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History of sweatshop protests at SU, 2000-2001

Origins

Students who casually wandered through the quad on March 24, 2000 were in for a surprise. Twelve Syracuse University students were riding around mostly naked (some in underwear) on various mountain bikes, covered only by signs. In addition to the signs, some of the riders also had written on their bare bodies in marker. Many of these students represented the Students Coalition on Organized Labor (SCOOL), a group of student activists that protested against unfair labor policies.  When asked about the unique protest, Pat O’ Leary, a member of SCOOL, claimed, “We would rather go naked than wear sweatshop-labored clothes.” Due to the belief that large, powerful companies would skew the monitoring results for their own profit and benefit, students were pushing Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw to join the Worker Rights Consortium. The WRC was and still is an independent labor rights monitoring organization. Under its watch, factory inspections are conducted at random by the consortium, and public reports are given on the consortium’s website. A main focus of the consortium is to inform the public of the true conditions of these factories, and to improve respect of workers’ rights.4 In addition, the WRC serves as an outlet where workers can explain their concerns without the fear of reprisal. Syracuse students favored the WRC because they felt that workers overseas would benefit more from the consortium as opposed to the FLA.

Other Tactics

Prior to the naked bike ride, SCOOL attempted to demonstrate in other ways. One of the first small protests they organized occurred on February 28, 2000. A homemade sign with the words “Sweatshop University” was hoisted up during a men’s basketball game in the Dome, fluttering in the air for all to see. Within a blink of an eye Public Safety and Dome personnel escorted SCOOL members peacefully out of the building. As a result of displaying this banner for such a minuscule amount of time, the message was not clear to fellow students.5

One month later in March, around the same time as the naked bike ride, students gathered together for an organized march and began their way to the administration building. “Keep SU Sweatshop Free, Sign on to the WRC” was chanted in unison accompanied by signs. Getting into the building was not a problem, but a barrier was soon approached. Department of Public Safety officers kept the students from handing a petition signed by 1,200 people to Chancellor Shaw. Instead the petition was ignored and discarded.6

With no further action taken after Sweatshop Awareness Week, SCOOL held a rally on October 29 at the SU School of Law to once again demand the support of the University. The rally served as a warning to the administrators that direct actions would continue to be taken, and featured guest speakers from the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) and SCOOL. Over twenty members of SCOOL preached their beliefs to students visiting SU for a New York Public Interest Research Group conference. The speeches encouraged students to begin to take action and pressure their schools to join the WRC. Floating over the crowd was a giant Chancellor Shaw head 7, as cheerleaders continuously chanted. At this point in conflict, 62 schools had already joined the consortium.

Even after the various protests, a petition that gained the support of SU’s Student Government Association, and a meeting with the chancellor, SU still did not join the WRC. Curtis Rumrill, a student activist at the time, described Shaw as uninformed about the issues stating, “He’s a really good diplomat, very good at not answering questions. He implied that sweatshops are a cultural phenomenon and asserted that we shouldn’t impose our labor standards on other cultures.” SU’s spokesman Kevin Morrow argued that Chancellor Shaw was well informed and concerned about workers’ rights claiming, “Everyone involved in the sweatshop fight agrees on the desired outcome – better working conditions. How to achieve that outcome is still being determined.” 8

On November 30 at 6:30 AM, members of the Syracuse Community Action Network (SCAN) hung a banner across Hendricks Chapel saying, “Wake up Shaw. Sweatshops are the Problem. The WRC is the solution.” SCAN members had climbed scaffolding in place for repairs on Hendricks to hang the banner. It was taken down 4-5 hours later because the group did not get permission to post it.9

Outcome

In early December 2000, an advisory board continued to recommend that Shaw not join the WRC. The majority of the 14-member panel was against joining the WRC due to “…concerns about the organization’s operating budget – $300,000 compared to the FLA’s $2 million – the group’s lack of relationship with the corporations it polices, the quality of its monitoring and its current lack of not-for-profit status.” However, the advisory board did agree to have a representative from the WRC present a different perspective at the next meeting. SCOOL was not surprised that the board was against joining the WRC, claiming that its members only cared about the money aspect of the situation.10

