Colby-Sawyer College is First Private College in New Hampshire Certified as a Fair Trade College
Colby-Sawyer College has been recognized as a Fair Trade College by Fair Trade Campaigns, a non-profit partnership advocating Fair Trade for farmers, workers and artisans across the globe. Colby-Sawyer is the first private college in New Hampshire, and the second college in the state, to earn the certification. There are 113 Fair Trade colleges and universities in the nation.
Colby-Sawyer's certification has its origins in Associate Professor of Business Administration Christopher Kubik's spring 2012 Fair Trade course. Inspired by the course and recognizing that Fair Trade was missing from Colby-Sawyer's sustainability campaign, Business major Amigo Khadka '14 decided to take action on behalf of the college. While sustainability practices are the epitome of Colby-Sawyer, there is more to it than going green and decreasing our carbon footprint, said Khadka. Fair Trade takes sustainability to the next level by adding a social justice component.
Khadka began researching the certification requirements and realized that Colby-Sawyer had already fulfilled two crucial steps: a Fair Trade curriculum in the classroom and the use of Fair Trade products on campus. The next step required students to organize a Fair Trade Committee to plan Fair Trade outreach, monitor progress, and pass a Fair Trade resolution. With Business major Nishchal Banskota '15 and Environmental Studies major Jenisha Shrestha '14, Khadka recruited Sydney Hougrand '16, Prithul Karki '16, Sudeshana Karki '15, Arya Poudel '16 and Jonathan Wylie '14, plus two faculty advisers, Professor Kubik and Sustainability Director and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Jennifer White '90. The advisers monitored the students' progress and the committee fulfilled the remaining requirements by engaging students in Fair Trade activities on campus and passing a resolution reflecting the college's commitment to Fair Trade.
After two years of dedicated student effort, the college community gathered on Friday, March 21, to celebrate the certification and the students responsible for the achievement. Currently on sabbatical and preparing for a trip to the coffee fields and banana plantations of Costa Rica and Panama, Professor Kubik shared in his students' success at the celebration. To say that I'm happy would be an understatement, he said. I am thrilled for the college and thank everyone for their hard work.
Colby-Sawyer President Thomas C. Galligan Jr., who accepted the certificate alongside Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students David Sauerwein, explained that the Fair Trade initiative aligns with the college's strategic themes of living sustainably and linking to the world, and addressed the importance of expanding Fair Trade practices. Fair Trade is about making choices. We are really proud that you made the choice that we should become a Fair Trade college and we are really happy that we chose to agree with you, said President Galligan. The challenge is to maintain this choice and to do more.
Colby-Sawyer's devotion to global environmental stability has been widely demonstrated through the college's green initiatives and curriculum. With a goal of achieving a carbon-neutral campus by 2050, Colby-Sawyer has installed one of the largest solar photovoltaic arrays in the state, a wind turbine, and is constructing a student-designed sustainable classroom. And, with course offerings in Fair Trade, Environmental Law, Sustainable Living and Permaculture, and a concentration in Sustainable Business within the Business Administration major, Colby-Sawyer is committed to integrating sustainability into students' overall educational experience.
For more information on Colby-Sawyer's sustainability initiatives, visit www.colby-sawyer.edu/greenroutes.
Kellie M. Spinney, College Communications
Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at www.colby-sawyer.edu.
Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000