On Friday, January 11th, clumps of hair collected on the floor from heads, faces, and even legs, while a crowd of onlookers milled about the Great Hall.
For almost three hours, players for the Carleton Gods of Plastic (GOP) ultimate frisbee team sold their haircuts to other students who then shaved the players’ beards and hair to a design of their choice.
The rules of the auction are simple. Once a person wins the chance to shave a player’s beard, he or she can shave the player’s head at his or her liberty, and the player is required to keep his new haircut for at least three days before he is allowed to change it.
Some examples of designs were a thick mullet and rat-tail on Matt Godfrey ’15, and a batman symbol cropped into the chest hair of Brandon Taitt ’14.
Every year, dozens of players for Gods of Plastic, who won first place at the D-III Ultimate Frisbee National Tournament last year, participate in the event to raise “cash money,” as described by Rhys Lindemark, a GOP co-captain, to help pay for practice sessions at an indoor playing facility in Faribault during the winter.
In total, the auction* managed to raise over $900, including $200 from alumni contributions.
For $50, alumni of GOP are able to buy freshmen and request different haircuts, and this year four alumni bought three different freshmen requiring that “Abe”, “Limited Gov’t” and “Tiger Stripes” be shaved on different heads. An additional $50 was donated by an alumnus.
The GOP Beard Auction* serves another valuable purpose for the team besides raising money; it fosters team-building. One of the best aspects is the “amazing email thread with 30 plus pictures of beards. It’s like seeing people over break,” Lindemark said.
In addition, the event fits well into the campus atmosphere. “Carleton is quirky, right? That’s what they say. This is as quirky as it gets. More than 3% of Carleton men participate in the Beard Auction*,” said Lindemark.
This year, freshman involvement greatly contributed to the beard auction’s success. One of the fullest beards cultivated for the event was that of Gavin Allman ‘16 who was described as having “a beard fit for a U.S. President from the 1800s,” said Lindemark.
Allman attributed his success to good genetics and a regular shampoo regimen to help encourage beard growth.
In addition to Allman, freshmen like Roberto Nieves, who auctioned leg hair for the event, and Andy Rogers and Max Longchamp whose hair was sold to alumni participated in the event.
Longchamp, as he had tiger stripes were being trimmed into his scalp, looked mildly traumatized, but said that the auctioned, “showed that GOP has good spirit, and that GOPers are willing to sacrifice themselves to fundraise for the team and have a great time doing it.
“Despite the event’s name as a beard auction,” Lindemark noted “*It’s more of a raffle, really.”