Students bid top dollar for housing

The Residence Hall Association auctioned off 10 residence hall rooms and three prize packages with a top bid of $15,000 at the 45th annual Martha’s Marathon this Tuesday in Columbian Square.

All the proceeds from the event, which brings students together to bid thousands of dollars on top housing opportunities for next year, will benefit the University Scholarship Fund. The fund provides financial aid to students for housing on campus. Some of the top bids included a JBKO double that went for $2,500; an Ivory Tower double for $4,000; a Philip Amsterdam Hall quad for $4,200; and the top bid – an Ivory Tower quad – for a full $15,000.

“Martha’s is a fantastic way to bring the community together,” said Seth Weinshel, director of GW Housing Programs. “It is the longest student-run event at GW and the RHA did a great job planning and implementing the event on campus.”

One of the most intense bidding wars was for the Philip Amsterdam Hall quad. Students raised their bidding cards back and forth and playfully yelled at each other to “sit down!” in hopes of winning the room for themselves.

Another entertaining bidding war was for the Ivory Tower quad, which occurred between two groups of students outbidding each other from the starting bid of $1,000 to the final bid of $15,000. Top bidders Andrew Shapiro, Nick Melhado, Seamus Kerin, and Harrison Nesbit will be living in the “sickest room on campus” next fall. The group “loves a good auction” and was happy their money was well spent to benefit a charity as well as award them with their top housing choice.

Rising seniors Katie Burggraf and Amberly Meli won the bid for a South Hall quad at $1,000.

Burggraf said they bid because, “we applied to live in South Hall this year but we didn’t get it.”

The RHA also handed out an award for the best room on campus. Nominees included the best room, most-spirited, best theme, and messiest room. The semi-finalists then competed to win the audience over by round of applause.

Winner Spencer Frenchman, who currently resides in the messiest room on campus in Potomac House, promises to “keep [his] room messy to be fair to the community.” He added that he could not have won without “the hard work and dedication to the trash and filth” of the room without his roommate by his side.

RHA Programming Director Brett Troisi said the event was even more successful this year than previous years due largely in part to increased advertising and a Mardi Gras theme. He said the event instills “pride in housing and provides an opportunity for students to bid on special rooms as well as the main goal of making money.”

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