SGA votes to ban date auction fundraisers

Joshua Farmer

The Student Government Association voted Tuesday night to ban the use of date auctions, legislation that was proposed by request of Kimberly Mitchell, the assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

“Nationally many organizations have banned date auctions for two reasons,” Mitchell said. “There is no way to guarantee the safety of participants, and the sale of people is not a good idea because of the implications historically and currently in our world. I am 100 percent for the ban.”

Date auctions typically call for volunteers to “sell” themselves to others for dates, with proceeds going to fundraising for an organization or philanthropy.

Representative Tami Gorodetzer presented the bill to the SGA senate and called it a “preventative measure.”

“I think that it speaks a lot to how much we care about safety,” Gorodetzer said. “Us saying as a student body that this could be unsafe and we don’t want to take that risk, I think that’s a really big deal for us to say.”

SGA President Jake Cox, who has been auctioned for a date auction, said it is something that he would not participate in again.

“I think this is just another opportunity for students to limit the ways in which we could be harmed or we could be injured,” Cox said. “I understand that not all students may see it in the same light, but I think at the end of the day it does provide one less opportunity for an attacker or some violent individual to take advantage of this system and to harm an individual.”

The bill endured several rounds of debate, during which concerns were voiced about the fact that the organizations on campus that can use date auctions as fundraisers were not directly contacted during the research for the bill.

But Gorodetzer said that there were only five to 10 of these organizations on campus, and that a survey was sent out to all organizations at the university to gauge reaction to the measure.

Cox said that he did not think that this restriction would have serious repercussions as far as hindering organizations from raising money.

“I think all students are so creative and inherently excited about going out there and finding a new experience and a new fundraising method or philanthropic method that I don’t think by taking away this one opportunity that they are going to be limited,” Cox said. “I think overall this is a great for the university and I can’t wait to sign it.”

Story: JOSHUA FARMER, News Editor