#Students' Rights
The Administration of the Catholic University of America
United States of America

As the national university of the Catholic Church, The Catholic University of America (CUA) has an exemplary role in upholding the moral principles of faith and reason. The policies and governances of CUA, including the various businesses that operate under her banner, witness in some way, for good or ill, to all citizens, but especially to her faculty and staff, students and alumni (hereafter “members”). In turn, CUA members have a unique obligation of living an exemplary life, modeled in part on the mission of the pontifical university. CUA acknowledges this obligation in her mission statement: “[The University’s] distinctive character ultimately depends on the intellectual and moral quality of its members.”

In view of this solemn declaration, we, the undersigned members of CUA, wish to question the prudence at work in allowing businesses to operate at our university which support causes that militate against the dignity of the human person. Starbucks Coffee is one such business.

It has been confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt that Starbucks uses revenue from its products and its platform as a nationally recognizable chain to support that which is gravely objectionable [1-3]. It is widely known, for instance, that the CEO of Starbucks advocates for both Planned Parenthood (the largest abortion provider in the United States) [1] and “gay marriage” legislation [2-3], stating, in fact, that the latter “is core to who we are and what we value as a company” [2]. Because both abortion and same-sex unions are deemed morally unacceptable by the Catholic Church (see CCC 2271 and CCC 2357-2359, respectively), permitting the sale of Starbucks products on campus is particularly unwise. It countenances the notion that CUA supports the practices of Starbucks and, what is more, it makes material cooperators of CUA members in the financing of gravely immoral acts.

A few have voiced concern that, if Starbucks were removed from the Przybyla Center, there would be no other means to purchase coffee on campus. The prospect of this difficulty could be easily remedied. There are many other coffee providers, fully competitive with Starbucks in products and services, that do not consider it necessary as a matter of corporate policy to support and advance causes inimical to Catholic moral teaching. Dunkin Donuts, whose coffee costs less and whose profit does not go to the promotion of immoral causes, is just one example. Even a student-run coffee shop has been proposed as a possible remedy. However, the discussion of the replacement for Starbucks is secondary to the purpose of this appeal. The issue before us is not a matter of convenience, but of principle. Can we continue to ignore Starbucks and its corporate positions on issues of vital moral concern? We can, but only to the detriment of those involved in or suffering the effects of abortion and same-sex activities, all those who mistakenly cooperate in the work of Starbucks, and those of us who have been privileged to know better.

It seems not only advisable, then, but imperative that The Catholic University of America takes all measures necessary to prevent the violation of her mission and faith, and, in consequence, the consciences of her members, by relinquishes her licensing agreement with Starbucks Coffee. It is not only our right, but our duty, as members of this community of Catholic scholars, to challenge any organization that exhibits its contempt for the created orders of life and marriage.

[1]: https://familycouncil.org/?p=4230
[2]: http://www.nomblog.com/20829/
[3]: http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/26/news/companies/starbucks-gay-marriage/index.html

In view of the aforementioned reasons, we, the undersigned members of The Catholic University of America community, call on the administration of the University to take reasonable means to relieve Starbucks Coffee of their services on campus as soon as possible.

Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.

The Undersigned

The Dump Starbucks at the Catholic University of America petition to The Administration of the Catholic University of America was written by Anonymous and is in the category Students' Rights at GoPetition.