By Kelsey Hulbert
SMU’s Peace and Justice (P&J) Club promotes sustainability and supports small scale farmers by offering free Fair Trade coffee, tea and hot chocolate every Friday from 7-10 a.m. in Saint Mary’s Hall.
Fair Trade is an organized social movement that aims to promote sustainability and help producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions like fair and equal wages without exploitation.
“Fair Trade Friday is a club tradition that also raises awareness of a social justice issue,” said P&J Club President Meghan Campbell.
Even though Fair Trade Friday items are given to SMU students, staff and faculty for free, Campbell said that donations are greatly appreciated. “We have received a record amount of donations this year,” said Campbell.
The donations collected help the P&J Club replenish supplies for their weekly Fair Trade Friday, which are bought at Winona’s Bluff County Co-op. Additional funds are put toward other club activities like their trip to the annual School of the Americas (SOA) Vigil at Fort Benning, Ga.
The P&J Club will also hold a Fair Trade sale Nov. 28-30. The sale will include items like coffee, candy, chocolate and crafts. Campbell said that all purchases will directly support the person or people who created the item, which can often play a major role in their survival.
Another future event is the club’s Common Threads clothing drive, which will take place second semester. For this event, the club accepts clothing donations from the SMU community and sells them to raise funds for the club. Campbell said the remaining clothing is donated to Winona Volunteer Services.
Further club initiatives include promoting going green. The club has purchased mugs from the Salvation Army and urges students to use the reusable mugs to eliminate using paper cups.
Campbell said her favorite part of being in involved in the club is educating others and learning about social justice issues. “I’m big on social justice, equality and helping people become aware of things that are going on around the world,” she said.