AU celebrated the grand opening of the Pura Vida caf? yesterday with a ribbon cutting ceremony saluting the efforts of students, faculty and administration to make more fair trade products available to the campus.
Pura Vida representatives, along with members of the AU community, shared their thoughts on the new vendor and were given free lattes at the Wednesday morning ceremony in Mary Graydon Center.
“The decision of the university to follow a socially responsible path has resulted in a commercially successful venture,” said Travis McArthur, a sophomore in the School of International Service and co-facilitator of CASJ. “This raises awareness on campus about social justice issues abroad. Hopefully we’ll buy more fair trade products and help people around the world.”
The event was the culmination for many attendees of a long deliberation process, in which the university considered which coffee vendor would replace the vacancy left by the closing of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, the other option being Starbucks.
“Anyone who was here last year knows AU is serious about its coffee,” said vice president of Campus Life Gail Hanson.
“I think, in the end, it was a really solid argument that went over with the administration,” said Mike Haack, a grad student in SIS and former co-facilitator of CASJ. “It’s really good to see this payoff after a year of different lobbying and demonstrations.”
Kyle Taylor, Student Government president, said he feels Pura Vida is the best choice for AU.
“It hits on everything we really like: coffee, social justice and experiential learning,” he said.
Taylor said he is looking forward to leading a sustainable development tour of students and faculty to Guatemala later this year to visit Pura Vida coffee growers.
Monica Price, a graduate student in SIS, was happy to see another fair trade coffee vendor on campus.
“They should all be fair trade. That’s what we’re working for next,” Price said.
Other students were not as enthusiastic about having a second fair trade vendor at AU.
“We don’t need any more coffee places on campus,” said Jeremy Taylor, a senior in SIS. “We need more places to eat,” he continued. “You can get your fair trade at the Davenport Lounge.”
Derek Heiss, a sophomore in SIS, doesn’t understand the fact that AU has multiple places for coffee. “Nine places within a two-block radius to get coffee ... and none of them taste that good!”
Heiss plans to start his own personal boycott against the organization. “They don’t deserve a spot in Mary Gradon Center or on campus for that matter,” he said.
Fair trade coffee and other products are available at both Pura Vida caf? and Davenport lounge.
Robin Broad, a professor in the School of International Service, who serves as the faculty advisor of the Fair Trade Student Association, said she was “thrilled” to witness the opening of Pura Vida caf? on campus.
“Rather than being just a kiosk, it was a really empowering process,” said Broad.