XU Student Senate Votes to Dump Sodexho
(see what students think Xavier's president should be saying)
12-10-01 Xavier University's Student Senate passed
the following resolution with only 1 (or 2) dissenting votes.
Food Service Contractor Resolution
Whereas, the Xavier University Student Govt Association is the
representative body of the students of Xavier University; and
Whereas, XU SGA Constitution Article VI section 2 manints, "Every
student has the right to expect any Senator... to hear and act on any
valid complaint..."; and
Whereas, administration decisions should mirror Jesuit Ideals taught to
students and reflect Xavier's Mission statement which asserts, "Jesuit
education seeks to develop... critical attention to the underlying
philosophical and theological implications of the issues; a world view
that is oriented to responsible action and recognizes the intrinsic
value of the natural and human values"; and
Whereas, any corporation contracted by Xavier should honor the same
Jesuit ideals; and
Whereas, maintaining job security is a responsible action that
recgonizes intrinsic human values; and
Whereas, the Catholic Church has supported workers and their right to
organize as made evident in the U.S. Catholic Bishops pastoral message,
"Economic Justice for All," which states, "No one may deny the right to
organize without attacking dignity itself. Therefore we firmly oppose
organized efforts, such as those regrettably seen in this country, to
break existing unions or prevent workers from organizing"; and
Whereas, a working environment of fear and intimidation denies workers
the freedom to organize; and
Whereas, the Cincinnati Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice has
concluded the best way to assure the freedom to organize would be a
right to organize agreement; therefore be it
Resolved that the SGA calls upon Xavier University to not renew its
contract with Sodexho; be it further
Resolved that in the event that the food service contractor changes,
Xavier will require its next contractor to retain all the current
workers; be it further
Resolved that the SGA calls upon the Xavier University administration to
require any food service contractor to sign a written card-check
neutrality agreement; be it further
Resolved that a committee should be established, with student
representation, to examine the ethical and moral standards of any
contractor, such that those standards reflect Xavier University's Jesuit
ideals; be it further
Resolved that this resolution will be delivered to the apporpriate
administrators including, but not limited to, Fr. Michael Graham, Dr.
Ron Slepitza, and the Xavier University Board of Trustees, and be it
Resolved that this resolution be delivered to the Xavier Newswire.
Use of Force in Correction Corporation of Autralia's Contract
Contrary to the company's depiction of its role in prison as simply 'housekeeping and clerical work,' "use of force" by private employees of the company are written into the contract for Corrections Corporation of Australia (a/k/a Australian Integrated
9.2 Use of force The Contractor must ensure that where Custodial
Officers use force, or instruments of restraint: (a) they are used
in accordance with: (1) the CEO's Rules; or (2) a written or oral
direction of the CEO; and otherwise in accordance with the
requirements of every Act and Legislative Requirement; (b) reasonable
force only is used to control Prisoners; (c) they are only used: (1)
at the minimum level and for the minimum time necessary to control
Freehill Hollingdale & Page PERC4\Services Agreement.doc page 27
Services Agreement: Acacia Prison
(2) when no other means of control are available; and (3) in the
circumstances where the CEO authorises use of force and instruments of
restraint; and (d) the Contractor notifies the CEO in writing of that
use, setting out full details of any use (including the circumstances
leading up to the event), as soon as is practicable.
read the contract in full
05-22-01 Students Force Leading Investor to Dump Private Prison Stock
Say Sodexho Boycott to Continue, Lenders to Be Held Accountable
Nashville, TN. Little more than a year after its launch, student-led campaign against private prison investors scored a major victory
today, when Corrections Corporation of America CEO James Ferguson announced during the company’s annual meeting that CCA’s
largest shareholder is pulling out under pressure from campus activists.
Students affiliated with the Not With Our Money! campaign against prison profiteering have targeted Paris-based multinational caterer
Sodexho Alliance, which owns at least 6.5% of CCA’s stock, by denying lucrative dining service contracts to Sodexho’s North
American subsidiary, Sodexho Marriott Services. During the last 14 months, the campaign has spread to more than 50 colleges and
universities, leading to dozens of protestsincluding four building occupationsand seven lost contracts.
At a sidewalk press conference held outside the meeting, representatives of Not With Our Money! celebrated the victory while sending
a message to shareholders that “the worst is yet to come.” Pari Zutshi, a Hampshire College student who has helped to coordinate the
campaign, reminded the students that even after divesting from CCA, Sodexho Alliance will still operate private prisons in the U.K. and
“[Sodexho CEO] Pierre Bellon obviously thinks that once Sodexho is out of CCA, students will forget about what’s happening
overseas. But I think this victory will energize students to finish the job. The human rights abuses that have taken place in Australian
private prisons are no more acceptable than human rights abuses in U.S. private prisons.”
Ali Fischer, president of the three-million member U.S. Student Association, explained to the crowd that the private prison issue
resonates with students, because “We’ve seen children horribly abused in private facilities in Louisiana and South Carolina. We’ve seen
higher education budgets slashed to build unnecessary prisons. We don’t want more of our “dining dollars” to feed this corrupt
Kate Rhee and Kevin Pranis, whose group Prison Moratorium Project spearheaded the Sodexho campaign, announced that, while the
Sodexho effort would continue full force, the coalition would also begin to address the relationship of commercial banks to the industry.
“We find it deeply disturbing that banks that profit form student loans, ATM contracts and university business have bent over backward
to save CCA. We need to make them understand, just as we’ve made Sodexho understand, that trying to profit from human misery can
be bad for business.”
As for specifics, Rhee and Pranis say “We’re still working out the details, but we know that it will be a multi-year effort and will extend
beyond college campuses. We will be asking all of our allies from labor, religious and community organizations to join us in this fight.”
Sodexho Alliance is a Paris-based multinational that “directly and through subsidiaries and affiliates, in 60 countries provides contract
food and management services, remote site management services and leisure services, privatized correctional facilities management
services, and also engages in the issuance of service vouchers” according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission. Sodexho Marriott Services, which operates as Sodexho’s 48%-owned North American subsidiary, generates $1.2 billion
in annual revenues from contracts at over 500 college campuses and also provides institutional food services to public schools, hospitals
and corporate cafeterias. In April of 2001, the two companies announced a buyout whereby Sodexho Marriott will become a
100%-owned subsidiary of Sodexho Alliance.
Not With Our Money! is a coalition of students, youth and educators working to end the use of incarcerated human beings for
corporate profit. We believe that for-profit private prisons have no place in a democratic society. Profiteering from the
imprisonment of human beings compromises public safety and corrupts justice. In the spirit of democracy and
accountability, we call for an end to all private prisons. Organizations involved in the Not With Our Money! campaign include
the Black Radical Congress, Prison Moratorium Project, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy United Students Against Sweatshops, the
U.S. Student Association and Young Democratic Socialists.
Contact: Kevin Pranis or Kate Rhee, (646) 486-6715, (917) 860-4635, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
or the Xavier University Campaign, Brian Loewe email@example.com
05-23-01 Sodexho Sells Stock in CCA:
Student, Brian Loewe explains with a smile, "This is a tremendous achievement for everyone who has been part of the campaign. However,
we cannot stop here. Sodexho still owns two private-prison companies and has shown no sign of
divesting from the global private prison industry. We're celebrating today, but our work is not done yet."
Still Owns Two Private-Prison Companies
Stockholder sells CCA shares
By GETAHN WARD
The French catering giant that is the largest shareholder in
Corrections Corporation of America has sold its shares in the
prison operator in a deal set to close next week, CCA executives
Sodexho Alliance S.A., which yesterday reported owning about
1.6 million common shares or roughly a 6.5% stake in
Nashville-based CCA, had been seeking to divest holdings in
response to student protests.
As part of the deal, the buyer, a British company, won't be able to
sell the stock for an unspecified period of time, CCA Chairman
William Andrews said yesterday.
Unlike Sodexho, the unnamed investor doesn't plan to have an
active voice in management, John D. Ferguson, CCA's chief
executive officer said. He doesn't expect the sale of the stake to
have an impact on CCA's share price.
Yesterday, its stock rose 6 cents to $8.81. Last week, the
company issued 1 share for every 10 in a reverse stock split.
