April 8, 2007

    This is the introduction to the University of Iowa Office of Equal
    Opportunity and Diversity web site.

    ?Welcome! For more than 150 years, The University of Iowa has
    beencommitted to maintaining a welcoming and diverse community
    of students,faculty, and staff, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge
    in an atmosphereof fairness and mutual respect, where differences
    are not only welcomed,but valued. We believe that complying with
    related laws and guidelines isonly one step in fulfilling our
    obligations to these principles.?

    Set aside for a moment, that no one in their right mind thinks that 150
    years ago the founders of the University of Iowa wanted a diverse
    community of students, faculty and staff. Slavery was still alive and
    welcome in the United States. Native Americans had been killed or
    displaced, if not by the founders of The University of Iowa, probably their
    ancestors. At some point during The University of Iowa?s 150 years of
    commitment, Mormons were driven out of the area.

    That is ancient history.

    Today The University of Iowa is part of the global community.

    Fairness and mutual respect is global. Fairness and respect is not limited
    to how we treat humans, but how we treat all animals. Fairness and
    respect includes not only racial and ethnic diversity but also class diversity.

    I am not suggesting The University of Iowa can take on all the world?s evils
    (although clearly, as the above statement points out, The University of
    Iowa could try to be more truthful). The University of Iowa could take small

    For example end the contract with Coca-Cola.

    Look into how The University of Iowa has used the hundreds of thousands
    of dollars from the contract with Coca-Cola. Then when you use these
    services I suggest you think aboutwhetherCoca-Cola creates an
    environment ?of fairness and mutual respect.?

    When Coca-Cola depletes the ground water in India, is that out of mutual
    respect? When they union bust in Columbia is that out of mutual respect?

    This is the information age. When The University of Iowa signs the Coca-
    Cola contract ? they are complicit in Coca-Cola?s global strategy. The
    University of Iowa administration knows this. It is not a secret.

    The University of Iowa may foster a climate of fairness and mutual respect
    on campus, but it is clear The University?s commitment to fairness and
    mutual respect, at the very best, only goes as far as the Pentacrest.

    I am not sure if that means The University of Iowa does not care, is not
    interested, or thinks people in other countries are just not worth it.Inany
    case, it is not acceptable.

    I just think the ground water in India has to be more important than
    additional soft seating on campus.Find out how the ?Coke money? is
    being used and refuse to take advantage of those services.

    Richard Shannon
    255 Iowa Avenue
    Apt 504
    Iowa City, IA 52240
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