Support Student Protestors at UM and USC!
We, the undersigned, would like to express our alarm at the manner in which top administrators at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan responded to recent student protests. Students on both campuses were protesting the refusal of university officials to join 31 other major universities that have agreed to join the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP), which would require them to source the licensed products that bear their campus logos from factories that fully comply with decent labor standards. USC administrators threatened students with indefinite suspension for protesting their administration\'s unwillingness to consider joining the DSP. University of Michigan officials had police arrest students for engaging in a peaceful act of civil disobedience. We are appalled by these universities\' severe crackdown on students\' attempts to express their deep concern for workers\' rights. Students resorted to civil disobedience only after their patient efforts to engage top university officials, including the two presidents, in constructive dialogue were ignored. We believe that the universities are compromising their integrity by threatening students in the face of the students\' attempts to protect the very reputation and moral standing of their universities. We the undersigned ask the officials at University of Michigan to drop all charges against the student protestors. We also ask administrators at both universities to issue a public apology acknowledging the inappropriateness of their actions. We also urge the Presidents of both the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan to commit their institutions to join the DSP. Both universities should welcome this opportunity to work hand in hand with their students, defending workers\' rights along with their standing as institutions that are sincere in promoting fair and just working conditions.