FAU

GEO Group Stadium is no more!

Instead of our usual Humpday Hall of Shame post, we have good news to report this week: yesterday, GEO Group announced that it would no longer be buying the naming rights to Florida Atlantic University’s new football stadium.  In February, we covered an arranement between GEO Group and FAU in which GEO would pay six million dollars over twelve years in exchange for its logo emblazoned across the stadium.  University president Mary Jane Saunders faced immediate backlash from her own students, as well as organizations and individuals across the country.  Over 70,000 people signed petitions online and Grassroots Leadership helped organize 60 organizations to sign on to a public letter to Saunders and the FAU Board of Trustees (circulated by Grassroots Leadership).  Even FAU's faculty senate condemned the deal.

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What Schools are Promoting Private Prisons?

Last week, the announcement that GEO Group had bought the naming rights to Florida Atlantic University’s new football stadium set off a firestorm.  The for-profit private prison corporation’s $6 million donation to the school is shocking, but its ties to FAU go back much further; CEO George Foley isn’t just an alum, he’s also a former chair of the FAU Board of Trustees and member of the Foundation board of directors.  He even served chair of the Presidential Search Committee that hired Mary Jo Saunders, who has been quoted calling GEO Group “a wonderful company” and that she is “very proud to partner with them.”

This incidence of crossover between the for-profit private prison industry and schools is not unique – both GEO Group and CCA have close ties to universities.  In this Humpday Post we'll look into a few other universities elevating and validating the private prison industry.

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Students Protest Naming Stadium After GEO Group, FAU President Agrees to Public Meeting

Private prison industry giant GEO Group has promised a $6 million gift to Florida Atlantic University in exchange for naming rights to their new football stadium. Yes, the GEO Group logo will plague the school’s stadium building for at least the next 12 years...

Or will it?  

Interesting move for a for-profit prison company whose track record is marred with abuse and inadequate medical care among other human rights violations.  Up until the announcement Tuesday, GEO Group ran their prison business largely under the public radar.  Just three days later, however, the controversial deal has been covered by numerous news outlets from the Huffington Post to the New York Times (who quoted Grassroots Leadership’s very own Bob Libal), two petitions -- from the DREAM Activists and Beyond Bars -- are circulating the web, one with over 9,000 signatures, FAU students organized a protest, and even Stephen Colbert weighed in on his Comedy Central show. [node:read-more:link]
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