2019-20: Fair Trade Year in Review

WE ARE Fair Trade campus! Penn State Brandywine has been a Fair Trade university since 2012 and WE ARE still working strong to support Fair Trade. It’s been several years since this website was last updated, and here is a recap of Fair Trade activities that happened during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Fair Trade has a special importance at Penn State Brandywine. First, our university is located in Media, PA, the first Fair Trade town in the United States. Second, Penn State Brandywine is the first and only Fair Trade University campus in the Penn State system.

Currently, Fair Trade is part of the Sustainability Committee on campus. This 2019-2020 year Dr. Mark Boudreau was the chair of the Sustainability Committee, and Dr. Samantha Pezzimenti and myself, Prof. Zoia Pavlovskaia, were members of the Fair Trade sub-committee.

I, Professor Pavlovskaia, joined Penn State Brandywine as a Lecturer in Business in August 2019 and I am a new Fair Trade representative for our university. I first learned about Fair Trade as an undergraduate student by traveling to El Salvador many years ago, and I have carried my passion through the years to now teach students about it. I am also involved locally with the Media Fair Trade Committee which recently featured Penn State Brandywine’s Fair Trade story in a blog post on their website.

To keep a Fair Trade designation, our university is required to host at least two Fair Trade events per semester. In Fall 2019, we hosted our annual Fair Trade banana and chocolate chip pancake breakfast, had a Fair Trade speaker presentation, and were part of the Destress Fest during finals week. In Spring 2020, we had a Fair Trade table at the MLK event and the Valentine’s Day event where students signed cards for farmers in Ecuador. All events were open to everyone on campus. For majority of events we partnered with other clubs and organizations on campus such as MarComm Club, BEAST, cafeteria, and the campus library. The Spring 2020 semester was interrupted with the COVID-19 virus and no events were hosted during the second half of the semester when classes were held online.

In addition to events, we distributed “For A Better World” free publication around campus; developed Fair Trade signs for the drinks cooler in the cafeteria; displayed a large Fair Trade banners around campus to educate about Fair Trade during the Fair Trade month of October 2019; participated in the Equal Exchange Fundraiser and in Virtual 2020 National Conference; and, lastly, we had  Elizabeth Killough of Media Fair Trade as our Fall 2019 commencement speaker.

We are looking forward to next year to host some annual events and new ones!

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