Young America 2008 & Earlier For more recent stories
MARTY NEMKO, CHRONICLES OF HIGHER EDUCATION Among my saddest moments as a career counselor is when I hear a story like this: "I wasn't a good student in high school, but I wanted to prove that I can get a college diploma. I'd be the first one in my family to do it. But it's been five years and $80,000, and I still have 45 credits to go."
I have a hard time telling such people the killer statistic: Among high-school students who graduated in the bottom 40 percent of their classes, and whose first institutions were four-year colleges, two-thirds had not earned diplomas eight and a half years later. . . Yet four-year colleges admit and take money from hundreds of thousands of such students each year!
Perhaps worst of all, even those who do manage to graduate too rarely end up in careers that require a college education. So it's not surprising that when you hop into a cab or walk into a restaurant, you're likely to meet workers who spent years and their family's life savings on college, only to end up with a job they could have done as a high-school dropout.
ACADEMICS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST PRO-ISRAELI MCCARTHYISM
CECILIE SURASKY, MUZZLE WATCH - The Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University, led by a number of academic heavyweights from Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, (formerly) Brown and UC Santa Cruz, has published a sign-on statement in this week's Chronicle of Higher Education. No doubt the folks over at Campus Watch can't wait to cut and paste the entire list of names so they can send out "monitors" to report on the "anti-Israel" and "anti-American" teachers.
The committee states:
"In recent years, universities across the country have been targeted by outside groups seeking to influence what is taught and who can teach. To achieve their political agendas, these groups have defamed scholars, pressured administrators, and tried to bypass or subvert established procedures of academic governance. As a consequence, faculty have been denied jobs or tenure, and scholars have been denied public platforms from which to share their viewpoints. This violates an important principle of scholarship, the free exchange of ideas, subjecting them to ideological and political tests. These attacks threaten academic freedom and the core mission of institutions of higher education in a democratic society. Unfortunately and ironically, many of the most vociferous campaigns targeting universities and their faculty have been launched by groups portraying themselves as defenders of Israel. These groups have targeted scholars who have expressed perspectives on Israeli policies and the Israeli Palestinian conflict with which they disagree.
JUNKIES TAKING OVER CAMPUSES
HIGHEST RANKED COLLEGE
NORML - Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina is the nation's most marijuana-friendly campus, according to The Princeton Review's annual sourcebook, "The Best 366 Colleges." The report, which is based on candid survey results from 120,000 students nationwide, ranks hundreds of colleges in various categories such as academic achievement and quality of life. Warren Wilson College topped Bard College (New York), the University of Vermont, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Lewis & Clark College (Oregon) to emerge as this year's top school for "higher" learning. The US Air Force Academy ranked #1 on Princeton's "Top 20" list of least pot-friendly campuses. Warren Wilson College was also ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the most politically active campuses in America.
TEACHING AT STILLMAN COLLEGE
[This is not a happy story but well worth reading. St Petersburg Times columnist and editorial board member Bill Maxwell "kept a promise to himself, to become a professor at a small historically black college, to nurture needy students the way that mentors had encouraged him as a young man. His second year started with promise but ended in despair."
Many teachers - both black and white - may find some things familiar in this piece. I was reminded of two things. One was a talk that John Wilson, a black who was chair of the DC city council, gave to a group of University of DC students in which Wilson warned them of the limits of playing the attitude card in getting through life. I remember thinking how seldom this wise advice is proffered.
The other was some talks I had given to local and out of town students over the years during which I learned not to predict what would happen. For example, talking to a hundred of students from Oklahoma high schools, I was interrupted ten minutes in by a large black girl who stood and politely said, "Excuse me, but you've lost me. Could you go over that again?" I remember thinking: what courage. I never would have dared do that in high school. Yet another group of out of town students, when asked by a teacher to list the branches of the federal government came up with the FBI, CIA and DEA.
On another occasion, talking to some DC students concerned about violence and drugs in and out of school, I was struck by the fact that they didn't even know how to ask the a question, even about something that truly concerned them. I asked a friend who had taught in the DC public schools about this and she said, "They're not meant to ask questions; only answer them."
Yet a year or so later, talking to another group of students from the same system but a different high school I found myself being peppered with intelligent questions about the city's colonial status, clearly the result of having done their homework. - Sam]
TOUR AT STILLMAN COLLEGE
HARVARD TURNS DOWN 1,100 APPICANTS WITH PERFECT 800 MATH SAT SCORES
SAM DILLON, NY TIMES - Harvard turned down 1,100 student applicants with perfect 800 scores on the SAT math exam. Yale rejected several applicants with perfect 2400 scores on the three-part SAT, and Princeton turned away thousands of high school applicants with 4.0 grade point averages. . . It was the most selective spring in modern memory at America's elite schools, according to college admissions officers. . . Stanford received a record 23,956 undergraduate applications for the fall term, accepting 2,456 students, meaning the school took 10.3 percent of applicants. Harvard College received applications from 22,955 students, another record, and accepted 2,058 of them, for an acceptance rate of 9 percent. The university called that "the lowest admit rate in Harvard's history." Applications to Columbia numbered 18,081, and the college accepted 1,618 of them, for what was certainly one of the lowest acceptance rates this spring at an American university: 8.9 percent.
ST LOUIS CAMPUS REBELS AGAINST YET ANOTHER CANNED BELTWAY SPEAKER
INSIDE THE BELTWAY, WASHINGTON TIMES - "Let's not 'Meet the Press,'" blares the headline of a St. Louis University student editorial, complaining that the choice of NBC Sunday morning talk-show host Tim Russert as the school's May 2007 commencement speaker "represents another selection in a disappointing trend that appears to be emerging."
"For the past four years, seniors have been treated to uninspiring politicians or uninspiring pundits as their speaker at graduation," the editorial states. "Moreover, the decision on who should be the commencement speaker has been made without consulting the senior class." Commencement speakers at the Jesuit-run Catholic university in recent years have ranged from former President Bill Clinton's secretary of state, Madeleine K. Albright, to former British Prime Minister John Major. (Wow, we can relate to the students' concerns.) The graduating seniors add that Mr. Russert has delivered so many canned commencement addresses to so many colleges and universities that when he spoke at Harvard's Commencement in 2005 the graduates played "Tim Russert Bingo."
PROFESSOR FINDS IT IS UNETHICAL IN ILLINOIS TO BE INTELLIGENT
INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION - Certainly not Tony Williams. After passing a new online test on ethics required of all state employees, [Tony Williams, a tenured professor] in the English department at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale received a notice from his university ethics officer and from the state inspector general that he was not in compliance with state ethics regulations, a failure that state officials said could result in punishment that included dismissal. The reason? He had completed the test too quickly.
"It's a very simple test designed for thousands of state employees, and it's more relevant for people in purchasing or positions of power," he said. "Anybody with a fair degree of intelligence can get through it quickly."
STUDENTS LEARN BY E-MAIL WHEN THEIR LAUNDRY IS DONE
PRESS CITIZEN, IOWA - Thanks to software installed along with new high-efficiency washers last fall, the school's dormitory residents can receive e-mail alerts when their laundry cycles have finished. The school also has a new Web-based service, called Laundry View, that lets residents look online for open washers and dryers. . . The school paid for the $13,000 annual software fee in part by raising the cost of a load of laundry by about 50 cents, according to Fitzgerald. The company, Laundry View Monitoring Service, has been providing the software to colleges and universities since 2004.
USC LIMITS FREE SPEECH TO A FEW ACRES OF CAMPUS
DAILY TROJAN, USC, CA - The USC Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation held a knit-in in front of the Pertusati University Bookstore to protest the university's contracts with manufacturers it claims use sweatshop labor to produce Trojan merchandise, but the knit-in was broken up minutes after the participants began knitting.
Lori White, associate vice president for Student Affairs, told SCALE it would have to relocate its protest to Hahn Plaza, an area near Tommy Trojan and the Student Union that allows for large group gatherings without informing the university beforehand.
"It's very clear about where groups of students can be without having prior approval," White said. "This group did not have prior approval to be here; they (could) do it over in (Hahn Plaza), absolutely no problem." SCALE complied with White's request, but not without questions. . .
THE COST OF FOOTBALL TO HIGHER EDUCATION
[From Campus Progress]
ANDREW KROLL, WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY On Nov. 16, USA Today reported on a recent investigation into the salaries of NCAA Division I-A head football coaches. . . According to the article, the average head football coach of a premier program earns $950,000 per year, not including benefits, incentives, and other perks which include, but are not limited to: subsidized housing, use of private jets, million-dollar annuities, and family travel accounts. The study also found that at least 42 of the 119 coaches will earn $1 million or more this year. The University of Oklahoma's head football coach Bob Stoops makes a reported $3.35 million per year, highest among Division I-A coaches.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY'S BRAIN-WASHING PROGRAM UNDER ATTACK
FOUNDATION FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS IN EDUCAITON - Michigan State University's "student accountability in community seminar" forces students whose speech or behavior is deemed unacceptable to undergo ideological reeducation at their own expense. FIRE is challenging Michigan State to dismantle this unconstitutional program.
"Michigan State's SAC program is simply one of the most invasive attempts at reeducation that FIRE has ever seen, yet it has been allowed to exist at the university for years," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "As bad as it is to tell citizens in a free society what they can't say, it is even worse to tell them what they must say. Michigan State's program is an immoral and unconstitutional program of compelled speech, blatant thought reform, and pseudo-psychology."
MORE COLLEGES ON THE TAKE FROM INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES
RICHARD WILLING, USA TODAY - The U.S. intelligence community pours millions into higher education, paying for hundreds of scholarships, intelligence-related courses and fellowships at nearly a dozen universities, public documents and interviews with officials show. Last month, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence more than doubled the number of schools in its program. The Department of Homeland Security is also developing a program for nuclear scientists.
The sponsoring agencies, including the CIA, say the programs help ensure they get enough recruits skilled to wage the war on terrorism. The programs began in 2004. Agencies also pay for internships and summer "spy camps" aimed at attracting high school students to study intelligence. . .
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS MAKING HUGE SALARIES
BOSTON GLOBE - About 112 of the 853 public and private university presidents surveyed said they had pay and benefits packages of more than half a million dollars, according to an annual report being published today in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The jump was more prominent among public university presidents: 42 presidents earned more than half a million dollars in the current survey, rising from 23 in the previous one. The median pay package for those leaders was $374,846, about 4 percent higher than the previous median of $360,000. Private school presidents continued to be paid more, however. Seventy of those leaders earned more than $500,000. . .
John Curtis, director of research and public policy at the American Association of University Professors, was critical of the trend. "Our concern is that that's not appropriate, when virtually all of the colleges and universities we talk about are still not-for-profit organizations, and that they also supposedly operate for the benefit of society, for the common good," he told Bloomberg News.
BRITISH COLLEGE STUDENTS TOLD: TURN UP OR FACE EXPULSION
JAMES MEIKLE, GUARDIAN - Thousands of undergraduate students are being forced to sign good behaviour contracts with their universities and warned they could be expelled if they breach regulations, the Guardian has learned. The contracts put the onus on students to attend lectures and tutorials, but have been condemned by the National Union of Students. The NUS claims the contracts are "one-sided", and do not spell out what standard of teaching students should expect to get for the L3,000-a-year top-up tuition fees they are being charged.
Oxford and Chester Universities have introduced the contracts for students this year and legal agreements are already in place at Bristol and Nottingham Trent. The NUS believes it is the start of a disturbing trend that could be adopted by other universities. At Oxford, which already makes such demands of its postgraduates, students must sign a document saying any breach of regulations or codes of practice about their conduct, studies and residences "may lead to your expulsion from the university or other sanctions. . .
SAM SMITH, MULTITUDES - I drifted into a schedule at Harvard that kept me up drinking - once a whole fifth of bourbon before bed - and talking much of the night while sleeping through classes. By the middle of freshman year I received a postcard from my English instructor: "Mr. Coles requests the pleasure of your attendance at the next regular meeting of his course." . . . It has been part of my personal myth that I never went to class, did most of my studying during the two-week reading period before exams, and generally eschewed all academic matters while interned in Harvard Square. While there is some truth to this, it has been deeply exaggerated. I did attend and pass a large number of courses, I must have studied for them (my notes suggest at one point a goal of 20 hours a week, with the current week logging nine and a half), I truly enjoyed some of my courses and Bart J. Bok scribbled on one of my papers "Very good summary of the solar prominence situation." At the same time, however, I recall an exceptional amount of time spent on the banks of the Charles in the spring trying to cram 600 pages of information into my head in 48 hours, being unable to stay awake for more than 20 minutes in one of the comfortable chairs in Lamont Library, and generally living on the edge.
I think what finally almost did me in can be best explained by the analogy of criminality. I had started, much as the criminal life commences, with some mild offense such as shoplifting or hubcap stealing. When I found I could get through courses I didn't like by relying on native wit and a long reading period, I began to take ever greater risks, stealing, so to speak, cars and mugging little old ladies. Now it was time to hit the bank. I don't know why I took "Darkness at Noon," - as the slide laden Fine Arts 13 was called - although perhaps it was out of a residual urge to pander to my parents' cultural obsessions. But how I thought I could pass a course whose substance consisted of hundreds of slides without actually looking at them is now beyond any explanation other than the pathological. I robbed the bank and was caught. I flunked the first semester. I hold no grudge against the professor or Harvard for this. Any student who identifies an architectural drawing of Notre Dame's main floor as a Renaissance garden deserves to flunk. (I sat in the back of the room and my hangover and lack of sleep truly gave the columns a bush-like fuzziness).