At CCA's annual shareholders' meeting in Nashville yesterday,
eight directors, including Ferguson and Andrews, were re-elected
to the company's board. Sodexho official Jean-Pierre Cuny did
not stand for re-election.
Ferguson told CCA shareholders that despite challenges, such as
the company's high debt and a need to fill remaining empty beds,
management is making progress toward a turnaround.
He noted as a significant development that CCA's latest annual
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission does
not include a ''going concern'' clause from the company's auditors.
Such a statement was included in the 1999 filing as CCA had
defaulted on its credit agreements, raising the possibility of
''Survival of the company is not what's in question now,'' said
Ferguson, who also said Sodexho's decision to sell its stake in
CCA had nothing to do with the prison company's outlook.
Outside the shareholder's meeting, protestors from unions and
groups opposed to prison privatization staged a rally as they have
during previous meetings. At a news conference, the student
protesters vowed to expand the campaign to include CCA's
Sodexho Alliance was targeted because it owns 48% of
Gaithersburg, Md.-based Sodexho Marriott Services, which
among other venues provides food services on college campuses.
05-17-01 DePaul Dumps Sodexho!
"After a full school year of research, education, networking and action,
students and supportive staff and community members have pressured the
DePaul administration to Dump Sodexho and sign on to Compass/Chartwells
dining services effective August 1, 2001. This marks DePaul's Activist
Student Union's second major victory in two years, as we ended last year
with a successful campaign to sign onto the WRC. As always, these fights
would never end in victory without the hard work of those dedicated to
worker's rights, prison justice, and liberation. Thank you so much,
everyone's work has brought us to yet another victory. This is the official
statement from the administration with the winning verdict."
"Since the fall, DePaul has been weighing the pros and
cons of four food service companies that have
submitted proposals to run the university's campus
food service for the next three years. After
reviewing the companies' proposals, references and
operational capabilities, DePaul has chosen Compass
Group's Chartwells College and University Dining
Service division as its new food service provider as
of August 1, 2001.
Chartwells has significant experience in higher
education dining, with accounts at more than 200
universities across the nation, including Northeastern
University in Boston, University of Miami and
University of Arkansas, as well as St. Xavier, Bradley
and Roosevelt universities in Illinois. During
reference checks, Chartwells' clients gave the company
high marks on its operational performance, client
support and strong customer service orientation. They
characterized the company as responsive to student
concerns and suggestions. These positive references,
and Chartwells record of good service to large and
expanding universities like DePaul, made it clear that
Chartwells had the right resources and expertise to
run food services at DePaul.
Chartwells is eager to work with DePaul and has
committed to a smooth and efficient transition. The
company has agreed to design its food services around
Student Affairs' plans for the cafeteria in the new
student center on the Lincoln Park Campus and to
invest in improving the facilities and operations of
the 11th floor cafeteria in the DePaul Center. As
with all vendors, DePaul expects Chartwells to adhere
to a code of conduct that is socially responsible and
respectful of the dignity of employees, customers, and
We thank the staff and student advisory committee
for their work on this issue, and our current vendor,
Sodexho Marriott, for its service to the university."
05-16-01 Students' Statement Displays Determination
To the Xavier Community and Community at large,
In December of 2000 our group of Xavier University students began to investigate the University's food service provider, Sodexho, a company known for its anti-labor practices and ties to the private prison industry. We
found Sodexho's business practices to be contradictory to the Jesuit mission of our school. We therefore decided to join the national "Not With Our Money" campaign, currently active on 60 other campuses across the country,
with the goal of terminating our school's contract with Sodexho. "Not With Our Money," a student-based campaign, has already led six other universities to stop doing business with Sodexho. We have and will continue to work
tirelessly to see that Xavier lives out its stated commitment to Catholic and Jesuit teachings and principles by joining those six schools and immediately terminating the Sodexho contract.