A few months later the advisory board gathered to make a recommendation about the WRC to Chancellor Shaw. Their final decision was surprising. The board advised that the University should join the WRC, and on March 27, 2001, Chancellor Shaw agreed. Kevin Morrow, SU’s spokesman, stated, “The decision was based upon the university’s confidence in the direction of the organization and the organization’s new leadership under executive director Scott Nova. We look forward to supporting the activities of the Worker Rights Consortium as well as the work done by the Fair Labor Association and the Collegiate Living Wage association.”11 Along with the new leadership of the consortium, publicized working conditions of a factory located in Kukdong, Mexico helped to persuade the members of the board. The WRC investigated this factory and found that, “Child labor was used and that’s in violation of Mexican Law.” Along with child labor the factory also “…admitted that they beat, called the workers names, screamed at them and did not pay them minimum wage.” Lastly, the “Workers’ right to organize was not being respected.”12 Although this factory was not currently manufacturing apparel for Nike, they had made collegiate apparel for SU in the past.

This decision made Syracuse University the 76th school to become affiliated with the WRC.13 Shaw also decided to maintain ties with the FLA. Other universities such as Boston College, Cornell University, and University of North Carolina are affiliated with both the WRC and FLA also. “The groups can and should be complimentary to one another”, stated Bob Durkee representative for universities to the FLA board of directors. Syracuse University is currently associated with both organizations.14

 Notes

  1. Steffens, Nicholas. “Naked bike riders protest sweatshops.” The Daily Orange. 27 March 2000: Print.
  2. Arweiler, John. “Students continue sweatshop fight.” The Daily Orange. 22 March 2000: Print.
  3. “Fair Labor Association.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 1 April 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Labor_Association>
  4. “Worker Rights Consortium.” The Worker Rights Consortium. 2007. Web. 1 April 2014. <http://www.workersrights.org/>
  5. Graf, Ashleigh. “Students protest SU ‘sweatshop’ affiliations.” The Daily Orange. 28 Feb. 2000: Print.
  6. Auer, Holly; McKenna, Magin. “Students press Shaw.” The Daily Orange. 31 March 2000: Print.
  7. Arweiler, John. “Students continue sweatshop fight.” The Daily Orange. 22 March 2000: Print.
  8. Arweiler, John. “Students continue sweatshop fight.” The Daily Orange. 22 March 2000: Print.
  9. Rezsnyak, Eric. “Shaw Not Sweating SU’s Sweatshop Decision.” Syracuse New Times. 8 Nov. 2000. HighBeam Research. Web. 27 March 2014.
  10. Rezsnyak, Eric and Allison Self. “SU Cool to SCOOL.” Syracuse New Times. 13 Dec. 2000. HighBeam Research. Web. 27 March 2014.
  11. Rezsnyak, Eric. “SU Joins Anti-Sweatshop Consortium.” Syracuse New Times. 11 April 2001. HighBeam Research. Web. 27 March 2014.
  12. Foldes, Sharon. “Sweatshop monitoring groups confirm violations.” The Daily Orange. 26 Jan. 2001: Print.
  13. Ludden, Peter. “Syracuse University Joins List of ‘Sweatfree Schools’.” The Post-Standard. 5 April 2001: Print.
  14. Fleming, Brendon. “Committee chooses to join WRC.” The Daily Orange. 26 March 2001: Print.

Bleu Monkey Cafe

Contact
Address: 163 Marshall St, Syracuse, NY 13210

Phone: (315) 474-0099

About

The Bleu Monkey Café is a sushi restaurant located on Marshall Street in Syracuse, New York.

The restaurant offers various types of nigiri as well as sashimi sushi, noodle bowls with vegetarian and traditional options, and acquired a full liquor license in 2012.

Specials

Bento Box: For between 10.95-12.95, you can get your choice of meat (chicken, pork, beef or salmon) over rice, with a side of salad, miso soup and two spring rolls.

Lunch special: Choice between any Unagi or Salmon roll plus a side of miso soup or salad for $8.95

Syracuse Stage

Location/Contact:

Syracuse Stage

820 East Genesee Street

Syracuse, NY 13210-1508

Administration: 315- 443-4008

Box Office: 315-443-9846

syrstage@syr.edu

Hours: Box Office Hours are from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and two hours before each performance.

