For immediate release:
Just a few hours ago York University President Mamdouh Shoukri made a
commitment to introduce a No Sweat policy at the university by April.
"The policy will be at least as progressive as U of T and other
universities, if not more,"
said the President. "If other universities have had this policy and
withstood the test of time, I don't see why we can't do it too."
This is the result of a 45 hour sit-in by members of the Sustainable
Purchasing Coalition (SPC) and their supporters. The SPC is a student
group that has been lobbying for such a policy for the past 3 years.
"We are exhausted but overjoyed, this is the commitment we were
looking for and it's great to hear it after all the work that we've
put into it, not only over the last few days but over the past three
years," said Besmira Alikaj, one of the students participating in the
The Sustainable Purchasing Coalition held a rally Thursday asking the
university to adopt their proposed No Sweat policy. Prior to the
rally, the SPC had circulated a petition asking for student support
for the proposed policy. By the end of the rally, over a thousand
signatures had been collected. Immediately following the rally, the
SPC attempted to deliver the petitions to President Shoukri.
Dozens of students from the rally marched over to the President's
office at 2pm on Thursday. When they were told the President was
unavailable to see them, the students decided to stay. On 24-hour
security watch, the students camped outside the president's office for
At 10am Saturday morning Shoukri finally showed up and asked the
students to sit down and talk about their demands. It was at this
point that Shoukri made his commitments to the students.
"We hope this meeting will set a precedent for future interactions
between students and York administration", said Alikaj.
A second meeting between the SPC and President Shoukri will take place