Useless People Auction
The Event as it Stands Today
Formerly known as the salve auction, the useless people auction is an annual event at which KGB auctions off its members. Traditionally, members volunteer to auction six hours of their time to the buyer and can designate someone to outbid anyone they don't want to be bought by. KGB does not want to know what you do with your useless people.
Frequently, in addition to listing things they can do, useless people encourage people to increase bids by doing tricks, such as push-ups and headstands. In one memorable auction, two groups kept outbidding one another to purchase gwillen. One group would increase its bid in exchange for gwillen removing his shirt, and the other would increase its bid when he put it back on.
The auction was originally instantiated as a KGB event in the days of yore. It was not repeated until the 2001/2002 academic year, where it proved to be a ludicrously successful means for separating KGB members from their money. For two years, the auction (under the name Salve Auction) garnered substantial funds for the organization's Booth.
In the 2003/2004 academic year, the event generated considerable controversy. A group of "concerned students" complained, composing an email to the KGB. They found the premise of auctioning salves, often marketed to dark-skinned people for use as skin lighteners, offensive to people of color. Part of the response stemmed from the accidental scheduling of the event for the same week as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, creating far more offense than was intended.
In recognition of the legitimate claim of offense due to the unfortunate timing, the organization decided to change the name of the event, over a vigorous and vociferous dissent (many members were unwilling to acquiesce to what they saw as an unreasonable demand). The name for the event that year was the THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK Auction.
During the event, the organization was treated to a silent protest during lmarsh's provocative and lucrative auction. Subsequently, the Tartan published a Letter to the Editor complaining about the objectification and implicit discrimination inherent in such an event. The article contained numerous errors, and elicited a response from ykhodor in the following week's letters to the editor. The follow-up was accompanied by a retraction from the Tartan.
Verily, all were pleased by this result. Except for those who were offended in the first place and except for the Tartan, the editors of which were subsequently crucified on a cross of their own inattention.
Subsequent revision changed the name of the event to its present form: The Useless People Auction. This presented various pleasing synergies with KGB's long-standing Useless Stuff Auction.
In the 2011 Useless People Auction, scandal presented itself to the offense of several attendees. Several of them had applied corrosive or "stripping" salves that caused considerable pain to their rear ends, necessitating a review of the procedures of the auction.
Exec elected to hold a Special Organization Meeting to discuss possible changes to the format and/or procedures of the Auction. The decision was made not to inform Defectors of this meeting before it was held.
sk4p posted to the bboard, dispelling any and all cloaks or daggers that might have otherwise been attracted to the meeting. A mostly polite flamewar erupted regarding the propriety of said disclosure, handily vanquishing what might otherwise have been a productive morning.
The conclusions reached were as follows: those auctioning themselves off have the right to create formulations that may cause skin irritation, but will never be explicitly encouraged to create corrosive formulas. Auctionees should avoid demonstrating a sample of the product while up for bid. In addition, a duo of auctioneers will be tried, for the purpose of checks-and-balances and also to relieve the pressures of having to stand and talk for hours and hours. All members are encouraged to keep it classy. With this in mind, a popular opinion at the Special Meeting was to come dressed up in suits and dresses, to demonstrate the effects of nourishing, non-corrosive salves on the skin. The unofficial and unauthorized addition of Rule Phi can be traced back to this event.
Further details can be found in the minutes from the Special Meeting.