History

The Syracuse Stage, operating under the nickname “The Professional Theatre of Central New York,” was founded in 1974 and has produced upwards of 290 plays in its 40 seasons.

In addition to its own professional productions, the Syracuse Stage is also the primary theater used by the Syracuse University Drama Department.

Staff

The Syracuse Stage has a year-round faculty employed in the following fields: Artistic, Production, Stage Management, Scenery, Scenic Artistry, Properties, Costumes, Electrics, Sound, Administrative, Education, Development, Marketing, Information and Technology, Box Office and Patron Services and Audience Services.

Timothy Bond is currently the producing artistic director while Kyle Bass is the head dramaturg. Patrick Finion is the Director of Marketing & Communications and handles press releases for the Stage.

Current Season

The Syracuse Stage productions for the 2012/2013 season:

Cry for Peace: Voices from the Cong, Sept. 14-23

Moby Dick, Oct. 10-Nov. 4

White Christmas, Nov. 23- Dec. 30

Two Trains Running, Jan. 30-Feb. 17

 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, March 6-30 (In collaboration with SU drama)

Good People, April 24- May 12 (In collaboration with Cleveland Play House)

An Iliad, May 15- June 9

Ticket prices

Adult tickets: $45.00

Senior (age 65 and older): $42.00

40 Below: $30.00

Student: $30.00

19 and under: $18.00

Press

Resources

http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase

http://vpa.syr.edu/drama/

Marshall Street Records

About

Marshall Street Records is a record label that produces music from Syracuse area musicians, exclusively.

The label is student-run by members of the Syracuse University Bandier program. David Rezak, the director of the Bandier program within the College of Visual and Performing Arts, founded the program in 1996.

Marshall Street Records signs artists, stays involved with the production of the artists’ albums and books theater-level concerts, most notably two sold-out concerts for the SU –originating band Ra Ra Riot. The label puts on a show featuring all of their electronic and other artists called Electrocuse every year.

Artists

Jay Foss- rapper

Ra Ra Riot- alternative rock

Sophistafunk- funk

Eli Harris- Jazz

Joey Milewski- Indie/emo

Faegan’s Pub

Contact 

Address:

734 S. Crouse Avenue

Syracuse, NY, 13210

Phone Number:

(315) 472-4721

Menu

Faegan’s menu has a large variety of salads and vegetarian friendly options, like a portobello mushroom burgers. It also has traditional burgers, pasta, fish and a chili bowl. The dinner plate prices vary but most stay in the affordable $10 to $12 range. For more information please call the restaurant at (315) 472- 4721.

Cover Charge

After 9 pm, Faegan’ s charges from $3 to $5 for admission.

Specials

Tuesday: Beer Tour

9pm – $2

10pm- $2.25

11pm- $ 2.50

12pm- $2.75

Wednesday: Flip Night (9pm to 2am)

$3.50 all beers

Thursday:

$2 on domestic bottles, drafts and well drinks

$3 on imported beer and high quality alcohol

Friday: Happy Hour (5pm-7pm)

$1 off everything

Saturday:

$2 for bottles

Sunday:

$2 Magic Hat drafts

$3 Long Island Iced Teas

Reviews:

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/16213/view=beerfly

http://syracuseguru.com/guru-reviews/faegans-cafe-pub-a-guru-review/

Mom’s Diner

Contact

Phone: (315) 477-0141

Address: 501 Westcott Street Syracuse, NY 13210

Hours

Sunday 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM Monday 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM Tuesday 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM Wednesday 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM Thursday 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM Friday 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM Saturday 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM

About

Mom’s Diner serves up diner style cuisine. It is a family owned business in which “Mom’s” children decided to share her recipes with the rest of the nation.

The restaurant offers a serving style unlike most diners; diners seat themselves and receive menus at the counter in order to order. Food is brought out once it is finished.

Mom’s Diner is known for their “special sauce,” a comibination of spices and sauces that is used in several of the egg dishes.