COLLEGE APPLICANT BUBBLE ABOUT TO BURST
STEINBERG, DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN - For the past 10 years, a swell
in the number of students applying to college has made the admissions
process extremely competitive. All that is about to change. Most
of the "baby boom letter" generation -- those born
in the 1980s and early 1990s -- will have degrees by 2009. After
that, the number of new high-school graduates will start to decline.
Though the number of new high-school graduates is projected to drop 4 percent in 2009, Northeastern states will experience an even steeper decline. The Department of Education predicts a 10-percent decline in Pennsylvania. . . Large numbers of students are still likely to apply to the nation's top schools. . . Schools that will face challenges will likely be smaller, private colleges. . .
THE PRICE OF ADMISSIONS
INSIDE HIGHER ED - That American higher education is not a pure meritocracy is, of course, hardly news. But Golden's book has a level of detail about the degree to which he says some colleges favor the privileged that will embarrass many an admissions officer. Golden names names of students - and includes details about their academic records before college and once there that raise questions about the admissions decisions being made. For good measure, he attacks Title IX (saying that the women's teams colleges create favor wealthy, white applicants), preferences for faculty children (ditto, although substitute middle class for wealthy), and accuses colleges of making Asian applicants the "new Jews" and holding them to much higher standards than other students. . .
In an interview, Golden said that he became interested in the issue of preferences for the wealthy while he was covering the judicial battles over affirmative action at the University of Michigan. "Everyone was writing about the boosts [in the admissions process] for minority applicants," he said, but he started to realize that there were also explicit boosts for the extremely wealthy and alumni children. He was struck, Golden said, by how little attention such preferences received. . .
Judging from those who have favorably blurbed his book, Golden is reaching both sides in the affirmative action debate. Support comes from strong supporters of affirmative action like Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Lani Guinier, with the latter saying that the book shows that "the already privileged are the truly preferred." But the book also wins an endorsement from Diane Ravitch, a critic of affirmative action, who writes that while she "didn't want to believe" the book's thesis, she found the evidence to be "overwhelming."
COLLEGE STUDENTS SEGREGATING THEMSELVES IN THEMED HOUSING
SARAH SCHWEITZER, BOSTON GLOBE - At universities and colleges, students with shared interests are increasingly funneling into shared living spaces called thematic housing. The idea took root in the 1970s but is expanding dramatically on campuses now as students demand such niche housing, and schools eagerly supply it in a hyper-competitive college market.
The move, schools say, also has an academic aspect. By creating housing centered on a theme, colleges can inject more structured learning into residence halls. Faculty members are assigned to help students plan and organize campus events that promote their interests -- be it social justice, substance-free living, or cooking. . . The themes vary widely. Some are broad, even amorphous. At Brandeis, for example, in addition to social justice, the school offers living space centered on global affairs, health and wellness, and the arts. The themes were chosen based on focus group input gathered two years ago.
BERKELEY TO HIRE VICE CHANCELLOR FOR "EQUITY & INCLUSION" AT NEARLY $300K A YEAR
MATIER AND ROSS, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has just announced he's creating the new post of vice chancellor for equity and inclusion -- a job that not only has an impressive title, but an equally impressive salary of between $182,000 and $282,000 a year. Plus an office budget in excess of $4 million.
The goal isn't so much to recruit more minorities but rather to ensure students, faculty and staff are "fully respected for their individuality and what they represent," Birgeneau said. Birgeneau said the aim is "to prize our diversity and learn from it and to appreciate people for being part of the whole but also for what they as individuals bring to Berkeley.". . . As of last spring, minorities made up 58 percent of UC Berkeley's support staff -- but only 6 percent of the top campus ranks.
DO STUDENTS WRITE WORSE NOW?
LAURENCE MUSGROVE, INSIDE HIGHER ED - In a 1986 study described in College Composition and Communication under the title "Frequency of Formal Errors in Current College Writing, or Ma and Pa Kettle Do Research," Robert J. Connors and Andrea A. Lunsford discovered that "college students are not making more formal errors in writing than they used to." They compared error patterns identified by researchers in 1917 and 1930 and found that though the length of paper assignments had consistently increased over nearly 80 years, "the formal skills of students have not declined precipitously."
Further they claim, "in spite of open admissions, in spite of radical shifts in demographics of college students, in spite of the huge escalation in population percentage as well as in sheer numbers of people attending American colleges, freshman are still committing approximately the same number of formal errors per 100 words they were before World War I.". . .
YOUTH DRINKING LAWS: UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND DON'T WORK
THE WASHINGTON POST RECENTLY ran a complementary article about efforts by the George Mason University police to harass and arrest student drinkers. As we have pointed out from time to time, the prohibition against drinking by citizens 18-20 years old is unconstitutional although no court will admit the fact. It also doesn't make sense as the study below points out.
STUDY BY THOMAS S. DEE AND WILLIAM N. EVANS - Behavioral policies such as seat-belt-use laws, minimum legal drinking ages, and some policies designed to limit drunk driving have improved teen traffic safety over the past 20 years. However, these policies appear to explain only a modest fraction of the enormous gains in teen traffic safety. . . [The evidence] suggests that experiential learning may be an important component of teens' maturation through a variety of risky driving behaviors. The relevance of such learning by doing implies that the new graduated licensing systems may be an effective policy for generating further gains in teen traffic safety. Such licensing regulations require that new drivers acquire experience in low-risk settings before moving into more complex driving environments.
YOUTH DRINKING FAQ
[From the National Youth Rights Association]
How many countries have a drinking age of 21?
Only four on the entire planet. Ukraine, South Korea, Malaysia, and the United States. All other countries(out of like 200) have lower drinking ages, and many don't have any drinking age at all.
Did raising the drinking age save 20,000 lives?
No. This is one of the most misguided and over used statistics circulated by the youth prohibitionist movement. The truth is, as researchers Peter Asch and David Levy put it, the "minimum legal drinking age is not a significant-or even a perceptible-factor in the fatality experience of all drivers or of young drivers." In an in-depth and unrefuted study Asch and Levy prove that raising the drinking age merely transferred lost lives from the 18-20 bracket to the 21-24 age group. The problem with the 20,000 lives saved statistic is that it looks only at deaths for people aged 18-20. This is like rating the safety of a car by looking only at the seat belt and ignoring the fact that the car frequently tips over while driving. Raising the drinking age may have reduced deaths 18-20 but resulted in more deaths among people 21-24. . .
People aren't mature enough to handle alcohol till you turn 21. Right?
When you are 18 you are judged mature enough to vote, hold public office, serve on juries, serve in the military, fly airplanes, sign contracts and so on. Why is drinking a beer an act of greater responsibility and maturity than flying an airplane or serving your country at war?
Doesn't your body develop up till the age of 21?
Youth prohibition activists ignore the fact that maturity is a gradual but uneven process that continues throughout life and is not complete on one's twenty-first birthday. Moreover, they ignore the proven medical fact that the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstaining or abusing alcohol. The simplest way to prove this argument is for you to look in your medicine cabinet or go to the drug store. Every single over the counter medication defines an adult dose for ages 12 and up. Not 21, but 12. If the FDA can determine that a 12 year old is developed enough to have an equal dose of Tylenol, or Sudafed, or Dramamine, or Zantac 75, then an 18 year old is developed enough to have a glass of wine with dinner.
NYRA argues that a strict no-use policy towards alcohol causes many problems. How will simply lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 change this?
The National Youth Rights Association doesn't just feel we should lower the age from 21 to 18 and change nothing else. We feel larger change must occur for people under 18 as well. Alcohol must be introduced gradually and at younger ages (12 perhaps) as they do in Europe. Young people must be allowed to get their feet wet through the introduction of alcohol in small amounts in safe environments like the home. Any permanent change to alcohol policy must stress this above all. NYRA feels this period of gradual introduction to alcohol may take a few years, but in no way should it last until 21. If an ending year for introduction is to be named, 18 is far more reasonable.
I'm over 21, do I have a reason to care about the Drinking Age?
Yes. The strict and blind enforcement of the drinking age creates many victims over and under 21. Problems for people over 21 include the hassle of being carded at bars and restaurants, and the problem of social segregation. When going out with friends the drinking age drives a wedge between friends over and under 21. Often they are unable to hang out at the same places. Most troubling is what happens to parents who recognize the inevitability of underage drinking will try to provide safe, supervised places for high school students to have parties. These parents can be punished to ridiculous lengths for their attempts to allow safe drinking. In February 2003 Elsa and George Robinson were sentenced to 8 years in prison for providing alcohol at their son's birthday party. That's right, 8 years. The harsh drinking age ruins more lives than it helps.
STUDENTS PREFER INTERNET TO LIBRARIES
JAMIE VANGEEST, MINNESOTA DAILY - College students use libraries more than most people, but according to a new report, the Internet still comes first when looking for information. The findings evaluated 396 college students' views about libraries and information resources. The report found that college students use library resources more than the general population, but the Internet is the first place students go for information. . .
Eighty-nine percent of students use Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo, while 2 percent start an information search with a library Web site, according to the report released this month. . . Eighteen percent of college students use a public library weekly while only 13 percent of the respondents overall do, according to the report. . . The numbers for library use were consistent across the six countries in the study.
LIFE COACHES FOR 20-SOMETHINGS
PATRIK JONSSON, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR - Life coaches are the upbeat advice-givers known for helping harried CEOs acquire work-life balance. But today, more of them are playing Dr. Phil for 20-somethings. In some ways, it's a natural tactic for a generation that grew up watching their parents pay people to solve their problems. But critics wonder whether such shortcuts undermine the value of real, sometimes bitter, experiences in building character. . .
It's a growing industry, featuring numerous book titles, Internet discussion boards, life coaches, and workshops. Television networks are getting hip, too. "How To Get The Guy," a new ABC reality show that premieres June 12, employs life coaches to help young women score the perfect mate. . .
HOW HARVARD HELPED TO KILL AMERICA'S ENJOYMENT OF SOCCER
MARK SALISBURY, AMERICAN SOCCER HISTORY ARCHIVES - Many have suggested that baseball and football are solely American inventions. Yet soccer, football, and baseball evolved in virtually the same way. Just as baseball developed out of modifications made to the British game of rounders (the Abner Doubleday myth has been proven thoroughly unfounded), and football evolved from an unorganized version of English rugby, so soccer grew out of informalized versions of a game that had been played for centuries on both sides of the Atlantic. The same precursor to soccer played in England was recorded in Boston in 1657. The first recorded soccer club formed in the U.S. was the Oneida Football Club, which played on Boston Common from 1862-1865. This predates the formation of the English Football Association in 1863. The idea that soccer is originally less American than baseball and football was invented much later, with little basis in historical fact.
Though soccer made a brief appearance as an intercollegiate sport in the Ivy League between 1869 and 1875, Harvard had refused to compete under the soccer rules, proclaimed the rugby rules more "manly." Harvard had been the center of the Muscular Christianity movement since the 1850s, and their inclination toward more physical games had long been demonstrated in the annual "Bloody Monday" - a free-for all brawl between sophomores and freshmen. In a powerful display of Harvard's prestige, Princeton, Columbia, and Yale coalesced and switched from soccer to rugby at the 1876 formation of the Intercollegiate Football Association in order to compete with Harvard. By 1900, Ivy League rugby had metamorphosed into American football, which Walter Camp, the father of American football, hailed in Harper's Weekly as a great scientific advancement over the unorganized kicking game that was football's predecessor.
WAR ON THE YOUNG: STATES CHARGE YOUTHS FOR ALCOHOL CONTENT EVEN WITHOUT DRINK IN HAND
DAVID A. FAHRENTHOLD WASHINGTON POST - In New Hampshire. . . minors can be arrested for what is colloquially called "internal possession" of alcohol, to the point of being intoxicated. In a break with legal tradition, an underage person with drinks in his or her system often faces the same charge as one with a drink in hand. Similar statutes are now on the books in a handful of other states. Together, they've taken the campaign against underage drinking to a place it has rarely been before: down the gullet and into the bloodstream of teenage imbibers. But they have also spawned criticism from some legal scholars, who say the laws are pushing the definition of a real possession charge.
"When the law makes the offense simply a biological fact, of simply having a certain chemical in one's body, that steps over a line in the law that has been traditionally accepted," said Richard J. Bonnie, a law professor at the University of Virginia who has studied underage drinking. Under the new law, police didn't have to establish when and how a minor had become intoxicated. They needed only to determine that the minor was intoxicated, with the alcohol inside them.
COLLEGE STUDENTS FORM THINK TANK
STUDENTS AROUND the country are forming chapters of something called the Roosevelt Institution (after Franklin, Eleanor and Teddy), campus think tanks staffed by the young to compete with the hallowed halls of academic anachronism already sprinkled across this land and in your nation's capital
According to the group, "We're hopeful, passionate, pragmatic, and bright. We don't have ideological or political debts. The future is ours and we get it. We write theses about how to reduce carbon emissions, volunteer to help improve public education for low-income youth, and raise money to fight AIDS in Africa. We have access to our faculties, to the world's best research tools, to unique interdisciplinary programs on each campus -- and to each other.
"But our intellectual capital is an underutilized asset -- we don't have access to the policy process. The Roosevelt Institution is a national network of student think tanks that provide the organizational infrastructure to get student ideas into the public discourse. We have standing relationships with politicians and policymakers, media outlets, foundations, and other think tanks, and are building more by the day."
