*Originally Posted April 21, 2008*
Let's start by saying that this column is all for free speech, but we are very much against obnoxious free speech. For years now, the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) has been protesting the University because they won't sign on to the DSP (Designated Suppliers Program). This guarantees that PSU only sells licensed clothes that weren't made in sweatshops. The DSP improves the wages and rights of sweatshop workers, except that the DSP is not real yet, and therefore not set in stone. The University has said, continues to say, and will always say that once DSP is ready, they will evaluate it and see if measures up to the standards of the other groups PSU associates with (like the Workers Rights Consortium). The protesters don't care about that, and apparently don't want to protest local apparel shops, but it's their obnoxious, annoying, and retarded methods we take issue with. They've protested naked to prove their point (a stretch), played wiffle ball in University lobbies (disrespectful), and sat-in outside the President's office all day until the building close and cops hauled them off (stupid). After that, while protesting in the lawn outside Old Main during an open house (perfectly legal), the local student cops told them to beat it, which they did. Even though USAS is full of inept hippies, and they're protesting a questionable cause in an ineffective and inappropriate way, PSU screwed them over on that one. They had the right to assemble outside, just like we have to right to ignore them.