November 30, 2006

Male Prof Dons Dress for Charity

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For all the students of NS 115: Nutrition, Health, and Society who dreamt of seeking vengeance for the grueling exams, problem sets and papers that Cornell professors have put them through, yesterday was a sweet day of justice.

At around 1:25 p.m., Prof. David Levitsky, nutrition, walked through the doors of Kennedy Auditorium donning a flowery pink dress (equipped, of course, with fake breasts underneath) and an authentic blue and pink mohawk.

Levitsky performed the stunt in support of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin sorority’s fundraising efforts. For the past two weeks, the Gamma Phi chapter of the sorority, established at Cornell two years ago, worked to raise money for the non-profit organization Equality Now, an “international human rights organization whose role is to uphold the economic and social rights of girls and women,” according to sorority member Quynh Nguyen ’07.

Chapter president Yrenilsa Lopez ’07 said picked the charity because of their chapter’s philanthropic focus on equality.

“By working with Equality Now, we can help fight for the equal civil, gender and legal rights of women all over the world,” said Lopez.

The sorority tried to raise awareness of Equality Now’s cause by soliciting students for their support at Ho Plaza and Robert Purcell Community Center.

However, Nguyen described, “We definitely got more support by actually going into the classes and telling people about our philanthropy.”
Part of the sorority’s fundraising strategy was to garner student support through professors. The sorority approached various professors and asked for their aid in the project. Ultimately, the sorority created a competition to raise the largest amount of money between three classes:

Prof. Lisa Nishii’s ILRHR 260: Human Resource Management class, Prof. Carl Hopkins’ BIO G 101: Biological Sciences class, and Levitsky’s NS 115 class.
Each professor promised something different to their students if they were able to raise the most money. Prof. Nishii agreed to show embarrassing pictures of herself, while Professor Hopkins pledged to shave off all his hair. But NS 115 succeeded in raising the most money, motivated by the reward of seeing Levitsky in his outlandish getup.

“We got a great response from professors; they were all really supportive and were willing to practically do anything in order to raise money for a good cause,” said Nguyen, adding that, “the competitiveness of the fundraiser definitely made the students excited and got them to rally their classmates to make donations.”

The sorority hopes that students were also driven by their desire to contribute to Equality Now’s cause, and ultimately, the sorority raised over $340.