Students agree Starbucks Coffee tastes better than social justice

Starbucks on campus.
Photo by Julian Fesman

Chapman students interviewed at the campus Starbucks appeared undisturbed over the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks, which has prompted calls for a boycott of the coffee chain.

“I completely support the boycott,” said Alejandra Cortes, a junior mathematics major drinking a venti iced latte.

“I know I sound like such a hypocrite because I have my Starbucks with me right now, but, the thing is that, I have panther bucks and can only buy things on this campus and I hate Einsteins and I hate Sodexo Coffee,” Cortes said.

A Starbucks manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called police Thursday after two black men waiting to meet a friend had asked to use the bathroom and declined to purchase anything, according to news reports. Police arrived and arrested the two men, who were detained for nine hours before being released after Starbucks declined to press charges.

According to published reports, Starbucks representatives have said the manager is no longer at that location, though it was not clear whether the person was fired or relocated. In a public statement, Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, said that “all US company stores, located in the United States,” will be closed one afternoon next month for their employees to receive racial-bias education.


Students lined up for their daily dose of caffeine despite what happened in Philadelphia.
Photo by Julian Fesman

Those actions were taken after an explosion of outrage on social media and social protests. Hashtags such as #StarbucksWhileBlack and #BoycottStarbucks emerged and articles citing “black coffee/white fear” bloomed across the internet.

“I would not boycott Starbucks because I’m here every single day and it helps me get through my day,” said Jaylynn Mitchell, a freshman kinesiology major, waiting for her evening coffee.

“If I were to boycott Starbucks, stuff like this happens a lot, so I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere” Kristian Kung a freshman business major after buying two bottles of Perrier.   

Students lined up for coffee and lounged at Starbucks this week in spite of protests elsewhere.

“In two weeks everybody’s gonna forget about it anyways,” said Michelle Gold, a freshman public relations and advertising major.

“I wish that this sort of thing would spark something to actually change, but I don’t know, I guess it won’t,” Gold said.

The supervisor of the busy Chapman Starbucks said he was unlikely to call police for anyone hanging out without purchasing something.

“This Starbucks is at a university, so people come down and not order things all the time” Riccardo Angiolini, a junior computer information systems major and Starbucks supervisor of the on-campus cafe.

Angiolini could see calling the authorities as an appropriate response for someone stealing from the cafe, harassing others, being a public disturbance or inciting physical violence.

“Those are good instances where you would call them. Definitely not someone just sitting minding their own business, doing their own thing,” Angiolini said.  

Julien Khvang & Julian Fesman

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