FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: January 23, 2003
Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716
UIS student receives scholarship to attend anti-sweatshop conference
SPRINGFIELD – Christopher Roberts, a student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received a scholarship from United Students Against Sweatshops, a national student organization spanning more than 200 campuses, to attend the organization’s national conference in Los Angeles. Scheduled for January 31 through February 2, the conference will be attended by over 300 student activists.
Roberts, a second-year student in UIS’ Capital Scholars program, will represent fellow students in the course What is Power? taught by Assistant Professor Heather Dell. Students in this class are conducting a campaign to encourage the campus’ entrance into the Worker Rights Consortium, a non-profit organization of college and university administrators, students, and labor rights experts that is committed to helping enforce manufacturing codes of conduct adopted by colleges and universities. These codes are designed to ensure that clothing and other goods bearing college and university names are made under fair labor conditions rather than in sweatshops. The other two University of Illinois campuses, at Urbana-Champaign and Chicago, have been WRC members for several years.
Said Roberts, “As a result of this class, I have become more interested in the politics of such things as respect for human rights in the work force. I never actually knew how big the problem was. I was also impressed to learn that USAS, which started WRC, has more than 300
student members across the United States who are fighting against their schools buying apparel from corporations whose products are made in sweatshops.
“I’m happy to represent UIS at the conference,” he added. “Not only because it will be a great experience for me, but to learn more about how UIS might become part of this important national movement.”
UIS’ Capital Scholars program is open to students entering their first year of college who have demonstrated high academic achievement and a potential for creativity and leadership. A four-year baccalaureate program, Capital Scholars combines an integrated core of general education courses with study of a foreign language and any of UIS’ 20 undergraduate majors.
For more information about the WRC initiative, contact Roberts at 206-1421 or Dell at 206-7937. For information about the Capital Scholars program, phone 206-7246 or go to www.uis.edu/capitalscholars/home.asp.