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IU’s Women in Business raises $14,000 for Girls Inc.


Freshmen Claire Given, left, and Amber Zhao, right, pass out sweatshirts Dec. 6 in Hodge Hall. The Women In Business organization sold sweatshirts that said “Female Genius.” as a fundraiser for Girls Inc. Izzy Myszak

Women in Business fundraised $14,000 benefitting Girls Inc. of Monroe County through their sweatshirt sale, with a total of 3,400 sweatshirts sold. The fundraiser was in response to IU professor Eric Rasmusen’s controversial tweet. 

The student organization created black sweatshirts reading “Female genius.” on the front and “Support women in academia” on the back in white lettering. Members of the organization distributed the sweatshirts Friday in Hodge Hall.

Women in Business president and IU senior Mandy Novicoff said she created the sweatshirts to spread a positive message about women in academia.

“We're an accepting campus, we’re a supportive campus and we’re here for everyone,” Novicoff said. 

Novicoff said the fundraiser sold 100 hoodies within the first 20 minutes after the link went live.

“We knew from that moment that it was going to be something absolutely huge,” Novicoff said.

Students shared the link to the sweatshirts on social media and in group chats, Novicoff said. 

“We started receiving such good feedback about it that people’s friends from all across the nation wanted them, so we’ve sold hoodies from California to New Jersey to New York,” Novicoff said.

Through the link, students could purchase the sweatshirt or donate to Girls Inc. 

IU senior Binita Madaiah, vice president of membership for Women in Business, said her organization chose Girls Inc. as the beneficiary because it has worked with Girls Inc. in the past and admire its mission. 

“We felt like it was the right organization because they support women who are struggling to go to school every day,” Madaiah said.

Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides academic support and physical activity programs for girls ages 6 to 18. The organization focuses on empowering and advocating for girls. 

Martha Whitmill, communications and development director of Girls Inc. of Monroe County, said she is grateful that Women in Business fundraised for Girls Inc. 

“It was creative and made an opportunity out of a bad experience,” Whitmill said. 

Whitmill said the fundraiser was a smart way to respond to Rasmusen’s tweet. 

“I am very excited and happy about how the Women in Business responded, which is exactly how we teach our girls here at Girls Inc. that when you are confronted with misogyny and ignorance, to face it with positivity and ingenuity,” Whitmill said. 

Andrea Astill, treasurer for Girls Inc. and accounting lecturer at the Kelley School of Business, said she was excited to contribute to this fundraiser.

Astill said the sweatshirts emphasize Girls Inc.’s mission of empowering girls. 

“I hope to promote the message that these ladies are smart, strong and bold,” Astill said. 

Freshman Bri Hillock said she bought a sweatshirt to support an important cause.  

“I was very much disgusted by the comments of Professor Rasmusen and felt invalidated as a woman in Kelley, so I wanted to get a sweatshirt to support women in academia,” Hillock said.

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