Today, the Georgetown administration, in conjunction with GUSA executives Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Omika Jikaria (SFS ’15), announced in an email to the Georgetown University community that students will be required to live in University housing for three years and that interim housing accommodations, including the Leavey Hotel, will be used during the 2015-2016 academic year. The third-year housing requirement begins in the fall of 2015, meaning that the Georgetown Class of 2017, and subsequent classes, must live on campus come their junior year.
Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey, and the Director of Residential Life Stephanie Lynch explained the details of interim housing in a media interview. Interim housing involves adaptations to the Leavey Hotel, triples in some rooms in Village C and the Southwest Quad, and modifications to some Village C common rooms to make new rooms. These changes are only temporary, and the altered rooms will revert to normal after the completion of the Northeast Triangle Dorm.
Interim housing is necessary to meet the 2010 Campus Plan’s requirement to house an additional 385 students on campus by the start of the 2015-2016 academic year. Delays in the Northeast Triangle Dorm construction force the University to seek alternative space for the new beds. While the renovations on Ryan and Mulledy Halls will add 160 beds, more are needed to reach 385.
Yesterday afternoon, the University sent an email to the Georgetown University community announcing that a vendor for the Healey Family Student Center pub has finally been selected. After narrowing down the list of possible candidates to 12, a collaborating group of students and University administrators decided upon Bon Appétit Management Company, a vendor known for their sustainable food sourcing and quality ingredients.
Bon Appétit is an on-site restaurant company based in Palo Alto, California that offers full food-service management to corporations, museums, and specialty venues. The company operates in over 500 cafés across 32 states. It currently provides its services to numerous other universities, including Johns Hopkins, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania (which is now considered one of the most vegan-friendly campuses in America).
Striving to uphold its motto of “food service for a sustainable future,” Bon Appétit is characterized by its Farm to Fork program that commits the organization to buying locally and maintaining the highest level of culinary standards. Additionally, the company is recognized for being socially responsible in addressing food’s role in climate change and the issue of farmworkers’ rights.
On April 9, Glamour named Georgetown University student Kendall Ciesemier (COL ’15) as the $20,000 grand prize winner of the 2014 Top 10 College Women competition for her non-profit Kids Caring 4 Kids , which has raised nearly one million dollars for schools, clinics, and housing in sub-Saharan Africa.
Glamour’s Top Ten College Women competition has recognized college students for 57 years for their achievements and contributions both on campus and in the greater community. Past winners include Martha Stewart and former Dallas mayor Laura Miller.
“This competition is designed to honor young women who go above and beyond,” Editor in Chief of Glamour Cindi Leive said.
This year’s top 10 includes an Olympian, a NASA space expert, a political activist, and an NCAA athlete.
Yesterday, Mayor Vincent Gray began his 500 Families, 100 Days project, which, as its name suggests, hopes to move 500 of the city’s homeless families from the shelter system into affordable housing by the end of June. Although District officials have a lot of excitement for and commitment to the campaign, they have yet to provide a clear plan for its achievement and instead are relying on community involvement to help the families.
Gray’s plan is a result of this winter’s unexpected rise in the number of families left out on the streets in hypothermic conditions. According to City Paper, at one point, the 285 family shelter rooms at the former D.C. General Hospital were full, leaving D.C. to pay for 472 families to stay in motels in D.C. and Maryland.
500 Families, 100 Days was originally announced during Gray’s State of the District speech. “What’s limiting our capacity to help even more homeless families get back on their feet is our ability to identify additional apartments in which to place them,” Gray said at the time.
On Wednesday night, when most students were boarding planes, trains, and automobiles to go home for Easter break, the University held Planning 203 in the ICC Auditorium. Planning 203 revealed new possibilities for future academic space, sustainability initiatives, construction project updates, and topics of future Vox posts.
Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey and Provost Bob Groves outlined options for space that could accommodate new academic programs, including building on Harbin Patio and bringing significant renovations to the Reiss Science Building.
“The underutilized Reiss space is a key focus of opportunity,” Groves said. ”It relates to … our desire to grow the sciences, our desire to be a more prominent as a research university.”
The Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union announced Monday that it would start providing Georgetown students with affordable student loans. The Credit Union leadership hope that the student loan portfolio will someday endow a fund to the University, helping to make Georgetown a more affordable place for its students.
According to GUASFCU CEO Laura Krivacek (COL ’15) and Chief Lending Officer Peter LiVolsi (COL ’15), the use of deposits to fund student loans was something George Houston, whose $100,000 deposit helped found the Credit Union, intended from the Credit Union’s inception in 1983.
