Update: Housing considering delay of selection procedure change

Fall study abroad applicants fear the worst: returning to VCE come spring 2015

GUSA passed a resolution Sunday to reverse or delay the housing change that recently caused concern among students. At a Residential Life’s housing selection information session Tuesday evening, Patrick Killilee, Executive Director of Student Housing, said he would meet with GUSA senators to discuss possibly delaying the procedural change for the following school year.

“We are working with GUSA senators,” Killilee said. “By the end of the week we’re… making a review and a decision about what were going to do for fall study abroad. We haven’t made that determination yet, but… we’ll either follow the process as it’s written in our handbook or there’ll be a modification based on recommendations from the senators I met with yesterday.”

At the meeting, several discontented students raised questions about the change, which removes students accepted to fall study abroad from the housing selection process entirely. Killilee said that the new process is not very different from the previous one, as timing is all that changes.

He also said that groups using sophomores to replace fall study abroad students would have lower average housing selection points and would likely get a less desirable housing selection number. When asked if the new system does, in fact, punish students for going abroad in the fall for this reason, Killilee said, “Yes it could, I suppose, but it’s an implication of studying abroad… That is one of the disadvantages of this process.”

The change has also led to much confusion over the new process in addition to stress over rearranging housing selection groups that were made in the fall.

Senator Abby Cooner (SFS ’16) was displeased with the decision: “I don’t think that anything that Georgetown has ever done has made me as mad as this. If I go abroad, I may be homeless, but hey, there’s a chance you might live in the VCE basement with a rando. Ridiculous.”

Cooner said the University should not pressure students to study abroad in the spring, as recruiting for summer internships occurs that semester. She is also upset that the University changed the policy so late in the school year.

“I’m not sure that the housing office realized how detrimental the timing of their decision will be to so many students,” Senator Abbey McNaughton (COL ’16), co-sponsor of the bill, told Vox. “We need a minimum of a delay. The class of 2016 was put in a severely disadvantageous position with this news coming out in February, when most off-campus options have been eliminated.”

The change was made in mid-January, but students did not discover it until a Facebook event was made last week protesting the change. Following that event, an IdeaScale page was made to gauge student support, and senator Ken Nunnenkamp (MSB ’16), who introduced the bill, noticed this.

“This is something that is personally affecting me because I’m studying abroad, but then I was talking with a number of guys, including the ones who started the Facebook page,” Nunnenkamp, told Vox. “So that’s what got me interested in it, seeing the massive students response and just how many people wanted this procedural change both clarified and then it looked to us, reverted.”

The goal of the bill is to ensure that student opinions on the issue are heard, and Killilee and the administration have been understanding of that, Nunnenkamp said.

Vox will keep you updated on Student Housing’s decision later this week.

Photo: Patrickneil via Wikipedia

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