Stand against sweatshops — staff editorial

The Progressive Student Union is taking important steps to make sure that none of GW’s licensed apparel is produced in sweatshops in the United States or abroad.

College campuses across the country have been on the forefront of the war against sweatshops. Students of GW’s cross-town neighbor, Georgetown University, have held sit-ins in their president’s office and led boycotts of apparel produced in sweatshops in fighting for the worthy cause.

GW’s Progressive Student Union launched its effort to ensure that the University does not deal with sweatshops at a Thursday meeting. GW officials have made clear that the administration will only review the situation if enough students join the cause.

In an effort to meet the challenge, the Progressive Student Union is circulating a petition for student signatures. It also intends to pass a resolution in the Student Association asking that the University investigate the origin of GW’s licensed apparel to ensure that it doesn’t deal with sweatshops.

At a campus known for its political activism, the Progressive Student Union should have no problem garnering enough student support to compel the University to insist upon independent monitoring of factories in which GW apparel is produced. While it is unknown whether GW apparel is manufactured with sweatshop labor, the PSU is urging GW to investigate the subject. If the University finds that any of its apparel is made with sweatshop labor, contract changes should be made.

Many sweatshop laborers work under appalling conditions for meager wages. Sweatshops operate in developing nations around the world and illegally in America.

Sweatshops are a travesty, and the GW community should have a zero-tolerance policy toward them. GW has an ideal opportunity to join a movement created largely by college students in taking a stand against sweatshops.

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