campus update

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Apr 11 09:07:34 PDT 2000

[from Sam Smith's Progressive Review]

PURDUE: Five Purdue University students ended their hunger strike Friday after the school agreed to try harder to make sure university apparel is not made in sweatshops. The students, who began their strike March 27, came to terms with school officials, though the agreement does not meet the protesters' main demand. Students had wanted the university to join the Worker Rights Consortium, a group to monitors clothing manufacturers. Instead, the agreement lists a set of conditions that monitoring groups must meet in order for Purdue to contract with them. University officials will decide later this year whether to join the Worker Rights Consortium, ally with some other monitoring group, or create an independent system to oversee apparel manufacturers.

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON: On Tuesday, five students were arrested in the administration building after presenting demands to the president. He walked past them without making eye contact as he exited the building. That night, the occupied zone was developed by the tents that were put up around Johnson Hall, and over fifty people spent the night . . . On Wednesday, six students entered the administration building at 8 a.m., demanding a meeting with [President] Frohnmayer. Later, they were told that he had left Eugene for a meeting in DC with the NIH. They remained for the whole day, and were arrested when the building closed at 5 PM . . . On Thursday, the crowd inside the lobby of the administration building sang and chanted until police became brutal and forced them out of the room. They were shoved against one another and herded out of the building. Next the press and the so-called neutral observers were evicted from the building . . . On Friday students led a tour of campus, stopping at places at the UO particularly notable for their corporate ties . . . Students anticipated President Frohnmayer's return to Eugene by meeting him at the airport, with duct tape over their mouths and carrying signs. The President was visibly uncomfortable, and retreated to the bathroom rather then wait for his baggage in front of the crowd that assembled . . . Meanwhile, the occupied zone has grown in terms of the support and the number of people spending their time there. Daily meetings have grown to nearly 100 people . . . After four days of silence, Frohnmayer has finally promised a meeting tomorrow morning.


ASSOCIATED PRESS Notre Dame will ban the manufacture of its products in at least 13 countries that do not guarantee the rights of workers to form unions. . . . The countries included on the banned list include China and a dozen others in Africa and Asia. Five other countries not explicitly banned have been flagged as having ``questionable'' labor laws.

YALE: Today's the fifth day that Students Against Sweatshops at Yale has been occupying the plaza outside of our president's office. The amount of people who are on our side is incredible. Each night, people bring us food and hot drinks and many singing groups have had special performances just for us. There are about 40 or 50 students who have slept out with us so far and more are added to the list every night. In terms of the Yale administration, however, things have not been going as well. We spent yesterday trying to get a meeting with our president by asking students to individually deliver notes which requested a meeting to his secretary. By the end of the day, we had probably given them 400 notes. The action was successful; President Levin agreed to meet with us this morning at 9! But the meeting was disappointing. For mostly political reasons, our president remains committed to Yale's position on the FLA and off the WRC.

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