Tag Archives: USFCA

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All’s Fair in Love and Coffee? Find out at University Ministry’s Fair Trade Coffee Break

Ask any college student what their trick is for getting through a morning class or pulling one of those end-of-the-semester all-nighters, and coffee will most likely be the answer. But while many students can tell you the ins and outs of their coffee shop orders — a skinny, double-shot, whip cream, milk alternative latte, anyone? — how many can tell you about where their coffee actually came from?

The University Ministry is hosting a weekly Fair Trade Coffee Break every Tuesday in April for students to get the chance to enjoy free Fair Trade coffee and chocolate and to gain some insight into how our coffee gets into our cups each morning. The coffee breaks feature conversations about Fair Trade and other coffee-related aspects, like child slavery, sustainability, and advocacy.

Fair Trade is a social movement (and now coffee label) that is dedicated to (and indicative of) trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries.

Resident Minister Ashley Artmann, who came up with the idea for USF’s Fair Trade Coffee Breaks explained: “[The farmers are] the lowest people on the totem pole [in the coffee industry] so Fair Trade makes sure that they get paid more fairly and that there are better labor practices in the industry.”

One way that Fair Trade works is by encouraging manufacturers to buy directly from farmers, instead of from a middleman who profits off farmers.

For Artmann, promoting Fair Trade on campus is a simple and engaging way of raising awareness amongst USF students about the origin of their coffee. “I think that Fair Trade is one of the easiest ways to help support the [coffee] industry because it’s so easy to find, so there’s really no excuse not to,” she said. “I drink a lot of coffee,” said Artmann, who said she likes “knowing that the goods and services I purchase are not only not hurting people, but also actually helping people.”

Katie Dechantz, program manager at the University Ministry, agrees with Artmann’s thinking. “[The Fair Trade Coffee Break] is a great event because the coffee draws people in and there’s great information,” she said.

While Fair Trade Coffee is a cause worth promoting, sophomore International Studies Major Miranda Calderon explained another view of the system. “It’s great to showcase the Fair Trade system,” said Calderon, “[but] Fair Trade isn’t the most perfect system [just] because it’s better than the regular system.”

Calderon, who participated in the Esther Madriz University Scholars’ trip to Nicaragua to study the practice of Fair Trade coffee farming first hand, explained that, while cutting the middle man out may leave more profit in coffee exchange, that money often goes to the coffee farm owner, and not necessarily the farmers themselves. “I would still recommend buying Fair Trade coffee, so that Fair Trade gets the recognition it needs,” said Calderon.

So how can we know if our coffee is Fair Trade?

There are two labels to look out for when buying coffee at the grocery store, Fair Trade International and Fair Trade USA.

“San Francisco is home to a lot of small roasting coffee companies who use Direct Trade, an alternate to Fair Trade where the people doing the roasting work directly with the farmers,” added Artmann.

University Ministry hopes to spark a conversation amongst USF coffee drinkers. “Coffee is just the gateway to the important information,” said Dechantz.


Catch the next Fair Trade Coffee Break Tuesday April 22 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the University Ministry Romero Room located in lower Phelan. Don’t forget to BYOM (bring your own mug).


Women’s Tennis: Dons Coast to Consecutive Wins over Bulldogs, Pilots

In the last home match of the 2014 season, the Dons took on the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Olympic Club on Saturday with a chance to capitalize on their growing momentum. Surging after their 6-1 victory on Friday, the Dons (14-7, 3-5 WCC) eviscerated the Bulldogs 7-0 to improve to 14-7 on the season and climb the West Coast Conference ladder. It was an outstanding team performance that saw every Dons singles player notch a win and put points on the board.

One of the most notable victories that took place on Saturday was junior Marina Nikolic’s 6-0, 6-0 over Melanie Gates of Gonzaga. Sophomore Andrea Ka didn’t blink en route to 6-0, 6-1 victory over Gonzaga’s Kylie Peek, and the lopsided affair continued her excellent play this season.

It was a true team effort for USF, with every active Dons player laying claim to at least one victory. Sophomore Sophia Holmberg was another Don who collected a win without much resistance from her opponent. Holmberg took down the Bulldogs’ Samantha Polayes 6-2, 6-1.

On Friday afternoon, in a WCC matchup that looked to help catapult either team into conference respectability, USF was able to come away with a 6-1 home win over the Portland Pilots.

Starting off the decisive victory for the Dons was a dominating performance from the team of Holmberg and freshman Thyra Taune, who defeated the duo of Maja Mladenovic and Tori Troesch 8-0. This game set the tone for the rest of the matches, as USF did not ease up on the Pilots from there. The Dons went on to put the first points on the board after the USF duo of junior Milica Hadzi-Tanovic and sophomore Brooke Irish clinched the doubles point by defeating Saroop Dhett and Marina Reimers 8-3.

The beginning of singles play featured Thaune, Irish and Nikolic nabbing crucial straight set victories over their opponents, widening the margin and giving the other players breathing room in their matches. In the match that pitted USF’s Ka against Portland’s Maja Mladenovic, spectators were treated to three one-sided sets, with the Dons’ Ka being able to pull out the victory, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.  When the smoke cleared, the Dons were able to give a fitting birthday present to Holmberg, who turned 21, and leave the Olympic Club in better shape heading into the season’s final matches.

USF’s drubbing of Gonzaga and Portland marked the end of the home matches this year, and the Dons will finish the 2014 campaign with a formidable 7-1 record at home. San Francisco now closes out the regular season with a trip to Stockton, Calif. to play the University of Pacific on Friday, April 18, and will then prepare for the West Coast Conference Championships, which take place from April 23-26.


Students of color and minority students came together on Gleeson lawn last Thursday in an organized, educational demonstration meant to voice the needs of diversity students. (Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Cruz)

Marginalized Students Unite for Protest

A student-organized demonstration called attention to the lack of resources and support available to diverse students at USF, and encouraged the community to start talking about diversity in terms of experience, not in terms of numbers.

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Bishop Robert McElroy of the San Francisco Archdiocese (left) shared a laugh with MSNBC Hardball’s Chris Matthews (right) when they recalled hiding under their school desks for nuclear bomb drills during the Cold War. “I don’t want to go back [to that],” said Matthews, on a more serious note referring tor recent US intervention in Ukraine. (Photo Courtesy of USFCA)

“Hardball’s” Chris Matthews, for Those Who Didn’t Grow Up During the Cold War

We children of Twitter and the almighty Interwebs might not turn on the nightly news for our fill of American political analysis, but for those who do, Chris Matthews is kind of a big deal. The famous news personality and talk show host from MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” spent a week on the Hilltop as USF’s Distinguished Visiting Professor, and an evening answering questions poised by members of the USF community at a public event on campus, attended by over 500 people. Of those 500, only a few were students.

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