UH Students Against Sweatshops members made another trip to UH President Renu Khator’s office, only to find that she was in a meeting with administration officials in another part of the University when they delivered a large cardboard cutout of a phone receiver.
Members said previous attempts to get in contact with Khator with numerous calls, faxes and e-mails asking her to sign the DSP were ignored by officials.
"The DSP ensures workers (are) being treated with dignity, so we shouldn’t be profiting by other’s misery," Students Against Sweatshops founder Timothy O’Brien said.
The DSP would protect the rights of workers in factories that manufacture University apparel and ameliorate harsh working conditions, according to the Workers’ Rights Consortium Web site. Universities that sign the DSP agree to source most university logo apparel from supplier factories independently verified to provide their workers a livable wage, the right to organize and the right to bargain collectively.
The students’ return to the office was less than two weeks after they marched on Valentine’s Day to ask Khator to sign the document. Khator was not present during that time, The Daily Cougar reported.
"Everyone in our organization submitted a letter stating, ‘Please sign the DSP,’" O’Brien said.
Students Against Sweatshops previously announced on their Web site that they would bring the DSP to Khator’s attention through mass phone calls, faxes and e-mails Monday.
"We had a couple phone calls, faxes and e-mails," office secretary Juany Jimenez said.
Members met in front of the University Center at approximately 4 p.m. carrying a large cardboard cutout of a phone receiver to present to Khator.
O’Brien said that while the organization has not been successful in meeting with Khator, they were able to speak with Vice President of Student Affairs Elwyn Lee but did not make any progress in getting University administrators to sign the DSP.
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Planning and Initiatives Dan Gardner was in Khator’s anteroom when the group appeared.
"It’s important to move in a process," he said. "Khator will do what’s right for the University, but only after appropriate consideration and deliberation."
Jimenez, who handles appointments, said the president’s office had not received any requests to meet with Khator prior on Monday to the students’ abrupt arrival.
Students Against Sweatshops members said they are not giving up on bringing the DSP to Khator’s attention.
"We will continue to do direct action and make random visits," O’Brien said.