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Moeser Reacts to Labor Strike at Nike Plant
Bv Daniel Thigpen
Assistant University Editor
Alleged labor code violations at a
Mexican UNC-contracted Nike factory
prompted swift action from Chancellor
James Moeser on Thursday.
Asa worker’s strike ensues at the
Kukdong International plant in Puebla,
Mexico, Moeser sent a letter to Nike on
Thursday informing the company that
the University is aware of supposed
labor code violations at the factory. The
( Transfer oj Power
To Set Tone
Bv Alex Kaplun
State & National Editor
For weeks political analysts have been
asking questions - how will President-elect
George W. Bush pass legislation with one of
the most evenly split Congresses in
American history? How will the American
people accept a president who lost the pop
ular vote and was finally able to claim the
Presidency because of a court ruling?
The answers could begin to trickle down
Jan. 20 is Inauguration Day. A day when
the outgoing president officially hands over
the post to the president-elect. It is usually a
day of celebration.
And while Bush will still participate in all
the usual inaugural activities, and Bush sup
porters will flock to Washington, it could
also be a day for Bush to begin what he has
promised all along - uniting the nation.
In previous inaugural speeches presidents
usually set the table for the next four years
and reiterated old campaign promises.
In 1993, Bill Clinton spoke about
America’s role in a global economy and a
world of rapidly changing technology.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan spoke about con
tinuing the battle against Communism and
pulling the country out of a recession.
If Bush follows the same pattern, Bush’s
speech will be about bridging the partisan gap.
See INAUGURATION, Page 4
Sachin Patel, the external relations co-chairman of Sangam, shares his
views as a panel member at Thursday night's race relations forum.
Oh, if I could only be president and Congress, too, for just 10 minutes.
plant manufactures sweatshirts for UNC
and the universities of Michigan,
Oregon, Arizona and Indiana.
Eight hundred employees at the facto
ry staged a worker’s strike Jan. 9 after 20
workers allegedly were fired for com
plaining about rotten food, poor wages
and receiving no Christmas bonus.
But the dispute has shifted to the issue
of the workers’ right to represent them
selves. The employees are asking the com
pany to recognize an independent union
and disregard the current company union,
As President-elect George W. Bush makes his HMHHHH 3Bp*jjPWE
way from Texas to the White House, Vice Sra?, > r !§ W \
President Al Gore returns to Tennessee and the ; J
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Inauguration Draws Local Groups
By Kim Minugh
Washington, D.C., might be 270 miles away,
but UNC students are planning on making
their presence known at the historic inaugura
tion this weekend.
And they’re not going to be quiet about it.
Several student groups such as Students
United for a Responsible Global Environment
and the UNC Young Democrats have orga
nized groups to peacefully protest voters’ rights
they think were violated in Florida, as well as
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get an application in Suite 104.
Applications due Jan. 24.
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
which was instituted during the previous
Mexican government. UNC officials are
worried that the workers’ freedom to
assemble, a key element of the University’s
labor code, is being jeopardized.
Moeser’s letter to Nike stated that “...
we reaffirm to Nike this University’s
commitment to freedom of association
as one of the basic labor standards we
have required our licensees to adopt;
and that you encourage them to do
everything in their power to ensure that
principle is carried out”
some of President-elect George W. Bush’s more
conservative Cabinet appointments.
“We want to put the Bush White House on
alert that the American people are watching and
are disturbed not only by how he got in the
White House but what he’s done since then,”
said Chris Brook, president of Young Democrats.
Brook said the group welcomed students from
other organizations, such as the UNC chapter of
the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, the Black Student Movement
and “people who are just not happy about the
irregularities that happened in this election.”
Forum Discusses State of UNC Race Relations
By Blake Rosser
Concerned minority students voiced
their opinions Thursday night about
their responsibilities as members of the
diverse UNC student population.
The Mu Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi
Alpha fraternity Inc. continued the cel
ebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s
birthday by presenting a forum titled
“Awakening from a Dream,” whose par
ticipants included a panel of eight cam
pus leaders and its audience.
Barry Brinkley, the liaison to the
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
Celebration Committee within Alpha
Phi Alpha, said he thought organizing
such an event would be an important
Labor Advisory Committee Co-chair
man Rut Tufts said it is difficult for the
University to assess the situation in
Mexico because the facts are still not
Tufts said the Workers Rights
Consortium, a labor monitoring group
to which UNC belongs, also has sent a
letter to Nike and is planning to send
representatives to Puebla to investigate
and elucidate the logistics of the dispute.
A Nike representative also is in Mexico.
