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Students Snag Coveted Campus Rooms
February 08, 2012
The Residence Hall Association hosted its annual Martha’s Marathon event Wednesday, allowing students to bid on or enter raffles for the room of their choice.
A handful of George Washington students will have the room of their dreams next year after bidding on them or winning them in a raffle Wednesday night as part of the Residence Hall Association’s annual Martha’s Marathon event.
A university tradition since 1966, this year’s event at the Marvin Center—with the theme “Martha’s in Hollywood”—drew in about 150 students for a live auction, raffles and games, said Matthew Galewski, a senior in political science and president of the Residence Hall Association.
“It went very well,” Mr. Galewski said. “We were really excited with the turnout, and it seemed like students were very excited to be there.”
Students could win rooms in three ways. Nine, including spaces at Guthridge, Ivory Tower and West End, were up for grabs in a live auction led by Dean of Students Peter Konwerski and student Courtnay Oddman. A pair of rooms in the coveted Ivory Tower netted nearly $8,000. Sophomores Ridhi Arora and Alicia Lalvani—who originally went into the evening with a $1,500 budget—outbid their competition and nabbed a double in Ivory Tower for $3,600.
“I’m most excited about the room, Ivory’s location and having food options downstairs,” Ms. Lalvani said. Added Ms. Arora: “We have three exams [today] between the two of us, but this was well worth the time we spent at tonight’s event.”
In the highest bid of the night, freshman Maya Brounstein paid $4,100 for a quad in Ivory Tower.
Students could also win rooms through two raffles. One allowed them to buy as many $2 tickets as they wanted. The other awarded a raffle ticket for players who won a bingo-like game called “Hollywood Number Cover.”
Freshman Christopher Walling went the bingo route and was eventually drawn as the winner of that raffle. He said he wants to live in a quad with three friends in either Ivory Tower or West End. “I couldn’t believe that the room somebody had just paid thousands of dollars for, I … won by spending five dollars on two games of Number Cover,” Mr. Walling said.
The evening also featured a raffle for gifts, including a weekend stay at a luxury hotel and signed sports merchandise from Washington-area professional teams.
Organizers haven’t yet calculated all the earnings, but the live auction alone drew in about $15,000, Mr. Galewski said. All of the money raised will go to the University Scholarship Fund.
“It was a great night,” Mr. Galewski said, adding he’s happy to be part of a university tradition that contributes to a good cause.
The original “Martha’s Marathon of Birthday Bargains,” as it was then known, was a small auction held in the men’s gymnasium. Items up for bid in 1966 included lunch with the speaker of the house, a curfew extension for a freshman and a football autographed by the GW football team. There was a 25-cent cover charge, and the $2,084 raised was used to buy books for the school library.