By Adeline Wilson & Olivia Krauth–
After two days of student protests at Grawemeyer Hall, U of L announced that students will be invited to participate in the contract review process for clothing companies.
Protesters from Cards United Against Sweatshops, a RSO, have been sitting in Grawemeyer Hall since 2 p.m. April 20. As of 9:30 p.m. April 21, several students remain there. CUAS leader Rebecca Peek says they will not leave until the contract with VF Corporation is cut.
U of L President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Harlan Sands and Dean of Students Michael Mardis held a meeting with 16 CUAS members this afternoon, where they offered students the ability to participate in the review. The group was invited to join student government leaders, athletics and the contracting office for the review.
“During that meeting, we felt that (Ramsey) didn’t even address the main issues that we asked him to,” Peek said. “They decided to quibble over how we should have this discussion in the future, while we were trying to have the discussion now. So, that’s why we’re still here. This isn’t something that can be put off.”
As the protest continues, Peek says protesters will work in shifts to allow students to attend class and take finals.
“We feel it’s very serious, which is why we’re here for over 31 hours at this point,” Peek said, standing amongst students with pillows and next to a table stocked with food in Grawemeyer’s rotunda.
According to U of L’s press release, CUAS did not say whether or not they agreed to be on the review committee.
The university is currently reviewing all contracts with its vendors, something U of L does regularly. Clothing vendors for retail stores are just one of the vendors in U of L’s review process.
This is a developing story.
Photos by Nick Amon / The Louisville Cardinal