By Michael Abeyta
DENVER (CBS4) – A new wellness center will be opening soon at the University of Colorado Denver, and one thing that won’t be inside is an ink! Coffee Shop.
Christina Hughes is involved with student government at CU Denver. When she heard in a meeting that ink! Coffee was coming to campus, she was upset.
“It just feels like a complete incongruence with who our campus is,” she said.
She felt like having the coffee chain on campus flew in the face of the school’s mission to embrace diversity and inclusion.
Last year, ink! came under fire for posting a sign outside their location at 28th and Larimer Streets that read, “Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014.”
Many felt like the sign was insensitive to people who have been displaced from the traditionally blue collar neighborhood by neighborhood revitalization.
Hughes and another student created a group called “No Ink On Our Hands” which petitioned the administration at CU Denver to terminate the contract they had with ink!.
“We definitely grew the cohort, and we were definitely gearing up for the long haul if we had to,” Hughes said.
Their action led to a meeting between administration, ink! and the students in which they discussed the future of the space and the coffee shop’s contract with the university.
On Friday, the students got news they had been hoping for. The university was terminating their contract with ink! Coffee.
“I don’t think anyone expected that, but I think that just proves the power of student voice,” Hughes said.
She added she’s glad she spoke up and that the contract has been terminated. She also says the experience gave her the opportunity to form a better relationship with the university and administration.
“It feels great. Mostly because it feels like now as a campus we are unified,” she said. “Students and administrators are working together.”