Letters to the Editors

Progress towards ethical suppliers already underway

Dear Editors,

Re: “Queen’s Clothing: Ambiguously Ethical” (Journal, Sept. 24, 2004)

The issue of ethically produced, university-licensed apparel has long been overdue for public debate and exposure at Queen’s. Our compliments for your summary of the recent measures taken by the Dean of Student Affairs in response to the concerns of our group, Queen’s Students Against Sweatshops (QSAS), and others.

To elaborate on our progress, the most recent development in the campaign has been a commitment by the Dean to affiliate Queen’s with one or more independent monitoring agencies, such as the Worker Rights Consortium and the Fair Labor Association.

We are presently reviewing the best option with the greatest return in terms of factory assessment reports and public disclosure of positive and negative developments with suppliers. Gathering reliable information about local companies —and their suppliers—presently licensed by Queen’s is a principal factor in this decision.

This monitoring will be coupled with a recently agreed upon form requiring direct licensees to certify their compliance with our code of conduct—and collect compliance forms from their indirect suppliers—or explain any non-compliance.

The code of conduct enumerates core labour standards grounded in International Labour Organization conventions and recommendations. Students in the Faculty of Law worked with the Dean and his counsel in drafting the code.

The campaign is an ongoing effort which requires student support and input. Inquiries about the progress of QSAS, the code of conduct and general questions may be directed to QSAS_05@hotmail.com

Amanda Wilson and Alex Bourne
Queen’s Students Against Sweatshops

Journal crossword once again a miss

Dear Editors,

Ok, so the Sept. 24 issue was Volume 132, Issue 8 of the Journal. Meaning that you all have had 6,820 opportunities (beginning in 1873) to learn how to match the crossword to the clues and yet you’re still fucking it up. Forgive my cross words over your crossword, but I have a thesis to write and I really need my procrastination aids to be there dependably. So get some tips from the New York Times and give me a functional crossword!

Yours in lexicographic angst.

Alan Arcadia
MA ’05

Frosh in the right in quest for healthy eating

Dear Editors,

Re: “A food obsession taken too far” (Journal, Sept. 24, 2004)

Reading a Journal op-ed, this caught my eye: “The Virginia Tech University counseling centre estimates that one in 20 university-aged women have an eating disorder. That’s one fifth of our age group who worries constantly about food and can’t function properly as a result. Nobody likes to be a statistic.”

Now, I’m not sure if this was a typo or an actual mistake—but I’m pretty sure that 1 in 20 equals 5 per cent and not one fifth—20 per cent as the author states.

As for the actual op-ed piece, while I agree that obsessing over food is not a good thing, being aware of what you are eating and consciously making food decisions based on the nutritional facts is not only healthy, it’s essential when fighting against the obesity epidemic on this continent.

As the author points out, food is fuel. Using it as a reward is the first step towards making food a comfort mechanism, which for many obese individuals is the reason they become, and remain, overweight.

Frankly, the attitudes expressed by the author as being “wrong” are probably healthier than the ones she espouses herself.

Finally, the “Frosh 15” is not a myth. Anecdotally, I can relate a huge number of stories from people on my floor who went through the same things I did, which included packing on a good deal of fat from cafeteria food.

The reason the “Frosh 15” is less prevalent now is precisely because so much has been made of it in the past. Portion control is actually becoming an issue in people’s minds, and frosh are making an effort to avoid the pitfalls of years gone by. Congratulations to them in their quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Mathew Siscoe
Sci ’03

South Korea clearly not harbouring nuclear weapons

Dear Editors,

Re: Declaration of illegal war in Iraq has little effect (Journal, Sept. 21, 2004)

I do wish that the Journal proof-reads and edits letters when necessarily [sic]. I know Mr. Kennedy personally, and clearly, he meant North Korea and not South Korea. South Korea does not have nuclear weapons, and rest assured, [the] U.S. does not need to invade it. Then again, Iraq didn’t either ...

John No
ArtSci ’04

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