Volume 93, Issue 94

Tuesday, March 28, 2000


O-week becomes issue again

UWOFA may strike

Ancillary fees get the big chill

Shinerama fund-raising threatened by the Safe Streets Act

U of T sit-in comes to an end

Campus break out of break-ins


Caught on campus

U of T sit-in comes to an end

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The University of Toronto's 10 uninvited guests left the office of the school's president Friday as Students Against Sweatshops concluded their protest.

Sonia Singh, one of the eight members of U of T's SAS who spent a week and a half inside university president Robert Prichard's office, said the decision to end their protest was based on the feeling they had accomplished all they could.

The SAS was protesting the school's decision not to include a clause in their sweatshop code – the fair living wage clause – which would ensure all official U of T clothing was made by people earning a fair wage. The code was currently being debated by administration, she explained.

"It was pretty clear the university wasn't going to budge and we had won some pretty significant victories."

Singh said one of the biggest things to come from the on-campus disruption was national and international media attention. "The university came out on the public record and promised a code would be passed soon," she said, adding without this public attention the school would have undoubtedly taken a slow route in getting a code passed.

Ian Orchard, vice-provost, students at U of T, said the school's administration was pleased the students decided to vacate the president's office but said the 10 day disruption did little to help their cause.

"It's unfortunate the student group took themselves out of the consultation process," he said.

Orchard said the code would go before the University Affairs Board on April 18 before going to a vote on May 11 at the Governing Council. He added the living wage clause would not be added following the advice of labour experts who said the phrase was undefinable and therefore could not be included.

Singh said if the university did not include the fair living wage clause, further campus disruptions would follow. She added a number of labour experts had signed an open letter which was sent to administration, making clear the importance of the clause.

John Goranson, a member of Western's SAS, applauded the effort by the U of T chapter and stressed the importance of having a living wage clause included. "The code is almost useless without it," he said, adding most of the other sections of the code were already a part of international law.

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