AS Works Towards Fair Trade

As the Associated Students Communication Chair, Colby Edson works hard to get the message out about what’s happening on campus. Essential to this message is raising awareness about what’s happening around the world that impacts the things we buy and use everyday on campus.
In his role, Colby is responsible for ordering a large amount of merchandise from a list of the university’s preferred vendors. After extensive research this summer, Colby and the AS executive board found that these vendors were not in congruence with the university’s mission and values supporting social justice and sustainability. Together, the exec team decided that it was important to pursue a different vendor that would more accurately meet AS’ fair trade standards.

Striving to live out these values, Colby drafted a letter to Marketing and Strategic Partnerships that outlined why our current list of preferred vendors did not meet the qualifications for fair trade, and why AS should be given permission to order merchandise through a company that deals with exclusively fair trade goods.
Compelled by his message, Marketing allowed AS to order fair trade team polos, sweatshirts, and other items from a vendor that sells fair trade items exclusively, and is working with one of the university’s preferred vendors to help them become fair trade certified.
When asked what he hopes he can do to inspire sustainable change on campus, Colby notes that “the AS executive board’s vision is to see USD students, faculty, and administration aware of and engaged in the fair trade movement”, for “general awareness leads to a passion to see change. A passion to see change empowers students to take action. And students taking action can and will change the world.”


Driven by the university’s value and commitment to fair trade, Colby and the AS team serve as an example of how we can each make a more sustainable world devoted to positive social change.