Northwestern student groups capitalize on Valentine’s Day for fundraising

McCormick sophomore Jacob Cushing works the desk at Artica on Valentine’s Day, where visitors could make specialized mugs and cards.

Susan Du/Daily Senior Staffer

McCormick sophomore Jacob Cushing works the desk at Artica on Valentine’s Day, where visitors could make specialized mugs and cards.

Kate Stein, Reporter

Singing rose deliveries? Cupid’s-arrow candygrams? “Slutty” brownies?

On Thursday, many Northwestern student groups took advantage of the commercial side of Valentine’s Day to raise money for their organizations. But students did not seem to mind the commercialization — for good causes — of a holiday that traditionally celebrates love.

“It’s good that people are able to use Valentine’s Day to raise money for good causes,” said Weinberg senior Ben Miner, who bought his girlfriend a rose from women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. “I don’t have a problem with that.”

“It’s better that people spend their money going to something, some charity, rather than straight to CVS,” he added.

Across campus, students sold traditional Valentine’s Day fare, like baked goods, candy and flowers, with creative twists reflective of the organization’s purpose. SAI offered singing rose deliveries, while the Northwestern University Archery Club sold candygram arrows that could be suction-cupped to doors.

And the “slutty brownies” that Hispanic and Latino performing arts group Mezcla was selling by The Rock?

“We were all like, ‘What’s a slutty brownie?’” Mezcla member Katrina Werner said. “Turns out they have cookies in them.”

Werner, a Weinberg freshman, said Mezcla was selling the brownies to fundraise for the group’s spring activities, including shows and open-mic nights.

At Foster-Walker Complex, members of the Undergraduate Economics Society sold roses and chocolates in bags decorated by group members.

“(Valentine’s Day) is the first event we decided to capitalize on,” vice president Brian Zhou said.

The Weinberg junior said that because UES does not receive as much funding as other groups, they were holding their sale, the group’s first, to pay for events.

“There’s definitely an element of love we’re trying to include, but we’re also experimenting to see how the fundraiser plays out for the society,” he said.

SAI rose-deliverer Jing Cao said many students bought roses for friends rather than romantic interests.

“Before working on the rose sale … I didn’t think there were going to be that many people to buy Valentine’s Day things because I didn’t think Northwestern had that much of a relationship population,” the Weinberg junior said. “But it turns out a lot of people buy Valentine’s Day stuff for their platonic friends.”

Or, for themselves. On Facebook, Camp Kesem members advertised the group’s flower, cocoa and cookie sale, with a picture of a creature devouring a plate of cookies and the caption, “Alone on valentine’s day.”

Regardless of whom they were buying for, students said they were happy to know their money was supporting NU groups.

“It’s just more the gesture than actually buying things,” Miner said. “I’ve seen people walking around with like, a dozen roses and so much other stuff, and I’m just glad I don’t have to do that.”

The holiday does not necessarily mean going overboard in the gift-buying department, he added.

“Valentine’s Day is a very commercial holiday, and thankfully my girlfriend doesn’t ask for a lot,” Miner said.