The Michigan Daily -- Thursday, March 11, 1999 - 9A
Schools look to
'U' for anti-sweatshop leadership
By Michael Grass
Daily Staff Reporter
As University administrators and student activists negoti-
ate a stronger set of labor standards in the collegiate apparel
industry, the activists' counterparts on other campuses have
ade what they hope are great strides to improve sweatshop
' nditions in factories.
The Collegiate Licensing Company - the group which
handles contracts between manufacturers and 161 colleges,
including the University - is proposing a code calling for
improved working conditions and unfair labor practices.
But student activists have said the CLC's proposed code
lacks two important stipulations:
Full public disclosure: Complete manufacturing infor-
mation on locations of factories and their ownership, so
human rights organizations can visit and inspect conditions.
The living wage: Factoring local living conditions into a
dorker's salary with intentions to improve the quality of life
The University's Students Organizing for Labor and
Economic Equality members said they have found that labor-
ers produce University merchandise in the Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador,
Mexico and Bangladesh - nations where sweatshop labor
and substandard conditions exist.
According to a SOLE publication, workers in a particular
factory in the Dominican Republic produce more than 14
million baseball caps per year, including caps bearing the
Those workers are paid 69 cents per hour, which a study
from the Dominican Republic Central Bank said is one-third
of the cost necessary to cover a family's basic needs.
SOLE members said those laborers work a 56-hour work
week, which is illegal under Dominican law. SOLE members
also said wage discrimination against women, unsafe drink-
ing water, sexual harassment and physical abuse are present
in the factory.
Labor activists feel that manufacturers could help improve
their employees' living conditions by honoring a living wage.
"Students feel that a living wage is a human right," said
Harvard University student and activist Dan Hennefeld.
SOLE member Mara Luna, an LSA junior traveled with a
group of students from the Cleveland area to El Salvador last
summer and met with a group of garment workers.
At a Feb. 19 meeting between SOLE and University
President Lee Bollinger, Luna told Bollinger that the workers
told her the best way to help improve conditions in sweat-
shops is to apply pressure on the corporate level.
"They really rely on us to help," Luna said. "We have a lot
Luna said the workers, whose gated and guarded factory
was surrounded with barbed wire, produced clothing for JC
Penny, GAP and Liz Claiborne.
In order for conditions to improve in factories, "pressure
needs to be applied on the corporations,' Hennefeld said.
Students across the nation take
action for a stronger code
Protests at campuses across the nation, including three sit-
down demonstrations at the University of Wisconsin at
Madison, Georgetown University and Duke University have
brought great media attention to the issue of sweatshop labor
in the collegiate apparel industry.
"Corporations are especially vulnerable because they are
very conscious of their public image," Hennefeld said.
Harvard President Neil Rudenstine promised full public
disclosure after 400 students protested outside a full faculty
meeting yesterday, Hennefeld said.
Hennefeld and a group of students from other Ivy League
schools sent letters to Ivy presidents demanding action on the
Though pleased with the announcement of full public dis-
closure at Harvard, Hennefeld said in regards to the living
wage, "it's been frustrating because our administration told us
here at Harvard that they agreed with us, but now they've
gone back on that."
During a January sit-in at the office of Duke President Nan
Keohane, administrators agreed to meet the demands of stu-
dent activists on the Duke campus, agreeing that within one
year, Duke will have public disclosure.
Duke student Tico Almeida, a sit-in organizer, said some
licensed manufacturers may not want to do business with
Duke in the future because of the disclosure requirement.
"If a few companies have something to hide, others may
jump in" and sign contracts with Duke, Almeida said.
During the Duke sit-in, student activists only demanded
full public disclosure.
Almeida said at the time of the sit-in, their worst fear was
that Duke and other schools were going to be scared off with
calls for the living wage and sign the weak CLC code.
"We thought that we had to put public disclosure as num-
ber one," Almeida said, adding that now that "a number of
schools have achieved that, we are now looking more closely
at the living wage."
Along with Harvard, Duke, Georgetown and Wisconsin,
Cornell University and Brown University also have achieved
full public disclosure.
