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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

Spanier Meets With Sweatshop Protestors

In your first day from under the title of AAU, President Spanier decided to do something he has so carefully avoided for the past three years.  He has met with people who actually care.  The movement of students against sweatshop labor finally had their day in court, the court of Mr. Spanier.

After about three years they finally had their say, there were no more birthday cakes, or wiffle ball inside of old main, there was positive productive conversation, hopefully.

In The Daily Collegian article written today, Mr. Spanier said that there was a positive dialogue between the two groups.  Well I hope there was not shouting going back and forth.  He however failed to agree to the acceptable requests put forth by the group.

Why should Penn State not be at the forefront of this movement?  Why should we condone irresponsible behavior on the part of of the University and where they purchase all of their products from.

It is not like it is some big secret either, everyone knows what is going on, but for some reason it is acceptable in the eyes of Old Main.  Sweatshop labor is illegal, but old main is taking no moves to step away from it, or alleviate it here at the University.

Let’s look at it from another perspective, if the cafeterias were serving beef that we know had mad cow disease, would that be tolerated?  I do not think so there would be a hailstorm of media coverage, law suits, etc, so why is this practice acceptable?

Simply meeting with these people was commendable president Spanier, however, listen to what they have to say, it will make you look better at the very least!

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There are plenty of things on which to criticize Spanier, but I’d hate to see SOS get involved in this “sweatshop” controversy. The Campus Left has plenty of outlets, and this should not be one of them. Spanier has some pretty compelling arguments on this one.

Comparing the use of cheap foreign labor to deliberately poisoning students is absurd (and ignores the complicated legal issues actually presented in this case). SOS is well informed and correct on tuition, academic freedom, the student activity fee, student traditions and representation, and town-gown relations. Let’s leave the labor activism to others (or at least other forums).

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