The group Students for Social Justice argues that UR should join the Worker Rights Consortium or a similar group. They tried to take their message to President Thomas Jackson with a rally on Friday. And the Students’ Association Senate discussed whether or not to endorse joining the group on Monday. The WRC is a non-profit group that assists universities in enforcing manufacturing codes of conduct adopted by over 100 universities and colleges. “These codes are designed to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing college and university names respect the basic rights of workers,” according to the WRC Web site.SSJ held a rally on the steps of Rush Rhees at 2:30 p.m. on April 9. After about an hour at the rally at the library, they walked to Wallis Hall, hoping to deliver a list of their demands to Jackson at his office. However, Jackson was unavailable, so they instead they met with Vice President and General Secretary Paul Burgett. Despite the difficulty of reaching Jackson, members of SSJ felt they were successful at making their voices heard. “I think overall, we did send the right message,” sophomore Nathaniel Powell said.”[We held the rally] to show students who didn’t know already why it was important to join the WRJ,” freshman and SSJ member Pearl Shavzin said. “We also [wanted] to show students how to stand up to the administration.”Current students were not the only ones who noticed the rally. “Some Meridians had found out about the rally and told their tour groups,” Shavzin said. “So prospective students also found out about it.””Thomas Jackson has time and time again ignored our requests for a dialogue, and this will send the message that the student body supports [this],” Powell said. SSJ has been trying for several years to convince the administration to join WRC, but has repeatedly been turned down. In 2001, the administration’s University Manufacturing Apparel Committee decided not to endorse either the WRC or the Fair Labor Association, which is a group with similar goals but is a watchdog group from within the industry. In April 2001, Jackson wrote, “The Committee did not find [No Sweat’s arguments] weighty reasons in November, nor did I. Nothing fundamental has changed since then.” Later, he also said that information rather than arguments based on emotion would be more persuasive. “Should legitimate new information, not rhetoric, come along, the university can decide how to respond to that new information once it is available.”However, the leaders of SSJ feel that their movement is presenting new information. SSJ presented signatures demonstrating the student body’s support for the move to join the WRC. “This is new evidence because it is evidence that students support it,” sophomore, Senator-at-Large, and SSJ member David Ladon said. “We have 745 signatures. More people support this than voted for Chris Calo [for SA President].” He felt that if Calo’s presidency was legitimate, then this must be, also. The Senate heard a motion to approve a resolution to join the WRC, but it was postponed until next week in order that comments could be heard from Jackson. “If we just give him the finger, it’s not going to do anything,” junior and Senator from Hill Court Steve D’Amico said about the decision to postpone the vote for a week to give Jackson a chance to respond. “I [propose we] send a message to Jackson that if he doesn’t come, we will approve this,” D’Amico said.SSJ was successful overall at making their case to the Senate. Class of 2005 Senator Geoffrey Bowser was convinced by their arguments and their rebuttals to Jackson’s arguments. “I came in here thinking what you’re proposing is controversial, but now I don’t,” Bowser said. “I agree with what you’re saying.”Additional reporting by Alissa Miller.Levesque can be reached at

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