Rutgers Fair Labor Activists Sing Christmas Carols to University President

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Students brought some festive holiday cheer to Rutgers University President Robert Barchi last Thursday, in a creative form of protest: Christmas caroling.

Led by the Rutgers chatper of USAS, United Students Against Sweatshops, at least 20 students stood out front of Winants Hall and protested for the University to change its code of conduct for licensing and apparel.

The activists want Barchi to modify the code so that the University only maintains contracts with companies who have signed the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord.

The accord is a “legally binding agreement that would ensure that brands are accountable to check the safety standards of factories and that all infractions and misdemeanors are charged in the home country of the brand,” said Steven Gryszel, an active USAS member.

While some students met directly with President Barchi and other administrators to discuss and attempt to persuade them to sign on to the Bangladesh fire and safety accord, other students sung modified versions of classis carols with relevant lyrics to increase the pressure on the adminstration.

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Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.