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Wednesday, May 9, 2001

  • UW adopts 'sweatshops' policy
  • Wallin gives noon-hour lecture
  • Awaiting the budget; and more

[Standing with player]
Field hockey coach Sharon Creelman put on her other hat last week as head coach of Canada's junior national team to prepare her athletes for the world field hockey championships in Buenos Aires. The team, which practised at UW before leaving for Argentina, includes four UW recreation and leisure studies students. It's Creelman's sixth year as national coach.

UW adopts 'sweatshops' policy -- from today's Gazette

UW officials and members of the Students Against Sweatshops lobby group have reached an agreement to help ensure that companies supplying apparel to the campus "uphold just labour practices".

A one-page clause will be attached to contracts with suppliers requiring them to provide the name, address and contact information for the factory where product is manufactured, including industry identification code and name of owner.

[Three colours of shirts]
No sweatshirts from sweatshops: merchandise from the UW Shop
As well, the supplier will be asked whether the factory has "third-party visible inspection of standards" and allows unannounced inspections by university representatives. And more, including, "Do you attest that your suppliers comply with all appropriate labour legislation/conventions as enacted/adopted by government(s) of the country where their business/operations are located?"

"If they don't sign or don't operate ethically, we won't deal with them any more," says the director of university business operations, Bud Walker.

The agreement with Students Against Sweatshops is "an indication that the university does hold these principles and will weed out any suppliers that don't, as best we can," he added, noting that the document has credibility. "We're not being hypocritical in saying we'll do something -- such as monitoring overseas factories -- that we can't."

The contract will apply to "any apparel acquired from any supplier by the university," said Walker. That includes uniforms worn by athletic teams and staff, orientation T-shirts, as well as merchandise sold on campus.

"Retailers already make their best efforts to screen suppliers," he said, and the document will formalize that process. "We operate as responsibly as we can, and we're quite prepared to tell people how we operate."

Suresh Naidu, graduating in June with a pure math degree, participated in the talks as a representative of Students Against Sweatshops. He termed the agreement "a partial success. . . . In retrospect, I feel we compromised on too many things and ended up with a weak agreement. Despite that, I'm happy we have something in place, especially the disclosure information. Now we can find out what was made where. The factory location is crucial," he said, adding that poor working conditions are "pervasive" not only in Third World sweatshops but in places like Toronto, Winnipeg and Montréal.

"We would have liked to include a living wage provision," said Naidu. As well, he believes the reference in the agreement to the labour laws of the country of the supplier "is not strong enough. We need stronger provisions is such areas as safety. If the goal is to combat sweatshops -- not just make the university look good -- we would have liked to see stronger language about what labour rights would be enforceable."

Wallin gives noon-hour lecture -- from the UW news bureau

[Wallin] One of Canada's top broadcasters and journalists, Pamela Wallin (right), will speak at the annual Friends of the Library authors event today.

Wallin's public lecture, "A New Perspective: The Media Is You," will be given starting at noon in the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages building. In her lecture, Wallin will discuss the impact of new technology, which provides today's citizens and consumers with copious amounts of information at their fingertips. "How does that affect us?" she asks.

The Saskatchewan-born journalist currently hosts and produces Pamela Wallin's Talk TV for the CTV Group through her own company. In 1998, she published her best-selling memoir, Since You Asked. As well, she is a weekly columnist at the Globe and Mail's books web site, where she offers her perspective on books, authors, trends and ideas. She hosts the Pamela Wallin Cultural Weekends at the Muskoka Sands Resort in Ontario, interviewing a wide range of North America's leading artists and authors. Wallin is also a member of UW's board of governors.

Wallin's talk at UW is the ninth annual May lecture sponsored by the Friends of the Library. "The event is held to celebrate the creative process at Waterloo," said Mary Stanley, manager of library communications and development. "It is a time for the entire campus to come together to be inspired and entertained and to applaud the creative works of our campus community."

Books, art and music by UW faculty, staff and students will be exhibited during the annual authors event. "We will be displaying the work of anyone on campus who, in 2000, wrote a book, composed a musical work, were recognized for their photography or design work, or mounted an art show." Since its launch in 1989, the Friends of the Library has displayed the published works of more than 200 UW authors, musicians and artists.

The Friends of the Library is an association representing people who contribute, either financially or through gifts of collections, to UW's library. The group is interested in the library's well-being as well as promoting the role it plays in academic and creative pursuits.

Awaiting the budget; and more

Ontario treasurer Jim Flaherty will table the year's provincial budget in the Legislature this afternoon. The budget is expected to include tax cuts and corresponding cuts in overall provincial spending. Flaherty will likely also give some news about university financing for the 2001-02 fiscal year, which is already under way. The Star this morning says colleges and universities "will not be disappointed" by what the treasurer has to say.

Reminder: books from the UW libraries that were borrowed on term loan over the winter are due today.

The first co-op job posting for the fall term goes up at noon today on the Needles Hall bulletin boards and the student Access computer system. Meanwhile, students should be polishing up their résumés -- the packages need to be handed in by 8:00 on Friday night. Employer interviews will begin May 28.

At the Theatre of the Arts tonight, an audience will hear the last Planet Baroque series concert with the K-W Symphony. This time it's a French program; Terry McKenna, lute, is the guest artist, and music is by Rameau (Suite from Dardanus); Poulenc, Suite Française; Hindemith, Suite of French Dances; and Handel, Royal Fireworks Music. Tickets are available at the door.

Here's a message from Jason Rochon in UW's computer store, a message that has nothing to do with computers:

Whether planning your garden or planning your salad, there will be something for your garden this spring. Friday from 2 until 7 p.m. in the Student Life Centre's multi-purpose room, I will be running a plant and seedling swap for all the gardeners and gardeners-to-be. Current seed and seedling offers include Tom thumb tomatoes; Tomatillos; Miniature peas; Dwarf kale; Beets; Garlic chives (seeds only, they take forever to sprout); Pole beans; Mung beans; Containers for seedlings and small plants; Free coffee while supplies last. What we are looking for from you is simple. If you are able to attend, then please e-mail me a list of seeds and seedlings, bulbs, etc., that you are looking for and another list of what you would be able to contribute. Please reply to jrochon@rs1 if you have any questions.
Again, that's Friday afternoon and evening in the SLC.

Alan Cairns, adjunct professor in UW's department of political science, is one of two runners-up for this year's Donner Prize, for the best book on Canadian public policy published during the year, it was announced yesterday. He receives the award, worth $10,000, for his book Citizens Plus: Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian State, published by University of British Columbia Press.

And finally . . . the registrar's office says marks for winter term undergraduates will be printed this Friday and mailed to students' home addresses next week.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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