Washington: Students lobby on tuition aid

The United States Student Association will hold its annual legislative conference March 4-7, culminating in a national student lobby day where students from around the country will make their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

This year one of the main issues will be the Bush administration’s “biggest ever” cut to student aid, which will impact tens of thousands of students. Each year, the conference focuses on issues important to college students. Those wishing to register should visit www.usstudents.org.

NATIONAL: ‘Another World in Production’

United Students Against Sweatshops is sponsoring a Feb. 6-27 U.S. tour of garment workers from Thailand, Kenya, Mexico, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia under the title of “Another World in Production: Garment Workers Speak Out.”

The tour highlights abuses in the garment industry, which, USAS says, “is characterized by excessive working hours, low wages, sexual harassment and discrimination, hazardous conditions and violations of freedom of association.”

“Another World” is a part of a “Sweat Free Campus Campaign” initiated by USAS to demand that colleges implement a policy of only buying apparel from companies that produce most of their products in decent working conditions.

Chicago: Catholic university offers minor in queer studies

DePaul University became the first Catholic university to offer an undergraduate minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies. This is considered a major step forward, especially in view of recent condemnations of homosexuality by the Vatican.

Already there has been a backlash by anti-gay extremists in and out of the Catholic church.

Nevertheless, program director Gary Cestaro said that the new minor is in line with DePaul’s mission of “open inquiry” and has received wide student support.

NEW YORK: YCL fundraising party draws hundreds

Members and friends of the Young Communist League threw the first fundraising event for the YCL’s upcoming National Convention, and despite the worst snowstorm in NYC’s history, close to 300 people showed up.

The party, dubbed “The Shackleton,” named after South Pole explorer Ernest Shackleton, had an “Antarctic survival beachwear” theme.

The event, which featured music spun by three well-known NYC DJs, raised hundreds of dollars and generated excitement and public awareness of the YCL.

— Dan Margolis (dmargolis@pww.org)