November 30, 2000

Harvard Students Against Sweatshops
The Harvard Living Wage Campaign

I write in reply to your letter to the President and Fellows to say that they have received and had the opportunity to review the materials relating to "living wage" and "sweatshops" that you requested be forwarded to them.

I have been asked to let you know that they take seriously the issues your have raised, but that they regard such matters as falling fully within the administrative responsibility of the President and other senior officers of the University. They also understand that you have had a number of opportunities to discuss these issues directly with members of the administration, including Provost Fineberg, Allan Ryan of the General Counsel's Office, and, most recently, President Rudenstine earlier in November.

Nevertheless, the members of the Corporation have been kept regularly apprised of the matters raised in your letter. They were fully briefed on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Employment Policies, chaired by Professor Quinn Mills, and they support President Rudenstine's decision to move forward with the Committee's recommendations. Similarly, they have been kept informed about the matter of "sweatshops"-- including considerations related to Harvard's actual or possible membership in the FLA, WRC, or other groups. They are also aware of Harvard's participation with several other universities in the recent independent initiative to assess working conditions in factories that manufactures university-licensed apparel.

The Corporation intends to stay informed about these matters, and appreciates your own interest and concern.

Sincerely yours,

Marc Goodheart

Harvard Students Against Sweatshops
The Harvard Living Wage Campaign
c/o Ms. Jane Martin
3 Sacramento Mail Center
Cambridge, MA 02138

Why are we receiving a response from their secretary, rather than a member of the corporation?

Have they actually read the information we sent them, or have they simply "had the opportunity"?

The Corporation has the final word on every major decision made at Harvard. Moreover, one of the members, D. Ronald Daniel, is the treasurer of the university and most certainly has power over how the university's money is spent, including how much of it is allocated to workers.

In our recent meetings with the President and Provost, we have been told that the issue of a Living Wage has already been dealt with and will not be looked into any further by the administration. The Ad Hoc Committee report, however, has only led to provision of benefits for approximately 19 workers and English language instruction for 143 workers each semester. It made no attempt to alleviate the problem of workers not having enough money to get by. Meanwhile, poverty is spreading as more and more jobs are outsourced and reclassified. The issue has not been dealt with, and the problem is getting worse.