array of alternative coffee brands. This is not just a change in the menu; it's a celebration of individuality, ensuring that every student has access to a coffee brand that not only tantalizes their taste buds but resonates with their values.
This issue pertains to building relationships within our local community. Embracing local businesses is not just a nod to community engagement, but an invitation for students to be a part of something bigger, where every sip supports local dreams.
The call for change resonates louder each day. Students call for a campus culture that dances to the rhythm of ethical values, individual tastes and local dreams. Join the movement, and let's redefine our coffee culture. Sip with purpose, and let the flavorful revolution begin!