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Alta Gracia to produce The Shirt for 2014

| Tuesday, January 14, 2014

For the third straight year, The Shirt Committee has chosen Alta Gracia as the vendor of The Shirt for the 2014 football season, committee president John Wetzel said.

Wetzel said The Shirt 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of The Shirt, whose sales raise funds used to help clubs and students in financial need.

The committee began meeting in November last semester to work on The Shirt for the upcoming football season, Wetzel said.

“Companies send us samples of shirts in different sizes, and then we invite some to come to campus,” he said. “They tell us what they can do for us, what the price options are and then a committee of 10 students and a faculty advisor decides.”

Alta Gracia produced the shirts in 2012 and 2013, Wetzel said, and the committee decided in December to remain with the company. Alta Gracia’s commitment to paying their workers a “living wage,” played a large role in the committee’s choice, he said.

“They pay their factory workers in the Dominican Republic a ‘living wage,’ which is more than minimum wage,” Wetzel said. “These workers can afford to send their children to school, or save money to buy a vehicle.”

Wetzel said he believes selecting a socially conscious company maintains a commitment to the mission of the University.

“The Shirt Project is the largest student fundraiser, so we want to align with Notre Dame’s mission [of social justice],” he said.

The funds raised by The Shirt Project are distributed to three different causes, Wetzel said, including The Shirt Charity Fund and the Rector Fund.

“The money goes to The Shirt Charity Fund, which supports students with excess medical expenses,” he said. “The money also supports the Rector Fund, which supports students who may need financial assistance to purchase tickets to football games or dorm dances.”

The funds raised by The Shirt Project supplement the student activities fee that is included in all students’ tuition as well, Wetzel said.

“The student activities fee supports different clubs and organizations on campus,” he said. “Most colleges have had to increase this fee in order to support more clubs, but Notre Dame has not had to raise their fee in the past 10 years because of the funds from The Shirt Project.”

For more information, follow The Shirt Project on Twitter and Facebook.

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About Catherine Owers

Senior News Writer Catherine Owers is a senior from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is studying English and Theology.

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