So they certainly have the unabashed self esteem of a think typical tanker, but we confess to some concern that it is not the absence of ideas that has the country in such a mess, but a lack of action of their behalf. The idea of college students setting out to change the world by just doing more thinking is actually quite depressing, especially when you consider some of the very Washington and unstudent-like language they're using: "Giving fellows access to a group and a discussion forum can allow us to see niches in the policy discourse that we can fill.. . . In the demand-driven third research model, fellows turn to outside experts for advice on policy papers that will be effective and will find a market in the outside world. Advocacy organizations, policymakers, and fellows at other think tanks will have a strong sense of high-salience issues that are not being addressed."
Perhaps the students should consider what Teddy Roosevelt said at the Sorbonne in 1910, "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
PENTAGON SAYS BERKELEY, NYU AND UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN POSSIBLE THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY
MEG RAFFERTY, BOSTON UNIV DAILY FREE PRESS - According to the Pentagon, several universities in the U.S. may pose a danger to national security. On-campus protests against military recruitment landed eight national universities, including New York University and University of California-Berkeley, on a Pentagon watch list for being threats to national security. . .
According to the document, all of the campus protests were aimed at campus recruiters and were held at the New York University, the State University of New York at Albany, Southern Connecticut State University, City College of the City University of New York, UC-Berkeley and UC-Santa Cruz, an unspecified campus of the University of Wisconsin and "a New Jersey university."
"We were surprised, to say the least, that our university was on the list," said Josh Taylor, a New York University spokesperson. "We were a bit concerned, understandably, because we are not entirely clear how we wound up on it.". . .
TEXTBOOK COSTS RISING BEYOND STUDENTS' REACH
SUSAN KINZIE WASHINGTON POST - Textbook prices have been rising at double the rate of inflation for the past two decades, according to a Government Accountability Office study. In Virginia, more than 40 percent of students surveyed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia said they sometimes just do without. That's been increasing, said Jennifer Libertowski of the National Association of College Stores; recently, the group found that nearly 60 percent of students nationwide choose not to buy all the course materials. . . Students at four-year schools spent, on average, about $900 for books and supplies in 2003-04, more than a quarter of the cost of tuition and fees. At community colleges, the GAO study found, the books amounted to almost three-quarters of the cost.
THE DUMBING DOWN OF COLLEGE EDUCATION
MICHAEL KRYZANEK IN BOSTON GLOBE - A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that only 31 percent of college graduates could read a ''complex book and extrapolate from it." Furthermore, the study found that far fewer college graduates are leaving school with ''the skills needed to comprehend routine data, such as reading a table about the relationship between blood pressure and physical activity." What's most disturbing, according to Mark Schneider, the commissioner of education statistics, is that, ''the assessment is not designed to test your ability to understand Proust, but to test your ability to read labels."
Behind the dismal data on college graduate literacy is the new reality of higher education in America. Students today have little interest in what past generations of college students accepted as an essential education. Reading the literature of ''dead white guys," studying the relevancy of a 400-year-old historical event, and thinking about the meaning of life's mysteries are not of great interest to a growing number of college students. . .
MORE THAN HALF OF COLLEGE PRESIDENTS WOULD TRASH TENURE
STEVE CALDERWOOD, CRESCENT (U. EVANSVILLE) - More than half of college presidents want to see tenure replaced by a system of long-term contracts, according to a survey of about 750 presidents conducted by the Chronicle for Higher Education. But University of Evansville President Stephen Jennings, who participated in the survey, is among the 39 percent who support tenure. "Tenure is the bedrock of education," he said. "You don't get great faculty and academic freedom without tenure." . . .
Perhaps the most common complaint about tenure and one highlighted by the Chronicle's survey is that tenure makes faculty lazy. "There will always be people, because they are protected from firing without cause, who'll just coast," Underwood said.
A TEACHING ASSISTANT EXPLAINS WHY SHE IS ON STRIKE
MICHELLE FAWCETT, NYC INDYMEDIA - When I moved to NYC to start a Ph.D. program at NYU in 2000, my biggest concern was not the rigors of graduate study or the challenge of moving to another new city alone. It was the fear of being unable to survive economically. Sure, I was going to work in addition to being a student: as a graduate assistant, or GA, for my department. GAs work as research assistants or teaching assistants .
The work of an RA might include co-editing an article with a professor, but often it consists of administrative duties such as making copies. I once moved a professor's office furniture on a dolly down the middle of Broadway. We also teach. Teaching assistants in my department attend the course lecture (75% of more taught by adjuncts across the university) and may teach several recitations, which are sub-sections of the lecture. I have had as many as 80 students across 3 recitations that met weekly, for which I would prepare lectures, host discussions, hold office hours, and grade stacks of papers throughout the semester.
Prior to the union contract, I received $10,000 a year in the form of biweekly paychecks. (Not sure where the rest of the approximately $3,000,000 that my 80 students paid annually in tuition went.) As the recipient of a wage income and therefore a worker according to the IRS, I paid taxes on that $10,000.
Obviously, this was not enough to live on in NYC, so I had to find other forms of support. . . Being the first to attend college in my working class family, I had no economic cushion to fall back on, so I applied for federal student loans. Since NYU counted my free tuition as "income," however, I was eligible for only a small loan. . .
Why do we struggle so? Because, unlike President John Sexton and the NYU brass, we truly are passionately devoted to academic freedom and advanced intellectual inquiry, and we think the university should be the place where we can pursue that. But we need a living wage for our work, to do so we need to be recognized as workers to get that wage, and the union is our only voice to negotiate on equal terms with a powerful and vastly wealthy institution. NYU cannot advocate for us, nor can any form of "student government." It's that simple.
COLLEGE STUDENTS MAKE GOOD VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS
MAREK FUCHS, NY TIMES - When Mike Stahl was a high school senior touring some of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation, he also visited the firehouse here to ask if it accepted college students as volunteers. At the Clinton Fire Department, just down the hill from Hamilton College, he was told he would be more than welcome. That was when Hamilton vaulted to the top of his list of colleges.
Mr. Stahl, 21, now a senior at Hamilton who can often be found doing his schoolwork in the firehouse, was named the volunteer department's most dedicated member in the spring. He answered more than 200 calls in his junior year, including fires, car accidents and false alarms in Clinton, a village that is a 15-minute drive from Utica. . .
College students can play an important role in volunteer fire departments, which have been depleted in many areas by full-time careers, strict entry requirements and the shifting priorities of parental duties. College students are on many levels the perfect solution. They tend to be young and able-bodied and are around during the day, if not always awake. They are also free of the family commitments that can make responding to emergencies harder for older firefighters.
SAM SMITH'S GREAT AMERICAN POLITICAL REPAIR MANUAL, 1997 - When fifty percent of a city's welfare recipients have a high school diploma, there is a strong hint that something is very wrong other than the educational system. Further, the word gets around. Politicians and the media may have abstract fantasies about the value of education; kids tend to be a bit more realistic.
So the most important first step towards a better urban school system is a better urban economy. The second step is to stop treating our young as an accident or crime waiting to happen and to begin respecting, helping and needing them. We could, for example, use older students more as tutors and teachers of younger kids. We could use high schoolers as community organizers.
We could even teach students to become emergency medical technicians and community social service aides. Imagine if every urban high school had an emergency squad that was not only medically trained but was able to provide assistance to the elderly and infirm of the community and help staff clinics, schools, and recreation centers. With a classy uniform, good training and equipment (along with a few perks like being on call on a rotating basis during the class day), schools and communities might find themselves with some impressive new role models. Can't be done? Well, it has been. On one Indian reservation, a high school developed its own search & rescue squad, which has become a well-regarded part of the area's emergency services.
THE REPAIR MANUAL
JUNE 2005. . .
MARJORIE KELLY, BUSINESS ETHICS - In the wake of recent ethics scandals, one might imagine that business schools would be deepening their attention to business ethics. But at many schools the reverse is happening. A slow, drip-by-drip erosion of business ethics teaching has been going on in MBA programs throughout the 1990s--and it seems to be getting worse today. A case in point is the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, which has dropped a required ethics course from its full-time MBA program beginning next year. William Frederick, professor emeritus at the Katz School and past president of the Society for Business Ethics, said via e-mail that the ethics course "has been under pressure for either elimination or downsizing almost from its inception in the early 1960s." . . .
The University of Pittsburgh is not alone in its downgrading of ethics. At Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., a required business ethics course was dropped from the MBA curriculum within the last two years. The State University of New York at Albany dropped the business ethics requirement from its MBA a number of years ago, and now doesn't even offer it as an elective, said associate professor Paul Miesing. At Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc., a social issues in management course required of MBA students was downgraded from three to one-and-a-half credits, and students can opt to skip it entirely and take a law course instead. . .
MAY 2005. . .
ONE IN TEN COLLEGE STUDENTS SERIOUSLY CONSIDERS SUICIDE
WASHINGTON POST - "The number
one medication in college is antidepressants," said Richard
Kadison of Harvard University, whose book about the growing mental
health crisis at colleges was published last year. . . "It's
surpassed birth control pills."
RESEARCH: THE EFFECTS OF INAPPROPRIATE HIGHLIGHTING OF TEXTBOOKS http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,,1469811,00.html
MARC ABRAHAMS, GUARDIAN - Vicki Silvers and David Kreiner, of Central Missouri State University, [have written a] study called The Effects of Pre-Existing Inappropriate Highlighting on Reading Comprehension. "Textbook highlighting is a common study strategy among college students," Silvers and Kreiner wrote. Then they described their experiments.
First, they had students read a passage of text. Some students had text that was highlighted appropriately. Some had text that was highlighted inappropriately. Others had spartan, un-highlighted text. Silvers and Kreiner then tested how well the students comprehended the text. Those with the inappropriate highlighting scored much lower than the others. A second experiment showed that even when students were warned about the inappropriate highlighting, they had trouble ignoring it.
In 2002, Silvers and Kreiner were awarded the Ig Nobel literature prize. At the awards ceremony, they offered one piece of advice: "Don't buy a textbook that was highlighted by an idiot."
ONE IN THREE STUDENTS SAY PRESS SHOULD BE RESTRICTED
GREG TOPPO, USA TODAY - One in three
U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted,
and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories
before readers see them, according to a survey being released
whether the press enjoys "too much freedom," not enough
or about the right amount, 32% say "too much," and
37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little.
PUTTING SPIES IN U.S. COLLEGE CLASSROOMS
ALEXANDER COCKBURN, FREE PRESS - After disclosure of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's effort to set a new and spectacularly unaccountable version of the CIA in the Pentagon, the sprouting forest of secret intelligence operations set up in the wake of 9/11 is at last coming under some scrutiny. Here's a sinister one in the academic field that until this week escaped scrutiny.
Dr. David Price, of St. Martins College, in Olympia, Wash., is an anthropologist long interested in the intersections of his discipline with the world of intelligence and national security, both the CIA and the FBI. Now he's turned the spotlight on a new test program, operating without detection or protest, that is secretly placing CIA agents in American university classrooms. With time these students who cannot admit to their true intentions will inevitably pollute and discredit the universities in which they are now enrolled.
Even before 9/11, government money was being sluiced into the academies for covert subsidies for students. The National Security Education Program siphoned off students from traditional foreign language funding programs and offered graduate students good money, sometimes $40,000 a year and up, to study "in demand" languages, but with payback stipulations mandating that recipients later work for unspecified U.S. national security agencies.
NO LONGER ATTRACTING WORLD'S BEST STUDENTS
SAM DILLON, NY TIMES - American universities, which for half a century have attracted the world's best and brightest students with little effort, are suddenly facing intense competition as higher education undergoes rapid globalization. The European Union, moving methodically to compete with American universities, is streamlining the continent's higher education system and offering American-style degree programs taught in English. Britain, Australia and New Zealand are aggressively recruiting foreign students, as are Asian centers like Taiwan and Hong Kong. And China, which has declared that transforming 100 universities into world-class research institutions is a national priority, is persuading top Chinese scholars to return home from American universities. . .
Foreign students contribute $13 billion to the American economy annually. But this year brought clear signs that the United States' overwhelming dominance of international higher education may be ending. . . Foreign applications to American graduate schools declined 28 percent this year. Actual foreign graduate student enrollments dropped 6 percent. Enrollments of all foreign students, in undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral programs, fell for the first time in three decades in an annual census released this fall. Meanwhile, university enrollments have been surging in England, Germany and other countries.
HANAH METCHIS, HIT & RUN - Those of us who went to elite four-year colleges and universities are prone to forget that most people don't. In the Washington Post, a community college professor writes about the differences between the experience her community college students are having on the one hand, and the experience her daughter had at an elite college on the other:
You go to community college because you are an ambitious kid whose parents don't have professional jobs. Because you are a girl in a family whose culture for thousands of years has valued education only for boys. Because you come from a family that never really thought about college for anyone, never saved for it or steered you toward it. You go to community college because you had a significant trauma during your adolescence: Perhaps you had an alcoholic parent, lost a sibling, lived in a household of chronic anger, suffered from depression or anorexia, did too many drugs. So you failed some of your high school courses, and the "good" colleges won't take you. You go to community college because you were born in another country and came to America too late to pick up English very easily. Because you landed a good job or gave birth to a beautiful baby right out of high school, and didn't look back for 10 or 15 years, when, suddenly, you thought about college. You go to community college because you have a learning disability, undiagnosed or untreated, that pushed you to the sidelines in school. Because you started at a four-year school and discovered that you weren't ready to leave home. And you go to community college because you believe that America is a society where intelligence is rewarded, and since you're such a fine, intelligent person, it's unnecessary for you to actually do any homework in high school, and suddenly you have a C average and your SATs are pretty good but, frankly, so are a lot of other people's, and the best offer you got from four-year colleges was their wait list. Very interesting, and worth reading the whole thing.
