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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUSG passes proposal to designate Marquette as fair trade campus
Aliya Manjee, executive vice president-elect, authored the legislation to make Marquette a fair trade campus. Photo by Valeria Cardenas/ [email protected]

Marquette Student Government recently passed a bill proposed by Catholic Relief Services to make the university a certified fair trade campus.

Fair trade aims to create equitable trading partnerships to ensure farmers who sell their goods receive a fair price. MUSG’s passage means the CRS and its ambassador team are on the last phase of their five-step plan, passing it through the appropriate decision-making bodies for approval.

“It’s certified throughout our student government,” said Kayce Scherzer, a sophomore in the College of Nursing. “Now we just need to pass it through Dr. Lovell. That was our first step for passing the resolution, and it’ll next need to be passed through him.”

If University President Michael Lovell approves the bill, the university will officially be recognized as a fair trade institution and will be published on the Fair Trade Campaigns’ website.

“When we presented (the bill) to MUSG, we talked about the Jesuit ideals and how being a fair trade university really helps,” Scherzer said. “It portrays our mission and being Jesuit and human equality and justice. So that was really important for us.”

Aliya Manjee, executive vice president-elect and a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, served as a major proponent of the legislation. She reached out to the Fair Trade team after hearing them speak at Soup for Substance last semester. She also became an author on the bill before it was proposed to MUSG earlier this month.

Manjee said being an author on a bill means the author either had the ideas behind the bill or helped compose the bill to make sure it conveyed the right goals. She acted as the latter since she knew the ambassadors weren’t familiar with how to write the legislation.

“Fair trade is a grassroots movement that is quickly growing and I think it is a great initiative on our campus and will really increase awareness about what fair trade is and why it is beneficial to the economy,” Manjee said, in an email. “I think the goals of the fair trade movement really reflect the Jesuit mission of Marquette as well.”

A list of fair trade products on campus includes Aspretto coffee and Numi tea located at all the dining halls. All four brew locations and Tory Hill cafe offer Stone Creek coffee and Rishi tea, which are also fair trade products.

“MUSG has forwarded the legislation on to the appropriate administrative body and will stand behind Catholic Relief Services as they continue to pursue this initiative,” Manjee said.

Not all students are completely on board with the bill, though.

“Turning Point USA believes that any market should reflect those which partake in it,” said John O’Rourke, a member of the Turning Point USA Marquette chapter, in an email. “It is also our firm belief that the best market system is a truly free market (capitalism). If this bill represents the majority opinion of the population, and still preserves a free market than we have no objections to this bill. We hope that the actions of MUSG will benefit the Marquette University community.”

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