Date auction supports scholarships

Lindsey Shelton

Students can buy some time with campus leaders, athletes and fellow students on Thursday.

The Student Government Association and the UA chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers will host a date auction at 7 p.m. at The Zone in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Doors open at 6 p.m., with the auction starting at 7 p.m.

NSBE has been hosting the auction for several years as a fundraiser, and last year the SGA partnered with them as part of an Ideas to Action project.

“NSBE keeps part of the profit as a fundraiser and the rest of it goes towards student tuition scholarships,” said Chris Vinson, SGA vice president for financial affairs.

Tickets to the event are $2, and buying a ticket automatically gives students chances to win door prizes and scholarships. Each person may also buy up to three additional raffle tickets for $1.

Cash or Bama Cash is accepted.

The scholarships and door prizes will be given away at the end of the auction, Vinson said, so students are encouraged to stay until the end of the night.

Proceeds from the bids and ticket sales all goes to student scholarships, according to a news release from the SGA.

Vinson said the scholarships are approximately $400-$500 scholarships. He said about $1,500 of last year’s profit went to NSBE’s fundraising efforts and another $8,000 in scholarships was given away on the night of the auction.

Isaiah Clemons, president of NSBE, said the money helps to offset the costs when members travel to regional and national conferences and other events throughout the year. At the end of each year, he said the group also awards a book scholarship to one of its members.

Clemons said partnering with the SGA on the event has helped their fundraiser grow much larger.

“It’s huge compared to how it used to be,” Clemons said. “We’re also able to reach a greater demographic in how we try to get student leaders to be auctioned off.”

He said he hopes for as large of a turnout as last year, if not more.

At the event, SGA President Steven Oliver and starting quarterback Greg McElroy will be the emcees as well as two of the people being auctioned off. In all, students can bid on 21 fellow students for a date.

The highest bidders and the students who participated in the auction will go on a date at Desperado’s on Tuesday.

Ashley Ross, who is representing The XXXI, a women’s honorary organization, said she is participating to represent her group and help raise money for scholarships.

“I’m excited, but I’m nervous to see how it will go because I didn’t go last year,” said Ross, who is a senior majoring in marketing and public relations.

She said that she heard one of the football players received a bid that was a couple of hundred dollars last year, so she is hoping the event goes well again for the SGA and NSBE.

But just in case, Ross said she has a contingency plan.

“One of the members from XXXI is going to bid on me to make sure I’m not standing up there awkwardly,” she said.

Participants in the date auction

Steven Oliver, SGA

Greg McElroy, football team

Miland Simpler, Order of Omega

Thomas Williams, Kappa Alpha

Jennifer Neill, Chi Omega

Diana Beckner, Kappa Kappa Gamma

Sarah Suggs, Panhellenic

Will Azar, Phi Gamma Delta

Ashley Ross, The XXXI

Josh Richey, Omicron Delta Kappa

Ben Callaway, SGA

Stephen Swinson, SGA

Chelsea Cernosek, Phi Mu

A.J. McCarron, football team

Elizabeth Nix, Miss Corolla

Winton Austin, Kappa Alpha Psi

R. Isaiah Clemons, NSBE

Lauren Hill, modeling

Korey Hayes, Elliott Society

Hayley Gossett, Freshman Forum

Amanda Peterson, The Crimson White