SARAH BALL, WASHINGTON POST - It was somewhere between picnicking in the California sunshine and sitting (or splashing) through four hours of obligatory "bonding" activities that I had an epiphany: This was not just an admitted-student weekend at Stanford University that I was attending, as I had originally thought. No, this event, specifically designed to convince hundreds of prospective freshmen (or, in Stanford-speak, "pro-fros") like me to enroll, was nothing but an overblown sales pitch -- complete with glitzy packaging, superficial presentation and the ever-peppy salespeople.
Like any respectable car salesman, the Admit Weekend student staffers had hit hard and fast when they saw me coming. "Everybody, let's give a warm Stanford welcome to Sarah Ball from Alexandria, Virginia!" one undergrad screamed into a microphone upon my arrival at check-in. Dumbfounded, mortified and struggling under a load of luggage in front of more than 100 people, I barely had time to catch my breath before I was inundated with maps and schedules for a full day of activities. After being reminded that I was to meet my Ro-Ho (room host) at 5 p.m. sharp for dorm activities and a night's lodging, I was lassoed with a name tag on a string lanyard and sent scooting on my way.
SAN DIEGO UNION - A study spearheaded by students in Oregon and California found that the cost of textbooks has skyrocketed because of the bundling of ancillary products like CD-ROMs. It also claims that publishers roll out new editions year after year, forcing students to buy new books although the content scarcely changes. Pat Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers and a former congresswoman, said the report was one-sided and flawed. . . According to the study, college students today spend about $900 on textbooks every year. On average, textbook publishers keep books on the shelf for 3½ years before issuing a new one. Over half of faculty members surveyed said the new editions are "rarely" to "never" justified.NOVEMBER 2003
BOMBARDIERI, BOSTON GLOBE - For the first time in at least 35
years, Massachusetts is spending more on prisons and jails than
on public higher education, according to a report released yesterday.
This year's state budget included $816 million in appropriations
for campuses and student financial aid, and $830 million for
prisons and jails, said the report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers
Deep cuts to state spending on higher education have left the system of state colleges and universities in "profound" disarray, the report said, citing two eras of deep cuts that reduced state support to the same level as three decades ago when adjusted for inflation. Higher education appropriations were cut 29 percent between 1988 and 1992, and 27 percent between 2001 and 2004. Spending on higher education dropped from 6.5 percent of the state budget at its peak in 1988 to less than 3.5 percent for the 2004 fiscal year, the foundation said.
KELLY HEYBOER, NEWARK STAR-LEDGER - Nearly 40 percent of college students have plagiarized papers by using the cut-and-paste function on their computers to lift text from the Internet, according to a new nationwide cheating study. The survey, conducted by a Rutgers University professor, is believed to be the largest ever undertaken to measure the growing problem of Internet cheating. Researchers interviewed 18,000 students on 23 college campuses and found nearly half do not consider plagiarizing off the Internet to be cheating at all.
Other students consider cheating in college to be trivial in a world where they hear about corporate and celebrity scandals on a daily basis, said Don McCabe, the Rutgers-Newark management professor who headed the study. Many students cited corporate and political figures -- including President Clinton, Enron executives and historian and accused plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin -- when justifying their dishonesty. "It amazes me ... how frequently students would cite what's going on in the 'real world,'" McCabe said. "Students are saying, 'People cheat. Get over it.'"
CALIFORNIA STATE ORION - For John and A.J., the showers are extremely accessible. Room 214 is directly across from the men's bathroom. "It seems like a good thing at first," says Kirsch, slinging a dirty pair of Union Bay jeans under his unmade bed. "But you realize what a pain it is at night when you're trying to sleep and all you can hear is people puking in the bathroom. Lots of times they don't even bother to use the toilets." Vomiting in the showers is seemingly a common occurrence in residence halls, and that is another factor that contributes to the relatively high number of students who don't shower daily. It also forces students to wear shower sandals. "I wear sandals because I don't want athlete's foot or rabies or something," says Kirsch. "God knows what happens in those showers." Brian Dodd, a Shasta Hall resident, agrees. "We slosh through puke every day," says Dodd. "The shower curtains change colors randomly.
KAREN BRADY BUFFALO NEWS: A peaceful protest against the private prison industry turned not-so-peaceful as more than 40 local college students and community activists attempted to force their way into the administration offices at Buffalo State College. "We wanted to see the president," Buffalo State senior Edward T. Ellis said of college President Muriel A. Howard. The students and others, Ellis explained, wanted to present Howard a petition, with more than 1,300 signatures, against Buffalo State food service provider Sodexho Marriott's ties to the prison industry . . . He and other protesters entered the administration building, Cleveland Hall, after a mid-day rally by more than 150 opponents of the private prison industry and Sodexho Marriott's link to it. The link is through Sodexho Alliance, a shareholder in the private Corrections Corporation of America . . . Sodexho Marriott, which has dining hall contracts with more than 400 colleges and universities in the United States, has said it is not in the prison business and has no control over the investments and business dealings of its subsidiaries, including Sodexho Alliance.
ITHACA COLLEGE: On Tuesday, seven students occupied the school's financial aid office and were quickly joined by more than 250 students and community members who were participating in an anti-private prison rally outside the campus center. The protesters demanded that Ithaca College President, Peggy Williams, sign a letter pledging to terminate the school's contract with Sodexho Marriott Services if parent company Sodexho Alliance does not divest its private prison holdings. At 6 PM, after removing media from the room, administrators announced that they would allow the seven protesters to remain in the office overnight but refused to allow them to receive food or water from forty supporters still gathered in the hallway. According to organizers, administrators also refused to make any provisions to allow the protesters to use the bathrooms. The events at Ithaca College began just 24 hours after a similar rally and occupation at Buffalo State College, where more than 100 students and community members rallied against the Sodexho-prison connection. After a short march and speeches from students, public corrections officers, and a member of Buffalo's Common Council, thirty participants stormed the administration building. Although the building was locked and guarded by police officers, activists managed to find their way in and occupy a stairwell outside the president's office. After 45 minutes, the Vice-President of Student Affairs agreed to address student concerns, and an intense but civil conversation was held in the stairwell. KEVIN PRANNIS | DARAKA LARIMORE
SUSAN LUTH, MICHIGAN DAILY: Members of the Students Against Sweatshops at the University of Arizona chained themselves to their administration building in protest of the university's decision to remain affiliated with a government-sponsored apparel industry labor code that they feel is weak and ineffective . . . Protesters formed human chains across the four main entrances of the building, blocking access. Three protesters put U-locks across their necks to bolt themselves to a door handle . . . University and city police formed lines around the building, threatening the nearly 150 students inside with arrest. After almost two hours, eight students were taken into custody without incident and were held in the Pima county jail.
SYRACUSE: Here's a quick update from sweatshop university in Syracuse NY. We've taken over the campus with three tents (and boy is it cold weather), with bloody clotheslines between them. We're handing out fliers aplenty, making friends and gearing up. We have radical cheerleaders doing awesome cheers, a grand anti-sweatshop street play, a ton of pumped up kids, and a whole bunch of secret plans. We've slept out for the last two nights, we should be out until the 9th and we're just getting started. News coverage in both campus papers, and the local free weekly came out today and all the coverage was sweet. Hope everyone else is having fun, we're in solidarity with you, Samus
TENT PHONE NUMBER: 315-345-3920
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA NEWSPAPER: Student [ant-sweatshop] demonstrators and local police are at a standoff this afternoon since the protesters chained themselves to the administration building. About 30 members of the university and Tucson police departments are standing by, awaiting word from UA President Peter Likins as to whether he wants the demonstrators removed . . . Members of Students Against Sweatshops have barricaded the Administration building, partially shutting down activity to the bottom floors . . . Likins stated in a release. "I cannot condone this interference in the orderly affairs of the university."
BALLS OF IVY
DIANA JEAN SCHEMO, NY TIMES: The nation's colleges and universities raised tuition and fees for students by roughly 5 percent this year, capping a decade of price increases that are steadily outpacing family income . . . The costs of attending private four-year colleges grew by 5.2 percent, while those at public four-year colleges rose by 4.4 percent . . . The tuition increases, partly offset by a 4 percent rise in total financial aid from government and private sources, come at a moment of unusual bounty for some universities. Last week's Chronicle of Higher Education reported record returns on investments from endowments for some universities, led by Harvard, while noncompetitive congressional research grants to them, so-called pork barrel projects, totaled more than a $1 billion this year for the first time. University presidents blamed the tuition increases, which ran higher than the 3.1 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index over the last year, on soaring costs of energy and health care, of updating computer equipment and outfitting dormitories for high-speed Internet access.
OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE STUDENTS AGAINST SWEATSHOPS: This fall, students at Occidental College in Los Angeles will return to find a "no sweat zone" in our bookstore. The college has contracted with a manufacturer -- Plains T-Shirt in Plains, Pennsylvania -- to produce T-shirts with the college name and logo. Plains T-Shirt is a small factory with 11 employees who are members of and represented by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees, the garment workers' union. Occidental Students Against Sweatshops will launch an education campaign on sweatshop abuses in the fall and urge students, student groups, and all departments to buy "sweat-free" T-shirts.
Students from Evergreen State College [WA] have won a two-month struggle to keep a catering company tied to the for-profit private prison industry from taking over the school's food service contract. In July, administrators announced that the college was in final negotiations with Sodexho-Marriott Services (over a 7-10 year contract. However, those negotiations broke down amid growing controversy and threats of a boycott. Evergreen is the latest in a series of confrontations between Sodexho-Marriott and college students, who claim that the company's violations of workers' rights and relationship with the scandal-ridden Corrections Corporation of America make it an unfit provider of campus dining services. Sodexho Alliance is the largest investor in prisons for profit through its 17% stake in CCA and 9% stake in Prison Realty Trust.
On April 4 a campaign was launched to raise awareness about Sodexho-Marriott's ties to CCA. Later in the spring, CCA founder "Doc" Crantz resigned from the Sodexho-Marriott board of directors. And in July, Sodexho-Marriott was ousted from the State University of New York at Albany following student-led protests of the company's labor record and ties to private prisons. The campaign has recently been endorsed by the United States Student Association and the Canadian Federation of Students.
Private prisons will reach a population of two million next year according to a report by Justice Policy Institute. Reports of widespread abuse in facilities run by Corrections Corporation of America and Wackenhut Corrections, including guard brutality, denial of medical care and retention of prisoners beyond the time required by law, have led to calls for a ban on private prisons.
Things have quieted down on campus given that it is summer, but the Worker Rights Consortium continues to grow. Latest addition is the University of Arizona which brings to 57 the number of institutions that have signed up. Five students were arrested and carried out of Osmond Lab by Pennsylvania State Police at Penn State University Monday evening. The students were part of a group that hosted the People's Convention, an alternative to the National Governors' Association meeting.
AUSTRALIAN STUDENT UNIONS representing 600,000 members will campaign against clothing and sporting good companies to raise awareness of child labor in the lead-up to the Olympics in Sydney. The National Union of Students, working with the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, will organize 48 Australian university campuses, focusing on Nike, Fila and others who have refused to sign the code of conduct.
The union is also planning a "no sweat" clothing label to be sewn on garments "so manufacturers can show consumers they have abided by the Homeworkers Code of Practice." Michelle O'Neil, union secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia asserted that the Code represents a commitment from companies to pay industry wages and not exploit home workers or use child labor.
BEST NAME FOR A STUDENT ACTIVIST GROUP: Naive but United and Interested Students Against Northwestern Sweatshops. NUISANS plans to be sleeping out in front of the president office armed with a petition to join the Workers' Rights Consortium signed by nearly half the student body.
GUARDIAN, LONDON: The chancellor yesterday launched an outspoken attack on "old school tie" elitism at Oxford and Cambridge, which he claimed rewarded privilege instead of potential. To the dismay of academic leaders at Britain's two most prestigious universities, Gordon Brown used a speech to berate Oxbridge in the wake of the much-publicized case of Laura Spence, the Tyneside comprehensive sixth-former rejected by Magdalen College, Oxford . . . Mr. Brown said the teenager with 10 A-starred GCSEs and the ambition to be a doctor - who later won a £65,000 medical scholarship to Harvard - had been the victim of "an interview system that is more reminiscent of the old boy network and the old school tie than genuine justice in our society".HARVARD: In early June, activists deriding sweatshop labor and the destruction of old-growth forests will protest outside the GAP clothing store in Harvard square. Momentum has been building, calling on GAP Chairman Donald Fischer to clean up sweatshop conditions, pay employees a living wage, and save the last of Mendocino, California's old-growth redwoods . . . The Fischer family not only owns GAP, Old Navy and Banana Republic clothing stores but Mendocino Redwood Company. Mendocino Redwood Co. is responsible for clear cutting old-growth redwood groves in Mendocino County. The Fischer's purchased 235,000 acres of forest land from Pacific Lumber in 1998. Clear cutting and the construction of roads and mills in unstable areas have caused mud slides and destruction that not only threaten the last of our ancient forests but Coho salmon found on the Mendocino coast.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: NAACP president Keisi Mfume has canceled his keynote speech at the sixth annual Big 10 and Statewide Conference taking place at OSU today, after being informed of the strike by predominantly black members of the employee's union, a local of the Communications Workers of America.
