FIJI auctions off members with promise of dates

Phi Gamma Delta fraternity members Peyton Rhea (from left), Drew Tingle, Jacob Hodges, Daniel Aroh, and Jamie Harverner are five of the fifteen participants in the annual Fiji Date Auction. The fundraising event will take place, April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Downing Student Union Auditorium. Harrison Hill/HERALD

Andrew Henderson

Ladies and gentlemen will be offered the opportunity to purchase something that isn’t being offered anywhere else. The chance to go on a date with one of 13 WKU Fiji members is up for auction. 

Shooter McGavinn, sophomore from Franklin, will be serving as one of the emcees for Tuesday night’s Date a Fiji event. It will be held in Downing Student Union Auditorium tonight.   McGavinn said the fraternity has done this event once before, several years ago, but are bringing it back with new twists and features this year. 

“Even if girls aren’t looking for a date, it’s just a $2 entrance fee at the door, and it will be a great time with plenty of surprises throughout it,” McGavinn said in an email.

One of the guys being auctioned off is Lexington native and sophomore Brent Harney. Harney said he was excited to volunteer for the date auction this year, and he hopes to find out his true worth in monetary value. 

“If I can manage to sell for at least the price of a large pizza, let’s say $12.99, I’ll be able to sleep well at night,” Harney said in an email.

The proceeds from Date a Fiji won’t go toward any one specific philanthropy or cause, McGavinn said. The event serves as the chapter’s annual fundraiser. Harney said funds would go to upkeep on the chapter house and aiding in carrying out normal chapter functions. McGavinn said that as a smaller chapter it can be financially demanding for them to be as involved on campus and in the community as they would like to be.

“This event is intended to give us more flexibility financially so that we can continue to have strong participation, supporting philanthropies across the board,” McGavinn said.  

McGavinn elaborated on what will happen once the final bids are placed and the guys are officially auctioned off. He said they will have all of the dating events prepared and the events will be auctioned off simultaneously with the guys who are being auctioned. He said the guys have prepared dates they have always thought would be great, and whoever purchases them will be taken on a that date within two weeks of the auction.

“We’ll have hiking dates, kayaking dates, horse riding dates, dates to concerts in Nashville, etc.,” McGavinn said. 

However, not all the men in Fiji will be up for auction. Some already have existing commitments or wish to be spared from the wrath of their girlfriends. Bowling Green native and freshmen Enes Atici will be off the auction to appease his girlfriend. Atici said he understands why his fellow fraternity brothers would put themselves up for auction.

“They just want to get to know more people on like a personal level I guess, and it helps the fraternity raise money,” Atici said. 

While Atici isn’t directly participating, he believes that his fellow pledge class member Logan Reynolds, freshman and Murfressboro, Tennessee native, will auction off for the most money.

“He’s got that nice long hair, he’s tall, he’s got a beard, he’s in FIJI and the ladies love him,” Atici said. 

Reynolds laughed in response to Atici’s claim, and he said he’s unsure if he would sell for the most.

“I think there’s a lot of competition— a lot of great guys,” Reynolds said.