Wisconsin Chancellor David Ward also has agreed to sup-
port a call for a living wage.
Sweatshop activists await what
happens at the University
For the 1997-98 fiscal year, licensed merchandise bearing
the Michigan logo generated about $5.7 million, the highest
reported amount of any college in the nation, University
spokesperson Julie Peterson said.
To manufacturers "Michigan is very important because it
has major financial clout," Hennefeld said.
"The students at Michigan are among the leaders in the
movement," said Ginny Couglin, director of education and
mobilization for Union of Needletrades, Industries and
Couglin added that if a number of schools, including the
University, achieve public disclosure, other schools may fol-
low suit forcing manufacturers to release information and
improve conditions in their factories.
"Michigan is an important school as a trendsetter" Couglin
said, "Companies will be under greater pressure" to improve
wages and conditions in their factories.
SOLE members plan to continue their negotiations with
the University today and are scheduled to hold a rally on the
Diag tomorrow at 1 p.m. They said yesterday that they hope
they can come to an agreement with administrators that satis-
fies both of their needs.
Mass. students, faculty
protest race practices
Mr. Bollinger goes to Lansing
locate giant fault
Massachusetts Daily Collegian
AMHERST, Mass. - In the second
protest of the semester, University of
Massachusetts students came together
with faculty, five college members and
civil rights leader Anne Braden to make
themselves heard last Wednesday after-
Protesting against the recent
iversity decision not to prioritize
race in admissions policy, the protest
organized by the Black Student Union
took place in its traditional starting
point - on the steps of the Student
.An enthusiastic crowd of about 500
students were in attendance at the
protest. One of the most prominent
speakers was Ann Braden, a 74-year-
old civil rights activist. Braden is from
6 .Louisville, Ky. chapter of the
outhern Organizing Committee for
Education and Social Justice.
"People are overwhelmed and do not
know what to do," Braden said. She sug-
gests that whites make themselves visible
as an important first step. "The U.S.
moves forward only when the young peo-
ple move forward."
Braden also said "many whites don't
ant to think about race and want to
B'eep things under the rug.' She
attacked giving admissions on the basis
of income saying it "will pit poor
whites against blacks. (You) can't sepa-
rate class and race, because they have
been joined since the first slave ships
arrived. When blacks get rights, so do
poor whites." Braden cited Pell grants
and other programs, which African-
Americans initiated, as evidence.
Braden's predicts that if the universi-
ty does not reverse its decision then "in
a few years they (UMass administra-
tion) will be cutting out everyone but
John Bracey, professor of Afro-
American studies, begged the adminis-
tration for a moratorium on a decision
he called "the most mean-spirited,
backward thing they have ever done."
Bracey has been an active faculty
member in reversing the university's
decision and recently wrote a letter to
Chancellor David Scott on the matter.
Bracey's proposal for the chancellor
is to call on individuals specialized on
the matters to come up with other solu-
Bracey urged students to use pres-
sure to make themselves heard if neces-
sary: "We'll tell them there's a hurri-
cane out of Amherst!"
Billye Smith, a sophomore Afro-
American studies major at Amherst
College and member of the college's
Black Culture House and Black
Women's Group, gave the oft-cited
depiction of the Five College system as
the characters from "Scooby Doo."
fault under downtown
By Valere De Charette
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A giant
fault hidden beneath downtown Los
Angeles could cause highly destructive
earthquakes, according to a recent dis-
covery by one Harvard researcher and a
colleague from California.
Assistant structural and economic
geology Prof. John Shaw and Peter
Shearer, a professor at the University of
California at San Diego, published their
findings about the fault in last Friday's
issue of Science magazine.
The fault, which is composed of three
segments, is about 25 miles in the east-
west direction and 10 miles in the north-
south direction, Shaw said.
Each of the segments is comparable in
size to an adjacent fault in Northridge,
Calif., that caused a major earthquake in
1994, he said.
Shaw said if any one of the three seg-
ments does cause an earthquake, it could
be as destructive as the Northridge earth-
quake - which had a magnitude of 6.7,
killed 33 people and caused $35 billion
in damages, according to an article in
The New York Times on March 5.
