Aramark Off UCD Campus, a student group formed to boycott the presence of catering company Aramark on campus, due to their involvement with the Direct Provision system, is set to officially launch their campaign on Wednesday, 7th February. Students first began to boycott the canteen in the Gerard Manley Hopkins building last November.
Aramark Off UCD Campus claims it has received considerable opposition from the college and the Students’ Union. The group put a motion to the Union members at the first council meeting of this semester, but members voted to postpone the motion until the next meeting as there was a mutual lack of understanding of direct provision and the effects of Aramark being removed from campus. An insider told the Tribune that this is only one instance in the Union’s long history of apathy toward refugee and multicultural issues.
In light of the upcoming boycott launch, members of the group began a guerrilla awareness campaign. As Aramark Off Our Campus is a group and not a recognised society, they are not allowed to put posters up on the concord. Regardless, group members spent Monday evening postering around campus, as well as using chalk to write slogans such as ‘Boycott Aramark Canteen’ and ‘This canteen supports Direct Provision’ on the pavement on the concord and outside the Global Lounge. By Tuesday morning, the posters had been torn down and the chalk slogans had been scrubbed away.
Aramark off our campus will officially launch their campaign on Wednesday evening. The launch will begin at 5:30pm in the Red Room and will include speakers from the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, art from acclaimed activist Vukasin Nedejikovic and music and poetry performances.
Muireann O’Shea – Film Editor