Council Approves New AVP’s and Discusses Fair Trade

     

    Council proceeded to approve several new AVPs, who ceremoniously ascended to their places at the council table. Much applause and congratulations to them. For my sake, and for Speaker John Weng’s, keep those name tags up, please.

    Former Campuswide Senator Jackie Clavin’s special presentation proceeded, thanks to the technical wizardry of Campuswide Senator Fifi Akel. Clavin presented on behalf of the Diversity and Social Justice Leadership Program, which aims to give students an opportunity to engage in social justice and equity-mindedness at UCSD.

    She ultimately hopes that the new council will continue the leadership program as a way to promote an increasingly inclusive campus.

    The Student Sustainability Collective continued special presentations with a defense of UCSD’s fair trade policy, which remains one of the strongest in the nation. All coffee, tea and sugar sold on campus, for example, must be fair trade-certified.

    The SSC defined fair trade as the sum of sustainable practices that include paying third world producers a fair wage. As a result of a worldwide push for fair trade, income for the Coffee Farmer’s Cooperative Union has tripled.

    The collective also acknowledged that fair trade isn’t perfect and that it’s often an external solution to a developing country’s internal problems. Sadly, fair trade doesn’t necessarily mean sweatshop-free.

    However, SSC argued that the overall impact of a fair trade policy is highly beneficial.

    “There are tangible changes that can be made as a result of fair trade,” they argued. “The fact that UCSD is aligned with these standards shows we’re trying to adopt the full scope of fair trade.”

    Unfortunately, SSC argues that UCSD’s fair trade policy is in danger due to new policies that will give commercial vendors on campus the ability to define fair trade on their own terms.

    Council’s factor of the week this week was the entire office of AVP Concerts and Events for a superb job putting on a kick-butt Sun God.

    In Open Forum, A.S. President Andy Buselt mentioned a grievance that former AVP College Affairs Leonard Bobbitt filed against council. For several years, council has bypassed a mandate in its constitution that requires it to give money to the college councils.

    Buselt said that he would work with college councils to determine a solution that won’t bankrupt A.S. Council.

    Also, I know I’m not technically on council, but given the many hours I’ve spent in the Forum, do I qualify for one of those polos yet? Pretty please?

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