Reviews

http://www.thenewshouse.com/restaurant-review/moms-diner

The breakfast club: Despite unconventional seating process, Mom’s delicious food makes for delightful dining experience

Bohemian Beans Café

 

Roasted Coffee Beans, Photo Credit: Daten Hamster

Located near the Destiny USA Mall in Syracuse, Bohemian Bean has been making coffee lovers happy since 2005. Bohemian Bean’s mission is to support other local businesses in their effort by doing their part and purchasing their products locally. All of their coffee is locally roasted fair trade/organic from around the world.

Bohemian Bean is known for hosting creative events and having an over all fun atmosphere. Their walls are continuously being updated and decorated with talented artwork of local students and adults from around the area. The artsy decorations and their peculiar cups and teapots definitely give it its different community feel and bohemian vibe.

Their menu consists of a diversity of coffee, teas, chai, and fresh fruit smoothies. Their breakfast options include waffles and breakfast sandwiches on a range of breads. All of their pastries are homemade and you also have the option of ordering a fresh made-to-order grilled panini. Customers appreciate the free parking and its central location. They also enjoy that on sunny or warm occasions Bohemian Bean offers outside seating in the back!

Address: 2100 Park St, Syracuse, NY 13208

Phone: (315) 412-7074

Phoebe’s Restaurant and Coffee Lounge

 

Right Outside of Phoebe’s, Photo Credit: Jorden Meltz

For a gourmet cup of coffee make your way to Phoebe’s on East Genesee. This restaurant has a small lounge that provides a coffee experience like no other. Their comfy couches make it easy for customers to grab a book and spend the day with just that and a cup of coffee. The fancy seating arrangement, warm shades of burgundy, and lounge decorations give it a welcoming vintage look and feel. They also provide free wifi and have even set up tables for group work or discussions. Phoebe’s is a great place to do some quiet reading and relaxing all over a delicious cup of coffee.

Phoebe’s house blend of coffee seems to be a customer favorite while they offer your regular cappuccino, latte, mocha, and espresso. All of their coffee beans are freshly roasted from Creekside Books and Coffee in Skaneateles, NY. Their menu also includes homemade soups, breakfast sandwiches, and baked goods.

In addition to all of the made-to-order coffee and espresso drinks, the Coffee Lounge serves as a take-out window as well for whenever you’re on the go. Phoebe’s Restaurant and Coffee Lounge is located on East Genesee Street across from Syracuse Stage. It continues to be an establishment dear to the Syracuse city history and will continue to perpetuate its old world charm.

On Sundays Phoebe’s is closed for private parties.

Address: 900 East Genesee St, Syracuse NY 13210

Phone: (315) 475-5154

Prices: $$$

 

Tyme-Out Café

 

An Assortment of Gelato, Photo Credit: Ian Ransley

Tyme-Out Café is a gluten-free cafe located inside Natur-Tyme grocery market. It is especially known for being vegan friendly. They offer a variety of beverages including smoothies, fruit juices, organic tea, milkshakes, and coffee. Their food menu essentially consists of 3 daily soup options, chili, and a few flavors of gelato. Some of their soup options include zucchini curry or lentil spinach and they offer turkey chili as well as vegetable chili. For vegans, the gelato options are raspberry and blood orange.

If you are interested in their juices they offer beet, wheatgrass, and ginger shots and many of their smoothies have flax seed in it. Their coffee drinks options include your regular cappuccinos, mochas, lattes, and iced coffees as well as chai and iced tea beverages.

Although Tyme-Out Cafe does not provide the typical café experience because it is located in the grocery store, Tyme-Out’s all-encompassing beverage options seems to be making up for it. This café is fairly brand new and really prides itself in its uniqueness in offering gluten-free and vegan options.

Address: 3160 Erie Blvd. E, Syracuse NY 13214

Phone: (315) 488-6300

Prices: $$

Hair Trends

Hair Trends is located on 727 South Crouse Ave. and is a salon dedicated to its customers. The salon is built on the belief that what the customer wants is the utmost importance. Hair Trends is one of the longest running salons on the Hill and caters to the diverse population at both Syracuse University and the city. Hair Trends’ phone is 315-476-1942 with hours Monday through Friday from 9 am – 7 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm, with Sundays closed. Hair Trends has special promotions for new customers including $40 manicure and pedicure, 20% off hair color and highlights, and 15% off any products. The salon offers women and men hair service, color services, nails and waxing.

Website:

Reviews: