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December 14, 2011 at 12:30 PM

UW picks ARAMARK to serve food at Husky games

The University of Washington has chosen the Philadelphia company ARAMARK to serve concessions at college athletic events.

The contract is currently held by Sodexo, which was the subject of a long-running series of protests by UW students who said they believed Sodexo was violating workers’ rights. Earlier this year, 55 students with the Kick Out Sodexo Coalition were arrested for trespassing at three different sit-ins at the university.

“We were more than hopeful that this would happen,” said Morgan Currier, a UW student and organizer with United Students Against Sweatshops.

UW spokesman Norm Arkans said ARAMARK was chosen after “a good, open, competitive process,” and that ARAMARK offered the best deal. Pending final approval, the contract is good for five years with an option to extend it five more years. It begins July 1, 2012.

He said that as a result of student activity, the athletic department added a “corporate social responsibility criterion” to the request for proposals, but said he did not think it was more important than any other factor in picking the company.

But Currier said she hoped the UW’s decision would send a message to Sodexo. Earlier in the year, Western Washington University also switched vendors, dropping Sodexo, and Currier said the UW is the fifth school in the country to do so.

The contract is for food concessions at all sports events, including football games in the newly-renovated Husky Stadium. However, it does not cover concessions at CenturyLink Field, where the Huskies will play football next year while their stadium is being renovated.

Food at university cafeterias and residence halls is provided by the university’s own Housing and Food Services department.

Comments | More in Education | Topics: concessions, Huskies, stadium

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