Second annual GSSA bake sale supports Planned Parenthood


Photo by Kelsey McHugh

The GSSA selling treats and giving out wristbands during its bake sale.

Written By Lauren Ortego, Co-Opinions Editor

The smell of cookies and muffins filled the air as dance majors fresh out of class walked by, with the phrase “I would, but I don’t have cash” leaving their lips. Credit and debit cards were accepted, though.

The Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Alliance (GSSA) raised $210 for southwestern Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood locations last Thursday through the group’s second bake sale in the Lawrence Hall lobby.

“We can’t donate, at least that I could find out, to a very specific one,” Silmari Muñoz, president of the club and senior instructional studies major, said. “So, we try to do western PA so it can at least hit a little closer to home.”

The bake sale started last year, and raised a total of $250 with help from students and faculty alike. Muñoz and her girlfriend, but mostly her girlfriend according to Muñoz, hand-made many of the goodies for sale including muffins (vegan and non), brownies and Rice Krispies treats. The sugar cookies and macaroons, however, did come from Costco.

“My girlfriend made most of it and I just stood by with a measuring cup like ‘Ok, how much?’” Muñoz said, sitting at the table. “So I just put it together, because she baked all of it. Same as last year.”

All of the baked goods had no set price, with the minimum donation being a dollar. The GSSA has found that students, especially at Point Park University, a traditionally liberal arts institution, enjoy giving money to support causes they find close to their hearts – and Planned Parenthood fits neatly into that category of cause.

“We actually had a really good reception [last year],” Elliot Bereit, vice president of GSSA and senior criminal justice major, said. “I figured it would be mostly positive, I think especially because of the time after the election and inauguration, people were even more vocal about being supportive of [Planned Parenthood].” 

Bereit volunteers with Planned Parenthood, and provided the table with literature regarding health concerns and Planned Parenthood’s services along with free condoms and GSSA bracelets, free of charge. 

Hannah Hepler, a senior psychology major, donated five dollars to the table and while eating one of the baked goods, expressed her belief that more groups and organizations on campus should hold fundraisers similar to this and commended the donation-based pricing. 

“I really like the donation aspect, that you don’t have to pay a set price, you just have donate a minimum of a dollar, which I don’t think is unreasonable,” Hepler said. 

The idea of accepting credit cards was Muñoz’s idea, who kept in mind that students don’t often carry around cash, but still might want to donate. 

“About $80 of our donations [last year] were through credit cards, so that’s why I have this,” Muñoz said, gesturing to the square attached to her smartphone that runs debit and credit cards.

The location, right in the middle of the Lawrence Hall lobby, a popular walkway and only way to exit the Hall, was originally given to the GSSA as an accident, when their sale last year was set to overlap the paint job Academic Hall was getting the same day. 

The GSSA has found a cause and means to help that cause that resonate not only with their group but with the students of Point Park, and the small crowd that gathered around the table throughout the afternoon proves that. 

“I think it’s great that every single dollar will be going to Planned Parenthood,” Hepler said. “None of it is being kept to themselves, which I think is very generous.”