VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has been a leader in supporting and cultivating fair trade initiatives on campus for more than a decade, and based on its commitment has been awarded “Fair Trade University” status by Fair Trade USA. As a Fair Trade University, Villanova is committed to raising awareness among students, faculty and staff about the benefits fair trade offers small-scale producers and workers, and embedding fair trade principles within administrative policy and the university community.
The Fair Trade movement promotes commercial partnerships that seek greater equity in international trade through dialogue, transparency and respect. Fair Trade also contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. The Fair Trade Colleges and Universities (FTCU) initiative strives to inspire institutions of higher learning to support the Fair Trade movement in its efforts to seek equity in trade and promote sustainable development.
In keeping with its Augustinian tradition – which emphasizes service to, and care for, one’s community – Villanova incorporates sustainability and respect for the earth in its academic curricula, scholarly research, and campus programs and events, as well as its institutional policies and practice. In order to be considered a Fair Trade University, students in Villanova’s chapter of Catholic Relief Services, along with members of the administration, faculty and staff worked closely to implement and maintain fair trade options across campus. Since the project’s inception, several initiatives have been implemented, including: Dining Services has increased the fair trade options available in all dining halls and cafés; and, the University Shop has added a line of apparel manufactured by Alta Gracia, a living-wage apparel company that produces clothing for universities in a socially-responsible manner.
“This commitment to fair trade reflects the deeper nature of Villanova’s mission,” said Will Stehl, Fair Trade University committee chair and associate director of the Center for Peace and Justice Education at Villanova University. “Achieving Fair Trade status signifies our institution’s commitment to global solidarity and the common good by integrating Fair Trade principles and practices into our policies, and into the overall foundation of our community.”
In addition to being named a Fair Trade University, Villanova has been recognized as a “Green College” by the Princeton Review and one of the “Most Sustainable Universities in the Nation” according to the Sierra Club “Cool Schools” ranking.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.