Debate Over Georgetown’s Nike Partnership Ge...

Debate Over Georgetown’s Nike Partnership Gets Heated

Georgetown students who organized a sit-in to protest the school’s partnership with Nike have received comparatively harsh punishments, considering. The students belong to the Georgetown Solidarity Committee, an anti-sweatshop student group that objects to Nike’s questionable history of labor abuses. The university’s response went beyond the minimum suggested sanctions in the Code of Student Conduct. Members of GSC are filing an appeal.

Georgetown partners with Nike to produce branded school apparel, making their relationship a business one. It’s not inconceivable, then, that the university handed out harsh punishments to protect that business. Now, to be clear, no one is facing expulsion, but it seems like GSC may have struck a nerve. Non-profit colleges aren’t often treated like corporations, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable for their business practices.

Many of the Trump-era campus protests have focused on injustice outside the schools, letting critics lump university administrations together with demonstrating students. After all, the UC Berkeley protests were definitely not what the institution’s leadership wanted, but it was their federal funding that Trump threatened over Twitter. The Georgetown sit-in, though, proves academia isn’t just an undifferentiated blob of leftism. The sit-in may not have had the national focus of other recent protests, but it’s no less important for it.


About Stewart Finnegan

In a perfect world, I'd be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I'm just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I'd like to go back to academia. Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I've used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I'd like to focus my work on what I'm really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it's the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That's why I'm excited to be a part of High Faluter: I'm finding that academia doesn't just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan