Who are Students for Peace and Global Justice Anyway?

Chances are that if you have ever been to the library or Cook Commons or anywhere else on campus for that matter, you have probably bumped into or seen an SFPGJ’er . They come in all shapes and sizes, wear clothing adhering to current fashion trends – or not, and if you talk to one of them, they might tell you about some of the awesome projects and events and activities that SFPGJ is currently working on. Or they might just say hi and ask you for a high five.

We are your brothers, sisters, teachers, TA’s, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and work-study buddies. Perhaps you are reading this right now and saying to yourself: “Hey…I’m an SFPGJ’er.” And if you are, you know what I’m talking about. If not, no biggie. You’re still cool! Can we be friends? Ok, I’ll call you later, bye. 🙂 So to get back to SFPGJ, the group, I want to take this opportunity to tell you about all the wonderful things that SFPGJ is involved with on campus. But first, you should know what SFPGJ stands for. Our points of unity are: NO TO WAR AND VIOLENCE, NO TO RACISM, PROTECT AND SUPPORT CIVIL LIBERTIES, FIGHT FOR JUSTICE. To put these points into action, SFPGJ is involved with numerous campaigns, events, and initiatives aimed at educating, inspiring, cultivating change, fostering progressive dialogue, and spreading peace and justice at UVM. Here are some of the activities we are currently involved in:

– “Fair Trade” campaign: we want to educate students on the effects of globalization and free trade, while offering alternatives to create a more sustainable and ethical economy. Coffee has been our focus, but we hope to include other products such as tea and cocoa in the coming months. Sweatshop free clothing at UVM is another aspect of this ongoing campaign.

– Organizing protests: every semester SFPGJ organizes buses/vans to attend protests and rallies. Over the past two semesters, we have attended events such as the March for Women’s Lives in Washington DC, School of the Americas protest, IMF/World Bank protest, the RNC, and others.

– Educational events: Bringing guest speakers, student/faculty panels and presentations, tabling in front of the library, film series at CC theatre, and fundraising events.

– Organizing around labor issues: As part of the master plan, UVM is striving to become a “green” university with its new developments. We want to make sure PEOPLE are also included in that vision in terms of workers rights, safety, and security.

– Global/National networking: Two of our members just returned from the World Social Forum in Brazil and are planning to endorse/help with the release of the related documentary and facilitating presentations. As well, next week, two representatives from SFPGJ will be attending the United Students for Fair Trade convergence in Chicago which will help bring new ideas and innovations to the Fair Trade campaign. Plans for the future:

– We hope to organize a fair trade conference right here at UVM this spring.

– Columbia support network

– Book swap to save money for UVM’ers

– Coke campaign (don’t get any funny ideas)

– Anything related to peace, global/social justice, education, the environment, and much more… If any of these things seem interesting, dope, snazzy, or cool, you should come to one of our meetings! You will have fun and meet cool people. You might even laugh a little. The Students for Peace and Global Justice meet on Thursdays at 7pm in Lafayette 111.