Over the last five months, the Xavier community has been well informed of Sodexho's ties to the private prison industry. The company's interest in creating a system in which they profit from increased incarceration stands
in direct contrast to Catholic social teaching and Jesuit beliefs. Through months of meetings with all areas of the Xavier community and through various actions and dialogues, the message, even from the University's President Rev. Michael Graham and Vice President of Student Development Dr. Ronald Slepitza is irrefutable: "a company with substantial interests in the private prison industry...is probably not the kind of partner we are interested in doing business with as a Jesuit, Catholic university" (Rev. Michael Graham, S.J.). However, Fr. Graham missed a promised deadline for a statement opposing private prisons and has thus far refused to make a decision on this issue. Over 170 students and nearly 50 faculty have petitioned Xavier to terminate its contract with Sodexho and still those concerned with social justice have yet to hear the university president state publicly his opposition to private prisons. Instead, Fr. Graham's statements have omitted the full teaching of the Jesuits and delayed steps to create a university whose practices reflect the lessons and ethics Xavier claims to hold at the core of its mission.
We are extremely disappointed in the lack of good faith the administration has shown to our group and to the community. Xavier should be setting an example for other universities, specifically Catholic and Jesuit universities, in maintaining business practices that reflect their own teachings and in modeling the ideals its students are taught to embrace. Our group would like to be able to work with the administration in the future; however, their actions so far make us reluctant to do so confidently.
Though the administration has yet to fully do so, we are hopeful that the Justice Across Campus Committee, whose work we support and respect, will address this issue over the summer months. As a Jesuit university with a history of concern for social justice issues, we are positive that Xavier will terminate the contract with Sodexho and fulfill its Jesuit mission.
Fr. Graham has indicated that we must hold him accountable for the decisions he makes in running the university. We are ready to applaud any positive action taken by the administration and are hopeful that the Sodexho contract will be terminated by the end of the summer. We are prepared and determined to return to campus with renewed energies as part of a larger concerned community to ensure justice on campus.
We would like to thank all community members for their support.
The Students of the Xavier University "Not With Our Money" Campaign
05-10-01 Graham Makes Statement,
Students' statement to follow
News for May 10, 2001
STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Members of the Xavier Community:
In his October, 2000, speech to representatives from Jesuit schools across
the United States and beyond, Jesuit Superior General, Fr. Peter-Hans
Kolvenbach, reminded American Jesuit universities of their very high
calling. This summons to justice embraces all members of the University
community, students and staff, faculty and administrators alike.
Our present situation in Cincinnati, where issues of race and class have
come so squarely into focus in recent weeks, helped facilitate a truly
remarkable conversation on our campus the Wednesday after Easter. With many
of you, it is my hope that our conversation goes forward next year so as to
help shape a university more in line with Fr. Kolvenbach's high expectations
of how a Catholic, Jesuit university should conduct itself.
Similarly, an educational campaign throughout most of the course of this
academic year now ending, led by students, promises similar possibilities
for the University in its future. I refer to the students in the variety of
issues with respect to Xavier's food service contract with Sodexho Marriott.
Clearly the issues of worker justice and private prisons have important
moral ramifications for all of us here at Xavier. The trajectory of Roman
Catholic thought on these two issues is clear; to be the Catholic and a
Jesuit university that Xavier aspires to be means to take these issues very
seriously. Moreover, crisscrossing lines of race, class and power mean that
the issue of race currently at the forefront of our moral consciousness in
Cincinnati is subtly but importantly interwoven with issues of worker
justice and the expanding population of our prisons being managed by the
private prison industry.
While I have not always agreed with their tactics, I find the courage and
determination of the students involved in the "Not with Our Money Campaign"
to be commendable. They have raised important moral issues for our attention
that we will continue to explore even as this academic year comes to an end.
Specifically, I have asked the Justice Across the Campus group to help me to
continue to think through the variety of issues surrounding the private
prison industry. I will also be consulting with them, as well as the Labor
Rights Committee and other interested parties (such as the Cincinnati
Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice) on the issue of worker justice
itself. Of course, student participation in these conversations will also be
I recognize that these are knotty issues and perhaps a little too weighty
for this point in the academic year when our eyes and hearts are on the
finish line that lies before us. Nonetheless, I wanted to take this
opportunity to look back on some noteworthy episodes of the past year which
have raised important issues of justice for us that will help to point our
way into the future. As this year draws to a close, please do know that you
and your important work here at the University, whatever it may be, are in
my thoughts and prayers.
Michael J. Graham, S.J.
