Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Student/Farmworker Alliance: “About a week after the action in Palm Beach, a few SFA members at FAU confirmed with a Chartwells representative, our food service provider, that Wendy’s will not return to the Boca Raton campus. The news caused major excitement, especially because generations of students have organized to make this a reality.”
We’ve had quite the run of exciting campaign updates in the last few weeks here on the Wendy’s Boycott front, from last month’s unforgettable March to End Modern Slavery in the Fields to the new shareholder-led “Vote No” initiative making waves in the world of Wendy’s investors as we write. The call for Wendy’s to take a stand for human rights and join the Fair Food Program is growing daily. And today, we are excited to share big news out of the campus-based Boot the Braids Campaign, led by the Student/Farmworker Alliance!
Florida Atlantic University has announced that it has decided not to renew its contract with Wendy’s, following years of student protests, including a unanimous Student Government resolution passed in 2019. Below with the details is an excerpt from an article in the University Press, FAU’s official campus newspaper, which announced the student victory late last month
Wendy’s contract has not been renewed, FAU spokesperson confirms
Wendy’s, which is not part of the Fair Food Program, is not returning to campus for the foreseeable future following years of student protests.
Caroline Ribeiro, Contributing Writer
April 20, 2022
FAU spokesperson Joshua Glanzer confirmed in a recent email that the university declined to renew its contract with Wendy’s.
“I can confirm their contract was not renewed,” Glanzer wrote in an April 6 email to the UP. He did not specify the reason the university did not renew the contract. “No additional information is available at this time.”
There has been a student effort to remove the Wendy’s on campus for several years because the company has declined to participate in the Fair Food Program.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ founded the program in 2010 in an attempt to provide better protections for farm workers, who in years past have been victims of human rights violations. McDonald’s, Walmart, Burger King, and more corporations have joined since its creation in 2010.
In 2019, the Boca Raton House of Representatives passed a resolution recommending that university officials remove the Wendy’s on campus. They then forwarded the resolution to Chartwells, the university’s food provider, but neither side took further action.
Some students attended the CIW’s march in Bradley Park on April 2 demanding that FAU terminate its contract with Wendy’s. They wanted to end what they believe is modern-day slavery and to take a stance against Wendy’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program.
“Students are vital for this fight,” said Kayla Barnes, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies who took part in the protest. “Human rights are being violated.” […]
We applaud FAU students’ resilience over the years that has led to this hard-fought victory that we’re all celebrating together now! We’ll leave you with the students’ own words and what’s to come for FAU SFA:
Student Farmworker Alliance:
Many students at Florida Atlantic University have now become accustomed to the empty Wendy’s on campus. Everyday they walk past the blank menu boards and unattended registers. Newcomers just assumed this was just a prolonged effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, but many returning students and staff knew exactly why Wendy’s wasn’t re-opening like all its neighbors. It’s the result of a university-wide campaign to end farmworker exploitation that started gaining traction around 2018.
Students and faculty alike have long expressed their discontent with the presence of Wendy’s on the Boca Raton campus. This is thanks to the seeds that the Coalition of Immokalee Workers continue to sew, by sharing and documenting farmworker injustice happening in the U.S. food system. Word of Wendy’s role in perpetuating farmworker injustice circulated through the FAU grapevine for years, and in 2019 the FAU House of Representatives passed a unanimous decision recommending that Wendy’s be removed from campus due to its refusal to join the CIW’s award-winning Fair Food Program.
Last month’s March to End Modern Slavery in the Fields, which many FAU students attended, re-ignited the movement to officially remove Wendy’s from our university. About a week after the action in Palm Beach, a few SFA members at FAU confirmed with a Chartwells representative, our food service provider, that Wendy’s will not return to the Boca Raton campus. The news caused major excitement, especially because generations of students have organized to make this a reality. Following this accomplishment, the SFA at FAU can focus their energy on becoming an official organization at the University, because as good as this victory is, there is still so much more work to be done in solidarity with farmworkers.