California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Fair trade club works to certify CLU

    The students in the California Lutheran University’s Fair Trade club are working toward their goal of making Cal Lutheran a certified fair trade campus.

    “Being a fair trade school will allow students to become more aware of the movement to ensure proper working conditions and fair wages for workers and the use of sustainable growing practices for their products,” Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira, the treasurer of Cal Lutheran’s Fair Trade club, said.

    To receive fair trade certification, Cal Lutheran needs to carry at least two fair trade certified products at every location on campus that provides consumer products that students can purchase. Jessamine Gilman-Vorm, the president of Cal Lutheran’s Fair Trade club, has taken the lead role in making this happen and accomplishing this goal.

    “She has been working very hard with getting the paperwork together, gaining support from various people on campus and writing up a proposal to present to President Kimball,” Mo’okini-Oliveira said.

    In addition to receiving fair trade certification, the Fair Trade’s club mission is to promote education about fair trade and ethical consumer habits. Gilman-Vorm has already encouraged conversations about fair trade and educating others about it.

    “Fair Trade is about giving an opportunity to artisans and farmers to get a fair wage for the work that they do and it is allowing women who would otherwise be on the street in impoverished countries have jobs where they are able to use their talents and create products that end up enabling them to send their kids in school,” Gilman-Vorm said.

    Awareness and education are a key component in having conversations about ethical consumer practices, making a difference and understanding what fair trade is and what it means.

    “The experiential learning component at CLU provides an excellent opportunity and platform for professors in every department to get their students out of the classroom and into the outdoors and our community to participate in activities that relate to fair trade and taking a look at how we choose to ‘be’ in our community, our homes and more importantly our planet,” Lorna Bracken, the secretary of the fair trade club, said.

    Making informed, ethical decisions when purchasing consumer products is an important part of the fair trade’s club initiatives. Contributing to their effort can also be done off-campus.

    “Each of us can contribute if even in a small way, whether that means choosing to eat at a restaurant that uses locally sourced products to prepare the foods on its menu or simply looking to see if one of several globally recognized fair trade logos is on the products we are buying,” Bracken said.

    The fair trade club has been working toward achieving fair trade certification for Cal Lutheran for a few years and is starting to make progress with fulfilling the requirements of certification.

    “Jessamine Gilman-Vorm has been instrumental in working with campus vendors such as Sodexo to provide fair trade products on campus,” Bracken said.

    Cal Lutheran has already succeeded in efforts to be more sustainable with other efforts, so acquiring the fair trade certification will be an additional achievement in sustainability efforts.

    “CLU has a commendable record in regards to past sustainability initiatives such as the SEEd garden and LEED certified buildings and I hope to see more in the future,” Bracken said.

    Becoming a certified fair trade university is another way the campus administration is acknowledging issues that matter to Cal Lutheran students.

    “Students have an increasing number of choices in deciding how they can make a difference on campus. Fair trade encompasses many different issues that fall under a common umbrella that includes fair treatment of workers, paying workers a fair wage and leaving a small but sustainable footprint on our environment,” Bracken said.

    Sarin Goncuian
    Staff Writer
    Published May 4th, 2016