It’s that time of the year! You’re a college student, getting ready for a new year of exciting classes (and maybe some not-so-exciting ones too). It seems there’s not enough time in the day between work, school and exams. The world is more demanding than ever on our young adults. Nevertheless, we’ve heard some great news about what’s happening across college campuses advocating Fair Trade. Best of all, these activities are all inspired by college students striving for change!
The Sustainable Life Organization at Ohio University has a special branch called OU Fair Trade. Last October, they hosted a grand event that focused on raising awareness about what Fair Trade can offer to their campus and the farmers connected to their cause. Over 100 people attended the event. Some left with sports balls and tee shirts from Fair Trade Sports. Some left with African art and Fair Trade coffee samples. But everyone left with a renewed sense of respect and awareness about the importance of Fair Trade.
These pioneering college adults are inspirations for everyone, especially me. Sophomore Nora Rye discovered Fair Trade products last year, and ever since then, she says, “I’m happy to spend a little bit more for someone else to have a little better quality of life.” In the case of our sports balls, she does not even need to spend a little bit more!
This selfless attitude has prompted college dining halls to begin serving Fair Trade coffee and other agricultural goods such as chocolates and teas. These small purchases made by students help immensely in furthering the life of a farmer thousands of miles away. These forward-thinking programs have also prompted discussion at other colleges to begin using Fair Trade Sports products for their athletic programs.
United Students for Fair Trade (USFT) chapters around the country have rallied just for this sporty cause. Luckily, the USFT’s pleas have not gone unheard. At Georgetown University, the Student’s for Fair Trade group has worked year-round to raise awareness about Fair Trade. They have rallied with free samples and campaigns to put Fair Trade products on their campus. They’re latest endeavor is to get Fair Trade products on the sports fields to replace old sports equipment.
Imagine the possibilities for producers if every college campus put an order in to replace their sports equipment with Fair Trade products! Every little bit counts, and the activism of our college students is changing the way college administrations think about sports. Taking the Fair Trade message from the dining halls onto the grassy quads and sports fields…