If all three segments were to rupture
simultaneously, an earthquake about
three times as violent as the Northridge
disaster could occur, Shaw said.
Researchers already suspected the
fault's existence, but it was not con-
firmed until oil companies drilling in
the Los Angeles basin provided evi-
dence, he said.
It is not known when the fault might
cause an earthquake, Shaw said.
Scientists still need to find out when the
stress began and whether it has been
relieved by a past temblor, he said.
Shearer said they are still investigat-
ing the exact location and size of the
fault because there is a possibility that it
is connected with others to the east and
west and possibly to another south of
Finding connections between faults is
difficult because the links may be too
deep for seismic tests, he added.
The discovery will be important in
helping scientists predict approximately
when the next earthquake will be and in
preparing the city for a possible disaster.
Harvard geology Prof. Paul Hoffman
said Shaw is currently working with
Harvard geophysics Prof. Jeroen Tromp
to construct a computer model of the
rock around the Los Angeles basin.
University President Lee Bollinger speaks yesterday before the state
Legislature in Lansing about appropriations for the University.
Texas student board votes no to sex clause
By Loretta Panichi
'he Daily University Star
SAN MARCOS, Texas - Southwest
Texas State University Associated
*udent Government's legislation
proposing an addition to the anti-discrim-
ination clause to include sexual orienta-
tion, was shot down with a 5 to 7 vote at
the Student Advisory Board meeting
The legislation, aimed at protecting
students and faculty from sexual discrim-
ination based on sexual orientation, was
passed in the SWT Faculty Senate and
trduced to ASG's senate last semester.
Mier much debate, it was passed in both
ASG and Staff Senate.
The next step was to discuss it with the
Student Advisory Board, made up of two
representatives from all schools within
the Texas State University System, before
finally taking the proposed legislation to
the Texas State University System Board
of Regents, said ASG President and psy-
chology senior Anne-Marie Laustsen.
At the board meeting, SWT and
&mar University-Beaumont offered
our votes in favor of the bill.
Sam Houston, San Angelo and Lamar
University Institute of Technology in
Beaumont offered six opposing votes.
Lamar University-Orange, Sul Ross
State University in Alpine and Sul Ross
State University Rio Grande College in
Uvalde were not present. Lamar
University-Orange did not attend
because they are reassessing their student
government after their president quit.
"We're kind of back off in the woods
as far as the legislation goes," said Sam
Ambers, student government representa-
tive for Lamar University-Orange.
Lamar University-Port Arthur was
split: one vote opposing, one vote in
favor. The opposing votes killed the bill.
"We were very disappointed,"
Laustsen said. "We didn't even get a
chance to take this to the Board of
Student government members against
the bill offered their reasons. "I had to
vote against this because the people at
SWT did not have enough evidence to
fully warrant the Board of Regents to
look at this bill," said Gerald Napoles,
Sam Houston student senator. "We
wanted specific examples and more
Laustsen said ASG's argument was
that if someone is not guaranteed protec-
tion and no legal action can be taken,
then why would they bother reporting the
Napoles said those who have been dis-
criminated against should take the first
"I believe that it does happen and the
first step in making a change is making a
stand for yourself," Napoles said. "I think
this is a wonderful issue, but at this time
it wasn't fully developed. With a big issue
like this we need 100 percent back-up. I
saw a lot of commitment and support at
SWT, and I think even more people need
to stick up for this. They need to provide
some kind of data, not just hearsay. The
bill needed more polishing."
Theresa Wallace, Lamar University-
Port Arthur's student government presi-
dent, agreed with Napoles.
"We were split, and I was the one that
voted no;' Wallace said. "It is a very
important issue, and the bill needed more
time to get together."
What: Student Advisory
Board for Texas State
University System votes 5
to 7 against including
sexua orientation in
When: Board shot down
offered mixed opinions.
Those who opposed claim
Southwest Texas State
University does not have
enough evidence to look
at bi .
looked at proposed
change after t he
university's faculty and
staff bodies passed
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