Starbucks: Caving in to Commercial Interests?

Tired of drinking Seattle’s Best at the Budapest Café? Do you long for the almost metropolitan feel of a Starbucks vente in your hand? Has drinking the watery coffee in GLAR day in and day out made you look at a bag of Starbucks coffee grinds in the grocery store like a bag of fine cocaine?

If so, congratulations! You’ve been brainwashed by the corporate machine! (I’m probably one of you.) And you’re about to be rewarded for your blind brand obedience: the new cafe in the library will sell Starbucks. Yes, it’s true.

But why Starbucks? Why not Seattle’s Best? What are the factors at work here? I do find it a little odd that the only other big corporate name on campus is Barnes and Noble, and Barnes and Noble makes it a point to advertise that they sell Starbucks at the cafes in their bookstores (Google search “Barnes and Noble” and “Starbucks” together).

Did some reps from these two corporations get together and plot yet some other means of cornering the always valuable, always caffeine-starving college student market? Maybe. Probably. But is that really a bad thing? It’s certainly nothing new.

The real argument I want to make here is that college students should be conscious, but not necessarily wary, of appeals to corporate interests on their college campus. If too much marketing of a product takes place here at McDaniel, I believe that students who are conscious of such marketing will recognize whether or not it is too much—if it is unfair, unjust, etc. And right now, Starbucks isn’t selling coffee everywhere on campus or even advertising their availability in the upcoming café, apart from a small sign in the front of the library.

So, just look out everyone. And remember: the good news is there are already two other Starbucks locations in Westminster, so there won’t be people coming in from all around to get their fix—which, in Westminster, is definitely a good thing.