“Booty” shorts for charity?

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Photo by Patrick Goodman

Now that October, with Charity week and midterms, has come to a close, we have the opportunity to reflect upon what has happened during this past month. 

This year, Charity Week, which some think to be the greatest UD tradition, has raised a whopping $22,349.48 for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and the In My Shoes charity, according to the Charity Week 2019 Instagram page. 

Charity Week has always provided much-needed aid to various charities, raising up to $10,000-20,000 in earlier years, ever since its inception in 1962. This achievement, along with entertaining events and games, has not changed much since the beginning, save a few aspects. 

One of the more outlandish events of Charity Week is the “Male Auction,” whose history is a 

little more shocking than one might think. 

According to the 1962 Crusader Yearbook, this event was originally called “Slave Auction” and the accompanying picture features men dressed in matching white, ragged outfits, all in a line with their ankles bound. 

Of course, this is not the practice of the current Male Auction, and for good reason. 

In the later issues of the yearbooks, a Female Auction was also featured, with the women all dressed in white robes standing on tables, which is, and should be, seen as scandalous to all.

This glance into our history easily explains the current absence of these events from our modern Charity Week festivities. They are in the past, and we have now, in a more sensitive and enlightened time, changed our ways. 

However, is it possible that the changes we made are more shocking? 

The Male Auction, raising between $4,000-$5,000 every year, is a main event in Charity Week, and is certainly the most attended, as was obvious to everyone there. 

Despite this, can we honestly say that money for charity is worth seeing large groups of men in crop tops, or even worse,“booty” shorts?

The University of Dallas’ main objective, according to the UD Student Handbook is for “ the pursuit of wisdom, of truth, and of virtue as the proper and primary ends of education.” Accordingly, all students are encouraged to present and behave themselves according to these goals in all aspects of their lives.

Can we make the argument that this pursuit of wisdom, truth and virtue belongs only in the classroom?  

The answer would seem, for anyone who passes Phil. & Eth., to be no. 

As a Catholic college, we are called to pursue virtue in all things, no matter the time or place, and to avoid any hindrances of this mission. Therefore, these goals should be active in the lives  of all students even in the wacky week of Charity.  

Watching grown men dancing suggestively is not helping us achieve these ends. The need for modesty and avoidance of scandalous behavior especially suggests this belief. 

UD has obviously made changes to Charity Week in the past, especially concerning these less than seemly actions. The Male Auction has not lasted almost 60 years for nothing. It is the event which has consistently raised the greatest amount of money, with all the proceeds going to deserving charities. 

Yet, as all of us good UD students who have studied philosophy and theology know, the ends do not justify the means. 

Just as before, we ought not to abandon Male Auction altogether, but rather alter its structure and rules, as UD has done successfully in the past. 

The male students and athletes are surely able to raise enough money while fully clothed. 

In the words of St. Jerome, “Either we must speak as we dress, or dress as we speak. Why do we profess one thing and display another?” 

We seem to be saying one thing and dressing against it.  

We need to choose one, and I believe we all know which profession we should stick with. 

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