DU Ministry pushing for fair trade on campus

By: Lauren Reiniger

October 31, 2012

Bringing fair trade a little closer to home, Dominican University’s Ministry Office is seeking to make Dominican a fair trade University.

Fair trade is the exchange of goods that is conducted legally by putting regulations on companies engaging in trade, especially in developing countries.

In order for Dominican to become a fair trade University, it must complete an application process and campaign that will take a few years, requiring the university to raise awareness among its students about fair trade and use fair trade products at the university.

Eight Dominican students will be attending a fair trade conference to further encourage and incorporate all things involving fair trade on campus and among all students.

Yuridia Salgado, Sam Viola, Jake Leganski, and Hannah Gerhardt are all going on behalf of a Business Ethics course, while Megan Graves, Jessie McDaniel, Andrea Monsivais, Rosie Orchanian are all representing the University Ministry.

Graves said, “I feel called to attend this conference, not only because of my interest and passion for Fair Trade, but also by being at a university like Dominican which is so oriented on being a part of creating a more just and humane world. We are all responsible for one another and I feel that I will be able to reach a new type of global perspective by attending this conference.”

University Minister Matt Palkert, who works in the Ministry department in faith formation, service and justice, said that, “Already at Dominican, our coffee served in the cyber café is a product of fair trade. Also, many of the t-shirts that the Ministry department buys are products of Fair trade.”

The t-shirts are even organic products,” Palkert said.

Another way you can recognize a fair trade product is if it has the Fair Trade symbol on it.

Dominican is hosting a Fair Trade Bazaar on Nov. 14 from 11-3:30 p.m. in the Parmer Atrium and Nov. 15 from 11-3:30 p.m. in the Lewis Alcove.

At this event, fair trade products will be available for sale, like decorations, bowls, jewelry, clothes and scarves.

This year, this event is being expanded to include local organizations and job training programs such as Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise for new mothers.

“We want to raise awareness at our school to encourage students and faculty to be conscientious consumers,” Palkert said.