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XU Student Senate Votes to Dump Sodexho

(see what students think Xavier's president should be saying)
sodexho=private prisons
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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 Management Services).

9.2 Use of force The Contractor must ensure that where Custodial Officers use force, or instruments of restraint: (a) they are used strictly 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 behaviour;

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 Australia.

“[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 industry.”

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.”

Background Information:

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, kpranis@nomoreprisons.org, krhee@nomoreprisons.org or the Xavier University Campaign, Brian Loewe bsplat@yahoo.com

05-23-01 Sodexho Sells Stock in CCA:
Still Owns Two Private-Prison Companies

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."

Stockholder sells CCA shares

Staff Writer

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 said yesterday.

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 bankruptcy.

''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 lenders.

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 the university.

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


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 sought out.

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 Alley Cleary.

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 interview

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 Injustice.

05-03-01 1:00am 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 Brian Loewe.

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 Chris Penna.

05-01-01 4:30pm

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 Committee. 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."
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