San Francisco State Halts Sale of 'Pouring Rights'

November 20, 2015

Student activism has stymied a university's plans to sell "pouring rights" to a soda company. San Francisco State University had planned to sell the right to be the main soda vendor on campus to the highest bidder. The practice is common among colleges and businesses.

The country's two major soda brands, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, were both competing for the deal. But students have protested the university's plans, even showing up outside at a meeting of university and Coca-Cola officials last month waving signs reading "student rights, not pouring rights," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Activists objected to the college supporting, though pouring rights and lucrative advertising deals at university sports venues (that would have been bundled with the pouring rights), sugary drink manufacturers, with many students highlighting how soda is widely seen as an unhealthy beverage contributing to obesity.

President Les Wong announced Thursday that San Francisco State no longer plans to sell pouring rights to a beverage company, largely due to student activism.

"After listening carefully to the concerns and information I received from our students, faculty and staff, I have decided not to move forward with the process of establishing a partnership with a beverage company," Wong said in a statement. "This decision will mean the loss of potential funding for student programs, scholarships and athletics. I remain committed to finding ways to generate additional financial support for our students and programs, and I hope that students will join me in this effort."

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