Zoology students fundraise for elephants

(Source Dave Pehrson)
Ryan Oda and Jaren French hold poster prints created by the advanced graphic design art class.

Members of Sam Zeveloff’s mammalogy class joined forces with the advanced graphics design class to create a civic project fundraiser known as Save the Elephants. The poster sale and art auction took place in the Atrium and in the art gallery on the third floor of the Shepherd Union Building. Nineteen graphic design students created 21 unique posters depicting elephants in different artistic ways.

The posters sold for $10 for normal size and $5 for a smaller size. The table in the Atrium also featured Save the Elephant T-shirts, which were also sold for $10. One hundred percent of the proceeds were earmarked to the Save the Elephants Foundation. The art posters generated about $500-$600, according to Tammy Edwards, a zoology senior who helped to produce the fundraising and education project.

Edwards said she has a passion for elephants, and that their numbers are dwindling dramatically due to the increase in the price of ivory. She said the black market plays a significant role in the increased slaughter of African elephants.

“The civic project that our little group decided to do is on African elephants and bringing awareness on the increasing poaching issue that is going on over there,” Edwards said. “And so that’s how we came to do that.”

As part of the project, junior Jaren French and senior Ryan Oda held the Fight Night for the Elephants. They showed the Ultimate Fighting Championship and charged $3 per person. About $250 was raised for the cause from that segment of the project.

“It’s just the UFC fights, and we just showed those, and it was a really good night, and so now we’re on to the main phase of our project, which is the art auction,” Oda said.

French said his professor, Zeveloff, former head of the zoology department, recommended the Save the Elephants Foundation as a good one to donate to and that it was reputable.

“We went to like elementary and high schools and gave presentations to kids about elephant poaching to raise awareness,” French said. “We did a Fight Night for Elephants and showed the MMA fights and charged $3. And so we’re raising some good money here to help them.”

Edwards said that last year, Zeveloff had his class do a similar project with the African rhinos, but she and her group wanted to expand and do an auction and sale as well. Her goal was to make the items more accessible and affordable to WSU students.

“So that they would stop more readily, and then we could sit there, and as we’re selling, we could tell them about the issues going on with the African elephants,” Edwards said.

Edwards used the art sale as an educational opportunity and said it was a learning experience for her.