Rally against Russell

If you were on the mall last Friday afternoon, you probably heard the echo of a bullhorn bouncing off our columned buildings. A small group of students were engaged in what might be seen as a radical act: a chanting, sign-holding march to the President BruininksâÄô office in Morrill Hall to formally ask him to cut the UniversityâÄôs contract with Russell Athletics. But when one learns a bit about the issue, it doesnâÄôt seem so radical at all. It has come to light that Russell, one of the major companies that makes those sexy maroon and gold sweatshirts for the University, has been enforcing unfair labor practices in its garment factories, namely in Honduras, where a factory was closed after workers tried to unionize. Two former workers from this factory came to the University last week and added that they received death threats against their families when they tried to unionize. These and other sweatshop conditions go against the UniversityâÄôs Code of Conduct, as well as the personal ethics of the majority of students on campus. It is not radical to oppose unfair and threatening labor practices, nor would it be radical to be pissed that we pay $30 to $40 for a sweatshirt when the worker making it receives $60 per week. Cutting our contract with Russell aligns with the ethical and just principles of this University. To show your support and learn how you can act on this issue, join the âÄúU of M: Cut Russell NowâÄù Facebook group. ItâÄôs not radical, it just makes ethical sense. Gwendolyn Danfelt-Martin University student