More Than a Fundraiser
Tabitha Underwood, Student Leadership and Serviee
As you all know, t-shirts are a
tradition at Meredith. They are
sold as fundraisers by many of our
student organizations and, from
what I’ve heard, eventually turned
into a t-shirt quilt. I was inspired
by Dr. Swab’s article “How ‘Green’
is my Meredith T-shirt?” in the
last edition of the Herald and
wanted to provide a follow-up
that can serve as a call to action.
As members of the Meredith
community as well as members of
both a local and global society, it
is our duty to live in a socially and
environmentally responsible man
ner. It helps to ensure the sur
vival of our communities and our
environment. Oftentimes, respon
sible consumer behaviors are only
spoken of in terms of their envi
ronmental impact such as buy
ing items like organic vegetables,
organic cotton clothing, or energy
light bulbs. However, consumer
behavior can also impact eco
nomic development locally and
beyond through support of local
businesses and purchasing fair
It is not my intent to discour
age all fundraising or selling of
items on campus. I just hope to
help you think critically about
what you are selling and/or pur
chasing and about the impact of
your consumer decisions. Recent
ly, our student organizations have
been very successful with selling
less t-shirts and hosting fundrais
ers at local restaurants.
Dr. Swab has given you infor
mation about your cotton t-shirt
and asked that you think about
the item before you purchase it. I
now ask you to go one step further
and think about the fundraiser
that has produced that t- shirt.
Listed below are questions that I
pose to you and hope that you will
ask of yourself and of others when
selling or purchasing items on
• If you are selling items, why do *-
you need to raise funds?
• Is money essential to what you
are trying to accomplish?
• Can you raise money without
• Are there other funding sources
you can utilize (e.g. grants from
other on-campus sources such
as SAF or the Diversity Coun
cil, grants from outside entities,
sponsorship or donations from
local businesses, etc.)?
Production and Distribution
• Where was it made? Was it
shipped a long distance?
• Was child labor involved in its
• Was the product produced under
fair labor practices?
• Can you sell/purchase items that
are made of more environmentally
friendly material such as bamboo,
hemp, or recycled material?
• Can you sell/purchase items that
individuals would use more often
(e.g. umbrella, tote bag, water
bottle, food, etc)?
• Can you purchase fair trade
items wholesale to sell on cam
• Are there ways to raise money
where you can support local busi
nesses? Can you sell items that
are locally made? Can you host
an event at a local business like a
restaurant, bowling alley, or rec
To find out more about socially
and environmentally responsible
consumerism, please see the fol
Green America: http://www.
The Daily Green: http://www.
Sierra Club: http://www.sierra-
World Economic Forum: http://
The Story of Stuff: http://www.
Also, for more sustainable fund
raising ideas and fair trade whole
salers please see the Green Fund
raising Tips located in the tool box
on the Student Leadership and
Service website at www.meredith.
Dear Gigi, '
I am a transgendered person who identifies as a male. In one of my classes when we were
talking about gender identification, I was appalled by my professor’s lack of sensitivity
toward transgendered individuals. She repeatedly referenced only “male” and “female”
during the discussion, and even when I made an open comment about the existence of
transgender identity, she airily blew it off and said she preferred not to talk about the
“theoreti cal” gray area surrounding the issue. Should I tell her how I feel, or just let it go?
Dear Seemingly Nonexistent,
First, realize that your professor probably spoke only from ignorance, not from personal
malice against transgendered individuals. Tell her how you feel in a mature, tactful way.
Pick a time when you know your professor ^vill be free of other distractions; to be on the
safe side, email to schedule an appointment. You could start off by saying something
like, “I was really intrigued by the direction our class discussion on gender took the other
day, but I had some further comments that I didn’t feel comfortable voicing at the time.”
Connecting your impromptu office visit to the previous academic discussion will most
likely put her at ease from the very start. Then respectfully express in clear, concise terms
e.xactly \vhy you felt offended during class. Perhaps you could offer to fully research the
topic and present your empirical findings, along with your personal experience, in a pre
sentation to the class. In that way, you could clear up the “theoreticar gray area and have
your say, too. Remember that you are your own best advocate~if your prdfes.sors and
classmates are not aware of transgender issues, you are the best person to correctly and
confidently inform them. Good luck! •
Do you read the
Submit events & ideas to