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Today's word on journalism

Friday, May 12, 2006

THE FINAL WORD

PETERSBORO, Utah -- Gloom like a Bulwer-Lyttonesque pall hung heavily over the Cache Valley as word came that the WORD had gone.

"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire. . . ." No, wait. . . . That's actual Bulwer-Lyttonism. Scratch it.

We conclude, with joy and trumpets and a tankard or two, the 10th season of TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM. What began in 1995 as a professor's strategy to get his students to read email (guess that worked!) now has spread, birdflu-like, far beyond that unwilling audience to self-flagellating WORD volunteers on five-and-a-half continents. But the willing and unwilling alike--the halt and addled and addicted and deluded--will have to get a life and smell the roses, for a while anyway.

Today marks the end of the WORD for this academic season. Even ere the rosy dawn that didth bust o'er this glade, this vale, this happy home. . . . ooops. Avert already, Sir Bulwer, you mangy cur!!!!

See you in the fall. . . TP

Student group aims to raise awareness of sweatshops

By Marie Christensen

April 25, 2006 | The negative effects of sweatshops may be hitting home more than some Utah State University students may think. That's why a group of students is taking a stand to fight for sweatshop-free labor conditions and workers' rights.

The group is called the Utah State University-United Students Against Sweatshops (USU-USAS) For the past four months, since the organization was formed, 22 students have been working to educate the university population and community about the working conditions of garment workers and the status of workers making USU apparel, said Rachel Carroll-Larson, USU-USAS president.

"We are deeply concerned about sweatshop conditions in factories that produce for companies that supply the USU bookstore," Carroll-Larson said. "Workers making university apparel face sweatshop conditions, abusive treatment, excessive working hours, dangerous conditions and wages that are inadequate to meet basic needs.

Currently, members of the club are campaigning for USU to join the Workers Rights Consortium to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing the USU name or logo respect the basic rights of workers, Carroll-Larson said.

"This affiliation will help designate USU as a sweat-free campus," she said.

USAS began the Sweat-Free Campus Campaign during fall semester and is already endorsed by 650 professors across the nation, according to the USAS Web site. The national organization is also working on two other campaigns: Ethical Contracting Campaign and National Campus Living Wage Campaign.

"Ultimately, we are using our power as students to affect the larger industry that thrives in secrecy, exploitation and the power relations that are in favor of profits and not people, especially workers," Carroll-Larson said.

USU-USAS is still working with the administration and are waiting for a decision to make USU a sweat-free campus. In the mean time, members of the organization are working to get USU affiliated with the Workers Rights Consortium. This is a non-profit organization aimed at assisting the enforcement of manufacturing Codes of Conduct adopted by colleges and universities.

"We feel that our campaigns have gone well so far," Carroll-Larson said. "We have given students the opportunity to act on their concerns, to learn more about these issues, and gain skills in organizing, activism and research through participation in our club."

For more information on joining USU-USUAS contact Carroll-Larson at 797-5237 or usu- usas@yahoogroups.com. Students are also invited to attend the club's weekly meetings every other Wednesday at 4:30 in the Quad Side Cafe.

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