Demand USF end their contract with Aramark
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Aramark is currently USF’s provider for on-campus dining services. They are also a main supplier of CoreCivic, one fo the largest privately-funded prison systems in America. Aramark has a track record of being everything from simply problematic to egregiously unethical. From their involvement with private prisons, to unethical practices of serving spoiled food containing worms, dog food, and maggots, to their outright racist actions such as a food display including fried chicken, Kool-Aid, and collard greens during Black History Month, Aramark clearly goes against what the University of South Florida stands for with their Principles of Community, specifically their principles of Excellence with Equity, Diversity with Inclusion, Freedom with Responsibility and Transparency with Accountability. Read more on USF's Principles of Community here.
This petition will be sent to USF's President, Dr. Steven Currall, as well as USF Administration and Leadership in order to let them know that our student body refuses to allow this prop of systemic racism to profit off us any longer.
Below is the information provide by Instagram user @z.arabee that first brought this issue to my attention. Link to original post, here.
*What is Aramark?
Aramark Corporation is an American food service, facilities, and uniform services provider based out of Philadelphia, PA. They are a main supplier of CoreCivic, one of the largest privately-funded prison systems in America. They also partner with over 600 college campuses, along with multiple US public school systems and international universities. So, what does this mean for you? Aramark is probably in your school's dining halls.
*What's the Problem?
Aramark has a track record of being everything from simply problematic to egregiously unethical. Let me take you through a few of their failings.
1. Private Prisons.*
Private prisons are a substantial problem in our country, of which I can only give a basic overview in this post. Private prisons capitalize on mass incarceration and because they seek to make a profit, they cut corners in staff training, facility upkeep, and other necessary costs that mitigate ricks to employees and inmates. And due to the systemic racism in our justice system, these corporations maintain their wealth through the disproportionate suffering of America's Black populations.
*For more information on the problem with our prisons, I encourage you to check out 13th on Netflix.
2. Unethical Practices
If you have Aramark in your dining halls, I'm sure you've noticed by now that the food if pretty subpar -- but its even worse in our prisons.
Aramark has been called out on countless occasions for underfeeding prisoners, supplying facilities with spoiled food due to poor storage, and giving inmates meals containing worms, dog food, maggots, and scraps from trashed food. In 2015, Michigan ended correctional facility contracts with Aramark a tear early for this very reason -- but across the US, Aramark continues to supply prisons, despitate inmate protests and riots.
And that does not event cover Aramark's international behavior. Aramark is directly (no pun intended) involved in direct provision, the controversial housing system used for asylum seekers in the Republic of Ireland. These centers, run by Aramark, have been repeatedly called out for poor hygiene, food, adn living conditions, Asylum seeker shave compared their housing to prisons, which -- given what we know about prisons contracting with Aramark -- speaks for itself.
3. Racist Actions
In 2018, Aramark was called out on multiple university campuses for their racist food display during Black History Month. At college such as NYU, Fordham, Loyola University Chicago, and Kent State, Aramark thought it was appropriate to serve fried chicken, Kool-Aid, collard greens, and other stereotypical "Black" foods. The following year, NYU ctu ties with Aramark -- after 43 years of contracting with the company. If they could do it, why can't we?
This part is a little tricky. Aramark;s responses to these failings have been all over the place. They have blatantly denied the claims, scapegoated employees, and attributed these reports to propaganda. In 2018, Aramark's Vice President of Communications Karen Cutler said of accusations, "There is a lot of misinformation and propaganda around Aramark... as a results o the Netflix documentary [13th] and ongoing activist..." She also denied prescience of infestation in correctional facilities. Despite the multiple lawsuit? I don't think so, Karen.*
*Her name is literally Karen, guys.
*BY USING ARAMARK, YOUR INSTITUTION SUPPORTS A DEEPLY RACIST, INHUMANE SYSTEM. DO NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT.
1. Check your university's dining services to see if they support Aramark (USF does contract with them)
2. Start a petition for your institution to end contacts with Aramark Corporation. (That's what this is!)
3. Start and email campaign to your Office of the President, Bursar -- everyone and anyone! Tell them how you feel about Aramark.
4. Reach out to your Student Government and ask them to take action.
*Need Sources? I got 'em!
Let's take down Aramark, together.
Here is a link to reports and articles that support the information above as well as provide other examples of how Aramark commits acts of inhumane treatment and racism.
So, what would we like USF to do in response to this knowledge and information? Here are the primary goals of this petition:
1. End the contract with Aramark on all three University of South Florida campuses.
2. Do not replace Aramark with the other two "Big 3" food services providers in America - Sodexo and the Compass Group.
3. Investigate and research food service providers with a history of quality and fresh foods, fair and equitable treatment of their employees, and no association with companies, complexes, or systems that contribute to the systemic racism so many citizens are currently protesting against.
3. Establish USF's own university-run dining services with more health-conscious and locally-sourced food along with a food service workers union to secure fair treatment for employees.
These changes will ultimately serve to benefit USF as an institution as the shadow that Aramark's history and reputation casts will no longer contradict the mission, vision, values, and Principles of Community USF stands for.
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