Economics club makes fundraising as easy as pie

By
May 4, 2009

As their final fundraiser for the semester, the Economics Club advertised “Pie Your Professor” at Spring Fling on Apr. 13. Thirteen professors had designated jars with pictures of themselves displayed on the front for students to vote on with their petty cash.

Voting is open until May 4. The two professors with the most donations will get pied and the donated money will go to charity.

“It is extremely important to all of us in the Econ Club that people understand that this has been an overwhelmingly positive experience,” Tre Rodriguez, vice president of the club, said.

Many students say they are voting for their favorite professors, not professors they don’t like.

The student-run Econ Club designed the “Pie-Your-Professor” fundraiser this year as a way to raise money for a microfinance loan.ÿ

The loan will be invested through the Kiva program, a San Francisco-based microfinance company.

Those who don’t have the credit to qualify for a standard loan can often get microfinance loans, which are smaller than loans that banks give.

On its website Kiva advertises that it “lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world” and that lenders can invest as little as $25.ÿ

The club hopes to generate funds to create a microfinance loan by drawing on many small donations – or votes – from Mills students.ÿ”One cent counts for one vote,” Rodriguez said.

“Allowing the Mills community to vote using even the smallest denomination, a penny, really drives home the point that anyone can have an impact in alleviating poverty through microfinance.ÿ Of course, we hope people vote with lots and lots of pennies.”

The club tried to get one professor from each department to donate their faces, Rodriguez explained, and 13 professors were willing. “Their responses have been enthusiastic and with a great sense of humor,” she said.ÿ

“In compensation for their generosity the Econ Club will be giving them a home-baked pie.”ÿÿ

Robert Anderson, an anthropology professor in the running to be pied, said, “I have no idea . who decided which professors should be ‘honored.'”

He added that “Sandra Macias [a member of the Econ club] asked if I would agree to it, and as one of my favorite people I will do almost anything for Sandra. ÿBut I must confess that getting a pie in the face is at the limit of ‘almost.'”

The way the votes stood as of Thurs. Apri. 30, it looks like Anderson just might have to push that limit.ÿ

Anderson and economic professors Robert Sparks and Eirik Evenhouse battle for the top two slots, with 1,691, 1,407 and 1,285votes respectively.ÿ As of Monday, the total vote tally for all the professors was 8,124, or $81.24.ÿ

This is the first year that the Econ Club has done this fundraiser.ÿ “It was motivated by freshwoman Jaia Orient,” Rodriguez said, who “is very interested in eventually working in microfinance.ÿ Sheÿis our liaison with Kiva and willÿultimately be directing the selection of the loan recipient(s).”ÿ

As Melissa Bruley, a club member, explained in her message to the student body on Apr. 25, “Each time the loan is repaid it will be re-loaned to another woman.” In this way, the Econ Club has created a renewable fund.

Rodriguez hopes the fund will have a lasting impact for many years to come.

“Using the funds to do something positive and increase awareness of micro-lending, especially in a time when trust of traditional banking methods is low,ÿseemed like a great way to inspire and educate the Mills community about economic issues, which is part of our club mission,” Rodriguez said.ÿ

The club also tried to get President Janet Holmgren to volunteer her face, but she did not.

“We’re putting it out there that if she would like to participate next year, we are definitely open to that,” Rodriguez said.

“Think of all the money we’d raise and all the people we’d help.”

The club has not yet selected who will receive their loan, but they are committed to helping a woman or group of women in a developing country.ÿ

The pie-ing will take place on May 5 on Toyon Meadow from 12 to 1 p.m. at a lunch barbeque.ÿ

The club will also auction off the right to throw the pies at lunch.

You can follow the voting tally on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Pie_Your_Prof or look up the event on Facebook and get all the details about the event and the professors who volunteered.

Possible People to Pie
Voting ends today, May 4, for the Economics Club “Pie-Your-Professor” fundraiser.

Here are the 13 professors and staff members who have volunteered for the Economics Club’s fundraiser:

Robert Anderson, anthropology
Martin Benjamin, philosophy
Judith Bishop, women’s studies
Carol Chetkovich, public policy
Eirik Evenhouse, economics
John Harris, biology
Margaret Hunter, sociology
Martha Johnson, government
Lorien Rice, economics
Cedar Riener, psychology
Roger Sparks, economics
Andrew Workman, history
Marc Weinstein, tennis coach


Economics club makes fundraising as easy as pie was published on May 4, 2009 in Features

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