On Feb. 24, dating was turned into an auction. An auction of men.
The Alumni Dining Commons was filled with women as Smith Hall, the freshmen males dormitories, put on their 3rd annual Man Auction. As each girl walked in, they received $2,500 dollars of fake money, along with a number, if they wanted to bid. Each lady was escorted to her seat by a man.
The Man Auction was designed to prove that good looks shouldn’t be the determining factor of a relationship. The event highlights the importance of getting to know and enjoy someone’s personality rather than relying on physical appearance.
All around the walls there were posters of the 15 mystery men, identified only by number, who answered three questions about themselves, such as: “What is your favorite candle scent?” These questions would also be read aloud to the crowd by hosts Andrew Buchholz and Trevor Avers before the bidding for each began.
The hosts took the stage and introduced the way the game would work. Women could choose to pool their money together to “buy” one man or try to win one on their own. And, if they out- bid everyone else, they would win a pasta lunch date on Saturday afternoon in Smith Hall.
Mystery Man number one was introduced and his answered questions were read to the audience. Freshman Kelly Anderson won him for $800 fake dollars.
“I’m really excited, but still a little nervous for the date tomorrow,” said Anderson on Friday.
The rest of the auction continued on in the same manner. Then, the girls began to take more risks and the bidding reached over $25,000 dollars in fake money. At the very end, when Man number 15 was sold, a secret man number 16, was revealed and Simmons resident advisor, Melody Henderson outbid everyone to get him.
The last-minute decision to add mystery man number 16, Avers, was made the co-host, Buchholz, as a prank on his resident assistant colleague.
After all the men were auctioned off, with cheers from the ladies , 15 men with paper bags on their heads confidently marched up to the stage, many toting flowers or other tokens of affections for their new dates. Man number one was introduced as Henty Van Der Merwe, and his new date Kelly Anderson was seated at the end of the catwalk, where he presented her with a sunflower.
At the very end, there was a short meet-and-greet for the girls who won men and would get to attend the pasta date on Saturday.
Trent Ward, one of the mystery men, said, “I wish we would have gotten to see the bidding happen, but I still had so much fun, and I’m really glad I got chosen to participate.”