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Third Annual GOP Beard Auction

January 26, 2010 at 10:28 am
By Margaret Taylor '10

Noticed a Carleton man walking around campus with no hair except for a little tuft on top?

He’s probably a member of the GOP.  That would be Gods of Plastic, not Grand Old Party, by the way, though the GOP team symbol does happen to be an elephant.  Gods of Plastic is one of the two men’s Ultimate Frisbee clubs and has been around since 1995.  Because they’re not a varsity sport, the GOP must raise its own money to pay for travel to away games.  Other groups already do bake sales in Sayles.  A few years ago, one of the GOPpers came up with an ingenious fundraising solution.  Hair is something these guys have in abundance, so why not sell that?

The Beard Auction, which has now become an annual tradition, starts when the various GOPpers grow their facial hair out as much as possible over the winter vacation.  The “auction” part of the name is actually a misnomer.  When the GOPpers come back to school in the winter, they sell raffle tickets for the right to each teammate’s beard.  They go for a dollar each, though students who are determined to get a particular beard can get a bulk discount.

Last Friday night the GOP held the actual auction in Evans Dining Hall.  The event has become more and more popular over the years and this year Evans was packed.  The collection jars were lined up on tables alongside the long wall of the room.  Some of the collection jars were pretty interesting – such as a brandy bottle taped up so it would be opaque, or a photo of a baby with a beard drawn onto him with marker.  Below each jar was a portrait of one of the teammates and a picture of his “preferred style,” from muttonchops to handlebars to a kitten taped to the chin (don’t ask).

The GOPpers circulated while students cast their tickets.  They wore Hawaiian shirts to identify themselves, though they would have been recognizable anyway for their hairiness.  When the time came for the auction, each student with a winning raffle ticket got an electric razor and the right to shave that teammate’s beard any way he or she pleased.  Part of the raffle rules stipulate that the GOPper must keep his beard as it was shaved for at least three days.  Of course, there is no rule against leaving it longer.  So if you see somebody around with a kitten taped to his face, now you know why.