05-09-01 12:00pm"All this activism is making it kind of hard to find a buyer [of CCA's stock]" -Leslie Aun
Sodexho-Marriott spokesperson, Leslie Aun has claimed in the past that students' addressing Sodexho
Alliance will is not the way to make change. However, in a meeting on Xavier University's campus today, Ms. Aun
stated that it was student activism surrounding Sodexho and CCA that made potential buyers wary of
acquiring Corrections Corporation of America stock. It would seem that the same person discouraging students
from addressing Sodexho, the largest institutional investor in CCA, with their concerns is
also crediting them with creating an environment where few are willing to to do business
or invest in unethical companies like the Corrections Corporation of America.
In a meeting on monday, Fr. Graham told students he "should have a statement [opposing private prisons]
by wednesday." Students therefore are expecting a statement any minute now. "Ms. Aun made two things clear,
she thinks it would be nonsensical for Sodexho to be in the private prison industry if they weren't profiting from it
and that they create more revenue when more people are in prison. Fr. Graham has said 'a company with substantial
interests in the private prison industry...is probably not the kind of partner that
we're interested in doing business with as a Jesuit, Catholic university.' With that clarification, we see no possible
reason that could be given to continue a contract with Sodexho, a company that owns two private prison operations."
05-07-01 11:00pm Students Meet with President, Decide
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
After six days of a "Caged-In, Sleep-Out, Speak-Out" outside of President Michael Graham's office, students had their fifth meeting
with administrators in the past week. "We said we'd be here until Fr. Graham made the statement he promised last week. In today's meeting he
made his position extremely clear. Our energies can be better spent than waiting on someone
that doesn't believe in the student body's abilities." Freshman Chris Kenney recounted, "We've been trying
to work with the administration on this issue and are still seeking to work as part of one community
but Graham has told us that we lack critical thinking and are not a credible source of information.
He has attempted to write off the months of student initiated work and the support given by near 50 faculty and over 170 students
as well as people all over the world as an empty attempt by the local union to bring attention to the worker justice issue. We are all deeply insulted
and disappointed that a Jesuit president would be so disrespectful towards students and their supporters."
Graham stated that he should have a statement opposing private prisons and explaining the future of Sodexho on campus
by Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Leslie Aun, Sodexho-Marriott Corporate spokesperson will be returning to campus
to present to the president, concerned faculty and students at 10:30am in Schmidt.
"We don't understand how our administration can say that any company that has substantial interest in private prisons
has no place with Xavier and not follow that with action. We're confident in our campaign and know the truth in our words.
Hopefully after the company's inconsistent statements are rebutted our administration will stand for justice," said Brian Loewe.
The issue of terminating SMS's contract was brought up at the executive committee today where business logistics were addressed.
"Graham talked about convenience and optimum times to terminate the contract.
Jesuits are called to place social justice at the heart of their institution not profit or prices. As students,
we appreciate our administrations attempt to keep us from paying more next year, but currently, we're paying a spiritual price
far beyond any unlikely rise in prices that could ever come," claimed Dylan Michel.
Students await president's statement on Wednesday and look forward to the opportunity
to present their findings in the context of the company's claims. Freshman Mike Felger says, "The company's statements have changed
with every campus they visit. We're confident that what Sodexho tells the Security and Exchange Commission
will be stronger evidence of the company's injustice than what a PR person mentions to those on campus. After
we see Graham's statement on wednesday, we'll be making a statement for the year. If the administration
lives out the mission of the university, we'll be able to announce the termination of Sodexho's contract. If not, we're
dedicated to come back next year with renewed energies to ensure justice on campus."
05-07-01 12:00am 130 hours strong:students
start sixth day of sleep-out, still confident
Just because it was the weekend didn't mean the students could take any time off.
Patrick Cooper explained, "Graham said he'd have a statement for us by the end of last week. That didn't happen.
We're here still waiting." Over 5 days of sleeping out in a cage has shown the students
and the community many things. "We don't want to draw any conclusions yet, but we are disappointed
the administration hasn't done what they said they would. We're confident that all Jesuit Universities
will uphold justice. Our administration has said that this is a top priority that will be
addressed this summer. Though we've had no assurance, we hope that this issue is resolved and our administration
does the right thing by terminating the contract," said freshman, Brian Loewe.
