Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maquiladora Workers to Vist HSU

Hello Everyone,

Great NEWS!!! We have Rod from USAS coming to HSU with Mirna and Norma from Russell Athletic who used to work for them but got fired for trying to unionize. They will be coming to our campus to talk about how this has affected their lives and to get Universities to cut contracts with Russell Athletic. This event will be Thursday April 23rd at 6:00 pm in the BSS Native Forum. Please come and support this event, it is sure to be enlightening.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Upcoming Events....Stay Tuned!

Hello Everyone,

Well we have our movie night coming up and I hope that everyone can be there. It will be held on Wednesday April 1st at 7:00pm in Siemens Hall Room 115. We will be watching "Mardi Gras: Made in China" a documentary that explores the trail of Mardi Gras beads from Chinese Factories to Bourbon Street. The film explores the real cost of Mardi Gras beads and explores the perils of sweatshop labor and globalization. Invite all of your friends to come and watch this great film and be sure to check out the trailer on the right of the blog. See you all there.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Article in the Lumberjack

Lumberjack Article
[alt link]

We thank Sally for writing this important piece. Although there are a few errors, overall, this article does a pretty good job explaining our cause. For a clearer history of HUSAS please scroll down to the bottom post, giving a history.

Action Notice: May 13th Study-In

We're going to have one last demonstration this semester!

Study-In on Tuesday May 13th. We will be meeting in the Quad in front of Siemen's Hall at 11am and will proceed to Richmond's office. We will sit in front of his office--in the hall way--so we can be non-confrontational, but still get our message across. We need to show Richmond that students want the University to stop exploiting sweatshop labor! Please come and join us at anytime, we will quietly study there for at least a few hours (unless UPD tells us to vacate).

Saturday, May 3, 2008

May Day - Day of Action

Hi everyone!

Students, here at Humboldt State University, have been negotiating with our university administrator, President Rollin Richmond, to have HSU endorse the DSP. Since November of 2007, we have been speaking with administrators to discuss the DSP, culminating in a meeting with the President on March 24, 2008. After speaking with him, we were disenfranchised when we learned that he didn't seem to understand what we were doing, even after months of negotiating with his colleagues. Two weeks after the meeting, he gave us a response to our request for HSU to endorse the DSP, stating that:

I understand that the DSP is in the final stages of development, with legal and operational details still being developed. When the Designated Supplier's Proposal is complete and accepted by the Designated Suppliers Working Group, please forward a copy to my office. (Richmond)

We didn't feel that this message reflected the honest and full efforts of the University. So, on Thursday May 1st, we held a rally and 25, or so, of us marched to President Richmond's office and dropped off a letter. However, neither Richmond, nor either of his two secretaries were there. We then marched to the Provost's office and delivered our message directly. We said that people are suffering in sweatshops and that, the voice of those that suffer will only escalate if the University fails to heed their message. We said that we must endorse the only program that resolves systemic problems in sweatshops and monitoring them.

In solidarity with the UNC-CH students that were recently arrested, all other USAS students, and the workers,

Links: ArcataReporter
IndyBay Article

Friday, April 18, 2008

Event: Rally! - International Worker's Day

We will be holding a rally in the campus quad on May 1st!

If you would like to get involved please e-mail us at SweatFreeHSU@gmail

Please join us, 11am to 1pm, to show President Richmond the students' voice! More information will be posted as things develop. Solidarity!

The Problem - Sweatshops

Sweatshops continue to exist.

The current system of monitoring factories - to ensure compliance with basic human rights - fails on many levels to produce results:
  • Not Transparent- We don't know where the factories are that produce our clothing. This means that, we are unable to examine factories and ensure that HSU's codes of conduct are respected.
  • Weak Codes- Most organizations that monitor factories fail to produce a strong code of ethics, often failing on producing adequate coverage of women's rights. In addition, they often fail to enforce the weak codes
  • Governing Body- Strictly speaking, we can't expect corporations - whose primary motivation is to seek capital gains - to ensure the rights of workers. Even though any individual or group may be corrupted, the system we suggest does not build a ethical structure on a purely economic organization.
These are only a few of the problems that exist. However, in light of this information, President Richmond refuses to endorse the only program that can restructure the damaged system. The motivations and goals of the Designated Supplier's Proposal differ from for-profit corporate interests. Currently, HSU does not participate in any program that pro-actively fights sweatshops, nor does HSU participate in any program that works with other universities to discuss these problems.

Brief History of HUSAS

Humboldt United Students Against Sweatshops (HUSAS)

Founded in the Spring of 2007, by Bonnie Stewart, we began to educate ourselves and the public about sweatshops. In the Fall of 2007, we began meeting with the Director of the University Center. Over a period of several months, we met with the Director in order to convince the University to endorse the Designated Supplier's Proposal (check Resources for more information). After numerous discussions with the Director, we finally decided to draft a public letter endorsing the Designated Supplier's Proposal together.

Unfortunately, the first drafts of the public letters, written by the Director, failed to meet what we needed in order to support the proposal. Ultimately, we went with a draft (available in Resources) that both the University Center Director and HUSAS were happy with. On March 24th, 2008, several members of HUSAS met with President Richmond to discuss the University's endorsement of the proposal. We were insulted to learn that President Richmond had not studied the issues of the Designated Supplier's Proposal as well as he should have. He had been given copies of the Designated Supplier's Proposal and had been briefed multiple times by the University Center Director. As such we responded by posting flyers all over campus over the following week, trying to inform the public about sweatshop exploitation.

On April 3rd, 2008, we collected letters from students addressing problems with the relationship between sweatshops and the University. These letters were addressed to President Richmond, and almost all of them included personal messages and thoughts. We submitted over 100 letters to President Richmond's office on April 7th, 2008. That afternoon, we received a response from President Richmond (available in Resources). The response from President Richmond did not show any effort, on behalf of the University, to become active participants in the movement to end sweatshops. As a result, we resumed discussions with the University administrators.

On May 1st, we held an anti-sweatshop rally. Around 40 of us marched to Siemens Hall and dropped off a letter to President Richmond's office. Although Richmond was not present, we were able to give Provost Robert Snyder our message.

We are now working on a way to promote this revolutionary and proactive program, the Designated Supplier's Proposal, among the student population. We plan to hold events and inform the public. It is our intention to show that, the students are informed about this subject, and support our University's participation in a program that helps begin a new conversation about ending sweatshops. Even after efforts, from many major apparel corporations, to end sweatshop exploitation, sweatshops continue to thrive; clearly we need a new discussion to end sweatshops. The Designated Supplier's Proposal is designed to provide an entirely new system of monitoring factories and provide power in the hands of the university, the students, and the workers.

For more information, check out the "Resources" page.

Last Updated: May 9, 2008