The Seminole Scribe
Vol. 23 No. 1
Seminole State College of Florida
February 16-29, 2012
Seminole State Supports Sweatshops
THE SEMINOLE SCRIBE
EDITOR Zachary Ely STAFF REPORTERS Stephanie Alvarez Joshua Glener Justin Goodman Yngrid Lindores Jarred Paluzzi Ambar Wessin
Photo by Joshua Glener
The Seminole Scribe is the student newspaper of Seminole State College of Florida
Faculty Adviser Jennifer Sheppard
ake a look at the tag on your shirt. Chances are it reads something like ‘Made In China’, or Mexico, or Ecuador, or Indonesia. The clothing in the Seminole State College bookstore is no different. Selling clothes produced in India, Honduras, Colombia, Egypt and elsewhere, the school is supporting
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sweatshops. The drive to reduce costs has lead to massive outsourcing and most clothing is produced outside the United States; ABC News reports that 98 percent of all clothing purchased in the United States is produced externally. Save for American Apparel it’s difficult to even think of any other industry within the United
States. Alta Gracia, located in the Dominican Republic, is an organization that respects labor rights and pays a living wage. Owned by Knights Apparel, a collegiate apparel company that outsells Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and Russel on hundreds of university and college campuses across the country, the
by Justin Goodman
Alta Gracia factory opened after a rival company, BJ&B, closed its doors. The employees first attempt at unionization was met with hostility leaving over 30 thousand unemployed; Nike and Reebok canceled their orders to move to lower wage facilities. Student organizations like United Students Against Sweatshops, convinced Knights Apparel that they could provide their workers with appropriate conditions and wages, and still make a profit. Though they’re up against a monolithic system of manufacturing that subsists on the slavelabor of outsourcing, Knights Apparel has demonstrated its model to be successful. The Nation magazine reports the Alta Gracia facility is well ventilated, has adequate lighting and comfortable seating, it is fully unionized with Continued on page 2
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Photo by Zachary Ely
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Rumors ignite around Big Tree fire by Zachary Ely
t a local park, visitors arrive to a locked gate on a recent morning after a January fire destroyed a 3,500-year-old Cypress tree. The Senator, the largest Pond Cypress tree in the U.S. and fifth oldest tree in the world, caught fire and burned to the ground, causing a wide range of speculation.
These rumors, ranging from a lightning strike, arson and spontaneous combustion, have started an investigation by local and several federal agencies. “This was the Champion Cypress tree,” Garth Schweizer, a North Carolina and Florida State Certified Landscape Architect said at the park paying his respects to the tree.
Authorities are investigating rumors that the tree was equipped with communications equipment, along with a new lightning rod that was installed in the last several years. The main arborist involved with the Senator, who declined to be interviewed, but said he has climbed the 125-foot tall “at least 40 times,” adored the tree and helped to install the new lightning rod and electronics. He is also involved in the investigation. Continued on page 2