Wright State to become Fair Trade university

Photo by: Amna Talat

Alyssa Scenters, Contributing Writer

Wright State is in the process of becoming the first Fair Trade university in Ohio. Fair Trade refers to a certification that guarantees consumers that a product was not made using slave labor or child labor and that it is safe for the environment. The mission of the Fair Trade movement is to ensure that international producers and their workers are justly compensated for their products.

“In the United States, we consume so much and don’t even think about where it comes from,” said Charmaine Griffith, founder of the Fair Trade Student Association at Wright State.

The Fair Trade campaign offers Wright State a chance to live up to and support commitments to sustainability and social justice.

“Our school gets national attention, and we have an opportunity to be a part of an international conversation about human rights,” said Griffith.

The next step in the process is to get in touch with Chartwells, Wright State’s food provider, and come up with a contract that will guarantee the availability of Fair Trade options on campus. The Barnes & Noble bookstore located in the Student Union already features some of these products, including chocolates and clothing items.

There has been a lot of student and administrative support for the project so far, but there has also been some concern about the prospective cost of these items.

“Actually, Fair Trade items are usually comparable to other consumer options,” said Emily Bingham, director of campus culture in the student government.

“As a young university, we are still trying to set our mark. We want to show that Wright State does care about the global community and the environment. Becoming a Fair Trade University will help prove that we don’t just talk the talk, we can walk the walk, too,” said Bingham.

The Fair Trade Student Association is hopeful that there will be more Fair Trade options available on campus by fall semester.

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