A group of 18 students affiliated with United Students Against Sweatshops have occupied the office of University of Texas President Bill Powers over the use of sweatshop labor in manufacturing official University of Texas apparel. The University of Texas logo is one of the most profitable university licenses in the world, and students are demanding that the University join the Workers Rights Consortium to put an end to the sweatshop abuse in the 4,400 factories that produce UT apparel.

USAS has launched an email campaign targeting President Powers in support of the students. Below is the letter:

Dear President Powers,

I am concerned to learn that the University has repeatedly informed students from the Make UT Sweatshop-Free Coalition that it refuses to consider affiliating with the only independent factory monitor in the world, the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), which has more than 180 University members.

Students at your University have long requested that UT take a stand against the use of sweatshop labor in the production of Longhorn apparel, and I support the students who have been forced to resort to nonviolent civil disobedience to be heard. One of your students even traveled to Honduras and El Salvador to interview workers making UT apparel, and learned about the life-changing role of the WRC in supporting workers who exercise their rights to improve their working conditions.

A decade is too long for UT licensees to continue profiting from the sale of Longhorn apparel made in sweatshop conditions. UT’s core values state that the University’s mission is to “transform lives for the benefit of society.” We urge you use your leadership to uphold the University’s core values by affiliating with the WRC immediately.

I look forward to your timely response.

To sign on to the letter, visit this link.