Sold Out: Raising Awareness about Human Trafficking


Sold out hosts a on Sept. 14, Sold Out raised $100 at their annual bake sale to support the Inner Beauty Center and the Benedict Center. Photo Courtesy of Kaitlyn Bross.

Sold Out, an advocacy group on campus that works to raise awareness about human trafficking, raised $100 at their annual bake sale to support the Inner Beauty Center and the Benedict Center last Friday.

Both of the organizations are centered in Milwaukee, and aim to help women who have been effected by human trafficking.

All the money Sold Out fundraises helps these organizations support women who have been sexually exploited. The club also plans on volunteering at these organizations this upcoming year, Madeline Arzbecker, co-president for Sold Out and a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said.

“You can drive five minutes in any direction from Marquette’s campus and encounter people who are being trafficked,” Chloe David, co-president for Sold Out and a junior in the College of Engineering, said.

The club has two goals for Marquette: to spread awareness about human trafficking and raise funds for victims affected by the sex trade, David said.

Sold Out meets on the first Thursday of every month to discuss the issue of human trafficking. By educating the student body about the sex trade, the club hopes to raise awareness for those suffering in silence, David said. Additionally at the meetings, the club will discuss the issue of modern slavery both locally and across the globe.

“Our general body meetings are open to everyone, so we hope to get as many people as possible,” Arzbecker. 

Arzbecker said the club plans on having multiple fundraisers this year, including a pumpkin sale in the fall and a 5K in the spring. Sold Out’s biggest fundraiser is Christmas Wishes, where the club takes gift requests from the Inner Beauty Shelter and brings them to Marquette.

“We put them on ornaments and then put them on a tree in the AMU … and people can come by and either grab an ornament and buy the item or just give us the money for the item and we can go out and buy it,” Arzbecker said. “Then we wrap them and deliver it to the shelter for the women there.”

Even though sex trafficking is a major issue in the city, students in the Marquette bubble may not know it, Arzbecker said.

“I have seen awareness signs but I haven’t heard of any instances or direct cases,” Katherine Walsh, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said about her knowledge of human trafficking in Milwaukee.

Austin Larson, a freshman in the College of Engineering, echoed that sentiment.

“I know nothing about it. I know it exists, but I don’t know statistics or specific details about it,” he said.

“A lot of people think of human trafficking as something that happens in third world countries. They don’t really realize that it still happens here,” Arzbecker said.

Graphic by Sarah Lipo