ERIN CLARK, UNIVERSITY OF MAINE, FARMINGTON: We're trying to become the first school in our state to go sweat free. On Friday, we bring a petition from the campus community to our president with over 800 signatures. (Not bad for a campus with a cap enrollment of 2,000 students)
YOSHIE FURUSHASHI, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: Since the beginning of the strike of Communications Workers of America Local 4501 (a union of about 2,000 service and skilled-trade workers) on May 1, a new subject has been added to the general education curriculum of the Ohio State University: the Art of Scabbing. For instance, finding it difficult to replace striking campus bus drivers by temporary workers, the OSU is teaching its own students how to scab. Sarah Blouch, director of Transportation and Parking Services, proudly proclaims: "Our students have been the backbone of our [bus] service . . . While parcel delivery workers are honoring the CWA picket lines, the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese is "making use of its work-study students by having them hand deliver" campus mail . . . Dismayed by the solidarity expressed by rebellious professors and graduate students, President Kirwan and Provost Ray write in a letter to students: "[You] should expect all of your classes to meet in a normal fashion, focusing on the subject matter that is outlined in course syllabi. If you feel that your instructors are not respecting your right to the education for which you have registered and paid, please contact Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Martha Garland . . . In essence, the letter encourages students to report to the deans any instructor who refuses to cross the picket lines or even discusses the strike in class . . . Undeterred and defiant, faculty and graduate students are moving forward to organize a day of work stoppage and teach-in at Bricker Hall, to be held in conjunction with a labor rally, where a huge turn-out of unionists and supporters is expected on Thursday, May 11.
COLORADO DAILY: University of Colorado-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny received his "just desserts" Thursday, in the form of a blueberry pie to the face, according to a group taking responsibility for the attack. A woman was arrested in connection with the pastry incident. The action came one day after Byyny signed a new licensing policy for the university, which is ostensibly intended to prevent licensed CU apparel from being made in sweatshops, but has been decried by student activists as vague and unenforceable. The activists have also criticized Byyny for refusing to join the Worker Rights Consortium, a nationwide sweatshop-monitoring group . . . Byyny was pied as he spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the University Memorial Center, at about noon. "All of a sudden, this girl ran up onto the stage and put the pie into the chancellor's face," said Dan Pabon, a CU Student Union official who attended the event.
NATHAN WINEGAR, DAILY NORTHWESTERN: Comfortable footwear would not have helped Nike Chief Executive Officer Phil Knight Wednesday as he got a beat-down in effigy from the forces of morality. Medill freshman Danielle Zielinski, in the role of Knight, wielded a makeshift light saber at The Rock in a losing effort against the representative of "morality," Medill freshman Peter Micek. Nike was not the only target of Northwestern Students Against Sweatshops, which staged several mock battles between corporate leaders and ethical values to draw attention to their protest, Micek said.
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The chairman of Nike Inc., Philip H. Knight, has decided not to contribute millions of dollars to help renovate the University of Oregon's stadium, because the university plans to join the Worker Rights Consortium, an anti-sweatshop group, a senior Nike official said Friday . . . This spring, Nike moved to terminate its contract with Brown University to supply uniforms and equipment for the men's and women's ice-hockey teams. Brown was an early member of the consortium, which is one of two groups created to monitor working conditions in factories that manufacture collegiate apparel . . . Oregon's multiyear stadium project is expected to cost $80-million, and Mr. Knight had said he would raise $30-million or donate that amount, the Nike official said.
BALTIMORE: This afternoon, Johns Hopkins No Sweat!, Johns Hopkins Student Labor Action Committee, the Goucher Rights Of Workers League and several students from local high schools rocked the Gap in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. We set up pickets, leafleting and a bed sheet outside their inner harbor stores, and set about stalling the security guard who told us the whole place was private property and off-limits. After a few minutes, another guard came and told us that we could be on the sidewalk by the streets. Then we started chalking the sidewalks and plaza, until some cops told us to stop (and we nodded and then continued after they left). After an hour or so, we sent delegations into the Gap and Banana Republic stores to talk to employees and to ask the managers to write letters of concern to the national headquarters urging them to settle with the workers from Saipan. When they refused, we told them we would be back soon even as we plan to contact employees to get them to bring the issue up at employee meetings.
YALE: After living on the plaza in front of our president's office for 16 days, Students Against Sweatshops at Yale stopped the occupation. Unfortunately, we did not leave the plaza because our president agreed to our demands. We left because staying on the plaza was physically and psychologically exhausting and because it became clear that remaining there longer was not going to change our president's position. We held a short ceremony (with about 50 people) during which we took down the large wooden monument that we have been guarding and put in its place a sign which reads: "Although an unanimous Yale College Council Resolution, a Yale Daily News Masthead editorial, an overwhelming majority of voting undergraduates, and a 16-day occupation of Beinecke Plaza urged the Yale Administration to take action to fight sweatshop abuses, it has steadfastly refused to do so. Students Against Sweatshops at Yale has placed this here as a reminder that sweatshop workers continue to suffer while making Yale clothing. Although we are not continuing our occupation of Beinecke, SAS remains dedicated to ending sweatshop practices and will continue to work toward that end." . . . Although we cannot declare victory, our occupation has had many positive effects. We have caused a relatively apathetic, self-absorbed student body to think about the connection between themselves and the products they purchase.
GABRIEL SANCHEZ, CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY: I was just informed a few hours ago by Central Michigan University that they are going to sign on to the WRC. I have the official press release in my hands right now and to say this is startling for us at Central would be an understatement. We have all worked so hard all year on various issues concerning labor and human rights, but only now has it all paid off at once. Given the very conservative atmosphere here at Central, I had reservations over whether or not our administration would actually agree to join . . . In the end the victory was ours and it came quite literally out of nowhere. After months of being denied a meeting with the president (we never ended up having one), we were still able to make this work by meeting with other "high ups" in the administration.
CIA INFILTRATING COLLEGES
WASHINGTON POST: A smartly dressed man named Joe whose parents don't know what he does for a living riveted a University of Maryland class last week with tales about US government secrets. Joe, the guest lecturer in a course called "Legal Issues in Managing Information," works for the CIA. So does the course's instructor, whose full name can be published. At George Washington University, another CIA employee teaches a course on competitive intelligence in business. And the same thing is happening at Georgetown University. Intelligence is flourishing as a new academic discipline at hundreds of colleges across the country. Only a small fraction of the instructors are CIA employees, but many others have worked in government intelligence or diplomacy of some kind and have fashioned courses based on that service. Their skills mesh perfectly with the business world's increased emphasis on information management and how distinguishing good information from bad information affects the bottom line. Indeed, the typical student in an intelligence course is not a wannabe spy but an aspiring business executive, systems analyst or librarian.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: With the support of university students nationwide, eight garment workers have won their struggle against their former sweatshop employer. Today, they will announce a settlement at a press conference at the University of Southern California. In November, the workers came forward to file a federal lawsuit against J.H. Design Group, a garment factory where they worked sewing jackets for USC, UCLA, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Nike, Reebok, and Disney, among others. The lawsuit alleged sweatshop conditions, including: * Working seven days a week; * Working 10-12 hours a day; * Being forced to sew in their homes until midnight and on the weekends to meet quotas; * Receiving sub-minimum wages, often without overtime pay; * Illegal firings for speaking out about sweatshop conditions; and * Inhumane treatment, including verbal abuse and subjection to racial slurs. Approximately four months after the lawsuit was filed, J.H. Design Group agreed to settle the case with the eight garment workers for $172,000, which includes payment of back wages and compensation for the workers who were fired . . . "This is the first victory for sweatshop workers who used university codes of conduct as tools to demand justice," said Nikki Fortunato Bas, program coordinator of Sweatshop Watch.
MICHIGAN DAILY: Two-and-a-half months ago, it appeared that Michigan would renew its contract with Nike to provide athletic footwear and apparel for the Michigan Athletic Department through August 2006. But Nike director of college sports marketing Kit Morris told The Michigan Daily Thursday that the company has withdrawn from negotiations with the University and that he "doesn't foresee reentry." "There was a meeting of the minds and it became apparent that we couldn't agree to terms," Morris said. (Michigan made the) "requirement that we would have to live by an undisclosed code of conduct that would require Nike to adhere to any demands made during the contract." Michigan interim athletic director Bill Martin said Michigan's support of the Workers Rights Consortium led to Nike's withdrawal . . . AP: The president of the University of Michigan says he has no problem with losing a licensing agreement with Nike Inc. that could have brought the school millions of dollars. Lee Bollinger said the university's commitment to human rights outweighed any financial advantage it could have gotten by renewing its six-year agreement with the sports apparel maker.
CLAREMONT COLLEGE: Our bravest are still locked down in our administration building, and in need of support . . . Negotiations [on behalf of Aramark workers] are going well but this needs to remain a 5-College struggle. Our main focus is on Pomona President Stanley. It's alumni weekend so the fireworks are about to start crackin'. Those in the building are prepared to stay as long as needed. A recent survey of 136 workers found: 78% earn less than 8$ an hour. 44% lack health coverage 91% have no retirement benefits. 51% report managers who don't appreciate their work. 79% want Aramark to recognize their signed union authorization cards.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: As the deadline for the impending strike approaches, Local 4501, Communications Workers of America (representing service and skilled trade workers at the Ohio State University), together with student, faculty, and community activists, are stepping up the struggle. Today, at 8 AM, about one thousand workers and supporters marched ten blocks from the union hall at 27 Euclid Ave. to Bricker Hall -- the administration building on campus -- stopping the traffic along on the way. Workers, students, and other supporters have occupied Bricker Hall since Wed., April 26, and today is the fourth day of the sit-in. The building has become a "Liberated Area" and strike headquarters. The sit-in will continue until the OSU management will meet all the demands of Local 4501 . . . On April 28, President Kirwan, forced to stay away from his office and to move a meeting to the Fawcett Center, reportedly said that he would use "whatever means necessary" to stop the "disturbance" at Bricker Hall.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY WEB SITE: Because of the strike by 1,900 CWA members against The Ohio State University on Monday, May 1, there will be some changes in the services provided to students, faculty, and staff, which are outlined below . . .
Classes, laboratories, and libraries will continue normal operations.
JENNIFER GONNERMAN, VILLAGE VOICE: At 10 colleges across the country, students boycotted their dining halls. It was not soggy vegetables, mystery meat, or too few cereal choices that had riled the students. Rather, their beef was with Sodexho Marriott Services, the campus food provider, and its ties to the private prison industry. . . . Student activists are targeting Sodexho Marriott-which operates on 900 campuses-because its parent company, Sodexho Alliance, is a leading investor in Corrections Corporation of America, the world's largest for-profit prison company. The "Not With Our Money" campaign is not only urging students to skip meals at Sodexho Marriott's dining halls, but also trying to persuade college officials to replace the company with another food service provider. Leading this campus crusade is a Manhattan-based group called the Prison Moratorium Project. Earlier this year, the five-year-old organization released No More Prisons, a hip-hop CD starring Chubb Rock, Grandmaster Caz, and dead prez and featuring performances by Harvard professor Cornel West and actor Danny Hoch. In recent months, the Prison Moratorium Project has been staging campus hip-hop shows, shipping boxes of "Dump Sodexho" stickers, and steering students to its Web site
TOM STRUNK, LOYOLA: School of the Americas Watch has started a national fast, which began Thursday. The fast will go for fourteen days, with participants fasting for as long as they feel comfortable. I myself am going to be fasting for at least six days. It is a juice fast. Each day of the two weeks will focus on a different country in Latin America. The idea is to bring the message home to communities throughout the United States, rather than just doing civil disobedience at Ft. Benning or DC. Here in Chicago there will be vigils held at the Federal building and visits to representative offices. At Loyola we're continuing to educate the campus with speakers and presentations. We also got union made T-shirts for the fasters.
JOSHUA BUCK, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA: At approximately 11:30 PM on Saturday evening 16 University of Iowa Public Safety officers, along with 5 administrators, forcibly removed 30+ students and community members from the administration building, ultimately resulting in 5 arrests . . . After SAS members realized what was goin' down, SAS member and designated legal observer Joshua Buck immediately grabbed the cellular phone to contact the group's lawyer. Almost instantaneously, Public Safety officers aggressively snatched the phone and stated that Joshua would be arrested immediately if he did not back off. Another SAS member, Matt Killmeier, attempted to reach a phone in the basement to call the SAS attorney, and was denied access to the phone and threatened with arrest by an officer. UI administrators then proceeded to read a University letter condemning the occupation of Jessup Hall and announcing that SAS was in direct violation of many student codes and health and fire codes. It was also stated that everyone must vacate the premises immediately or they would face arrest. When he asked for clarifications about the violations, SAS member Ned Bertz was shouted down by the head Public Safety officer and told he was not allowed to ask questions . . . All 5 arrested UISAS members were charged with criminal trespass and taken to county jail. Four were released immediately; one who had refused an initial order to stand up and assist in his arrest was held on an additional charge of "interference" and was released on $650 bail.
MARIKA SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: I just got back from the camp out on the quad and it is going well. People are sleeping right now and will be stationed there thru the end of the week. It is freezing [and] it's been snowing here but we have lots of people crammed into small tents so we're keeping warm . . . Ralph nader spoke on campus today. At the end of his speech school members rushed outside to set-up the tents. He came over to talk with us and wish us luck and solidarity in our struggle. To my knowledge, Nader is the only presidential candidate to come out in support of the student anti-sweatshop movement. Keep up the kick ass work everyone!!!!
UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA PRESIDENT GEORGE BECKER denounced Saturday's "midnight raid" against demonstrators at the University of Iowa as "a strong-arm suppression of free speech," and said students protesting sweatshop labor there "represent the finest traditions of our nation." "I am appalled that the university administration would use police power in an attempt to muzzle students whose only 'crime' is to defend the rights of workers who produce clothing bearing the University of Iowa logo," Becker said. "But apparently speaking out against rank violations of workers' human rights is not 'politically correct' at the University of Iowa.
RICH PAGANO, ST JOSEPH'S: Students from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA will spend Wednesday night sleeping on in front the main university building, Barbelin Hall . . . Also, they will hang signs for the commuters who use City Avenue to see during the afternoon and morning rush hours. The sleep-out will commence with a series of speakers at 5 PM. The students will use music, poetry, and a silent reflection to show the horrors of sweatshop abuses . . . Melissa Byrne, a junior, says "We know that being out here won't directly help a sweatshop worker. We won't close down a factory. But, we might educate a few people. And, in a few years, when they are out there in the big world, they might have a different view on how things should work."
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: University administrators who attended the first meeting Friday of the Worker Rights Consortium, a new anti-sweatshop group, came away from it pleasantly surprised: The organization, pushed primarily by students and labor groups, was far more cohesive and less strident than they expected. However, the administrators, who represented about 30 of the 44 institutions that have joined the consortium, could not agree on which three people to elect to the organization's governing board, and they issued a letter listing continuing concerns that they hope the consortium will answer.
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.
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.
A NEW NAME TO REMEMBER: SODEXHO
NOT WITH OUR MONEY: Armed with stickers that read "Sodexho = Prison Profit", students at ten colleges and universities have launched a nationwide boycott of Sodexho-Marriott Services (NYSE: SDH), charging that the company's close ties to the scandal-ridden Corrections Corporation of America make it an unfit provider of campus dining services. Sodexho-Marriott's parent company, Paris-based Sodexho Alliance, is the leading investor in the rapidly growing for-profit private prison industry, with a 17% share in Corrections Corporation of America and a 9% share in CCA's publicly held sister company, Prison Realty Trust (NYSE: PZN). Sodexho Alliance owns 48% of Sodexho-Marriott, and has appointed CCA founder "Doc" Crantz to sit on the Sodexho-Marriott board of directors.
NOT WITH OUR MONEY: Kevin Pranis mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Errol Schweitzer, mailto:email@example.com
GUARDIAN, UK: The private company running the home office's new voucher system has told supermarkets they can keep the change due to asylum seekers who shop with them as a cash incentive to take part in the scheme. Sodexho Pass, a French company that already runs a similar asylum voucher scheme in Germany, has told potential "trading partners" that the decision to end the cash system of benefits for 30,000 asylum seekers a year gives them a chance to benefit from their "Buy-Pass" voucher initiative . . . Sodexho goes on to spell out how some of that extra revenue might be raised. "Vouchers cannot be exchanged for cash. Change should not be given, e.g. if goods to the value of £4.50 are purchased with a £5 voucher the 50p change should not be handed back, but you as a Trading Partner will receive the full £5 value for that voucher." Refugee groups last night said they were appalled that adult asylum seekers who will have to live on vouchers worth £36.54 a week and are banned from working could face being further impoverished. . . . The scheme has been attacked by critics as inventing a new currency, the "asylo", simply to avoid paying welfare benefits direct to asylum seekers. . . . Zoe Harper of the charity Asylum Aid said: "The whole voucher system is demeaning and discriminatory and will have an extremely damaging impact on survivors of torture and persecution who seek protection in the UK."
UNITED STUDENT LABOR ACTION COALITION, WESLEYAN COLLEGE: At 9:30 last night - after 33 hours of occupying our school's admissions office - Wesleyan students declared victory in our fight for workers' rights on campus. We had been concerned that Initial, the contractor that employs our school's janitors, wouldn't agree to better wages and benefits unless Wesleyan agreed to pay for them. Last night, our president called Initial and told them he would foot the bill for the janitors' proposed contract. Within hours, the contract was signed. In addition, President Bennet signed a statement saying that all contracted campus workers would retain their jobs, wages and benefits if the university switched contractors. This means that Wesleyan can't simply drop Initial and hire a nonunion contractor. Bennet also agreed to pay for a similar contract for another group of janitors that cleans our gym, and we set up a committee to write a comprehensive labor code of conduct for the school by April 23. So far, we have faced no legal or disciplinary action.
OF KENTUCKY: After a year of organizing, rallying and attempting
to negotiate, the UK anti-sweatshop campaign came to a boiling
point Tuesday at 5:15pm when 18 students took over the basement
of the Administration Building. The students entered with two
demands- UK would withdraw its membership in the Fair Labor Association
and UK would join the Workers' Rights Consortium. The students,
who had locked down with chains, PVC pipe, and bike locks, attempted
to negotiate with the administration for eight hours. Over the
course of that eight hours, students inside the building were
subjected to intimidation and threats from the UK administration.
"They were experts at singling us out one by one and intimidating
us. They told us we wouldn't graduate. They told us we couldn't
get accepted to the bar. They told us we would lose scholarships.
They were very skilled at harassment. They've obviously had practice.
Additionally, there were indirect threats of injury when the
arrest process began," said Lindsey Clouse, one of the students
arrested at 1:45am Wednesday morning . . .
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA STUDENTS AGAINST SWEATSHOPS: We just had the most rocking rally that this campus has seen in years. At the end of day four of our occupation of our administration building, a bus load of steel workers from Des Moines came in to rally with students and completely kick our sit-in back into high gear. Along with USWA, we had folks from UE, SEIU, AFSCME, and IBEW locals in our crowd of over 200 people. And the great thing is that they were as thrilled to be here as we were to have them come out and support us . . . SAS members have also been keeping up the teach ins inside the building all day long. We estimate that close to 1000 students have come through the building this week and had their eyes opened to issues of global economics and sweatshop labor in the past three days.
UI STUDENTS AGAINST SWEATSHOPS Matthew Killmeier, 338-0781 Michael Rach, 339-8485 Jen Sherer, 337-9986, 337-5074 Scott Delgado, 338-5743
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: Things are looking good at Northwestern (finally!). Our coalition of students, faculty, and staff members, in coordination with almost 20 student groups, will have a day of solidarity Friday with the hunger striking Purdue students, and the other students currently fighting around the country . . . Several students will also be fasting for the day.
PURDUE UNIVERSITY: As six Purdue students continued a hunger strike against his administration, President Steven Beering was busy preparing a graduation speech in which he said that the educational experience being celebrated is the ultimate expression of the spirit of liberty: "By investing of yourselves in this unique way, you and all the people who have supported you along the way are affirming your faith in the possibility of a better world, created through individual initiative." He told the students that "among the vanguard of leaders who will shape our world in the 21st century."
ALISON KEPNER & TRACY WILSON, PENN STATE COLLEGIAN: Nathan Strange, a graduate student in aerospace engineering at Purdue, was one of the five students in his ninth day on the hunger strike. The first few days you're just really hungry, then the pain dulls away, said Strange, adding he was prepared to continue the hunger strike until sent to the hospital. "I do feel very weak," he said. "It's real hard to go to class." Strange was a student member of the committee that helped Purdue administrators develop its code of conduct. However, he said although the administration has adopted the code of conduct, they are not abiding by its criteria. Yesterday afternoon, student protesters met with Joseph Bennett, vice president of university relations. Bennett could not be reached for comment yesterday . . . However, university president Steven Beering still refuses to meet with the hunger strikers.
PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS: About 70 protesters, including students from Penn, Bryn Mawr College and Temple and St. Joseph's universities, along with factory workers and union organizers, gathered at noon across the street from Domestic Uniform Supply Co., on Frankford Avenue near Adams, to protest poor working conditions, low pay and lack of benefits at the factory. Domestic Uniform counts the University of Pennsylvania as one of its biggest customers, supplying the school's linens and tablecloths. After complaints from workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found several workplace violations at the factory, said a member of Penn Students Against Sweatshops, which comprised the biggest group at the protest.
CARA, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Here at the University of Chicago, the anti-sweatshop coalition faces not only administrative walls and excuses, but also the label of "fringe group," "minority of students," and "radical activists" from our student peers. The Chicago Weekly News [has] criticized us for asking for too much.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: Today, students in California received some incredible news: all 10 UC schools are signed on to the WRC (a representative from the UC is on his way to attend the WRC conference)! We were actually having a meeting to plan a sit-in at Berkeley when one of the UC representatives came to our meeting with the signed letter to make sure that we wouldn't sit-in. This is how scared they are of student action on this issue. This makes the UC system the first system to sign on to the WRC and adds ten more schools to the quickly growing list of schools on the WRC. 45 schools today, 100 tomorrow!
ST. JOSEPH'S UNIVERSITY: Students involved with the St. Joseph's University Students Against Sweatshops group will commence a 24 hour fast April 7, 2000 with a prayer vigil on Campion Lawn at 9:45 AM . . . According to Melanie Tambolas, a freshman at SJU, "This isn't about pretending to be an 'activist' or to cause a scene. Rather, we want to make sure that our university actively uses the moral guidelines in their business transactions that they teach during orientation, through our theology classes, and at Sunday mass."
KIRK SCIRTO, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER: 3 weeks of activism, 2 weeks of nightly vigils, 1 week of fasting. 20 of us covered our mouths and bound our hands with red tape outside the administrative building . . . We're camping out on the academic quad tomorrow night, and we're building a model sweatshop shanty town and sewing a shirt for our president.
GRETCHEN LAKATOS, YALE: 30-40 people slept out last night and are sleeping out again tonight. We have erected an amazing structure that displays our demands, our arguments, and the massive student support for the WRC and opposition to the FLA. We are sleeping out each night to defend our structure, so the administration won't bulldoze it in the middle of the night. We just held a forum tonight to talk about the state of student voice on campus. At Yale we have no student power at all . . . There was talk in the air of a joint student-worker-community governing board, real student power, academic diversity, etc. . . . We have realized that we need to tear down the walls of this ivory tower.
TIM BARTLEY, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA: On Tuesday members and supporters of Students Against Sweatshops at the University of Arizona began construction of a new College of Worker Rights. Located on the lawn of the Administration building, the college provides a visual display of the links between students, universities, and workers worldwide.
WESLEYAN: On Tuesday, about 25 Wesleyan students occupied the Wesleyan admissions office. We are demanding that President Bennet sign a code of conduct ensuring that direct and indirect employees of the university receive a living wage, health and retirement benefits, and job security. Wesleyan's janitors are employed by Initial, a contracted cleaning service. The janitors recently voted to join SEIU, the service employees' union, and are now negotiating their first contract. After four rounds of negotiations, Initial still refuses to grant the workers retirement benefits, job security, or wages higher than the current level of $6.50 - $8.00 an hour. President Bennet maintains that the negotiations are not Wesleyan's business. . . . We have exhausted every legal option for communicating this message to the administration. We've held rallies, met with President Bennet, spoken with trustees, and gotten widespread support from the Wesleyan community. 1400 students, 129 faculty members, student of color groups, campus food service workers, parents, alumni, the university chaplains, and the Wesleyan Student Assembly have all signed statements in support of the janitors - and President Bennet has refused to budge. It has become clear to us that the administration feels no obligation to consider the opinions of students, faculty and workers. Our only option is to disrupt the operation of the university, forcing the administration to take our demands seriously.
SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: The Syracuse University Student Coalition on Organized Labor with the support of the Student Environmental Action Coalition and the Student Anti-Anthropocentric Reasoning Organization entered Chancellor Shaw's office today to personally deliver (one at a time) the remaining postcards that we have been collecting from hundreds of students urging the administration to sign onto the WRC.
AMBER, SWEAT-FREE ALBANY [SUNY]: We began occupying University President Karen Hitchcock's office at 8:30 am, demanding that our school adopt a strong code of conduct that we wrote and proposed to them 3 years ago and on which they have failed to act, or as an alternative, join the WRC. We also demanded that Sodexho Marriott, our food service provider, be kicked off our campus in light of a recent E.coli outbreak in one of our dining halls and also because of that corporation's atrocious anti-union labor practices, suppression of free speech, and unethical investment in the private prison industry. All 11 of us were arrested after the first four hours of our occupation, without even having spoken to President Hitchcock . . . Later that day, our administration building was stormed by angry students and community members, resulting in the arrest of 6 more students. One of our supporters was punched in the jaw by a high ranking University police officer, and another was pushed down a flight of stairs by the same officer. The campus community is outraged and we will fight back.
AMY SHELTON, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY: At 1:30 Monday morning 12 UK students were arrested after sitting in for 7 hours in the administration building. The administration refused to compromise with the students. Our original demands were for the University of Kentucky to drop their affiliation with the Fair Labor Association and sign on to the Workers Rights Consortium. The students inside negotiated with the administration until 11:00 and made two offers 1) for the University to either drop the FLA of join the WRC 2) to set up a public forum with Dr. Wethington to discuss the possibility of joining the WRC. The administration refused to budge. Our demands were reasonable and our protest was non-violent. When the students were arrested about 100 people gathered at the exit with their arms linked, chanting. Several students were injured.
LAURA CLOSE, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON: The occupation at University of Oregon has begun. We attend a university that is securely in the pockets of Nike. Our library is named the Phil Knight Library, our new law school is named after Phil Knight's father . . . Needless to saying we are suffocating. Needless to say that our year long campaign for our administration to end its connections to sweatshop labor, and now to join the Worker Rights Consortium is met with no support from the University administration . . . So today, we began our occupation. It is a little different from other schools, in that our administration does not tolerate students sitting-in. So we sent five students in with demands, and they refused to leave the building until our president signed on. They were arrested. Tonight we commence our occupation of the administration lawn, with a community some forty people strong and growing. We will not leave until our demands are met. Tents and music abound. We are building an empowered space, a community dedicated to human rights, and shared governance.
