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

2 Comments on “GUSA Executives propose pushing back third year housing requirement

  1. The University trying to spin the One Georgetown, One Campus referendum into rationale for a 3rd year requirement is frustrating. Georgetown students overwhelmingly want to be on this historic campus, so why doesn’t the University give those Georgetown students the opportunity to live here by building desirable on-campus beds? The trust needs to go both ways – trust that the students want to be on campus (which they showed in 1G1C) and trust that the students will respond to positive on-campus addition of beds by filling them.

    I don’t think the student body is stupid. The University put itself into a difficult position with the Campus Plan and is now committed to filling x number of beds. But by being honest to the student body, both parties can work together under the current environment? I imagine an honest and productive conversation going something like this:

    Robin Morey: We need to build beds to meet the campus plan and you students forced us to build them here on campus. We can’t invest >$100 million without knowing students will fill the beds.
    GUSA: We understand your dilemma, but don’t believe a 3rd year requirement is the only way to get this done.
    Robin Morey: So what do you suggest?
    GUSA: Give us a year. Let us jointly announce to the students the tough position the University is in and let’s incorporate student interests to make the new beds something they actually want.
    Robin Morey: We want to give you, the customer, what you want. However, that doesn’t remove the risk of investing a ton of money and still getting empty beds that comes without a requirement.
    GUSA: Let’s announce to the student body that we need to build – and fill – beds on campus, and that if 80%(85/90/02%) of the beds aren’t filled after x years (1 year?) then we’ll have no choice but to require. In that year, we can make on-campus beds what the students want, and you get what you want (beds filled) without a requirement!
    Robin Morey: You guys are smart. Do you want to do my job for me?

    Does anyone think this wouldn’t work? Real cooperation and valued input from all sides involved?

  2. that would work if the school had the funds to build nice facilities. Unless they are complete idiots (possible) it appears that they just don’t have any money, otherwise we would have good food, less rats, etc. I’ve seen pipes in nevils that just drain right into other rooms, not connected to the sewer system at all. If they build nice dorms students will be paying $1300 per month in rent or more because Georgetown just has no money

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