ATO raises money, awareness for Planned Parenthood in Des Moines

by Tia Nearmyer


Simpson students heart consensual sex, or so the T-shirts say.

Alpha Tau Omega fraternity sold baby blue T-shirts with white lettering reading “I love consensual sex” the week of March 7. All proceeds were donated to the Planned Parenthood on the south side of Des Moines.

Faculty and students were encouraged to buy the shirts in order to raise awareness about sexual assault.

“We’re selling the shirts because it’s Rape Awareness Month,” ATO President Lance McVay said.

Members Dan Saar and Ryan O’Lear proposed the idea as a philanthropy project last year.

ATO will be donating more than $800 to the cause. Shirts were sold for $10, and since they only cost half that amount to make, $5 will be donated per T-shirt sold.

Freshman Meredith Shelquist was one of 160 students who bought a shirt.

“I bought one because it supports a good cause,” Shelquist said. “I thought it was interesting, even though I probably won’t wear it in public.”

ATO also wanted to help change fraternity stereotypes by selling the shirts.

“The reason we did it was because fraternities are known as rape houses or guys who put drugs in girls’ drinks,” McVay said. “We wanted to change that and inform the public that we don’t condone rape.”

According to many students, they were unaware ATO was selling the T-shirts in an effort to change the stereotype of fraternities.

Sophomore Lucy Wilson didn’t buy a shirt because she didn’t feel comfortable wearing it home.

“I think the guys should’ve told the students both reasons they were selling the shirts,” Wilson said. “If they said why, I might’ve bought one or at least understood why they were selling them.”

In mass e-mails sent out by McVay, students were informed the shirts were being sold to raise awareness of sexual assault.

“ATO should have portrayed it better,” Shelquist said. “I didn’t know they were trying to change the image of fraternities.”