LAUREN, YALE UNIVERSITY: We at Yale are still occupying the plaza in front of our president's office. It's been 15 days and we've been out in all kinds of weather - thunder storms, snow, heat, wind, etc. There have been two developments that have proven to us and, hopefully, our administration that the student body is behind us:
1. On Wednesday, our president held an "open forum" so that, according to him, he could hear what the entire student body has to say on the issues, not just Students Against Sweatshops. But he did little advertising for it and we did so we filled the room with 200 students, most of whom were supportive of us. The event went well; we asked him difficult questions about the WRC, FLA, and how decisions regarding licensing are made at Yale. One of the most powerful moments was when one of us went to a mike and asked for people to raise their hands if they would be upset if Yale joined the WRC the next day. No one raised his/her hand, and our president seemed flustered.
2. Last week the elections for our student government were held. On the ballot was a referendum which asked students three questions regarding the WRC and the way Yale makes decisions regarding Yale's licensing policy. The referendum passed with about 70% of students voting in support of us!
NIKE SAYS IT WILL TERMINATE ITS CONTRACT to provide hockey equipment to Brown University, citing Brown's decision to join the Worker Rights Consortium. Supporters of the WRC denounced the action as an attempt to discourage other campuses from joining . . . 31 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES HAVE JOINED the WRC after student pressure . . . STUDENTS AT WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY are planning to wrap themselves in red tape in solidarity with fasting Purdue students.
SUNY-ALBANY: Following a rally in support of Sodexho-Marriott workers at SUNY-Albany, about 30 students, clergy, community members, professors and union organizers began a spontaneous sit-in outside the offices of SUNY Albany President Karen Hitchcock. About 20 people remain in the building at this time. They were threatened with arrest and are being tape recorded by police. The rally and subsequent sit-in was called to protest sweatshop conditions that prevail at the campus food service operations and the refusal of food service contractor Sodexho-Marriott to negotiate with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union Local 471.
PURDUE: Things are getting tight here - the six hunger strikers have not eaten for about 88 hours now . . . We're planning a day of action on campus and organizing with labor around the state. We made banners and chalked up the campus.
NATIONAL: Over 75 cities and campuses will hold local events on the 32nd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On April 4th the United States Student Association, United Students Against Sweatshops, the National Student Labor Alliance, and Jobs with Justice have organized a national day of action for workers' rights, the anti-sweatshop movement and other causes.
JUSTIN LETO, PENN STATE: Penn State students have been camped out on the lawn of their administration building for 20 days. There is now a total of 21 tents and close to 35-40 campers per night. The student group, Students for Accountability and Reform have decided to end their camp out in light of new progress and certain concessions needed to guarantee a fair, unbiased committee.
MARTY LEARY, TULANE: Last night was amazing here in New Orleans. Our campus police threatened to "forcibly remove us" from the building but when they arrived there were 200 plus people outside and 30 plus people inside making a hell of a racket. They decided to lock the door and put police on the inside and let us stay In other words, after the day-long show down we won! We won the battle but the war has only begun. Today we step up the pressure and see what happens
ERIC WINTERS, ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY: Last night, the Student Government Association requested that the Saint Louis University community observe an April 4 boycott of Sodexho-Marriott food services. Leaders from the national student group -- Not With Our Money: Students Stop Prisons-For-Profit -- are encouraging students from the 400+ campuses serviced by Sodexho-Marriott to refrain from eating in cafeterias and food courts on April 4. According to the Prison Moratorium Project, Sodexho Alliance is "the largest single investor in the world's biggest private prison company, with an 11% investment in Corrections Corporation of America and 9% of the outstanding shares of Prison Realty Trust."
CENTRE DAILY TIMES: A huge banner reading "Penn St. when you're sweaty, u stink!" flapped in the wind above the main entrance to Sackett Building on Monday afternoon. The banner, later taken down and discarded by Penn State police, was part of students' efforts to rush Penn State into joining the Workers Rights Consortium, an organization created to police sweatshop labor practices . . . Students in STAR want Penn State to join the WRC in time to take part in the organization's April 7 founding conference in New York City.
SIX MEMBERS OF PURDUE STUDENTS AGAINST SWEATSHOPS are entering day two of a hunger strike. The strikers promise to continue the strike until the university joins Worker Rights Consortium, a student-led initiative to verify conditions in factories producing for the collegiate licensing market . . . NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY has agreed to join the Workers Rights Consortium and to send representatives to the founding conference in New York. The number of universities that have caved to student pressure on the sweatshop issue is now approach two dozen.
TORONTO GLOBE & MAIL: Their meals are hoisted up in a bucket, school assignments are written on laptop computers and sponge baths are being taken in the president's sink, but eight University of Toronto students say they are perfectly comfortable in their sixth day of occupying president Robert Prichard's office.
VARSITY, CANADA: The eight remaining anti-sweatshop student activists holed up in University of Toronto president Robert Prichard's office survived a grueling weekend and they promise to remain until their demands are met . . . Three U of T police officers are on constant guard of the premises. Lights are kept on at all times and the campus police have been blasting tunes into the occupied office almost non-stop over the weekend - pop songs during the night, heavy metal and thrash during the day . . . Campus police deny the music is being used as a pressure tactic. "The music's just for us - so we don't get bored," said Sgt. Darren Joyce, taking a break from his post. "It's not my job to be sympathetic," he added, in reference to the anti-sweatshop cause . . . President Prichard is adamant that their actions are futile. "I'm taking the same stance as before . . . The university will not negotiate with them," said Prichard, who is currently on vacation with his family.
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PROTEST BULLETIN: Police watching over the U of Toronto sit-in have started blasting music at the students to disrupt their sleep -- already a scarce commodity at a sit-in -- and of course the fluorescent lights never go off. It started with AC/DC, but now it's apparently Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls. Isn't there some kind of Geneva convention on the use of the Backstreet Boys?
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION The movement to unionize adjunct faculty members continues to pick up steam, with an overwhelming majority of part-time instructors at Roosevelt University, in Chicago, voting Monday to organize. Spurred on by the rallying cry, "We want a New Deal," 155 part-timers cast their mail ballots in favor of unionization; only 30 were opposed. Some 321 part-timers were eligible to vote. The 84 percent sweep elated members of the Roosevelt Adjunct Faculty Organization, who have been actively pushing for collective-bargaining rights for the past year. "We're very pleased with the outcome, and we're looking forward to getting to the table," said Liesl Orenic, a spokeswoman for RAFO, an affiliate of the Illinois Education Association. Among the usual demands -- better wages and benefits -- the part-timers, who teach 60 percent of the classes at Roosevelt, are pushing for yearly contracts instead of course-by-course ones, payment for canceled courses, and a more equitable system for deciding who teaches what.
LA TIMES: The union representing 9,300 University of California teaching assistants agreed Thursday to postpone a strike planned for today and try to resolve stalled contract talks with the help of a mediator appointed by Gov. Gray Davis. The union called off its strike at the urging of state Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) and Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles). The legislative leaders brokered a three-week truce to give some time for Marty Morgenstern, a labor expert and the governor's personnel director, to help the administration reach a contract with the newly recognized union.
UAW ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE STUDENTS: UAW academic student employee unions, representing 10,000 employees at the University of California, announced that a strike over unfair labor practices will begin on Friday, March 17 on all eight UC teaching campuses. The unions filed over 40 unfair labor practice charges with the state's public employment relations board . . . UC has been charged with a pattern of unilaterally changing working conditions, bargaining in bad faith, refusing to provide critical information, delaying bargaining, and practicing regressive bargaining. Other charges are that "UC has consistently failed to provide information with respect to workload, health benefits, and fee remissions; has violated the law by making changes to hours, workload, summer programs, and job descriptions without negotiating with the union and hand-picking individuals to bypass the union's elected representatives."
USAS, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO: Yup, this is the first SAS sit-in in Canada! The president has left the building... SAS has taken over the U of T president's office. The admin began talking but is refusing to negotiate until SAS leaves his office.
SLAC, JOHNS HOPKINS: As of 5 PM today, the student labor action committee has agreed to end the sit-in at garland hall. We have won a set of concessions from the administration which will result in concrete wage increases for those Hopkins employees still receiving poverty wages -- especially the 900 workers at the hospital and school of public health. And yet...Johns Hopkins still refuses to enact a true living wage policy.
ANDREA ROBINSON, MIAMI HERALD: Black students have assigned themselves a major role in the protest sparked by Gov. Jeb Bush's One Florida Initiative, which is culminating in a march on Tallahassee Tuesday led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Almost 2,000 Florida A&M University students marched from campus to the Capitol last month in a spontaneous One Florida protest. During a One Florida hearing in Tampa, students from Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida attended in droves. And black female law students at the University of Florida have teamed with the National Organization for Women to spread information about One Florida . . . "This generation grew up without having to do active struggle," said Professor Carole Boyce Davies, director of the African/New World studies program at Florida International University. "They feel shocked that some things they see as normal are being taken away."
JOHN HOPKINS: Garland Hall has truly become our living room. Admissions, which used to use this space to welcome incoming students, moved out entirely on Monday, leaving us a swank desk and the entire floor space. They're now trying to get people to go to a different building, though the majority of the people come here, look confused, and get an issue discussion as we escort them kindly to where admissions is now . . . There is not a wall without a poster, and we're beginning to collect posters from Baltimore and national organizations who support us, including a really swank banner from the Center for Poverty Solutions.I think most indicative of our support is the vast amount of food donations we've been getting. The big joke among protesters lately has been that "we can not be moved," thanks to donuts brought by the Black Student Union, snack foods brought by the All People's Congress, and our daily bagel-and-juice delivery from Professor Neil Hertz. Community members are also joining us overnight, and local high school students are mobilizing their schools with petitions, calls, and more. It may be a week and then some, but we're still rockin'!
HARVARD CRIMSON: In one of the largest anti-sweatshop demonstrations to date, about 300 to 400 Yale University students rallied Tuesday to demand that their administration withdraw from the Fair Labor Association and join the Workers Rights Consortium. Both the FLA and the WRC are organizations designed to monitor overseas sweatshops, but activists said clothing manufacturers have too great an influence on the FLA . . . The action at Yale continued a two-week flurry of anti-sweatshop activism on campuses across the country. Protesters have staged sit-ins at four schools, including the University of Pennsylvania. A two-day sit-in at Johns Hopkins University is still ongoing.
BOSTON GLOBE: Following a wave of anti-sweatshop protests on college campuses in the past month, Harvard University is considering throwing its weight behind a monitoring organization that students believe is more progressive and less constrained by corporate interests than the one to which most schools now belong . . . Officials say they're maintaining a "wait and see" attitude about joining the Worker Rights Consortium, a rival anti-sweatshop group without corporate board members. "If this is a constructive way of dealing with the problem [of sweatshops], we are all ears," said Alan A. Ryan, Jr., a Harvard attorney.
JOHNS HOPKINS OCCUPATION [THURSDAY]: It's about 1:40 PM and we're entering hour 52. Having kept ourselves motivated by the original tide of press and community support, we're starting to feel that, as our demands are being overlooked for the third straight day, we are going to be here for a while, and we're preparing for that. The President has not yet agreed to meet with us, nor has he spoken with us. The only contact we've had with the administration comes from our fortunate position in the building; that is, we get to speak with administrators individually as they enter and leave the building . . . The security is still posted here, 3-5 guards at all times. It makes it difficult for us to discuss tactical considerations, but they have been very friendly to us . . . We had a candlelight vigil last night with about 60 supporters: students, local clergy and Baltimore city council members. We exchanged sentiments with the group using two-way radios, singing and chanting, which raised spirits considerably. The Gospel Choir also stopped by and sang us two really great songs from outside. . . . The first night, 9 people slept over. Last night we grew to 12, and we're shooting for 20 for tonight. During the day, our numbers fluctuate considerably as students come and go, stopping between classes to offer their support.
MEMBERS OF WRC: Brown, Loyola New Orleans, Haverford, Bard, Oberlin, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Smith, Loyola Chicago, Transylvania, New York University
STUDENTS PROTESTING UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ethnic policies have been occupying the Union for more than 25 days, throughout spring break, and without response by the U-M administration. Participants note that UM students involved in a recent anti-sweatshop occupation given an acceptable response after only 3 days of protest.
JOHNS HOPKINS (YESTERDAY): As our sit-in nears its 6th hour, we have been deluged with press and free food from a nearby Indian restaurant. Security has just locked the building, only letting folks out, and the count inside is about 25 . . . Our demands include both a living wage for all Hopkins employees, including subcontracted employees, and sweatshop demands . . . The administration claims we are not a collective bargaining unit, and won't negotiate with us. They seem to believe they can sit this out, even with the press.
