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Cup debate sparks conversation

Starbucks new minimalistic cup design for the winter season stirred conversation among the public because of its lack of seasonal symbols, especially in the Christian community.

“It’s childish to be offended by a coffee cup that is going to the trash anyway,” Mari Arguello, senior graphic and web design major, said.

An Arizona-based evangelist posted a video on Facebook on Nov. 5 saying that the company decided to take off the Christmas patterns because it hates Jesus, according to USA Today.

“The meaning and importance of Christmas is in no way defined by Starbucks and this has
been blown way out of proportion. Plus, it gives a really bad image of Christians who do not
care about the cup, which is a lot,” Arguello said.

Freshman art and illustration major, Lidania Cerda, said that even though not all the symbols on past Starbucks cup represent Christmas per se, symbols can represent special moments for people.

“When it comes to ornaments, my family and I take our time to maintain our Christmas tree and we have fun with it,” Cerda said, explaining that seasonal symbols, both sacred and secular, are important to her celebration of Christmas.

Starbucks vice president of design and content, Jeffrey Fields, explained the reason behind the new design for the red cup on the company website. The design of this year encourages customers to create their own stories with the red cup, which represents a blank canvas.

Starbucks also said on their website that they based the idea of the red cup on its past contests in which customers doodled designs on the cup.

“The argument given is valid, and I actually really like the design of the cup,” Arguello said. “Even if I didn’t like it, I see no reason for it to be offensive so I do not think they made a mistake by releasing this cup for the holidays.”

People on social media have created the #ItsJustACup as a response to the critics of the cup. Some Twitter users are posting some social issues that are happening around the world in order to give perspective to the worry about the cup design.

Cerda said that she can understand why some customers might be angry at Christians for
creating controversy.

“People think that Christmas is about Jesus, and it is. But what about the people who are not Christians?” Cerda said. “I understand why they are mad.”

“We have so many things to worry about currently, and a coffee cup shouldn’t even be at the bottom of the list,” said Arguello.