GU Faces Moral Decision
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17:04
Actions speak louder than words, but sometimes inaction speaks even louder.
Last Wednesday, a group of about 20 members of the Georgetown Solidarity Committee led protests against adidas, which is licensed by the university to produce Georgetown apparel, for allegedly failing to compensate its workers in Indonesia. The university’s Code of Conduct for Licensees states that all licensees have to provide severance compensation to their workers. If this rule is violated, the university must take action irrespective of business considerations, even if it means severing ties with adidas entirely.
Although university administrators have since met with the protesters, Georgetown has yet to release an official statement on the issue. Vice President for Federal Relations Scott Fleming said that Georgetown would ultimately make a “legal” decision (The Hoya, A1, “GSC Members Protest Labor Rights Abuses,” April 20, 2012), but the attitude conveyed by this statement is unfit for a Jesuit university that supposedly holds itself to a set of higher moral standards.
If adidas is indeed found to have violated its agreement with the university, Georgetown must act swiftly to separate itself from the company. In the meantime, the university should break its silence by denouncing the alleged injustice and proclaiming its intention to uphold its Jesuit ideals of human integrity in this and all other business relations.
The alleged actions of adidas reflect a mindset that prioritizes money over morals. Let’s hope Georgetown doesn’t follow suit.