MACALESTER COLLEGE: Four days, baby!!! Things are looking good in Minnesota. The situation changes every hour, and to our advantage. Spirits are high and the excitement is escalating. On Monday, the students at Macalester College occupied the lobby, the boardroom, and office of the secretary of the dean of students and have held them with no problems. Early this morning they increased their power by taking the inner office of dean of students. The woman still attempts to continue normal work, but with much difficulty as there are constantly 8 to 9 students in her office doing homework, playing music, talking, and watching movies . . . On Wednesday many labor organizers and Minnesotan congressional and senatorial candidates spoke in support . . . The place is definitely rockin', and the administration must feel the heat
COLLEGE AID GOES THE WRONG PLACE
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: At the expense of those with lower incomes, colleges and universities are giving about three-fourths of their grants to middle- and upper-income students - whether they need financial aid or not, according to a new study. The trend reflects the growth of "tuition discounting" or "merit aid," in which institutions offer annual grants ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 to attract academically superior students, regardless of their need. The practice generates revenue and helps increase a school's academic standing by attracting better students, which, in turn, helps to recruit more prestigious faculty. The amount of aid to all income groups has increased.The amount of aid to all income groups has increased. However, when coupled with recent tuition tax breaks for the middle class and a shift in federal student aid from need-based grants to loans, merit aid further reduces money available to help low-income families finance undergraduate education.
Corporate influence has pervaded nearly every aspect of society. From simple things like our daily diet and the clothes we wear to matters of larger scale like the way we communicate with each other via phones, television, and the "information superhighway" corporations are redefining the world and people are experiencing it in a new manner. The feel of the new corporate age is one of isolation, shallow interaction, and a sense that important matters are beyond the control and even the understanding of the average person. The lack of meaningful citizen power in state and national political affairs is a prime cause for this current condition. The two party system and corporate control of information are inherent and necessary for the perpetuation of this order.
As in life so goes education. . . The majority of the campus population has little or no interest in issues that directly affect them. An overall sense of apathy tends to pervade as decisions are left to the president or chancellor and a handful of vice-presidents. Students are excluded from most important campus decisions such as where their money goes, what services they will have and how they will be administered, and if and how much they will pay for their education. They get a token amount of power over issues of "student affairs" through what are generally powerless campus government bodies. Faculty have little say in the selection of deans, and are generally discouraged from speaking out against the government, business, or campus policies. Campus workers are sorely missing from decision-making processes and are frequently without the right to organize, not paid a living wage, and subject to intimidation, harassment, and even firings if they speak out . . .
The disempowerment is not a natural or accepted one, as some journalists have attempted to portray it. College campuses are traditionally one of the more lively hotbeds of debate and political activity. Against a backdrop of fear and intimidation, courageous students, faculty, and campus workers are indeed standing up for themselves and in solidarity with others . . . But administrators and corporate tycoons don't want anyone to know that. So, the corporate media and other outlets of information have long ignored the campus movements . . .
Campus campaigns through the 80's and 90's have focused on issues somewhat removed from daily campus life. Socially responsible investment, anti-sweatshop, human rights, US militarism, and anti-logging or mining campaigns have all been driving forces behind the growing chorus of students dedicated to halting the corporate juggernaut. When students tried to apply these campaigns to their administrations, time and time again they were rebuffed or given token acknowledgment . . .
The increasing connections between private business and higher education have transformed university administrators, never a very progressive lot to begin with, from having somewhat of an educational background, to a group of corporate style executives. Boards of Regents/Trustees seats and university presidencies are increasingly taken by businessmen . . . These corporate managers of our education system have an interest in moving universities toward the model of education for profit. It would be acting against their interests if they agreed to limit the power of a corporation by, for example, forcing it to implement a code of conduct for investments or against sweatshops . . .
[Andy Burns is with the 180 Movement for Democracy and Education]
A group of students have erected and occupied a wooden shanty in front of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University's Homewood Campus. The students are calling on Hopkins' administration to take responsibility for the abuse of workers who provide services to its institutions and facilities. The occupation has been organized in cooperation with the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees.
people who are starting college this fall across the nation were
born in 1982.
UC Berkeley students protesting sweatshop labor set March 7 as the deadline for the university to verify that it complies with certain labor standards in the manufacturing of products bearing the UC logo. The university must endorse the Workers' Rights Consortium, a non-profit organization, by that date or else students said they will stage a rally and engage in civil disobedience the following day, which falls on International Women's Day. Student protests prompted the university to revise its code of conduct for licensed manufacturers in January.
IOWA STUDENTS AGAINST SWEATSHOPS will be debating UI officials on Iowa's sweatshop policy. SAS argues that the current labor monitoring group to which the UI belongs, the Fair Labor Association, is inadequate and allows for Iowa apparel to be manufactured in sweatshop conditions . . . SAS is endorsed by UE Local 896/COGS, AFSCME Local 12, Johnson Country Labor Party, Iowa City Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO), Iowa City Green Party, International Alliance for People's Movements, International Socialist Organization, University of Iowa Student Government, and University of Iowa Democrats.
MICHIGAN DAILY: Twenty students at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor occupied a dean's office Wednesday as part of a spreading effort to combat the use of sweatshops in the manufacturing of college-licensed apparel . . . The students at Michigan, who belong to a group called Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality created a mock sweatshop in the office of Shirley C. Neuman, dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. They silk-screened T-shirts to the amplified sounds of textile machines.
AARON NATHANS, MADISON CAPITAL TIMES: Madison Chancellor David Ward told protesters he will pull the university out of a controversial organization that monitors clothing makers for poor working conditions. But he wants to talk to other Big Ten administrators about whether to join a new watchdog group that has the support of student activists. Ward agreed to meet with the students on Monday after a brief encounter Wednesday night at Bascom Hall, five hours after students took over the lobby of his office and the hallway outside. Students outside the office pounded on the locked door, demanding to come in and talk to Ward
NATHANS, MADISON CAPITAL TIMES: The protesters shoved anything
they could find into the crack in the doorway: a notebook, a
shoe, some planks of wood.
STUDENT PROTESTS EXPLODE
WISCONSIN BADGER HERALD: On Feb. 3, 1999, a group of UW-Madison students began a 96-hour sit-in in Bascom Hall to protest the manufacturing of UW apparel in sweatshops. Just over one year later, the protest continued as a group of over 70 students stormed Chancellor David Ward's office Wednesday and began a second sit-in for the same cause. A rally endorsed by several student groups was held on Library Mall at 2:30 p.m. The rally quickly escalated into a sit-in when students marched to Bascom Hall and into Ward's office. Almost two hours into the demonstration, police officers gained entrance to the office through a door on the basement floor of Bascom Hall. When five students tried to push their way in, they were met by police officers spraying a chemical agent in their faces through the door crack. In retaliation, a student grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher to spray back at the police through the door crack. Approximately five hours into the protest, Ward met one of the protesters' demands by agreeing to withdraw from the Fair Labor Association. The group vowed to continue the sit-in until Ward conceded to Wisconsin becoming a member of the Workers' Rights Consortium. Ward, however, said he would meet with the protesters Monday and continue talks . . .
AT 10 A.M. WEDNESDAY, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN STUDENTS began a sit-in in the office of Shirley Newman, the dean of the College of Literature, Science and Art. "We are prepared to stay until Michigan signs onto the WRC," said Students Organized for Labor and Economic Equity Rachel Endelman . . . Students charged into the office and took over the reception area and office. Police arrived on the scene quickly but left after the sit-in was observed to be non-violent, Endelman said.
JOURNAL-NEWS, OXFORD, OH: Over 150 members of the Miami community came out and listened to a student-led anti-sweatshop rally held behind Shriver Center on Tuesday afternoon. Following the hour-long rally, which featured speakers from several labor organizations, approximately 55 ralliers took their cause to the street, marching through Oxford. The purpose of the rally, according to Miami University Students/Staff Against Sweatshops leaders, was to raise awareness of sweatshop labor conditions and put pressure on university officials to join the newly created Worker Rights Consortium. "We feel the same as the students," university spokesman Richard Little said as he watched the rally. "They need to continue to raise awareness. That is what has drawn this issue to the forefront" . . . Six of the students fasted for 48 hours in solidarity with over 30 University of Pennsylvania students who held a sit in for more than 167 hours in their president's office until Penn withdrew from the Fair Labor Association.
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The University of Pennsylvania, bowing to the demands of students who staged a nine-day sit-in, agreed on Tuesday to withdraw from an anti-sweatshop group criticized by the protesters as too weak.President Judith Rodin told the 13 protesters occupying the foyer outside of her office that she would remove the university from the Fair Labor Association. The students -- members of the University of Pennsylvania Students Against Sweatshops -- said they would continue a 48-hour fast they started Monday at noon to raise awareness for the cause and show solidarity for other students demonstrating nationwide against the Fair Labor Association.
PETER COUVARES, UNITED FACULTY AND ACADEMIC STAFF, WISCONSIN: Following a rally on campus this afternoon, we marched to occupy an administration building housing the office of the University Chancellor, David Ward. Well over one hundred people rallied initially, and roughly 50 are remaining in the building to stay the night . . . The police have already responded with unprovoked violence. Shortly after the sit-in began, police officers pepper-gassed the demonstrators as officers forced their way into the chancellor's office, where six more students are sitting in, physically locked together . . . Notably, the sit-in consists not just of students but of activists from the campus and community labor movements, including a number from my local (United Faculty and Academic Staff, AFT Local 223). We have also had an unexpected guest speaker from the strike committee of the student strike at the University of Mexico speaking in solidarity of our struggle here and asking for our support of their struggle for education rights in Mexico.
PURDUE EXPONENT: Members of Purdue Students Against Sweatshops fasted for two days in support of fair labor student activists at the University of Pennsylvania . . . Marikah Mancini, president of Purdue Students Against Sweatshops, said that 21 Purdue students fasted Monday and Tuesday in support of the Penn students . . . More than 60 campuses across the country participated in the fast, the purpose of which was to "raise national consciousness of the exploitation of textile workers around the world," according to a statement from Penn. . . . Nationally, there are more than 200 chapters of United Students Against Sweatshops that are lobbying their administrations for more effective monitoring of the factories producing apparel with their school name.
STUDENTS AGAINST SWEATSHOPS
PHILA INQUIRER: About 30 University of Pennsylvania students stepped up their protest yesterday against sweatshop labor with a planned 48-hour hunger strike that began at noon. The students have been staging a sit-in outside Penn president Judith Rodin's office for about a week in an effort to persuade the university to take further action to insure that Penn-logo clothing is not produced with sweatshop labor. The group, Penn Students Against Sweatshops, announced that students from more than 60 other colleges and universities - including Bryn Mawr, College of New Jersey and Haverford - planned to join in the fast. They sought support through the national United Students Against Sweatshops.
DAVID BACON, LABORNET: A hundred thousand people marched through Mexico City Wednesday, clamoring for the release from prison of the strikers who shut down the National Autonomous University of Mexico for nine months. Many called the huge demonstration the birth of a new consciousness - a rejection of the mano dura, the traditional use of force instead of dialogue to solve social problems. But the march and strike also are dramatic evidence that the huge fissures which divide Mexico - into rich and poor, urban and rural, those who benefit from economic reforms and those who are its victims - are deeper than ever. Until the Federal government arrested 745 students and teachers over the weekend, accepted wisdom held that the strike, one of the longest and most bitter in Latin American history, had lost its popular support. Authorities clearly counted on using the mass arrests to boost their election strategy of appearing as the guardians of social order. But they may have created more support for the strikers than ever. . . . People were shocked by the military and police occupation of the campus, which held reminders of the violent and bloody massacre of students in 1968. Mexico, like most Latin American countries, has a tradition of university autonomy, which prohibits presence of government armed forces on the grounds of UNAM. The charges against the students were extreme as well. While the government admits there was only minor damage to classrooms in the course of the strike, 85 student leaders have been charged with terrorism and denied bail. Arrest warrants have been issued for another 400. During the march, large labor union contingents were interspersed among the students, in an effort to make difficult the arrest of those the government still seeks. All of these are sharp issues to city residents. But the underlying reason for the outpouring of support is economic. The key demand of the strikers was the repeal of a newly-instituted tuition in an institution in which education has always been free. They claimed that the move to charge for admission was part of a larger project to begin privatizing education, an economic reform tied to others imposed by loan conditions by the International Monetary Fund.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN PROTEST: The official final count is 58 people arrested this morning. All have been released as of Monday night. Cops entered Bascom Hall at 4 am this morning fully decked out in gas masks, with tear gas guns and canisters. Most students were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, a few received charges of resisting arrest or obstruction of justice. All students are safe, and no one was seriously physically harmed. If convicted, an unlawful assembly charge could provide the pretext for suspending students for 6 months from the university.
The University of Virginia has admitted selecting some students on the basis of potential payola from their parents. These parents are given a rating of A, B, or C with A parents able to give $10 million and C parents only $1 million. The story was broken by a student newspaper. According to the Washington Post, "Officials at Cornell University, Harvard University and the University of Michigan said they occasionally give preference to applicants with rich and generous parents."
"The most dangerous [university] administration is not the one that creates an adversarial relationship between itself and the students, but the one that always claims to be listening and sympathetic and willing to take care of all of the concerns raised by students, then falls far short of addressing those concerns. This strategy undermines student support and creates an ineffective, inactive student body. Don't be wooed by the warm sentiments of the administration. It is essential that students take the lead in all issues of social justice." Trevor Gardner, University of Michigan
COLLEGE CRIME REPORT
APB News has completed a 1400-campus study of crime and has compiled a list of the safest and most dangerous universities and colleges based on neighborhood (not on-campus) crime reports. Except for the Air Force and Army military academies, the safest colleges are all in rural areas. The most dangerous college neighborhood was that of Morris Brown College in Atlanta's University Center, a cluster of small historic campuses. Three other schools in University Center -- Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College -- were also among the five highest neighborhood crime risk rankings. The most dangerous Ivy school was the University of Pennsylvania which ranked 41st nationally. Among Ivies, Penn was followed by Columbia, Yale, Brown, and Harvard.
APB NEWS http://www.apbnews.com