University of Texas students occupy President’s office

by Eric Murphy

Eighteen students at the University of Texas have occupied the office of the university's president, Bill Powers. The students are demanding that the university join the Worker Rights Coalition and put an end to sweatshop abuses in factories that produce garments displaying the University of Texas's logo. The students have also started a campaign to email and call Powers with their message.


The Worker Rights Coalition is an independent monitor of factories that produce apparel to be sold in the United States, particularly apparel with university logos. Their goal is to protect against sweatshop abuses and defend the labor rights of factory workers. Currently, there are more than 180 university members, including the University of Minnesota.


According to the letter students have presented to Powers, the University of Texas has "repeatedly informed students…that it refuses to consider affiliating with the only independent factory monitor in the world." Students claim that UT profiting from sweatshop labor violates the university's Core Purpose, which is "to transform lives for the benefit of society."


–Eric Murphy