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Implications of our ethics

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dan Kamp (“Stop wasting my money,” Sept. 4) seems to argue that we do not have a common responsibility to construct a better and more just world. He contends that the fair-trade coffee on campus is an imposition of the ethics of a “subset of the student body.”

It would be one thing to criticize the choice of fair-trade coffee, but not on ethical grounds, only because there may be better ways for our campus community to support dignity and justice internationally. We, as a university, as a society and as individuals, have a responsibility to act out Christian love, dignity and justice in everything we do. The fact that our community encourages things like fair-trade coffee and going green is laudable, and such efforts help us engage in the most important issues in our world.

However, there is still a long way to go, for example, the University has not made serious efforts to pay a living wage to our thousands of workers. We can and should debate the best way to apply our commitment to social justice, but it is undeniable that we have a responsibility to our fellow brothers and sisters in all our actions.

Compassion and justice should be our values, and applying them to what the University buys and promotes is the responsible thing to do. In the same way our ethical principles guide our lives, our society and university should reflect our community’s ongoing conversation about how best to promote social justice and human dignity.

Thomas Weiler


off campus

Sept. 4