Posted by: w00107746 | February 25, 2008

We’ve got an address!

Caleb says:

 “so president Crutcher sent me adrienne’s [Mars] address. We should write her a letter and send it with a copy of the petition. Also Crutcher said John Claringbold was coming at the end of march. we should meet up at somepoint soon…”

We’re working on drafting a letter to send to Mrs. Mars, with the 1000 signatures, asking her assistance in petitioning the Mars Corporation to agree to fair trade.  Updates coming as soon as we’ve got the letter drafted!

 We are also working with Rodney North over at Equal Exchange hoping to generate greater media attention, while also preparing our own presentations for when we meet with Frank Mars and John Claringbold, the two Mars representatives, when they come to the Wheaton campus during March.

 We’re hoping to expand this petition to other schools who have benefited from the Mars families’ donations.  Anyone out there who has a contact of someone who is socially conscious and a good awareness raiser over at Yale, let us know!

 Tomorrow is the SGA meeting where we’ll get the final draft of the resolution passed by our Student Government Association.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Posted by: w00107746 | February 21, 2008

Meeting with President Crutcher

Yesterday Caleb, Julia, Giuliana, Max and Ryan sat down for a long-awaited conversation with President Crutcher. At the end of the meeting, we were ecstatic with the amount of support we received from President Crutcher and are excited about the upcoming opportunities.

President Crutcher agreed to call Mrs. Mars and see if she has any time to fit is into her busy schedule this upcoming weekend when she comes for the Wheaton Trustees meeting. At the very least, we will be able to send a formal letter to Mrs. Mars explaining our movement and what we’re hoping to achieve. He is also setting us up with a meeting with Frank Mars on March 19 so we can discuss the issue of Fair Trade and the Mars Corporation. The head lawyer for the Mars Corporation who has been working in West Africa will also be coming to campus and we will be able to meet with him as well later this semester.

It’s exciting to have so much support for this movement, to have so many students, faculty, and staff engaged in this issue, and to actually see our objectives being met!

But there is still much to be done. Our future plans include bringing speakers to campus regarding fair-trade chocolate, and bringing this movement outside of the Wheaton bubble.

John Mars is an alum of Yale, and also a large contributor, and we will be contacting the individuals involved in the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) there hoping to broaden this petition and engage another community in the fight for Fair Trade to end Child Labor.

We will be contacting the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the WRC, Global Exchange, and Equal Exchange to spread the news of our movements success and enlist others to help us work for positive change in the cocoa industry.

Thanks so much to everyone for all their continued support!

-WFT

Posted by: w00107746 | February 20, 2008

The SGA Resolution Passed!!!!!

Wow, after a 3 1/2 hour marathon session, the Wheaton College Student Government Association passed our [revised] resolution! And now we’re off to the meeting with President Crutcher at 11:30!

Here’s the resolution that was passed in SGA below!

“Resolved, the Student Government Association urges President Crutcher and the entire Wheaton College Administration to engage in dialog with the Mars Family urging them to change the business practices of the Mars Corporation so as to make a large and sustained investment in Fair Trade.

Resolved, the Student Government Association urges the mars family to advocate for a large and sustained investment in fair trade chocolate to the Mars Corporation.”

Posted by: w00107746 | February 17, 2008

Sign our Petition!!!

Hi all,

For everyone off campus and unable to sign the petition in analog form, we now have a digital version! So all you study-abroaders and graduates, be sure to sign the petition at the link below!

http://www.petitiononline.com/Marsfair/petition.html

- WFT

Posted by: w00107746 | February 16, 2008

Mars update

Good day to all,

I just want to talk a second to thank you again; your efforts have indeed yielded 1000+ signatures which will help us greatly in our cause. Going forward we have a number of things that must be done to maintain and build our momentum, as such we are asking everyone to meet tomorrow at the Balfour Cafe @ 4PM. We are going to be knocking on doors in our dorms, having teach-in’s and much more. Please let me know if you cannot make it; we are reaching the peak of importance in terms of your involvement in this cause. Thanks a lot and I look forward to seeing all of you tomorrow.

Take care,
Max
Posted by: w00107746 | February 14, 2008

1000+ signatures!!

This from the Facebook group:

Today was a wild success, we got over a thousand signatures on the petition!!  This will give us a lot of credibilty when we go to President Crutcher and the SGA.  Our ultimate goal is to have Wheaton College, as a unified institution, ask the Mars family to agree to fair trade.  Thank you all for your participation, you have stood up for what you believe and for that you should be proud.
We are going to SGA next week and should be meeting with President Crutcher soon.  I have great hopes for what we can achieve.
Thank you all,
Caleb Goodhouse

That is right, we have gotten over 1000 signatures in just a few days of work. All of your collective efforts have contributed to this directly and all of you should be extremely proud and excited. My feeling is that we will get approval from the SGA on our upcoming resolution. With that said we will not be having any shifts tomorrow to raise awareness, as that goal has already been accomplished. Stay tuned for the next step and congratulations to you all for your efforts.


Mars squad 2.0
Posted by: w00107746 | February 13, 2008

Update!@!!!!!

