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Saint Mary’s clubs try to “save the bees” with sweatshirt fundraiser

| Thursday, November 14, 2019

Most student organizations that sell shirts and sweatshirts at Saint Mary’s choose colors in the blue, grey or white family. However, two clubs have sought to generate buzz with merchandize featuring a new color and style.

Biology Club and Tri-Beta — a biology honor society — are selling yellow sweatshirts that aim to save the bees.

Sara Schlect | The Obse
Biology Club and Tri-Beta—a biology honors society—advertise apparel on-campus. The clubs are cooperating on an initiative to raise money to help protect bee populations.

“We wanted to make something that was unique, but also find a way that we could give back to the community,” senior Madeleine Mauck, publicity chair of Biology Club and Tri-Beta historian, said.

Mauck said the groups knew they wanted to hold a fundraiser and donate to a local organization in need, but they also wanted to sell something that stood out from the typical club merchandise.

The uniqueness of these sweatshirts comes in the form of its color — a bright yellow.

“We decided to pick out a yellow sweatshirt — something that we don’t often see around Saint Mary’s,” Mauck said.

The sweatshirts have bees printed on them, along with the word “Belles.”

A portion of the proceeds from the sweatshirts will be donated to Unity Gardens, a South Bend non-profit that allows members of the community to utilize the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden. Unity Gardens is looking to start a pollinator garden, Mauck said.

“[Unity Gardens] wants to make a bee garden that will be filled with different flowers and plants that bees are attracted to,” she said. “They can use this to pollinate and create honey that Unity Gardens can sell at the farmers market and at their welcome center.”

Biology Club and Tri-Beta are not currently involved with Unity Gardens beyond the intentions to donate proceeds from the “Save the Bees” sweatshirts, but Mauck said the organizations are considering volunteering there in the future.

The Saint Mary’s community has been receptive to this different kind of merchandise sale, as well as its mission, Mauck said.

“Everybody loves [the sweatshirts],” she said. “Whenever I sit at the table to sell them, tons of people just come up to me. They’re like, ‘Oh, I love this idea.’ A few different professors have said, ‘I don’t want a sweatshirt, but can I just donate a little bit?’”

As of Wednesday, Mauck said approximately 70 sweatshirts had been sold.

While the sweatshirts have brought buzz to Biology Club and Tri-Beta, the organizations maintain their desire to raise awareness about the struggles bee populations face.

“The bee population is going basically extinct, and we feel strongly about it — especially being [biology] people,” junior and Biology Club vice president Natilyn Hasty said.

The “Save the Bees” sweatshirts cost $35 each and can be ordered in the Saint Mary’s student center. All orders must be placed by Friday at 2 p.m.

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