Starbucks lovers

So cheap coffee went down in flames

I pay around 30 cents a cup for my daily morning cup of tea. Because I make it at home. Of course, I have the privilege of time to do so. Recently we learned that Bon Appétit and Starbucks had discontinued the $2 coffee deal. Students’ collective outrage led to it being front page news. Not even racist remarks in Fribley get to be front page news.

Case Western Reserve University students do have every right to be upset at price increases. This university already squeezes money out of us whenever it can. Our tuition soars ever higher even as services are outsourced or cut altogether. We put up with an ever-building workload and now must do so with more expensive caffeine. But why is this the green plastic straw that broke the venti soy latte’s back?

Perhaps our collective apathy has finally come to a boil. Or perhaps this is evidence that we as a university will finally cry out at injustice, but only injustice that actively interferes with our daily routines. This is then a chance to learn a lesson about empathy.

To the outside observer, the collective outrage over coffee at a middling chain coffee joint seems ridiculous. But to the CWRU student, this is yet another vital resource ripped away. This is what gets you to class and helps you halfway pay attention to thermodynamics. It’s finishing that paper at 2 a.m. It’s the burnt, bitter brew that makes the day bearable. And now CWRU has taken that away.

Similarly injustice of greater magnitudes confronts CWRU on a regular basis. From racist graffiti to shady dealings with creepy law school faculty. But since, for many of us, these do not ram directly into our daily realities, they feel almost as forgettable as the loss of chain coffee does to the outside observer.

Not only is this perhaps a chance to examine where our priorities lie, but it also a chance to ask if we really care. As stated by The Observer itself, “Although many students had been posting on social media about how angry they were about the removal of the $2 drinks, and [Residence Hall Association] had been pushing the forum as an opportunity to express their concerns, no students were present.”

If something does make us this angry, yet when it actually comes down to it we remain idle, do we really care? Front page news and yet not a student in sight. Perhaps the most vital lesson to learn here is that we can have all the empathy and understanding and righteous anger over injustice, but if we do not show up and demand change, then racist graffiti will continue to leave us frighteningly unfazed, and all we’ll do is yell about it on the internet over our newly higher-priced bitter proof of our own apathy. It will be yet another example of just how much we care and how little we act.

Zak Khan doesn’t even go here anymore, but they have a lot of feelings and angry barking.