Once is an unfortunate mistake, but twice is downright careless. Students have sent clear and repeated messages that they do not want sweatshop-made clothes being sold by their Union, and have voted to pass a Sweatshops and Ethical Merchandise policy to this effect. And yet once again, it appears that Union officers are interested in little more than gestures toward a more ethical policy, and that when it comes down to it, they’re quite happy to save a few quid at the expense of their members’ wishes.
Maybe not all students are concerned if their Roses t-shirts came ready-infused with a whiff of sweat; all the same, when students vote for a policy, it’s surely reasonable to expect that all Union officers should uphold it. AU President Tom Moore, in admitting that he really couldn’t care less about where the merchandise his organisation orders comes from, has demonstrated a whole new level of contempt for the wishes of students. He may well think that the vast majority of students “aren’t bothered”, but it’s not his job to act unilaterally as their spokesman. He is bound by YUSU’s rules, and he chose to ignore them.
This isn’t a matter of one opinion against another: people are entitled to make their own decisions. That doesn’t change the fact that a democratically enacted policy has been repeatedly flouted by someone whose job requires he abide by it. This isn’t ethics, it’s the rules, and Moore ought to learn to stick to them.