With social distancing guidelines keeping everyone apart and many away from campus, the Associated Students of Madison gathered over video conference for their student council meeting Wednesday and passed a resolution supporting UW-Madison’s fair trade efforts.
Sustainability Chair Sanauz Alaei and ASM Vice Chair Morgan Grunow sponsored the legislation, which signals support for the university's quest to become certified for fair trade — business commitments devised to ensure producers in developing countries make a fair profit when trading goods.
“[The legislation] is basically saying that ASM supports Madison's efforts in becoming a fair trade certified university, as outlined by Fair Trade Campaigns,” Alaei said.
Fair Trade Campaigns, a body that oversees the certifications of cities, schools, congregations and universities, requires campus-operated venues to sell at least two fair trade products. Additionally, office suppliers and food service providers must make fair trade products available and the campus has to increase fair-trade awareness, partially through the creation of a fair trade committee.
The requirements also mandate shared governance bodies pass resolutions in support of fair trade certification — which ASM accomplished through passing the legislation.
Achieving a Fair Trade University Certification will allow UW-Madison to “enhance its image as a leader in sustainability” and “more effectively educate the campus community about social justice,” the resolution said.
The legislation passed unanimously with no debate.