Many UA students opposed naming Peter Coors Executive of the YearEditor:
On Friday of last week, the College of Business and Public Administration presented its 1997 Executive of the Year Award to Peter Coors. Many students in the college did not support this decision. In fact, more than 40 graduate students from the School of Public Administration and other schools within the college signed a petition to oppose the award.
Peter Coors, the Coors family, and the Coors Brewery Company, have a long history of racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-immigrant and anti-labor policies. They support a wide variety of ultra-right wing organizations, including the Heritage Foundation and the John Birch Society. Not long ago, the KKK held meetings and protests on Coors property. Less than ten years ago, Coors required lie detector tests of its employees inquiring into their religion, sexual orientation, and political beliefs. Such backward policies sparked a 15-year boycott of Coors products that persists to this day. This boycott was joined by the AFL-CIO, numerous gay and lesbian, environmental and civil liberties organizations.
In recent years, the company has faced several law suits, $650,000 in environmental fines for polluting the Colorado region, and the above boycott. To mitigate some of these financial disasters, the company has engaged in an extensive program of "green-washing" the public, disseminating information that ostensibly exonerates them from this sordid past. Nevertheless, the Coors company and the Coors family continue to fund hate organizations and anti-environmental think-tanks. The U of A made its decision to grant Mr. Coors this award based on misleading information published by the Coors brewery.
We students are appalled and embarrassed by the college's decision. We do not support Peter Coors nor any organization that perpetuates an environment of hate.
By Ben Hale, Kate Schimdt and Shalla McMillen (letter)