Checkback: Taco Bell

Author: Ed Cohen

Did the University decide to sever its ties with Taco Bell, as requested by a student group backing a national boycott?


Last spring members of the Progressive Student Alliance staged hunger strikes and organized other efforts aimed at convincing the University not to renew a sponsorship agreement with local Taco Bell restaurants.

The students were supporting a national boycott called by a farm workers group that charges that Taco Bell's tomato suppliers pay unfair wages to migrant workers in Florida. The group wants the restaurant chain to pressure its suppliers to pay a living wage.

Notre Dame's only relationship with Taco Bell was a sponsorship arrangement for sporting events. Last year local Taco Bell franchises paid $50,000 for ads in game programs and spots during coaches' radio shows, among other promotions. The parties were considering a renewal of the agreement valued at $75,000.

University officials looked into the concerns raised by the student group and asked Taco Bell officials for a clarification of company policies. The University decided to terminate the sponsorship agreement because it was not satisfied with the response, a Notre Dame spokesman said. Ads from Taco Bell are still accepted in game programs.