In response to the frenzy on campus for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the UVM bookstore has started selling apparel that allows students to show off their “Bernie fever”.
A single T-shirt with an image of Sanders has been added to the collection of UVM and Vermont affiliated items.
This shirt was designed and printed by a local Vermont-based printer, said Brendan Andrew, the UVM bookstore apparel buyer.
“We’ve seen a huge response at UVM to the Bernie campaign,” Andrews said.
“Since Sanders is a Vermonter who has been involved with numerous UVM initiatives, we thought adding this T-shirt would be received positively by students,” he said.
Some students said they like the new T-shirt.
“As a Bernie supporter I think it’s great to have him added to the bookstore apparel,” junior Kristen Roche said. “He’s a really good representation of values I see here in Vermont and especially at UVM.”
As UVM is a large and diverse university, there are still people with conflicting viewpoints that may find the addition in bad taste.
“Although Sanders has a lot of support here, I’m sure there are plenty of students who disagree with his initiative, so I could see it being controversial if it seems like UVM is endorsing a specific candidate,” Roche said.
However, the Sanders T-shirt has no affiliation with the candidate’s campaign, nor is UVM supporting Sanders and his campaign in any way, Andrews said.
“No revenue coming in from this T-shirt is going toward the Bernie campaign,” he said.
“All money made goes to the same place all other apparel sold in the bookstore goes, except for 15 percent which is donated to Vermont-based organizations supporting children, families and veterans,” Andrews said.
“Although these charities are ones that Sanders has endorsed in the past, they aren’t connected to the campaign, so they will in no way be benefiting from it,” he said.
With the creation of a University of Vermont Students for Bernie Sanders Facebook page that has almost 600 likes, it is easy to see the effect Sanders has had on the student population.