Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Mallika Mitra, Staff Writer
K can look forward to a new student organization next year: Enactus. Although the group is not yet registered as a StuOrg, they are an official chapter of Enactus, an international non-profit organization. This trimester, the student group has initiated a project striving for fair trade.
According to the World Fair Trade Organization, “Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.”
Ly Nguyen K’14, one of the organization’s leaders, worked with the Economics and Business department and club to start the group. Nguyen wants Enactus to help students take what they learn in the classroom and “bring that into practice.”
Dorraine Duncan K’14, another leader of the group, explained that Enactus is different from other business organizations because it has a social element.
“It is business for a cause,” Duncan said. “Not just business for profit.”
Professor Chuck Stull, the club’s advisor, explained that a few years ago students came back from studying abroad in Thailand and tried to get an organization regarding fair trade started at K—but they never did. He was surprised and excited when the students this year were able to get the group started in just a few short weeks.
“It’s really, really practical,” Stull says of Enactus. “And the goals are to have an immediate impact.”
The members just finished up work on a chocolate sampling table to advertise the chocolate and other fair trade items that the bookstore is now selling.
“If you are interested in doing hands-on projects with social, environmental, and economic impacts in the community…come to the meeting to learn more about it and pitch your ideas,” said Nguyen.