05-04-01 2:00am Graham misses deadline, Students have been
waiting outside office for 82 hours
After meeting with VP of Student Development, Dr. Slepitza, students restate their dedication.
"Fr. Graham originally said that he was driving to have a statement on Monday the 30th. Then he said
he would have a statement this week. That didn't happen. We still have great faith that our administration
will carry out the Jesuit mission of the university, but we are disappointed that Fr. Graham has yet to
feel the need to officially address the students or the community regarding this issue," explains sophomore
Graham and Slepitza have both voiced their opposition to private prisons to members of the NWOM campaign.
Brian Loewe states, "We're waiting for the administration to share what they've told us with all those concerned with this issue.
We have nearly 50 faculty signed on our petition and well over 150 students. Its not enough to simply
mention how they feel to us, they need to let everyone know."
As students wait and hours go by, support for the campaign is coming in from around the world.
"The director of Australian Jesuit Social Services emailed Graham in support of our campaign, people
in Seattle have done the same. This campaign is currently going on at 60 college campuses but it is supported
by religious, community, grassroots, and other organizations around the world," Dylan Michel furthers, "It is
such a great feeling to be part of a larger movement working towards justice on a level we can easily affect."
Sleep-Out Goes Beyond Two Days, Xavier Student
Interviewed on WDBZ
05-03-01 11:30pm Students' "Caged-in, Sleep-out, Speak-Out" reaches 58th hour As anti-sodexho movement builds on campus, student interviewed on radio. Nearly 50 faculty, far over 100 students, and many community members sign petition to terminate Sodexho's contract this semester. Details and update given on WDBZ "the Buzz" 1230AM
Listen to pt. 1 of interview
Listen to pt.2 of
Rev. Michael Graham, S.J. said on Monday April 30th that he would make his statement opposing private prisons and discussing the future of Sodexho on campus this week. Students are meeting with Dr. Slepitza tomorrow to follow up with the new developments and terminate the contract as he suggested he could.
As Ties Tighten, Sleep-Out
Reaches 36th Hour: Sodexho Alliance Buys Sodexho Marriott, Vice President Notes
Santa Clara Alumnus, Leon Panetta says "the fulfillment of Jesuit education is
not just learning about justice, it is doing justice." For 5 months students at
Xavier have been educating themselves and others about ties to the private prison
industry and their cafeteria food.
It was announced that Sodexho Alliance, Sodexho-Marriott's (SMS) parent company, will
purchase the remaining SMS stock and absorb the food service company.
This news comes appropriately enough at the same time that Xavier students are holding
a sleep-out, outside of Xavier president, Rev. Michael Graham, S.J.'s office. The
sleep out has reached the 36 hour mark and will end when students receive Fr. Graham's
promised official statement regarding his opposition to private prisons and the
future of Sodexho on campus.
Students are still confident that Fr. Graham will side with justice and uphold the
University's values by terminating the Sodexho contract.
05-02-01 4:40pm Xavier to directly
fund private prisons: Sodexho Alliance agrees to buy out
Sodexho Marriott If Xavier University does not terminate the contract with Sodexho,
students returning to campus in the fall will be fed by Sodexho Alliance, a company that owns
and operates private prisons. "Our administration always questioned the link between student dollars
and Sodexho Alliance. The buyout answers any possible doubts. If XU continues to contract with Sodexho,
it will be with Sodexho Alliance, not Sodexho Marriott," explains freshman Dylan Michel.
"Caged-In, Sleep-Out, Speak-Out" in 25th hour Students have been waiting outside President Graham's
office since 1:00pm Tuesday May 1st. Prior to Monday April 30th, Graham told students he was "driving to have a statement"
on that day. Students continue to wait for the statement to be made.
"In the Jesuit magazine, 'Confessions,' an article says that justice cannot be secondary. Justice must
be at the core of the university and its mission. In that spirit, we are devoted all our time and energy
to ensure that the university puts its words into action. As a student, I probably should be studying for finals week coming up,
but as Jesuit teaching says, "Justice cannot be secondary" to business, school work, or anything else. I hope
our administration addresses this soon so that this is no longer an issue and I can get back to studying," commented
05-02-01 7:30am Student Caged-In, Sleep-Out, Speak-Out Reaches 19th hour
Vice President of Student Development, Dr. Ronald Slepitza said in a meeting
with students yesterday, "We could be doing it [going out to bid] now… [but]
now is not an optimal time." Proof of Sodexho-Alliance's ownership of private
prisons would be a "major concern" to the VP. "There is a greater potential for abuse
when it [the managing of prisons] is out of the public trust."
