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Friday November 17, 2000

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Letters to the Editor

SAS is a movement

To the editor,

As an SAS member who took a supporting role in the civil disobedience, I am writing in response to Tuesday's Wildcat editorial: "SAS should adjust strategies to bring change." I disagree with the Wildcat when it stated that the SAS lockdown involved only 20 students, and does not amount to "a wide-spread, grassroots movement." Quite the contrary. In fact, both the SAS sit-in and the recent lockdown involved the direct participation of many students and community members, the participation and endorsement of dozens of organizations, and the support of thousands of students and faculty members. Take a look at our list of campus endorsers, all of whom support our position that Likins should leave the FLA. Also, take a look at the Tucson organizations that continually support our campaigns against sweatshop labor. In that list you will find such organizations as Borderlinks, Copwatch, Derechos Humanos, Jobs with Justice, Las Sinfronteras, the Machinists Union, Southwest Alliance to Resist Militarization (SWARM), Southern Arizona Alliance for Economic Justice (SAAEJ), the Southern Arizona Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO (representing thousands of Tucson workers) and Teamsters Local 104. With this level of support, what else could this be but a social movement?

SAS is part of a grassroots, anti-sweatshop movement nationwide. SAS cannot persuade President Likins to honor his commitment to leave the FLA because he respects the money of corporations more than his word to students and faculty.

Corey Mattson

Students Against Sweatshops member

UA should have returned commitment

To the editor,

Recently (Nov. 14), the Wildcat reported the decision of high school basketball player Rick Rickert to attend the University of Minnesota, even though Rickert had given the UA an "oral commitment" to come to Tucson.

Although Rickert's choice is unfortunate for our basketball program, I think that all of us, athletes and non-athletes alike, can learn a valuable lesson from this: It is important for everyone to realize that it is not enough to simply receive oral commitment. Returning the favor is crucial to nurturing a lasting relationship. If the representatives of the UA had given more oral commitment to Rickert, then perhaps he would have come.

Bill Tsitsos

Sociology graduate student

'Police Beat' details unnecessary

To the editor,

I hope that in the future, your "Police Beat" writer will think before he blindly copies police reports into the column. Today's "Police Beat" concerning Sky View was alarmingly informative. Too many specific details about the incident were included. Did anyone stop to think of the repercussions the roommates of that individual might face because of the reporter's bad judgment?

No, obviously not.

As the Desk Services Manager at Sky View, I understand the importance of confidentiality. Your reporter does not. Half of the information included in the article was unnecessary for the typical reader, and only ended up hurting the residents of Sky View and adding tension to a community that has already been through so much. Was that necessary for entertainment value?

It is my own opinion that this story could have still been presented, if that was truly important, without citing the roommates, or sharing specific details. I believe in the freedom of speech as much as the next person, but not when it compromises the safety of others.

Hanna Draves

Business management and marketing senior

Protest mischaracterized

To the editor,

In Sean McMillan's letter published Nov.16, he makes several inaccurate statements about SAS and its decision to block access to the Administration building. As one of the people locked to the doors of the Administration building, I can tell you with some confidence that we are not made up ignorant kids who have yet to travel further south than "Rocky Point."

I spent two weeks in Nicaragua last March and spoke extensively with workers when I was there on a trip sponsored by ASUA and many other campus and community groups. Most SAS members have spent time in other countries at some point, including much of Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, and/or conduct academic research on the subject of labor. In addition, many of our current and past members hail from international locations, including Africa, India, The Philippines, Russia, and parts of the Mid-East.

For the record, Mr. McMillan, the reason we protested the FLA is because it intends to cover-up all of the problems our own personal experience and thousands of pages of academic and human rights work has shown to be true.

The FLA allows companies such as Nike to put a sticker on their products saying "sweat-free" based on monitoring of less than 10% of their factories. Even if you disagree about working conditions in the third world, it seems clear that you deserve not to be duped as a student at this university by President Likins.

Arne Ekstrom

Neuroscience graduate student