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Martel wins College Battle, Jones tops Jar Wars

By Michelle Phillips     3/17/11 7:00pm

Jacks and Beer Bike were not the only sources of college competition during Willy Week: The Rice Annual Fund hosted Jar Wars for the first time between Monday the 7th and Thursday the 10th, giving undergraduates a chance to contribute to the university's fifth College Battle and earn this year's Sammy Cup for their college.

The College Battle is a donation competition that encourages seniors, alumni and parents of the students to give to the Annual Fund during Willy Week in order to earn more points for their college.

The college with the highest percentage of supporters earns $1,000 from the Annual Fund. At Beer Bike, Martel College was declared this year's winner for the second year in a row.

"We were hoping that giving them the ability to affect the outcome of the Battle would help [the students] buy into it more," Annual Fund Assistant Director Emily Kernan said.

According to Kernan, she was not disappointed; the Jar Wars alone collected $539.53.

Martel and Jones College were the most active, and Jones actually won the Jar Wars, with Martel coming in second.

"I think [including the students in the College Battle] has both short- and long-term benefits," Martel President Amy Buxbaum said.

Buxbaum said she hopes that when current students graduate they will feel more invested in giving back, but she believes the competition has benefits even for current students.

"It will make students feel like their involvement had an impact," Buxbaum said.

Buxbaum said Martel plans to use the $1,000 to furnish the college's endowment. When planning events like Masters searches, she explained, it's good for the college to have some money to fall back on.

However, Martel does not have a large amount because of its recent establishment, she said, and has been trying to build it up for some time.

Buxbaum said the award for winning the College Battle is one more step toward that goal, which is a great start to her term as president.

"This was something the students could do that was not only Rice-centered but Martel-centered," Buxbaum said, adding the competition showed how invested Martelians are in improving their college.

For the four days Jar Wars was open, any student could come by and add to each college's jar. Loose change would give positive points according to face value, and dollar bills would give negative points according to face value. The Annual Fund then added up all the points before Beer Bike.

Since it was impossible to measure participation percentage with the Jar Wars, the Annual Fund added percentage points to the college total based on who won the overall War.

The first place winner, Jones, had three percentage points added to its total; the second, Martel, was given two percentage points, and McMurtry received one point in third place.

The Jar Wars was just one part of the College Battle; the Senior Gift of last semester and alumni and parent giving were also taken into account.

Also, since Duncan and McMurtry do not have a large alumni base yet, the Annual Fund simply gave the two new colleges the average participation percentage of the other college alumni, Kernan said.

Martel had very strong participation in all other aspects of the College Battle, Kernan said, so it still managed to come out on top, with Jones coming in a close second.

In honor of winning the Jar Wars, however, Jones will receive a pizza party from the Annual Fund, Kernan added.

"This was a way for us to measure people's interest," Kernan said. "And the students were very generous."

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