Last Saturday, Carls had the opportunity to creatively shave, buzz and trim many of their peers’ facial and head hair at the fifth annual GOP Beard Auction. The auction, more like a raffle, raises hundreds of dollars for the championship-winning Ultimate Frisbee team as its players offer their long locks or beards to the paying crowd.
“I love it,” said Rachel Gottesman ‘12, who has attended the event three times. “It’s a hilarious way to raise money in college.”
Students began arriving promptly at 8 p.m. After buying their raffle tickets, they mingled by a back table where each GOP participant had a ticket box. The boxes, with photos displaying both their owners’ current facial hair and their ideal haircut of the night, gradually filled up with tickets.
The unofficial title of “beard of the night” went to Nate Schieber ‘14, whose dense facial hair had gone untrimmed since the beginning of fall term.
“It might scare off some of the ladies,” said Schieber, walking through the crowd with his ticket box in hand. Regarding his hopes for a certain type of haircut, he responded, “the more ridiculous the better.”
Arielle Rebek ’12 strode up and down the table deciding whom to spend her fifteen tickets on. Seven went to Cory Fauver ’12, GOP captain. Fauver, already well-known for his YouTube hit video “The Year of the Beard,” is certainly no stranger to having beard publicity. Saturday night he was sporting a beard he had been growing since the Fourth of July.
While many students debated where to spend their raffle tickets, not all attendees were hopeful barbers. Showing up more for the atmosphere, some Carls enjoyed the music and the sight of watching the event. Ian Holmen ’12 said he was there to offer “moral support” to his friends on the team.
By 9 p.m, the first raffle winners were announced, and they proceeded to make their marks on their respective GOP players. With buzzers buzzing, they received support from the crowd, who cheered as the two players gradually received new looks. Andrea Simenstad ’13, a first-timer at the event, described the scene as “boisterous, but fun.”
The soundtrack surely added to the evening, with many in the audience singing along to the pop tunes that came one after the other. Justin Perkins ’12 felt that the music was one of the biggest draws of the night.
“I came for the music,” he said, as a Katy Perry ballad filled the air.
The event brought out the youthfulness in its participants. Perkins, still enjoying the music, described the scene as “watching men become boys,” while Annie Mark ’12 thought the entire auction was an “excuse for underclassman girls to caress the facial hair of post-pubescent boys.”
A minor debate among the crowd arose as one group took particularly long to style the facial hair of a GOP player. Gracie Ogilby ’12 quipped, “This is not supposed to be art. This is supposed to be ugly.”
Hai Nguyen ’13 disagreed. Reveling in the group’s dedication, he appreciated the “amazing curls and wiggles” that the students were creating.
“It’s very artistic,” he said, describing it as a sort of “21st Century Van Gogh.”
Artistic or not, the haircuts certainly made a statement. The friar’s look, the half-moustache and many other eccentric hairdos became the norm. GOP player Michael Groeneman ’12 left the barber’s stool with the left half of his head buzzed and the right side of his beard trimmed. Even though he has a job interview in a few weeks, Groeneman felt it was necessary to offer his hair to the fundraiser. “
You gotta do what you gotta do for GOP,” he said.
Brandon Taitt ’14 agreed. He too left the Beard Auction with an eccentric hairdo and felt that the event successfully brought the “GOP Family” together.
The Beard Auction raised around $580. The money goes towards paying the bill for two tryout sessions at the Shattuck-St. Mary indoor dome facility in Faribault. Tryouts are next Tuesday and Thursday, and, thanks to the Beard Auction, are free and open to anyone.