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Date Auction lets students vote on their

perfect valentines

Photo By: Jeremiah Hassel/The Behrend Beacon

2-19-2019

Jeremiah Hassel, Features Editor

Wednesday evening, in celebration of Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, the Association of Black Collegians (ABC) hosted their seventh annual date auction on the Bruno’s stage at Penn State Behrend. The event gave members of the organization and the audience the chance to come up on stage and have their friends bid on a date with them.

ABC hosts the event each year, typically during the fall semester, to raise money for their Dream Scholarship, which they award to two incoming freshmen interested in ABC to help pay for books and kick off their first semester.

“None of the money that we make from this event goes directly to the organization. It’s going to potential students that might think to be in the organization,” said ABC president and eighth semester project and supply chain management major Khadija Wane.

During the event, diners at Bruno’s were met with a single chair on the stage featuring the current candidate, who was announced and presented by Wane. Students around the room were invited to go up and experience the auction firsthand.

“It’s nice to know whoever you go to school with. It’s nice to take away from the fact that we have exams and we have papers and we have class, and just knowing that we’re kind of all in a relaxing space for an hour,” said Wane. “Now I’m more likely to talk to people that participated, even talk to people that I see at any of the events that are held on campus.”

This year, the event began later than planned, ABC facing challenges motivating candidates to present themselves at first. Once Selene Stewart got on stage, however, confidences increased, and several other candidates presented themselves over the next hour.

“Everyone has a great personality, the vibe is great, so it always lives up to expectations. The atmosphere is very uplifting,” said Stewart, senior and a dual major in international business and finance.

Stewart was a member of ABC for a couple of years before she left the organization to pursue the presidency of the international business club, the presidency of the president’s round table for the Black School of Business, and the treasury position for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). She participated in the date auction during her freshman and sophomore years when she was an active member of ABC.

“Being a part of it makes me feel like I’m giving back to not only my community, but to those possibly coming to Behrend, because that’s who the scholarship goes toward,” said Stewart.

According to both Stewart and Wane, attendance this year was lower than in previous years. Wane attributes the decline to the change in the semester of the event, stating that the fall semester usually attracted more traffic in Bruno’s. The pair also explained that the senior nights for the basketball teams was also Wednesday night, and believe they may have attracted several potential participants.

Several students dining at Bruno’s found themselves in the midst of the activities, including sophomore project and supply chain major Alicia Lint. Lint, who serves as the webmaster of the Lion Entertainment Board (LEB) as well as LEB’s representative in the SGA, had never been to the event before but was pleasantly surprised by the proceedings. “I wasn’t really sure what the ABC club was, but I gained respect because I felt like I didn’t have any before, but since they’re donating all the funds to a good cause, that was just kind of nice,” said Lint.

In the future, the organization hopes to achieve a higher student turnout by hosting the event in the fall semester if possible and may also attempt to host the event earlier in the day, perhaps around the lunch rush at Bruno’s.

“It’s a great event. The vibe is always there. Everyone really wants to improve within the club,” said Stewart.