Going once, going twice, sold to the man with a beer in both hands! On Thursday night, Erasmus University College (EUC) played host to a wildly entertaining, unorthodox auction in which students sold anything from tropical condoms to Instagram-worthy oatmeal for the sake of refugees in Rotterdam.

Considering that the bidders were also fellow students, you would be forgiven for thinking that they would be stingy with their euros. However, given several crates of beer and wine, along with two MC’s provoking a wolf-of-wall-street like atmosphere, the inebriated bidders flaunted their spare cash and purchased anything at high price, even introductory Flemish lessons.

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Bright Richards, founder of New Dutch Connections, fires up the crowd during the auction. Image credit: Ivar Laanen

CharityCo, the EUC committee that put on the event, raised a grand total of 2.492 euros, more than tripling the sum of money collected during last year’s auction. All the proceeds from the auction will be donated to New Dutch Connections, an organization that provides opportunities for refugees in the Netherlands.

“If I had known that there was going to be such an amazing, high-energy environment at this auction, I would have brought a few refugees along with me to show them what students are doing to help them start a new life,” said Bright Richards, founder of New Dutch Connections. “It gives me a lot of energy just being here.”

Journalism For Sale

Left and right, the students were throwing their money at a troth of random goods and services. A male strip-tease went out the door for 25 euros. A day at the zoo with the dean of EUC was auctioned off at 75 euros. Even a football signed by Feyenoord legend Dirk Kuyt was up for grabs, ultimately being sold for 95 euros. In the spirit of the night, EM offered students the chance to have an article written by yours truly on anything they wanted as long as it wasn’t commercial. The offer was taken up by a young lady at 40 euros, which seemed like a decent price, until a course on how to make oatmeal worthy of being posted on Instagram was sold for the same amount. Breaking news: the value of quality journalism is now on par with oatmeal. Either way, the funds were all heading towards a good, local cause.

“I think what made this event so successful is that we gathered all these students, gave them food and drinks, and created this group-effect where they happily competed and outbid each other in the name of refugees,” said Suzanne Assi, one of the organizers of the auction. “I was expecting us to raise at most a thousand euros tonight, so to hear that we more than tripled that amount is just amazing.”

New Dutch Connections is looking for students who want to buddy up with refugees in Rotterdam. For more information, visit their website.