At the second Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) council this evening, students voted to pass a motion to lobby College not to renew their contract with Aramark when it expires on September 13 2021.
Trinity currently has a contract with Aramark until 2019, with an option to extend it until 2021. The campaign to boycott Aramark were denied a Freedom of Information request for the value of the contract between Trinity and Aramark.
The motion, proposed by Stacy Wrenn, Junior Sophister Jewish and Islamic Civilisations student, was co-submitted by Aghogho Atiyota, Ethnic minority officer and Conor Reddy class representative for Science.
The Citizenship Officer, with the assistance of the SU President Kevin Keane and Ethnic Minority Officer will now be mandated to lobby college not to renew their contract with Aramark. In 2014, TCDSU voted to oppose direct provision.
Aramark has been subject of numerous complaints of providing culturally inappropriate food to refugees living in Direct Provision. The motion follows a campaign that was launched to boycott the Aramark company on Trinity campus. Aramark is the College- appointed food caterer for Westland Eats in the Hamilton building. The boycott is in protest against Aramark’s ties to the direct provision system.
Speaking in favour of the motion, Wrenn said that all mandates should be treated the same in relation to respect and action and “a lot of us feel that there hasn’t been enough.”
Wrenn stated for the SU to have a motion and not act on it is “ frankly insulting to the thousands of people currently suffering in these centres ”.
Wrenn explained “if we don’t get Aramark of our campus, we are telling refugees we are okay with this system, that we don’t care”. Nobody spoke against the motion.
The campaign “Aramark off our campus” was officially launched on November 15. The campaign hopes to secure a company without connections to direct provision centres to work in Trinity instead.
In 2015, Aramark installed food outlets Costa, Freshii and Gastro, as well as a new seating area, in the space previously occupied by the Westland Cafe. Aramark’s contract with Trinity was awarded following a public procurement competition.