Student Power: Boot the Braids

by Coalition of Immokalee Workers

On March 19, the University of Florida Student Government escalated student pressure on Wendy’s—and on UF President Kent Fuchs—voting unanimously to call on the UF administration to cut the university’s contract with Wendy’s until the fast-food giant joins the Fair Food Program. The vote came just days after students, farmworkers and Gainesville community members organized a huge march on President Fuchs’ office, demanding action in support of Florida farmworkers’ fundamental human rights.  

The final resolution paragraphs say it all:

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED the University of Florida Student Senate recognizes the CIW’s Fair Food Program as the gold standard for enforcing human rights in U.S. agriculture, as well as across global supply chains, due to well-documented evidence and the CIW’s widely-recognized credentials.

THEREFORE, LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED the University of Florida Student Senate encourages the UF student body and broader UF community to boycott Wendy’s until the fast-food giant joins the Fair Food Program.

THEREFORE, LET IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED the University of Florida Student Senate urges the UF administration and Aramark to end its business ties with Wendy’s until the fast- food company agrees to protect the human rights of farmworkers in its supply chain by joining the CIW’s Fair Food Program.

Proviso: A copy of this resolution shall be sent to UF Chispas President Giancarlo Tejeda, Hispanic Student Association President Brenda Villanueva, Student Body President-Elect Michael Murphy, President of the University of Florida W. Kent Fuchs, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. David Parrott, & Multicultural and Diversity Affairs Director Will Atkins, Assistant Vice President of Business Services Eddie Daniels, Vice President of Business Affairs Curtis Reynolds.

You can find the text of the resolution in its entirety at: Resolution Urging the University of Florida Administration to Remove Wendy%E2%80%99s from Campus Until it Joins the Fair Food Program.pdf?ver=2019-03-18-100154-717. 

Congratulations go out to the student leaders of the UF Boot the Braids Campaign and CHISPAS UF, who organized tirelessly to spread awareness and build support for the Fair Food Program on and off the Gainesville campus. We also extend thanks to the authors of the resolution, Senators Mauricio Perez and Stephanie Beltran, as well as sponsors Student Body Vice President David Enriquez, Student Body Treasurer-Elect Santiago Gutierrez, the Hispanic Student Association, Chomp the Vote, Senator Matthew Diaz, Senator Maria Espinoza, Senator Rebecca Ragan, Senator Anthony Portugues, Senator Gabbi Hernandez, Senator Lindsay Kaighin, Senator Rhodes Evans, and Senator Nick Meyer!

Even before the UF Student Government passed its resolution, the Gainesville City Council voted unanimously to support a resolution in support of the Wendy’s Boycott in light of Wendy’s refusal to open its tomato supply chain to the audits and complaint investigation process of the Fair Food Program as McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell and Chipotle agreed to do over a decade ago. 

The pressure continues to grow on UF President Kent Fuchs to heed his students’ concerns and take action to remove Wendy’s from the UF campus until it joins the rest of the fast-food industry leaders in supporting the most widely respected social responsibility in US agriculture today.  

Stay tuned for more news from the Boot the Braids front soon! D

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