Tufts said the University primarily
The group will gather at 10 a.m. in DuPont
Circle, where Patricia Ireland, president of the
National Organization for Women, will be voic
ing her concerns to the masses. At 2 p.m. the
students will begin marching around the city to
carry their message with other protesting voters.
Susan Navarro, a member of Young
Democrats, said it is important for UNC stu
dents to represent state Democrats. “We want
people to know that even as a Southern state, a
conservative state, there’s still liberalism here,”
See PROTESTS, Page 4
step in recognizing King’s accomplish
“We decided to do something that
would capture his dream by bringing
people of all different races and back
grounds together,” he said. “We wanted
to kinda wake people up and let them
know the dream still exists - the strug
gle’s not over.”
Journalism Professor Chuck Stone
began the discussion with a summary of
the current state of race relations.
“When I came here in 1991, there
was great enthusiasm for diversity and
multiculturalism, but now it’s gone. It
does not exist anymore,” he said. The
theme near the beginning of the forum
focused on encouraging people to
branch out. Panelist Mimi Patel, presi
wants to ensure a fair resolution process at
the plant and ensure the workers’ interests
are best represented. ‘‘We’re not really get
ting involved in a labor dispute, but we
want it carried out in a fair way,” he said.
Students for Economic Justice repre
sentative Todd Pugatch said he is
impressed by Moeser’s prompt attention
to the situation. “I think it’s very appro
priate that the Chancellor let Nike know
we take labor code violations very seri-
See LABOR, Page 4
dent of Theta Nu Xi multicultural soror
ity, recognized a compromise.
“You can identify with a certain group
but also make a personal effort to inter
act with other, different groups,” she
Camille Holt, a sophomore business
major, said she thought a separate prob
lem took precedence.
“I don’t think we should branch out
to talk to other races before we can even
talk amongst our own race (without
Aidil Polanco, treasurer and historian
for the Carolina Hispanic Association,
turned the discussion to focus on a per
son’s “box” and their need to step out
side of that box.
“Asa resident assistant at Granville
Today: Stormy, 63
Saturday: Showers, 52
Sunday: Sunny, 39
Friday, January 19, 2001
Programs at Dartmouth and
Virginia Tech similar to CCI
came through their initial
stages with positive results.
By Sally Francis
and Allison Mitchener
Despite recent student criticism of
the Carolina Computing Initiative at
UNC, other universities across the
nation with similar programs have
reported successful progress.
Dartmouth College and Virginia
Tech have adopted initiatives similar to
UNC that require all students to pur
chase personal computers, hoping to
enhance student education through the
electronic expansion of the classroom.
And some students and administra
tors at these schools, aside from techno
logical glitches, say they are pleased
with the requirement
“The program has been successful
for several years now and has been a
significant tool in helping students to
complete assignments,” said Heather
McElrath, Virginia Tech spokeswoman.
The faculty at Dartmouth and
Virginia Tech decided to require stu
dents to own computers to maximize
the schools’ computing networks.
“By 1991, it was the feeling of the fac
ulty that you couldn’t be an effective
part of the community without a com
puter,” William Brawley, spokesman for
Dartmouth’s computing group, said. “So
now everyone here has a computer.”
Student complaint at Dartmouth is
limited to frequent network shutdowns,
but the school is able to fix the problem
with little time lost Dartmouth, a mem
ber of the Ivy League, has required stu
dents to own computers since 1991.
Unlike UNC, Dartmouth students
are allowed to use the computer type of
their choice and can even bring a per
sonal computer from home instead of
purchasing one from the school. Only
students at Dartmouth’s business school
must own IBM Think Pad laptops.
Brawley said that Dartmouth’s size -
about 4,000 undergraduate students and
about 1,000 graduate students - has
made the transition over the past 10
years very manageable.
In four years there will be
about 16,000 undergraduate students at
UNC, all with their own laptops.
Since 1998, Virginia Tech -a univer
sity slightly larger than UNC in size -
has required its incoming students to
purchase personal computers. McElrath
said the university has had no problems
with implementing its program.
But students at Virginia Tech criticize
the school’s ability to meet incoming
students’ computer demands.
“Eight weeks into the first term of
my freshman year I still didn’t have the
See CCI, Page 4
Towers, I have a lot of interaction with Cau
casian people," she said. “They don’t want
to get out of their box because they’re
afraid they’ll say something wrong.”
But Polanco recognized it as a mutu
al problem. “Black people don’t step out
of their box because they don’t want to
have to be the ‘teacher’ and explain
their differences and history.”
Junior Kristi Booker placed the onus
on all racial groups.
“Is it always the responsibility of the
minority to make the effort?” she asked.
“I’ve been to several diversity groups,
and minorities are the only ones who go
The University Editor can be reached