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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Alliance denied access to CEO lecture

 
 

The Dogwood Alliance was locked out of a presentation by OfficeMax’s CEO, Sam Duncan, Monday morning at the Wehner Building.
“We were originally told through e-mail that the presentation was open to the public, and we would be allowed to attend,” said Eva Hernandez, campaign organizer for the Dogwood Alliance. “But once we got there, we were locked out of the presentation and told that if we were not registered business students we would be kicked off campus through campus security.”
There was no notice on the Mays Web site or Center for Retailing Studies Web site that this lecture was open to the public said Kelli Hollinger, communications coordinator for the Center for Retailing Studies.
“Only students from these classes were allowed to enter,” she said. “The executive lectures are part of the required curriculum for students enrolled in these marketing classes. Space is limited to registered students.”
Dogwood Alliance is a regional network of organizations with a mission to preserve the United States’ southern forests and communities. The campaign against OfficeMax stems from its practice of selling paper from endangered forests in the southern United States, Hernandez said.
“The two largest paper suppliers, which are their two largest competitors – Staples and Office Depot, have established environmental paper procurement policies and OfficeMax has not,” she said.
Duncan spoke Monday morning to business students about how to find a job after graduation. Students should look for a company that wants to invest in them and assist in their futures, he said. Duncan also spoke about future improvements OfficeMax will undergo, including supply chain improvements, changes to the company’s infrastructure and enhanced operating performance.
Duncan’s speech was sponsored by the Center for Retailing Studies as part of the Executive Professor Lecture Series.
During the lecture Duncan declined to comment about the company’s paper use.
“I only take business questions,” he said. “I don’t take political questions or environmental questions, so please keep them business related.”
Dogwood Alliance’s intention was not to protest but to bring these environmental issues to the forefront, said Ryan Hazlett, president of the Texas A&M Environmental Action Coalition. The coalition wanted to let companies know they could still make a profit even after recycling and conserving, he said.
“We want to come up with solutions that are both good for the environment and good for business,” said Hazlett, a senior history major. “We wanted to know when OfficeMax would be willing to start using more recycled materials in their paper.”

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