DSP Discussion Goes Nowhere
A few days ago, we posted about an upcoming meeting between administrators and the student organization United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). Here’s the 411: The groups met to discuss the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP), which requires collegiate wear to be produced in factories that support the rights of its laborers. They’ve asked for the Penn State president’s signature before, and he had denied, just like he did when they asked this time.
Spanier and his crew refuse to sign the document until the Department of Justice makes its ruling, as the DSP is said to violate anti-trust laws. USAS asked them to sign it with a disclaimer saying that they will pull out if it’s in violation of the law, but the Spanier gang stood still. Their current stance is supporting the “Above and Beyond” program by Knight Apparel, which they signed in January.
It seems neither side would budge. Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs, said he was flummoxed by the students’ narrow focus regarding an explicit letter of support from Spanier:
“I came from an institution that signed on to the DSP,” Sims said. “I have confidence that if anyone reads Indiana’s short letter, they will find that President Spanier’s comprehensive letter from last year has the same principles with disclaimers.”
USAS students are proud of the strides made by “Above and Beyond,” but feel that most must be done as the program only addresses one factory (Knight Apparel), not the larger problem at hand. USAS students now plan to take their message to the Board of Trustees.
Better luck next time, hopefully.
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