GW reconsiders housing policy

No matter how high their lottery numbers, Foggy Bottom students will not live at GW’s Mount Vernon campus if they would rather stay in the heart of D.C.

Addressing the Residence Hall Association at a meeting Monday, RHA President Justin Lavella confirmed a new housing policy that will guarantee students from the Foggy Bottom campus will not have to accept housing at Mount Vernon, even if Mount Vernon is the last available option at the room selection lottery Feb. 20.

“No student from Foggy Bottom will be moved to (Mount Vernon) under any circumstances if they don’t want to,” Lavella said.

If housing at all-female Mount Vernon is the last option available to current Foggy Bottom students at the lottery, they can opt to be placed on a guaranteed housing waiting list. Current Mount Vernon residents facing the same situation of last-choice housing at Mount Vernon will not be granted the same option. They will have to accept the last open housing option or place themselves on a non-guaranteed waiting list.

In the past, all students could decline housing if only one choice is left at the lottery, with the option of going on the guaranteed waiting list. Empty spaces become available to students on the guaranteed wait list several months after the lottery because students move off campus, switch rooms or leave the University.

Housing officials changed the rule this year in an effort to shorten the guaranteed waiting list and inform students on the list of their housing arrangements earlier.

Community Living and Learning Center administrators finalized another policy change Monday in a closed meeting with the RHA executive board, said Mark Levine, assistant dean of students.

Current Mount Vernon residents who accept Mount Vernon housing for next year will be allowed to switch campuses two weeks into the fall semester if Foggy Bottom rooms open. They will be the only students with the option to change campuses, Levine said.

Questions about the possibility of Foggy Bottom students being forced to live at Mount Vernon was raised by RHA representatives at a Jan. 18 meeting. Students were concerned a lack of space on campus would force the move, members said.

All students will be informed of housing policies and lottery procedures in a letter to be sent by the end of the week, Levine said. The mailing will include confirmation of the total number of credits a student has earned as well as clarification of the new Mount Vernon policies, the LEAD Living and Learning Program at the Dakota, and alternative room configurations available this year in some residence halls.

The RHA will co-sponsor a lottery information session with CLLC and Dining Services Tuesday at 9 p.m. in the Marvin Center ballroom.

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