To the Editor:

The men’s basketball team’s win against Syracuse on Saturday was one of the best ways I can imagine to cap off my senior year. Unfortunately, the circumstances of two of the pre-game competitions will tarnish my memory of that great day.

My female friend competed head-to-head against another female student in a race that resulted in making a basket. Besting her opponent, my friend won $25. Not five minutes later, two male students participated in a similar race that resulted in making a basket. The male winner was awarded $100.

I couldn’t believe it, but the people sitting around me confirmed that I had not misheard. The only relevant difference between the competitions was that two women participated in the first and two men in the second.

I do not think that Verizon Center or its Public Relations Director Marc Goldman — also the man who narrates the competitions — intended to punish the female students. I do not know which companies, if any, provided the prize money. Other competitions throughout the morning were awarded lesser prizes. Nevertheless, a prize discrepancy between competitions whose only difference was gender reflects badly on Verizon Center and, by association, on Georgetown.

On average, women earn $0.77 for every $1 that a man makes. This figure accounts for levels of education, position and previous work experience. The gender wage gap significantly disadvantages women over the course of their lifetimes. As fellow seniors and I join the work force next year, it will become a very real part of our lives.

Georgetown and Verizon Center did not create the gender wage gap, and I am not arguing that they support it. Nevertheless, that $75 discrepancy matters. Until all women do indeed receive equal pay for equal work, we cannot allow oversights like this one to happen.

Madeline Wiseman (COL ’13)

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