Published on September 16, 1969, this section of The Daily Tar Heel describes the student protest that occurred from 1968 to 1969 in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There has been a long term of tension between UNC students and the UNC food services but between 1968 and 1969, the tension increased as controversies unfold and protests occur.
The first controversy during this era involved an operation, called UNC Sandwiches,which was created to boost the ongoing decline of the food services business. However, instead of increasing business and food options for students, it decreased business and food options which led to wrath among students. They argued that food services had created a monopoly on snack bars, poor quality foods, and overall higher prices. This led to a boycott that occurred from November 6th to the 8th. As a result, the administration decided to lower prices and discontinue UNC Sandwiches.
After the first controversy, things continued to go downhill for the UNC food services. Business for the food services persistently declined to the point where Chase Cafeteria was forced to close in February of the following year. Their operations were then moved to Lenoir Cafeteria but three months later, as internal disorganization increased and the black workers strike arose, UNC food services decided to end its operations and turned its operations to a food services company: SAGA Corporation.
This section of The Daily Tar Heel is crucial to understanding the theme of my group’s food story in the Chapel Hill area during this time period. Among the student protests and forced cafeteria closings occurring, there were also worker strikes and political movements. One prominent movement was the food workers strike on February 23rd, 1969. This movement involved a majority of Lenoir workers calling for a twenty-cent increase in hourly pay. Weeks later, in order to resolve the strike, a twenty-cent raise was implemented statewide. During this time period, the several controversies that occurred, shows the political tensions between the administration, the workers, and even the students. The increase in prices at the university also shows the lack of competition and limited food options for students in the area. These examples illustrate the politics, protest, and food in Chapel Hill during this time period.
“Food Service Quits.” The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC), September 16, 1969. Assessed November 6th, 2018.
“Planned Cafeteria Conversion Recalls 1969 Labor Strike.” The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC), 29 Apr. 1982. Assessed November 7th, 2018.
– Daniel Liu