GUSA to address noise concerns in New South Student Center construction
On Sunday night, after weeks of scandal, power struggle, and unhappy tension, the GUSA Senate finally decided to pull itself together. In an atmosphere of friendly banter, punctuated by moments of laughter and jokes, it unanimously passed a resolution, among other legislation, to address construction noise affecting residents in New South Hall. This resolution will later be presented to the Office of Residential Life.
Senator Tyler J. Bridge (COL ’17) demonstrated the concerns of his constituents by playing a recording of drilling sounds on his computer. “For the past five months, students in New South have been living in a… room that shakes, rattles, and literally rolls,” he said to the GUSA Senate. “We pay about $9,000 each to live in a dorm we can’t even live in.”
Here’s what the noise sounds like in the lobby of New South (luckily I’m on the fourth floor): http://t.co/I8zVqBnD7t
— Christopher Steck (@CSteck) January 21, 2014
On the other hand, he pointed out that Georgetown Washington University has a campus construction task force consisting of students and administrators as well as a hotline for complaints. During finals in May 2013, it also distributed free earplugs and provided white noise machines.
The proposal, which has the support of 320 New South residents, requests that residence hall administrators update students on construction schedules and progress. It also asks that the University look into delaying the start of construction everyday beyond 8 a.m.
Bridge is requesting some form of compensation for the construction noise, which the New South hall director has agreed to (in principle). “Although the administration has talked of some form of compensation, these conversations have included the idea of a pizza party,” he wrote in an email to Vox after Sunday’s Senate meeting. “While this a nice gesture, I find that a little too fifth grade-ish for adult, college students, who represent in aggregate over $3,000,000 in housing payments.”
Some senators expressed concern about the compensation requests. “I can see that the first pot [the University] would pull out from would be the actual construction funds for the New South Student Center,” Senator Séamus Guerin (COL ’16) said during the debate on the bill.
Bridge hopes that future construction projects such as the Northeast Triangle will be considered disruptions to student life.
“We will set a resounding precedent for the future of construction at Georgetown University; that wherever student life may be impacted due to construction, students and administrators will be working hand-in-hand to ensure that Georgetown is a peaceful place to live, study, and sleep,” he wrote. “With its unanimous passage in the Senate… and with publicity offered graciously by organizations like the Voice, I believe a great case will be made to enact the resolution’s recommendations.”
Multiple requests for comments from the Office of Residential Living remain unanswered at press time. Vox will keep you updated about this ambitious GUSA action.
Photo: Georgetown Voice/Jordan Smith