Brian Kelly got naked in front of the button yesterday. In the buff from head to toe, the Wharton junior was adorned only with the words "I'd rather go naked" printed in black marker on his chest. His point? Nudity beats wearing clothes made in sweatshops. Kelly was one of a handful of Penn Students Against Sweatshops members who performed a "reverse fashion show." "Nudity piques people's interest," a chilly Kelly said. He explained that they stripped to raise student awareness about the conditions their clothes are made under. "What are we wearing? We don't know," he said. A handful of students peeled off clothing during the protest, but Kelly was the only one to go the full monty. A small crowd of students gathered to watch the show -- one of PSAS's first big efforts this semester. The strip show and a banner drop from Steinberg-Dietrich Hall yesterday were both timed to coincide with Penn's upcoming decision on joining a sweatshop monitoring organization. "I think it's important time-wise because the decision is coming up," College sophomore Annie Wadsworth said. "We didn't want to go out without a bang." After PSAS sat-in last spring in College Hall, Penn pulled out of the Fair Labor Association, a monitoring group. The FLA and the Worker Rights Consortium are the two available sweatshop monitors. The FLA has the support of major corporations and the White House, while the WRC is backed by human rights organizations. PSAS favors the WRC, saying it is less aligned with corporate interests. The Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility -- comprised of students and faculty, including two PSAS members -- recommended last week that Penn join both groups. Rodin has yet to give the final word on what Penn will do -- but PSAS said they would not protest her decision. "We are right now going to be accepting of that decision," College sophomore Kasia Kubin said. Still, she added, "it's clear we disagree. And Wadsworth, who met with Rodin to discuss sweatshops, noted that, "in the whole issue of workers' rights and social justice, this is one part." The Undergraduate Assembly discussed whether to make a statement about sweatshops at their meeting Sunday night, but ultimately voted to wait. Daily Pennsylvanian staff writer Alyssa Litman contributed to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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