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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students should be able to choose

Published: November 18, 2005
Section: Opinions

I am a Brandeis student, first and foremost. Like most of my fellow classmates, I enjoy political freedoms to do and say what I want without fear. One of the greatest freedoms we have is the freedom of choice. We can choose what car we drive (assuming that we want to drive one), clothes we wear (assuming we want to wear a set), what college we attend (assuming that we want to go to college and the college we want to attend accepts us), and we can choose which coffee we want to drink (assuming we drink coffee). I personally choose not to drink coffee and I dont look down on those who do.

If I decide to buy a coffee and I feel like supporting Fair Trade, then I should be able to buy a Fair Trade Coffee. If I decide to buy a coffee and feel like supporting Free Trade, then I should be able to buy a Free Trade Coffee.

Whats wrong with giving the students a choice? By forcing fellow students to buy a Fair Trade Coffee just because it makes some of us feel warm and fuzzy inside, then we are violating their rights. Some of us have political agendas and some of us dont. Some of us want to save money and some of us couldnt care less.
We live on a diverse campus and we naturally have diverse ideals, thoughts, and feelings. In order for this to remain consistent, we should have a diverse selection of coffee to cater to our diverse set of feelings. If you want to support Fair Trade, spend the little extra. If you want to save a few cents, feel free to save it;

after all, it is your money. Nobody should feel obliged to do something they dont feel like doing and nobody should be able to force them into it either.

Simply put: whats wrong with having both? Will not the Fair Trade supporters be happy that their money will make a difference (every little bit counts, no?)? Will not the ones who want to save their money be happy that they can save it? No harm is done to either group in this scenario, but having only one hurts both.