Hello to all,

Our movement has begun with great success. After only a few hours in Balfour and a few class presentations, we have already received 300+ signatures! Our goal is to present to the SGA 1,000 signatures in order to assure that they will ratify our resolution. With 1,000 signatures we would have 2/3 of the student population (SGA constituents), thus obliging the government to advocate for the students. This Tuesday Julia Bolt, Cal Goodhouse, Giuliana Brogna and Ryan Patch will be presenting in front of the Student Government and I expect there to be a lot of people present! Feel free to come (7PM, SGA office in Balfour). MEETING TOMORROW NIGHT AT 8PM @ LYONS DEN!!!! (NOT BALFOUR CAFE) to tally signatures and see where we are at. Attached in this e-mail is everything you need: Petitions, information, and posters!!

Secondly, we need some people to fill some final slots for our Thursday and Friday shifts. PLEASE, if you can fill one of these shifts REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL ASAP!!! Here it is.


Dining Halls

Emerson: Give out valentines and getting people to sign the petition (Thursday)
9-11: Ryan
11-1: Caitlin Amos/Roxy
1-3: Caleb
3-5 Tiago and Guillermo
5-7: Dania Tonelli

Chase: Give out Valentines and getting people to sign the petition (Thursday)
9-11: Austin
11-1: Amelian and Mimi
1-3: OPEN
3-5: Giuliana Brogna
5-7: Amelia and Khadiyja Jordan

Balfour: Give out Valentines an getting people to sign the petition:
9-11: OPEN
11-1 Tai
1-3: OPEN
3-5: Amy Johnson
5-7: Nora Baynes and Julie Conant

Friday
Emerson: Give out valentines and getting people to sign the petition
9-11: Ryan Patch
11-1: Cal Goodhouse
1-3: Max Cohen
3-5: Giuliana
5-7: OPEN

Chase: Give out valentines and getting to sign the petition
9-11: OPEN
11-1: OPEN
1-3: OPEN
3-5: OPEN
5-7: OPEN

Balfour: Give out valentines and getting to sign the petition
10-12: Kate Flaherty
12-2: Chamisa + Benner
2-3 Julia Bolt

Please remember the times you signed up for and PLEASE show up on the time. We really need people to fill these open slots so please respond ASAP with your availability. Finally, we really need people to put up the fliers/posters ASAP (as you can see we are in full swing here).

In case of any Emergencies (lack of supplies, someone doesnt show up, questions in general) please call the Batline (Cal Goodhouse) at 860-806-0737.

Posted by: w00107746 | February 12, 2008

Mars Incorporated and Bathroom Stalls

Good evening to all,

The posters I gave out at the meeting were not the most attention grabbing. Do not worry; simply place them in places where people will have time to read them. Bathroom stalls and Dinner tables at Emerson and Chase are great examples. We will also be making more of the giant posters so be thinking about where u think they should go. Also, we are tabulating the number of professors who will have a presentation in their class and it is 8. If you can all speak with your professors about having a presentation in class and get back to me about that it would be great. Alright that is at thanks a lot everyone and stay tuned for further news.

marsposter3.doc

Regards,

Mars squad

Posted by: w00107746 | February 10, 2008

Mars Meeting tomorrow @ 9:30PM

Good evening to all,

We will be having a final meeting before Valentines day to discuss who is talking to which professors, working on petition tables when, and some more initiatives. This movement is about to start picking up a lot so PLEASE try and make it.

Max

Posted by: w00107746 | February 6, 2008

Response from Dean Sue

Below is the response our movement responded from the Dean of Students, Sue Alexander. We appreciate her support of our cause but would like to point out that we feel the Mars Corporation has not done nearly enough to address the issue of child labor.

Mar’s failure to comply with the Harkin-Engel Protocol is spectacular. In response to this vocalization Mars Incorporated has signed two protocols, the Harken-Engel Protocol and the International Cocoa Initiative, intending to stop abusive child labor. These protocols are supposed to ensure the inspection of cocoa producing farms and prevent sub-standard labor conditions. However, the Harken-Engel Protocol, which endeavored to eliminate all forms of abusive child labor by 2005, was a failure. Now the industry claims that it will ensure only 50 percent of the cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana are free of child labor by July of 2008.[i]

Only by guaranteeing Fair Trade will farmers be paid an adequate wage and Children will be able to attend school rather than work on the farm.

Dean Sue’s letter is attached below.

Hi Ryan,

I’m sorry to be delayed in responding to your message from last Friday, I was hoping to get an update at the President’s Council this week about plans for the college to connect with the Mars Corporation. First, I want to salute the student organizers for not only exploring this very critical global issue and for the very reasonable suggestions you have made for the college to explore ways to respond. Anyone who has spent time in a developing country recognizes the pressing and challenging issue of child labor – whether it results in trafficing of children, or the kind of poverty/economy that forces families to put their children to work in order to survive.

I believe Mike Graca is communicating with the Mars Corporation about the ways in which they have already taken steps in West Africa to address child labor and working conditions for the growers and he expects to have specific information on this soon.

As an aside, while I don’t have information on the Mars operations in Africa, I had occasion earlier this year to meet Frank Mars, one of Adrian and John’s sons, who works in the business. We spoke about the Mars involvement in Brazil where they are developing sustainable methods of growing coco that are providing better income for local growers and contributing to the preservation of the rain forest. I have always understood the Mars family to be concerned about the ethics of their business as well as the working conditions for their employees, so I expect that the company has not only addressed the issues you’ve raised but will be very willing to provide a response.

I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to talk more about this!

Dean Sue


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