Illustration by Cole Sandhofer
During a boycott on Aramark dining services held in Red Square on Friday, March 8, several attendees were unknowingly fed food containing marijuana, resulting in adverse effects in some participants, who went to the Student Health Center.
According to Shred the Contract, the organization hosting the boycott, volunteers unaffiliated with Shred the Contract served food they had cooked themselves in order to feed students participating in the boycott. One of those dishes contained cannabis, although a volunteer said it was non-psychoactive.
The volunteers serving the food said they were affiliated with the Bellingham Alternative Library, but declined to provide their names.
The group discovered that a dish of pesto pasta had marijuana in it. An organizer for the event ate a serving of the pasta and felt the effects, which rendered them unable to participate in the rest of the event, according to a statement posted on Shred the Contract’s Facebook page. According to the statement, several other students who ate the pasta also experienced the effects and had to visit the Student Health Center.
Future Man, the director of the Alternative Library, said because of how many people volunteer at the library, there’s no way to know for certain whether or not the volunteers serving food were affiliated with the library.
“We have an open membership policy and simply speaking, there’s no way we can be aware or accountable for actions taken by any of our members when they are acting on their own behalf outside of our space,” Future Man said in an email.
Shred the Contract posted on its Facebook page the evening after the event.
“We are disappointed and frustrated that this incident occurred and led to difficult situations for some people and derailed the focus of the action itself,” the statement read.
The boycott was focused on dining services on campus affiliated with Aramark. Shred the Contract said despite the incident, the organization’s message remains strong and it will continue to advocate for Western to end its contract with Aramark.
“We are sorry that we weren’t more vigilant, we should have asked for [their] ingredients,” Matt Svilar, a Shred the Contract group member, said. “It’s unfortunate that this happened, but our vision and what we were advocating for yesterday are still the same.”