Providing the proof to the vice president yesterday that
SA manages 750 prison beds
in Australia through its subsidiary Corrections Corporation of Australia, students are eager for the
announcement of the move to terminate the contract. "Dr. Slepitza said that if we
prove to him that Sodexho-Alliance is unjust, in this case owns private prisons, then
that would be enough to make him start the process of terminating Sodexho-Marriott's
contract. We've done that, now we're waiting for the process to start," explains
freshman Brian Loewe. "We'll be waiting here until Xavier's administration follows
its words with actions. As many Jesuits have recently written, we must not only
reflect on justice, we must do justice."
05-02-01 1:00am Poets and Artists Against Private Prisons open mic night
ends with over 60 people in attendance. "5 points to a star/ ten points to a plan/
we're the ones who can/ no matter/ we're the sand in the hourglass and its half-past
infinity/ I know because its within me/ for eternity..." Ranging from haiku, to flowetry,
to acoustic guitar, to freestyle rapping, students of all cultures came together to
share their talents and create a wonderful atmosphere. The highlight of the evening
may have been the improvised acoustic song, "Sodexho-Marriott is my girlfriend" by
Students Begin caged-in Speak Out, Vice President says, "if we reach the
conclusion that Sodexho Alliance is an unjust organization then we'll divest our connection to them."
"To profit off of others suffering is unjust," explained Vice President, Ron Slepitza after being asked
if ownership and operations of private prisons is unjust. Students are excited about his ability
to connect ownership of private prisons with the suffering of so many. According to freshman
Brian Loewe, "We're confident that as soon as we provide the proof that Sodexho Alliance owns private prisons through their
subsidiaries in the UK and Australia, Xavier University will begin the process of finding
a new food service provider."
In the meantime, students have been waiting inside an impromptu jail cell they've constructed outside President Graham's office since 1pm
so that they may be the first to hear his statement against private prisons and towards terminating
Sodexho-Marriott's contract. Brian Loewe continued to explain, "Fr. Graham has said that the decision will not be made this year, but we
have utter faith in him, as a man of reflection and one dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, that
he will take the time to reconsider this decision. Especially after meeting with Dr. Slepitza, it is now clearer than ever
that Xavier University has an opportunity to stand up against racism, say no to private prisons, and send the message
that our dollars will not go to unjust companies."
05-01-01 12am Students Resolve to continue to live out Jesuit University's mission after a two hour group meeting
discussing the days' events. "Though we may not currently have the full support of the administration
we have the support of the examples set by those working for justice in the past, especially those Jesuits dedicated
to social justice," commented Brian Loewe. After over twelve hours straight of working with
administrators, student organizations, and individuals, students profess their determination that Xavier University
will live out its Jesuit faith through social justice by terminating the contract with Sodexho-Marriott and standing
against the private prison industry.
04-30-01 6pm Students met to discuss the days events. They see Fr. Graham's interest in
involving more people and addressing this issue in the future as a positive step
and still await his statement against the private prison industry any minute now.
Students will be meeting with Vice President of Student Development, Ron Slepitza,
to discuss contractual details that students have not had access to as well as a
"conscientious objector clause" that would allow students to live on campus without
buying a meal plan due to moral objections to the food service provider.
3pm Sodexho-Marriott General Manager Dan Yager and Vice President of Corporate
Communications Leslie Aun, presented to Xavier University Student Senate. Ms. Aun
claimed her presence was meant to dispel the misinformation the student campaign has
been spreading. She claims that Sodexho Alliance, Sodexho-Marriott's largest shareholder,
operates in private prisons like other food service providers but does not own private
prisons. Kevin Pranis from the Prison Moratorium Project say this is a lie. "Sodexho
Alliance is directly involved in the ownership and operations of for-profit prisons
through subsidiaries in the UK and Australia." The Green Left (Australian) Weekly
states "Corrections Corporation of America and Sodexho Alliance each have 50% ownership
of Corrections Corporation of Australia and UK Detention Services and plan to
participate in future international joint ventures." These are based on filings with
the Security and Exchange Commission, the latest of which shows that Sodexho Alliance
owns 9.7% of the stock in CC-America not the 5+% claimed by the Sodexho CEO in a letter
to Ithaca's president.
