GUSA Executives propose pushing back third year housing requirement
Katherine Key (SFS ’15), President Trevor Tezel’s (SFS ’15) Executive Chief of Staff, presented the latest update on the third year housing requirement to the Senate. She explained that Tezel and his vice president, Omika Jikaria (SFS ’15), sat down with Stephanie Lynch and Todd Olson, the Director of Residential life and Vice President for Student Affairs, respectively, to discuss the requirement.
At the GUSA senate meeting Sunday, Key explained that Tezel and Jikaria have proposed a timeline to push back the third year housing requirement by a year. The proposal also aims to change the requirement from “third year” to “junior year” to keep study abroad and transfer students in mind and implement a four-year housing guarantee for students on financial aid. The GUSA executives discussed housing incentives as a way to mitigate the need for a third year or junior year requirement with the administrators.
“Stephanie Lynch seemed pretty open to it,” Key said at the Sunday meeting.
Though GUSA executives understand the university is required to move students on campus due to the 2010 Campus Plan, they do not support a requirement. Tezel believes a requirement “would be harmful to student life” and supports the use of incentives instead.
“Many of the positive steps that have been taken by the administration, whether it be the increased prominence of food trucks on campus or the lifting of the keg ban, have been a result of having to incentivize students to live on campus,” Tezel said. “With a requirement, the university will have no reason to incentivize upperclassmen living on campus and we might see the end of a concerted effort to improve some aspects of on-campus living.”
Both the Tezel and Key express particular concern over the potential policy’s negative effect on study abroad and transfer students’ housing status. “This could lead to study abroad students and transfer students being forced to live on-campus for their senior year,” said Tezel.
The administration, however, reminds students that this policy is not yet definite. “At this time there is no new policy to comment on as we are thoughtfully reviewing student feedback which a decision will be based on,” said Robin Morey, the Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management, in an e-mail to Vox.
Morey said the university “is adding more bed capacity through the construction of the Northeast Triangle and the renovation of the Old Jesuit Residence…in response to the GUSA referendum last fall regarding students’ overwhelming desire for living on campus.”
Students nonetheless continue to express concern. GUSA senator Pat Spagnuolo (SFS ’14) contrasts Morey’s sentiment by saying, “It is vexing, to say the least, that the opinions of students, whose tuition dollars and patronage of local business keep the economy of Georgetown booming, are never given due consideration when major decisions like this one are made.”
“I already have some grassroots things in place incase we need to make a fuss about this,” Key said at Sunday’s meeting.
Photo: Georgetown University