When the Coalition of Immokalee Workers negotiated fair prices and practices for Florida’s tomato industry, most major companies joined the program. Wendy’s didn’t, giving them the dubious distinction of “less ethical than Wal-Mart.” For Vanderbilt students, seeing their own school cozy up to Wendy’s was too much.
Partnerships between universities and fast food companies are lucrative ventures, with restaurants competing for students’ lifelong brand loyalties. Universities, for their part, are all too willing to make money from feeding students, whether they’re working with Wendy’s or a dining hall company like Aramark. There are plenty of great questions to be asked about whether schools should be profiting at all. Even then, though, working with Wendy’s seems hard to justify.
What do you think?