Thursday, 29 March 2012

Fundraising, with a twist of humor

Earlier this month the SAIS Bologna student body took a break from weekend trips around Europe and studying to participate in an evening of rollicking entertainment and generous fundraising.

BC Journal Editor-in-Chief
Jamie Pleydell-Bouverie
ran the show
You'd be excused for thinking it's a strange combination, linking a mock beauty pageant with a live auction of often humorous goods and services. But even graduate students deserve a bit of bizarre fun every once and a while.

The annual Mr. and Ms. SAIS Competition and Charity Auction kicked off early in the evening with three men and three women competing for the illustrious titles.

The evening alternated between pageant and live auction. There were segments devoted to “Questions and Answers,” “Talent” and “Formal Wear” in the Mr. and Ms. SAIS pageant, with "Food and Wine” and “Services” in the auction segment.

Having fun
The rules? Contestants had to be students, and auction items had to come from the Bologna and SAIS communities.

During the pageant, contestants wowed the judges, comprised of SAIS staff and Giulio of caffè fame, with answers to hard-hitting questions. “Should Narnia be allowed to go nuclear?” “Is Chris Brown and Rihanna’s new collaboration an example of a rigid alliance with flexible strategies or a flexible alliance with rigid strategies?”

The audience seemed more than impressed with their peers’ talent, including interpretive dance demonstrations, expert shot pouring and the SAIS student band rocking out to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”

With the auction the SAIS Bologna community came together to offer more than 35 items, with proceeds benefiting the student-run Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs.

Mr. & Ms. SAIS
The big ticket items included a poker night at our director’s house with a few notoriously interesting professors, a ride in our resident IR professor’s snazzy Porshe and an African dinner for six prepared by three SAIS students to incorporate the flavors of their respective countries -- Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ghana.

The night ended with a newly crowned Mr. and Ms. SAIS -- Staci Raab and James Mina -- who will enjoy the titles until a new royal couple ascends to the throne next year.

Until then, many satisfied students look forward to eating, wearing, drinking, riding, playing and listening to their purchased auction items. And there's a very satisfied BC Journal fundraising team.