SGA Listens To SWS And Is Very Polite About It

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Barnard apparel was the contentious subject in yesterday’s meeting

Interested in following what goes on in Barnard’s SGA, but don’t have time to go to the meetings? Every Tuesday, check out Bwog’s recap of Monday’s SGA meeting, penned by none other than Barnard Bearoness Dassi Karp.

This week, Barnard’s SGA finally got down to business. At Monday night’s Rep Council meeting, they welcomed members of Student-Worker Solidarity (SWS), a group that fights for “economic justice and workers’ rights at CU and beyond,” according to the group’s Facebook page. The visiting members spoke about some of the group’s current projects, which include:

  • Trying to get Barnard to affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), a labor rights monitoring organization
    • The WRC would help Barnard create and enforce a manufacturing code of conduct to ensure that its collegiate apparel was not being produced in sweatshop conditions. Close to two hundred colleges are currently affiliated with the WRC, including Columbia University since the 90’s. However, Columbia’s affiliation does not include Barnard College. SGA members questioned the necessity of joining WRC rather than having the College independently create a manufacturing code.
  • Supporting the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC) union in their attempts to bargain for a contract
  • Collecting information about student workers at Barnard regarding complaints about late paychecks
  • Continuing to support the adjunct faculty union, which negotiated a contract with Barnard last spring

In contrast with previous visits by the SWS, this week’s discussion was fairly low-key and amenable. Also different than last year was the tone SGA took with the SWS. They presented this meeting as a chance to learn how to support SWS’s efforts, as opposed to a chance to hear the position of the supporters as one side of a contentious bargaining process, as they did last year. It’s unclear whether this is just because the adjunct union’s fight with Barnard’s administration has largely been wrapped up, or if SGA is taking a more political stance this year. Lets hope we don’t have to find out.

In other SGA news:

  • SGA now has a confidential feedback form that students can fill out to bring issues to SGA
  • There is only one Sarah on Rep Council this year, which is only one-third the amount of Sarah’s serving on SGA last year. It remains to be seen whether the low Sarah-count will have lasting effects on the Council’s efficacy.

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