BY ISN STAFF | November 6, 2012
(Interview done by Sadie Curtin, intern at ISN)
The following is an interview done with Brendan Francolini, student at Fordham University. This was in response to an article posted about the Alta Gracia movement on Fordham’s campus. Brendan is mentioned in the article. Check it out: http://bit.ly/PB0wl3
Q: How did you get involved with Alta Gracia on campus? What role did you play throughout the process?
A: I originally heard about Alta Gracia while I was at Boston University, before I transferred to Fordham University in the Spring semester of my freshman year. When I came to Fordham I decided that I wanted to get involved with student government, and included getting Alta Gracia on Fordham’s campus as a part of my platform. Quickly after, I discovered that the Fordham bookstore was already selling Alta Gracia products. It was only once Timothy Casey came to United Student Government’s weekly meeting and told the group that he was trying to expand the bookstore’s involvement with Alta Gracia that I became actively involved in the project.
Throughout the project, Tim and I worked very closely together to lobby the bookstore to expand their Alta Gracia selection. Since I was already involved with USG, I was able to reach out to the bookstore and other departments on campus on behalf of the student government and show that students are really behind the cause and support the great work that Alta Gracia does.
Q: What was the initial reaction and response of the bookstore when the proposal was first given?
A: Tim and I worked closely with one of the managers of the bookstore. From our first meeting with him, he was very receptive to working with us and trying to expand Fordham’s involvement with Alta Gracia. The manager was very interested in the research we had done, and wanted to learn more about Alta Gracia. The conversation started on a great tone because we came prepared to have an informed discussion and the bookstore was very willing to have the conversation.
Q: Initially, how did you go about educating students and faculty alike about Alta Gracia? How are you continuing education?
A: I began spreading the word about Alta Gracia through venues I was already a part of. I presented Tim and I’s research to United Student Government and several key administrators. As a result of our efforts, the Office of Residential Life at Fordham University has committed to working solely with Alta Gracia for all clothing orders. This is such an amazing commitment from the office, and now all members of Residential Life work with Alta Gracia.