Though the United States seems to be gradually — but with increasing velocity — doing away with icons and conventions of sexism, the University of Dallas is, per usual, not quite keeping up with its modern surroundings. For example, while Disneyland plans to replace their socially outdated “Auction: Take a Wench for a Bride” installment in Pirates of the Caribbean Ride with a women-centric scene of pirate ladies stealing loot and taking names, UD instead opts to continue their streak of turning a convention on its head and making it a socially unorthodox — yet somehow still acceptable — tradition.
The term “Male Auction” is a familiar phrase thrown about in UD society, though it would likely warrant expressions of incredulous confusion from outsiders. Its institution has withstood the test of time and society’s ultrasensitive progression, and Charity Week would be truly incomplete without its parody of the dated misogynistic practice. In fact, it is a well-loved tradition that allows the men of UD’s student body to unleash their creativity and auction off offerings ranging from home cooked dinners to guitar lessons to boat trips, all for a worthy cause. This year’s Charity Week proceeds will go to Guide Dogs of Texas and Rays of Light, a charity offering care to families with special needs children in the Dallas metropolitan area.
In the midst of the torrential downpour that has been bringing UD back to its biblical roots — ahem, Noahic roots, that is — this year’s lineup for Male Auction has been prepping and workshopping their respective acts in excitement for their Saturday night performance. While it is primarily a chance to raise money for charity, and secondarily a chance for the men to woo UD’s women with their talent and charm, it is also a phenomenal opportunity for male bonding.
“There’s nothing better than seeing a bunch of dudes in short shorts dance around on a stage,” said freshman Dominic Valentine about his upcoming performance with the rugby team.
If this year’s auction is anything like the previous ones, it will surely be hilarious and talked about for the remainder of the semester, if not the entire year.
“Last year we did the CPR skit from ‘The Office’ and auctioned off a dinner and top golf,” said senior Joe Pelletier, one of the MCs for this week’s show. “We sat in Mark Peterson’s dorm and just started pulling up funny skits from SNL and other shows, but once we saw the CPR skit we knew immediately that it was the one. Memorizing the lines took some practice, but we pulled it off in the end after hours and hours of preparation.”
As for this year, Pelletier and his team of MCs plans to continue the creative trend and retain the same level of talent and panache in their performance; the only thing he can say regarding the subject is: “Be prepared to bid thousands of dollars on bottomless margaritas.”
“Ladies, get ready to drop some serious cash,” Valentine said regarding his own act with the ruggers.
Despite this year being his first performance in Male Auction, Valentine has faith in the integrity of their performance.
“I’m very excited for male auction, and the ladies should be as well,” Valentine said. “The older rugby guys have a lot of funny stories from the past years, so I have high expectations for us. Some of the senior ruggers like Matt Kuehler, Declan Hamilton and Jeremiah Sullivan came up with our act this year.”
Jeremiah Sullivan, now a senior and in his second year as social chair of the rugby team, is excited to pass on the tradition of the rugby Male Auction act to his freshmen teammates.
“This is my second year planning this event as social chair of the rugby team, but it’s much more special this year as a senior,” Sullivan said. “It’s also great that this year there are two social chairs, so my co-chair, Declan Hamilton, and I have gotten to do a lot more work for it.”
Kuehler, also set to perform with the rugby team, will be participating in a secondary act with fellow senior Paul Patton. The two boys are excited to continue the trope of animal noises — an act that originated during their time in Rome in the fall of 2016.
“I wanted to do male auction this year to show the world the wonders of animal noises,” Patton said. The act arose from jokes made on behalf of his Kansan upbringing, and he saw it his duty to bring the stereotypes of the midwest to life with the help of his Virginian friend Kuehler.
“Creating the act requires lots of practice, listening to animal noises, meditating on what animals would be appropriate for my personality and [attempting] to show proper respect for the animals themselves,” Patton said. “I write to some of the most famous animal ‘noisers,’ Jan Kuulgood, Dan Smith and Elena Birdmouth. I hope people really enjoy the performance; I think Matt and I have a great act put together. It should be a wonderful time. Also, please buy us.”
While Disneyland and other organizations may choose to be perfectly progressive and ditch gender-based auctioning in general, UD will continue to push against the norm and turn a convention inside out for the sake of philanthropy. Join the ruggers, the MCs, and all of the sure-to-be-memorable acts of Male Auction on Saturday, Oct. 20 to cap off a successful Charity Week.