Trading tech help for sorority styling

PULLMAN — Looking to recruit more women, and perhaps date some sorority women, the largest computer club at Washington State University hopes to hold a “nerd auction.”

The idea is to trade their computer skills to sorority girls in exchange for a makeover and, possibly, a date.

“You can buy a nerd and he’ll fix your computer, help you with stats homework, or if you’re really adventurous, take you to dinner!” Ben Ford, president of the Linux Users Group, said on its Web site.

Ford acknowledged that some of the group’s 213 registered members may not be ready for the auction block.

“The problem is that we’re all still nerds. Let’s face it, guys. If anyone’s going to bid on us, we’ll need some spicing up,” he wrote. “And who better to help with that than sorority girls who like nothing better than a makeover?”

This all began as an effort to recruit more women into computer science programs, and a public relations class decided to help.

“Our conclusion was that they need to promote themselves better, then specific ideas were presented to them,” said professor Moon Lee, who taught the public relations class. “They made suggestions to work with specific groups such as sororities. Sorority groups tend to have a very good social network.”

Ford, who has an undergraduate degree in computer science and is pursuing a master’s in business management, has spoken to several sororities, but so far none has committed to the project. A call to the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life at WSU by the Associated Press was not immediately returned.

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