January 27, 2023
  • 12:08 pm Fall Convocation 2022: “The State of this University is Strong”
  • 9:37 pm Ogrin Brings the Thunder in Toros 12-3 rout; team plays for playoff championship tomorrow
  • 7:00 am Outstanding Professor Award Recipient’s Mic Drop Moment at Last Month’s Virtual Ceremony
  • 9:10 am Bookworms of the World Unite!
  • 7:46 pm Breaking News: All Students Living in Campus Housing Required to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
  • 9:00 am CSUDH Esports Creates International Competition
  • 9:35 am Spring Commencement Ceremonies Get Brighter
  • 3:46 pm Breaking News: Spring Commencement Ceremonies Recieve Stadium Upgrade
  • 8:00 am Testing the Teachers (and All the Educators)
  • 9:30 am CSUDH Educators and School Employees, Vaccinated Next
  • 10:30 am For White People Only: Anti-Racism Workshop Addresses Racial Bias and Unity
  • 2:43 pm Greatness Personified: Remembering Kobe Bryant
  • 10:02 am Straight Down the Chimney and Into Your (Digital) Hands: Special Holiday Edition of The Bulletin!
  • 2:44 pm Did You Wake up Looking this Beautiful?
  • 11:43 am A Long History for University’s Newest Major
  • 5:15 pm Issue 5 of Bulletin Live! Collector’s Item! Worth its Weight in Digital Paper!
  • 4:06 pm Special Election Issue
  • 4:03 pm Three best Latinx Halloween & Horror Short Films available now on HBO Max
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  • 3:24 pm Hispanic Heritage Month Update
  • 2:00 pm South Bay Economic Forecast Goes Virtual
  • 3:52 pm BREAKING NEWS: Classes for Spring to be Online, CSU Chancellor Announces
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  • 5:07 pm STAFF EDITORIAL: Even Socially Distant, We All Have to Work Together
  • 5:47 pm Transcript of CSUDH President Parham’s Coronavirus Announcement
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  • 5:26 pm Things Black People Should be Able to Get Away with This Month
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  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 1:22 pm THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE BULLETIN IS HERE
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
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  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 10:09 am Harry’s House: The Home We All Deserve
  • 11:14 am Once a Toro, Always a Toro Program Seeks to Break Barriers in Reenrollment 
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  • 11:01 am What Prop 31 Means for Tobacco and Vape Businesses
  • 10:57 am One-on-One with President Parham

By Maya Garibay-Sahm, News Editor

The university has a $20 million dining hall in the early stages of development and a new dining services partner to handle it. And that company, Aramark, was the focus of a town hall last week that showed that even if the deal is finalized, there are some Toros who are not happy about the university contracting with a company that is responsible for feeding approximately 38 percent of the country’s prison population.

“How is school for the people when you’re partnering with people who lock people like us up?” asked junior Jaelin (Eli) Fowler, a member of the Black Student Union “It does feel like y’all sold us out. It feels like y’all traded us for money.”

The university signed a $10 million, 10-year campus dining partnership with Aramark that began July 1, 2022. Aramark is one of the top three global leaders in providing food, facilities and uniforms to clients ranging from sports venues and hospitals to universities, K-12 school districts and prisons.

CSUDH’s partnership with Aramark is “ designed to establish a strategic business, marketing, and philanthropic alliance that will benefit the entire CSUDH community,” Deborah Wallace, CSUDH’s vice president of administration and finance/chief financial officer, said in a July 20 announcement. “It opens the door to capital improvements in food service facilities across the campus, including the convenience stores located in Welch Hall and the Social and Behavioral Sciences building.”

$12 Billion Company

According to its annual filing with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Aramark grossed more than $12 billion worldwide in 2020. On the website of Food Management, www.foodmanagement.com, Aramark grossed an estimated $1.08 billion through its college and university contracts.

Aramark controversies at Universities and Prisons

But it has also been embroiled in controversies on many campuses, ranging from substandard working conditions and poor wages for student employees, to poor food quality at some universities. A national group that leads campus-based efforts to organize against corporate food providers at universities claims its efforts to get colleges to divest from Aramark have been reinvigorated since the social justice protests that swept the country in 2020.

According to its website, Aramark’s Frontline Education program offers eligible employees free undergraduate tuition through Arizona State University’s online program.

About 12 percent of Aramark’s  business, according to the American Friends of Service Committee, comes from providing food to about 38 percent of U.S. prison inmates. Aramark has also come under fire for its contracting with prisons and jails.   In 2020, students at Auburn University formed Tigers against Aramark, which claimed that through its work with prisons the company was “supporting the prison system which disproportionately affects Black people, Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC).”

The CSUDH Black Student Union was well represented at the town hall (an Instagram link with clips of BSU members voicing their displeasure with the agreement, along with other CSUDH students has 1,788 likes, and can be found here.)

Another BSU member, Brandon Blackmon, stated, “it makes us as students feel that we are not cared for as humans, we’re cared for as ways to make money.” 

In a statement issued Wednesday, a CSUDH official spokesperson said that Aramark “had the most thorough and competitive proposal based on the scoring metrics. The committee recommended Aramark to the president’s cabinet. With the cabinet’s approval, it was advanced to President Parham, who accepted the bid.

“President Parham and his cabinet were aware of Aramark’s relationship to prison facilities, though this was not part of the RFP judging criteria. The president recognizes that Aramark has made a commitment to address recidivism—a goal which the president and his cabinet wholeheartedly support.”

Details of CSUDH Contract

In the minutes of a CSUDH Foundation Board of Directors in April, when President Parham said the university had received $60 million from the state and that $20 million was earmarked for a new dining hall projected to open in spring 2026, the Foundation’s Executive Director Tranitra Avery detailed some parameters of the Aramark partnership, which was pending at the time, including:

It would be a  10-year agreement projected to bring in more than $30 million over its term,  including commissions, capital improvements into the university, and employment opportunities for  students.
The university would receive a signing  bonus once the agreement was finalized, along with capital improvements as much as $5 million within the first two years.

In a June meeting of the Foundation’s Board, Provost Michael Spagna said that with the salary increases for faculty, the university might not be able to meet its financial commitments without cutting back elsewhere. As a result, he said, the university would need to rely more heavily on income from its auxiliary services.

Auxiliary services at public universities are revenue-generating streams that are not contingent on state budgeting, such as student housing, dining services, campus bookstores and vending machines. At CSUDH, the entity that oversees some auxiliary services, including dining, the infant and toddler development center,  and filming on campus, is the CSUDH Foundation, a non-profit organization.

According to its website, the Foundation was “incorporated in 1968 as a partner of the University to provide services and develop and enhance programs that are an integral part of the University’s educational mission.”

Despite vocal opposition from some students at the Town Hall, Aramark is hiring in Carson, California. Since the day before Monday’s town hall, Aramark has posted eight job types in the city, ranging from retail supervisor to peer-to-peer student worker, on its website.

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