Bring Back Mr. Rick

This petition made change with 1,880 supporters!

Upon learning the news that Mr. Rick was let go by Aramark Dining Services at Furman University, one student was led to post on Facebook simply "Mr. Rick is Furman."

I can personally attest to many days walking into the dining hall after a long day, mentally exhausted from the grind of Furman and being met with the same words "Hey slick. How's it going?" A smile would quickly appear on my face.

Mr. Rick is an icon at Furman, beloved by anyone who takes the time to talk with him.

The reason for this petition, and what is bothering, is the way in which Aramark let go this Furman icon. The following quote was taken from a public post on a social media site:

"The DH management called me at home to tell me that I was no longer needed . They said because I had been out sick so much that I was not reliable enough to continue my employment. I just wish they would have allowed me tell everyone goodbye. However, they told me that they did not want me to come back . I will miss everyone, I'd appreciate it if you would please tell the students, faculty , and Furman staff thatI will each and everyone of them. Being at Furman will always be in my thoughts ,prayers and I will always be grateful to all. I hope that we can stay intouch. Take care, Mr Rick"

While letting go an employee for health reasons may seem legally questionable, with little research I can say they were legally in the right. Why, you might ask? I have had a conversation with an employee who said that Aramark purposefully makes sure its employees are given just few enough hours so they can be let go at anytime.

Mr. Rick is a part of the Furman Family. You don't fire a member of a family and tell him he is not even allowed to comeback and say goodbye. You don't fire a member of the family in the middle of the summer in hopes that Furman students won't notice.

For these reasons, I believe that Furman University should speak up; both to Aramark and Mr. Rick. We want the world to know that we love Mr. Rick, we believe he was unjustly terminated by Aramark, and we think he should be allowed to return to his role at Furman (or at the least brought back to campus to celebrate the impact he has made on our community) .

How can we make this happen? Here are some things you can do:

1. Sign the petition. Should it reach 294 (10% of the Furman total enrolment) it will be sent to Furman Aramark Catering.

2. Take a picture. Take a picture with a sign that says "FU <3's Mr. Rick!" from wherever you are in the world. Mr. Rick loves his Furman students, he loves scrapbooking, and he loves different places (though his physical limitations mean he is unable to travel to the places he would like to go). Even if we are unable to #bringbackmisterrick if we could at least show him the love Aramark failed to show, the love that he greatly deserves, then we have done, at the least, what we can.

3. Contact Furman Dining Services

Jeff Valentine, Assistant Food Service Director
Phone: 864.294.3333

If you are a current student, mention you intend to reduce your meal plan next time you are able because of their treatment of Mr. Rick. If you are an alumni, note that all future donations to Furman University will include an earmark that the funds are not to be used to fulfill any aspect of Aramark's contract.

Should Aramark fail to respond to the petition, an op-ed will be sent to the The Greenville News. If this is still ignored a request will be put into the WYFF News 4 Investigative Team to see how Aramark's hiring practices compare to the mission of inclusion and diversity that Furman University at large is committed to, as well as the greater issue of predatory contracts between educational institutions and food service providers.

Mr. Rick did not ask for this petition to be made, it was made by students who are concerned about what happened to the person we love. 

Until we hear more about what Mr. Rick wants, from him personally, we hope the feedback of this petition will be focused more on showing Mr. Rick love and expressing our frustration in how Aramark has treated him thus far.

Please leave comments saying what Mr. Rick means to you. 

FU <3's Mr. Rick

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