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    Service auctions bid high on campus

    Hall councils and organizations are offering services ranging from tutoring to dance lessons to dates through their auctions. (Photo Credit: Nina Lin)

    It’s the season for giving, and Stony Brook students have found a fun and profitable way to get into the spirit.

    Hall councils and organizations across campus have been holding service auctions to help those in need for the holidays. Instead of bidding on items, students bid on other students who can offer any service they choose, with all of the proceeds going to charity. It’s a simple but effective formula that’s raised money for the less fortunate.

    The auctions are an annual event in the quads to support ‘Tis The Season, a charity that raises money for needy families. Hall councils from Roth and H quads hit incomes averaging in the thousands, with Benedict alone raising $3,000.

    Service auctions are also a very popular event among the fraternities and sororities on campus. Adam Grunseich, a brother of Sigma Alpha Mu who hosted a recent service auction Thursday night, says it’s easy to see why the events are so successful.

    “They’re a good way to raise money because people can offer things they enjoy doing,” Grunseich said. “It makes everyone more into it.”

    Co-hosted with the sisters of Theta Phi Alpha and Alpha Sigma Alpha, the event raised more than $600 for their sponsored charities, such as The Judy Fund for Alzheimer’s research and the Polar Plunge for the disabled.

    The wide range of services offered included dance lessons, massages and tutoring. But the hit bids of the night went to the more raunchy offerings, such as a date night with a police officer (frisking and handcuffs included) and a modeling session with a tongue-in-cheek “clothing optional” clause. The mood of the audience was certainly elated. The SAC auditorium roared with laughter and cheers with almost every bid that passed.

    Andrew Goodman, a brother of Sigma Alpha Mu and a master of ceremonies for the night, was surprised that his first auction went so well.

    “We knew we wanted to go out with a bang with our last event, but we did much better than we expected,” Goodman said.

    It’s hard to ignore the impact that the auctions are making. The events draw large crowds, amass a slew of donations and seem to get more successful every year. By combining a fun atmosphere and support for a good cause, service auctions make a winning formula that could be a staple at Stony Brook for years to come.

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