A covert affair
UB's Fashion Student Association holds silent date auction
As Valentine’s Day approaches, many UB students may have resigned to the idea of a date night with Netflix. But Wednesday night a group of students were determined to find someone special to be their Valentine.
UB’s Fashion Student Association (FSA) held a silent date auction just in time for the big day in the Student Union.
“I went because a lot of my friends were contestants,” said Noelle Nesbitt, a senior biomedical engineering major. “I honestly didn’t know how it would work so I wanted to see how a silent date auction would run.”
When the audience purchased their $2 tickets, they were also given a sticker with a number on it.
The 15 contestants, eight men and seven women, were introduced with a short video showcasing their personalities. When they finally took the stage, the hosts asked them questions such as: “What would be your ideal Saturday?” and “Would you rather be smart and ugly, or attractive and dumb?”
When it was time to do the bidding, the audience approached clipboards representing each contestant on either side of the room. They wrote their desired bid and their number from the sticker they received on the board. At the end of the night, the highest bidder could claim his or her prize.
The anonymity of the auction added to the experience.
“I personally didn't bid on anyone but supported [the cause] by coming to the event,” said Kevin Appiah-Kubi, a sophomore nursing major. “Many good-looking girls were available though.”
The audience and contestants alike had a great time with the questions and laughed at a few scattered remarks from people in the crowd. When a contestant was asked what their ‘turn-ons’ were, a voice from the audience shouted out “now we’re talking!” – the audience found this hilarious, lessening the potential awkwardness of the question.
Finger foods were served and the DJ played smooth R&B to get attendees in the mood. Amid mingling, eating and dancing, those determined to find a new flame made their moves. They approached the clipboards as stealthily as possible, reminiscent of a grammar school child shielding their test from a cheater.
After the questions the show went to a short intermission, after which the clipboards were collected and the hosts read aloud the winning bids for each contestant.
When the hosts read off the winning bids, audience members had one last chance to bid on the contestant. This time however, they had to bid in a more traditional auction-style way.
When a male contestant only received a $3 bid, he decided to up the ante by taking his shirt off. The spectacle was greeted with cheers and video recordings. His total bid made it to $30 by the time he put his shirt back on.
“People were bidding [a lot of money], which was ridiculous, but I respected the support,” Appiah-Kubi said. “I expected the ladies to bid more though.”
The female contestants received higher bids than the male contestants.
Akeelya Depass, a senior health and human services major, received one of the highest bids at $60.
“I thought I was going to get like $10 or whatever,” Depass said. “It was nice to know that I am appreciated by my student body.”
Depass stayed true to the nature of the event, and wouldn’t reveal who her winning bidder was.
By the end of the event, some left with Valentine’s Day plans while others were just happy to have attended. The FSA hopes the event helped advertise the club, reminding students of its presence on campus.