Next year’s freshman class may face different housing options than current students. The Room Selection Committee, assembled by the Community Living and Learning Center to investigate shortcomings of the housing lottery system, recommended making Madison and Lafayette halls open to upperclassmen and reserving most or all of Mitchell Hall for freshmen.
If the recommendations go through, freshmen assigned to Mitchell Hall will miss the traditional bonding and general craziness of the 1,000-resident Thurston Hall. Upperclassmen, on the other hand, will have two more choices when the time comes for deciding which residence hall to make their home.
The freshman experience for many GW students consists of spending a year in the nine-story Thurston Hall as many as five roommates. With about 100 residents per floor, it is hard to find privacy or normalcy, but most upperclassmen who are Thurston alumni have hours worth of memories from 1900 F St.
Exiling freshmen in Mitchell Hall singles will deprive them of the experience of dealing with roommates – a learning experience that offers its share of ups and downs.
Upperclassmen who were shut out of some of the University’s more coveted residence halls would be able to choose from Madison or Lafayette instead of facing the option of living in Mitchell Hall or going off campus. But those upperclassmen seeking to have a room to themselves in Mitchell Hall may be forced to look elsewhere if freshmen take over most of that residence hall.
The Residence Hall Association voted to support the committee’s findings 15-10 with seven abstentions. Because the vote was that close, it might be worth re-examining the evidence. It would be pointless to change the housing situation if less than half the organization supports it. A close look at the residence hall situation seems to be in order.