Gonzaga University hosts debate on Date Grape drink controversy

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 9:22 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A forum at Gonzaga University on Friday night is debating the controversial name of a drink at a Downtown Spokane bar.

The owner of Daiquiri Factory still refuses to comment on the controversy created by the name of a drink called 'Date Grape Kool-Aid.' The owner does keep acknowledging the issue and is calling his critics out online.

READ: Date Grape controversy sparking national outrage

Students and faculty at Gonzaga are hoping to bring more awareness to date rape and they are trying to get the owner to show up to the conversation.

“We’re just trying to take a deeper look at the issue of the ‘Date Grape Kool-Aid’ and look at it from a perspective that isn’t firing off accusations,” said student Ali Houlihan.

Students are hosting the forum to discuss why some think this is a joke while others see it as disrespectful to rape victims.

WATCH: Protestors outraged by 'Date Grape' drink at Downtown bar

“I think that it is something that is very prevalent on college campuses and that’s not really talked about,” said Houlihan.

The owner of the bar told the students he might take part in their discussion. He has already answered his critics with a new drink with an inappropriate name that tells them to be quiet.

The owner has also called out media outlets for covering the issue. He has not gotten back to KREM 2 about our request to talk to him.

Protestors who stood outside the bar on its opening night last weekend said they would be back again Saturday. They are meeting regularly to discuss how to respond to the bar’s decision not to change the drink’s name.

READ: Kraft Foods 'appalled' by local bar's 'Date Grape Kool-Aid'

Gonzaga students said the owner has been respectful to them.

“There’s been messages exchanged and he’s been very civil. No harsh words or anything like that,” said Houlihan.

Students do not know if the owner of the bar will show up for the debate. It starts at 7:00 p.m. at Gonzaga University.

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