“With George Houston’s generous spirit in mind, we will be donating 5% of all our student loan interest revenue to a fund at the university,” Krivacek and LiVolsi wrote in an email to Vox. “The goal of our donation to the university is to help make Georgetown more affordable for future generations of Hoyas.”
Last Friday, Georgetown Chief Information Officer Lisa Davis announced that installation of a new Verizon Wireless cellular tower on the Leavey Center had finished and is now active. The work, which began this past January, improves Verizon’s 4G network reception across campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“We expect to see improved outdoor coverage in the south end of campus as well as some areas of the north end of campus,” Laura Horton, University Information Services communication manager, told Vox. “Upper level floors [in buildings] will likely see improved cell coverage.”
Verizon users at the south end of main campus had previously experienced coverage issues. Verizon prompted the tower’s construction and fully covered its costs. “Verizon approached us asking if they could have space on campus for a cell tower,” Horton said. ”Knowing that we have areas on campus with poor coverage, we agreed.”
This past Saturday, GU Pride hosted the ninth annual Georgetown Drag Ball, Genderfunk. Since its inception nearly a decade ago, GenderFunk has been more than just a fun night of dancing and Drag performances: it provides a safe space on campus to be gender nonconforming and demonstrates that more Georgetown students are becoming increasingly comfortable with challenging their gender expression.
What started as a relatively little-known gathering, GenderFunk—coordinated this year by GU Pride President Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15)—has now has become GU Pride’s largest event of the year. Despite the increasing popularity of GenderFunk and the decline in reported physical attacks on LGBTQ students here at Georgetown, event organizer J. Capecchi (COL ’14) points out this does not mean that heterosexism and cissexism have been eradicated from the campus community.
“Unfortunately we can’t guarantee that all of campus is a safe space, and I personally know some students who were harassed before and after GenderFunk,” Capecchi told Vox. “However, this is why GenderFunk needs to exist.”
The D.C. mayoral primaries are over, with Muriel Bowser winning the Democratic primary and, effectively, November’s mayoral election as well. The losing primary candidates have packed up their campaigns and cut their losses, but one losing candidate still has plans for the District’s elections. Jack Evans, two-time mayoral primary loser and Ward 2 Council member, has already introduced legislation that would update some of the city’s election rules.
Evans’ bill would make four major changes to District elections. First, it would move elections from April to June to give the candidates more time to whiten their teeth and practice smiling and move the presidential primary to March. At the same time, non-party voters could vote in the primary elections, should the bill pass.
The bill also would reset the donor maximum after the primaries so that candidates can receive an additional $2,000 from donors during the general election campaigning. Evans argued that a $2,000 cap on the entire campaigning process is unfair to Democratic campaigners, who have a much more expensive primary campaign than an Independent candidate like David Catania, according to City Paper.
On Saturday morning, as the sun shone high over the Hilltop and D.C.’s cherry blossoms were at their peak, the Friends of Rigby Foundation celebrated the 10th Annual Rigby Weekend to promote fire safety among Georgetown students and to commemorate the life of Daniel Rigby (MSB ’05).
The Friends of Rigby Foundation was founded in October 2006 after Georgetown student Rigby passed away in an off-campus fire on Prospect Street. The organization seeks to educate college students of fire safety and to prevent tragedies like what happened to Daniel Rigby.
Runners and walkers alike came out for the Run for Rigby on Saturday afternoon for a 5K (or a 3K for those who prefer to walk … like Vox) on the Leavey Esplanade. The run, initially started in 2005, had over 150 participants including Georgetown students, alumni, and friends and family of the Rigby family. Patrick Rigby, Daniel’s brother, and Kevin Rigby, Daniel’s father, spoke in memory of Daniel at the start of the run and gave the ceremonial countdown.
Sunday was a bright and breezy day, so the GUSA Senate decided to take its weekly outside and meet next to John Carroll, who must have been nearly as important as they are because there’s a statue of him.
First, the Senate happily inaugurated its five new members, who will be in office for a lengthy term of a couple more Senate meetings, since they will serve only until the next round of elections in the fall.
Senator Enushe Khan (SFS ’17) discussed working on getting halal kosher dining options, and Senator Shweta Wahal (SFS ’16) talked about getting language about sexual assault reporting and resources for survivors into class syllabi. Wahal also mentioned that a collegiate readership survey is being released to the public to gauge student interest in the recently cut Collegiate Readership Program, which used to place five free newspapers around campus each day. There was much mutual commending.
Senator Seamus Guerin (COL ’16) made a side-note about how it was a beautiful day for his white pants.
After running out of things to commend each other on, the Senate decided that they should probably adjourn until their next Sunday picnic.