Buyers at tonight’s second annual ROTC fundraising auction can order cadets to wash cars, dishes, do laundry and an array of other service tasks.
The ROTC will auction off 10 of its cadets from 8 to 10 p.m. at Giovanni’s in Isla Vista. Money raised will help pay for the cost of attending the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, N.M., and for the annual ROTC Military Ball in May, said Brett Jordan, lead organizer of the auction. Jordan, a third-year psychology major, said there are limits to what services cadets will perform, and buyers’ requests should be within reason. Cadets will not carry out any inappropriate or immoral requests, and they also will not overstep their personal boundaries or comfort levels, he said.
Alex Newsom, co-organizer of the event and fourth-year political science major, said ROTC expects to auction off cadets for $25 to $200 each, based on figures from last year.
“We are only auctioning off 10 cadets, but if there is a huge demand, then hell, I’ll jump in myself to help raise money for our functions,” Jordan said.
Jordan said the auction raised about $1,000 last year, and he hopes it will raise at least $800 this year. The relatively large amount of money from the first auction was an unexpected outcome for the fledgling event, Newsom said.
“Last year’s auction was just a shot in the dark for fund raising, and it turned out we made more money than we expected,” he said.
Besides doing household chores, some cadets from last year’s auction were dinner and movie dates or even cheerleaders, Newsom said.
“Last year when I was auctioned off, I was sold to the UCSB women’s field hockey team, and they had me go to their game and dress up and cheer loudly and excessively for them,” he said.
Newsom said ROTC cadets would try to honor requests as best as they can.
“We understand that this is an auction and that students are paying good money for our cadets, so we will definitely work for [the money],” he said.
The Bataan Memorial Death March, for which part of the funds are being raised, is a 26.2-mile marathon run that commemorates a death march taken by World War II American soldiers in the Philippines, Jordan said. The remaining funds raised will pay for catering and other costs of the annual Military Ball at the Firestone Vineyards.
“Hopefully we’ll get a good turnout because all the money will go toward supporting ROTC, and we need all the help that we can get,” Jordan said.