The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

Are Aggies Ditching Williams Dining Hall’s Starbucks in Solidarity with Global Boycott?


Since its opening in 2010, N.C. A&T’s main Starbucks storefront, located in Williams Dining Hall, has been a hotspot for Aggies. However, as global boycotts of major corporations such as McDonald’s, Amazon and Starbucks are encouraged, Williams Dining Hall’s main attraction has seemingly lost its luster. 

A sophomore mechanical engineering student, Eman Mcnair says he frequently eats at Williams Cafe and has noticed a change at Starbucks. 

“I’ve noticed that there haven’t been too many people going there this semester,” Mcnair said.  

The boycotts of Starbucks and major corporations alike began in late October of 2023, as the Israeli-Hamas war rapidly escalated. 

Lists of corporations that were suspected of supporting the Israeli military spread on social media like wildfire; sparking global boycotts and heavy criticism by pro-Palestinians. 

Although Starbucks Corporate has denied any allegations of financially supporting the Israeli military, many customers are reluctant to believe them due to Starbucks’ recent lawsuit against their nationally recognized labor union, Starbucks Workers United. 

On Oct. 9, Starbucks Workers United took to their X account to announce their position on the Israeli-Hamas feud. 

The post, which was deleted after 40 minutes, stated “Solidarity with Palestine!” clearly emphasizing the union’s stance on the issue. 

In response, Starbucks Corporate is suing Workers United for copyright infringement; claiming the group was never given permission to platform their political opinions and demanding the group cease to use the green, circular Starbucks logo. 

Many believe that Starbucks’ quick response to the decision to take legal action against Starbucks Workers United, was a clear indication of the company’s alleged allegiance to Israel. That being said, numerous pro-Palestine A&T students have decided to support the popular coffee chain no longer. 

Mia Platts, a sophomore biology student, said she was previously a very regular customer at Starbucks, due to it being the most accessible coffee spot on campus. 

However, after learning about Starbucks’ recent accusations, she refuses to use her Flex Dollars at the establishment.

“We do not place money in the pockets of those who think genocide is only OK when it feeds their pockets,” Platts said. 

Although A&T’s Starbucks isn’t a corporate store, as it is owned by the food service company Sodexo, the corporation still generates revenue from sales; further encouraging Platts and her peers to boycott the coffeehouse. 

Kamal Magee, a sophomore psychology student and former Starbucks employee who is also participating in the boycott, says that he rarely visited Starbucks outside of his work hours, so it has not been difficult to avoid.

“I never went there to begin with, so nothing’s really changed,” said Magee.

In agreement with Magee, sophomore journalism student Gabrielle Howard said,“I can boycott a cup of coffee, it’s not hard for me.” 

On the other hand, current Starbucks employee, Shakayla Size, says business hasn’t slowed down. 

“Around 10 am when everyone’s getting out of class, it still gets packed like normal,” said Size. 

Freshman criminal justice student, Peyton Stewart, says she continues to go to Starbucks because she has yet to find a replacement for their drinks. 

“I’m not boycotting Starbucks, but I don’t support their actions. I just really like their drinks and there’s not another place on campus that has anything similar,” said Stewart. 

Although the entire student body isn’t participating in the global Starbucks boycott, it’s still safe to assume that the majority of A&T students are aware of Starbucks’ recent controversy and have given conscious evaluation to where they’re spending their money; whether it be dining dollars or their own.

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