Individual student senators voiced their support for the "Not With Our Money" Campaign
and apologized that not all students were able to speak at the meeting. One such
senator said that, if Sodexho-Marriott is to continue operating on this campus then
campus residents should not be forced to buy a meal plan. He asked how can an
institution force individuals to fund a company they find morally reprehensible.
If Xavier University is not commited to cutting its funding to those that profit from
prisons like Sodexho, at least give those students how stand in opposition to
contracting with Sodexho an opportunity to vote with their dollar and cease their
funding of the food service company tied to private prisons.
1:30pm Students present Corrections Corporation of America Security and Exchange
Commission filings proving Sodexho ties to the private prison industry to Xavier
President Rev. Michael Graham, S.J. in hopes of clearing up any doubt about how campus
cafeterias are funding the private prison industry.
Rev. Graham responded that "even if you convince me today, I won't make up my mind."
He wishes to involve more people on the issue, such as the Justice Across Campus
Citing contracting and bid speculation process technicalities as the major obstacle to
finding a new food service provider by the beginning of the fall 2001 semester, Graham
claims that it would be near impossible to smoothly change food service providers.
He acknowledges that the private prison issue is a pressing justice matter on campus
and wishes to continue dialogue on it next year. Student, Dylan Michel wonders,
"What violation of human rights, what practice contrary to Jesuit values, what
injustice would cause an immediate move to terminate the contract? If a company's
international policy was using slave labor or any other horrid act would Xavier
University still continue to do business with that company?" Fr. Graham notes that
traditionally, the process involved in switching food service providers takes months
and is timed so that the transition occurs right at the end of the spring semester.
Freshman Brian Loewe questions, "The termination clause in the contract provides for
contract cancellation with sixty days notice. If sixty days was not adequate time,
would policy for termination not provide for a longer process? Universities such as
American and Oberlin have both shown that time is not the issue administrators should
be focusing on. The issue is private prisons and how, as long as universities contract
with Sodexho-Marriott, we are complicit in this racist and abusive industry."
Xavier President Sends Mixed Message:
"I'm morally with you...we are not going to be terminating the contract at the
end of this semester."
Students of the "Not With Our Money" Campaign gave their president, Rev. Michael Graham, SJ
until April 30th to make a statement in regards to the future of contracting with Sodexho-Marriott
at Xavier. Prior to the 30th, the president replied to an email from a student working on the campaign with
this message, "with private prisons, more than anything, is that I'm pretty convinced that the misery and
misfortune of people isn't an appropriate object from which someone else should profit... my take on all of this is that a company with substantial
interests in the private prison industry here (currently) and abroad (on-going, regardless it seems) is probably not the kind of partner that
we're interested in doing business with as a Jesuit, Catholic university."
In a meeting at 10:30 am on the morning of the 30th between students and Fr. Graham, where students presented 35 faculty
signatures supporting their demands as well as a proposed statement for the president to give, Rev. Michael Graham, SJ said "I'm
80% there... [but there] needs to be without a doubt that these things tie together."
As for an official statement, he said that will come at the end of the week. Students are returning to
the president's office with the reports from the Securities and Exchange Commission to further prove that,
without a doubt, Sodexho-Marriott is tied to the private prison industry.
The president has said he wants to make this a Justice Across Campus Committee issue that will
be addressed next year, claiming that there isn't time to hire a new contracter before the fall semester.
Students say, "Justice cannot be something we address in times of convenience. Fr. Graham has been aware of this
issue in different forms since late last year. Every day Sodexho-Marriott has a place on this campus, Every dollar
that goes into their cash register is a sign of Xavier's support of private prisons. We appreciate
Graham's dedication to knowledge and justice, but we feel it is unacceptable to continue to do business with
Sodexho-Marriott. Any questions a committee would address next year can be addressed today."