The undersigned Wellesley alumnae say #GoodbyeAVI
We demand that Wellesley terminate its dining contract with AVI Foodsystems and transition to a self-operated system. These demands are put forth by Wellesley Against Mass Incarceration (WAMI).
Why Say #GoodbyeAVI?
Our dining contract with AVI Foodsystems does not reflect the values of Wellesley College. We cannot invest in and partner with a company that actively perpetuates harm against incarcerated people and College employees.
AVI earns at least $3.25 million annually from vending services to prisons, thus making them a part of the prison-industrial complex and upholding the current system of incarceration that disenfranchises Black, Indigenous, and otherwise marginalized communities.
Dining hall employees have allegedly experienced sexual, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as racial, linguistic, and national origin discrimination from AVI-employed supervisors. (Dining hall workers are Wellesley College employees, but their supervisors are employees of AVI Foodsystems.)
AVI Foodsystems has a 5.5 out of 100 score for seafood sustainability by Greenpeace. Wellesley students have released multiple articles regarding the company’s failure to accommodate dietary restrictions, as well as provide adequate food quality. Wellesley students pay over 65% more than the average price of campus dining.
Why self-operation? (See our full Guide to Self-Op here.)
Our Values: Wellesley College will divest from the prison-industrial complex and foodservice industry in order to cultivate an institution that leads in promoting justice.
Flexibility: The College will have full decision-making power over food options and purchasing. This will allow for immediate changes to the dining program when needed (e.g. managing costs, student requests, and unexpected events).
Efficiency: Because our dining services will no longer include a third party, the speed, structuring of labor resources, and general organization of dining at Wellesley will improve.
Sustainability: Creating direct pipelines from New England suppliers to Wellesley will decrease carbon emissions, support small farms, and allow for greater transparency in the food purchasing process.
From: [Your Name]
Our demands to the College are as follows:
- Terminate Wellesley’s contract with AVI Foodsystems.
- Immediately begin processes to investigate allegations of sexual, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as racial, linguistic, and national origin discrimination of dining hall workers by AVI supervisors.
- Ensure that dining hall workers will be protected from retaliation if they choose to come forward and/or pursue these allegations.
- Ensure that those who have perpetrated harm are held accountable according to the wishes of survivors of their harm.
- Establish a committee composed of dining hall workers, IMSEUA (union) leaders, students (including, but not limited to, students with dietary restrictions, students with incarcerated loved ones, and representatives from WAMI & sustainability organizations), and College administration to begin planning the transition to a self-operated dining system.
- Establish a self-operated dining system as soon as possible that prioritizes accommodation of student dietary needs (including health and religious), sustainability, local sourcing of ingredients through direct partnerships with farmers, flexibility, variety, and cultural sensitivity. We ask for a maximum timeline of three years for full implementation.
- Ensure that every dining hall worker will remain employed through the College throughout this process, and that they will receive the same or better benefits and salaries than they currently receive.
- Affirm that terminating our dining contract with AVI Foodsystems and switching to a self-operated system is central to upholding Wellesley’s values.