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Bachelor Auction Apology

The Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity recently held the "Bachelor Auction," a charity event to raise money for the Cambridge Youth Center. As the community service chairmen for the event, we would like to apologize for an unpleasant incident that occurred at the event and to offer a clarifying explanation.

Our first goal was to raise as much money as possible for the Cambridge Youth Center. To this end we collected over three thousand dollars. Our second goal was to protect the rights of all those who assisted us in raising the money: the brothers of ATO, the MIT community, all of our corporate sponsors, and the bachelors and bachelorettes. In volunteering to be auctioned for charity, the bachelors and bachelorettes put themselves in an awkward position, and we assured them that their rights would not be infringed upon. This included providing them with chaperones for their dates and allowing them to substitute gift certificates for their date if absolutely necessary.

We soon discovered the need for all of our policies to be spelled out explicitly. While one of the bachelors was being auctioned off, a group of his friends decided to play a joke by having a man dressed as a woman bid on him. The bachelor, feeling that someone was making a mockery of his good intentions, turned to us and requested that we stop the bidding. Suddenly, our two goals were in conflict. In the interest of raising money for charity, no person's money was any better or worse than anyone else's money. But in the interest of our bachelor, we felt obliged to stop the bidding. We were torn between possible options and made a quick decision under pressure, avoiding an awkward situation for the bachelor. The bachelor was doing a huge favor for us, and regardless of how much money it may have raised, his rights had to be maintained. We stopped the bidding, thinking that we had made the best of the situation. Unfortunately, in saving the bachelor from embarrassment, we overlooked the possibility that we may have embarrassed one of our guests. The bidder truly believed he should have been allowed to bid, and according to our own rules, or lack thereof, he was correct.

Fito Louis '00 and Daniel H. Hong '00

Community Service Chairmen, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity