University changes student housing options on campus

The Community Living and Learning Center announced plans to remove housekeeping from traditionally upperclassman halls in a letter sent to residents at the end of last week.

Housekeeping will be discontinued in New Hall, JBKO, Munson, the Dakota, Riverside Towers, Fulbright, Guthridge, the Aston and Francis Scott Key.

The Schenley at 2121 H St. and the West End, at 2124 I St. – two buildings owned by the University – have been added to CLLC’s housing roster, but housekeeping is not listed as an amenity for either building.

Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine said housekeepers will continue to maintain common areas in all residence halls, but individual room cleanings will be left to occupants.

Students will support themselves more in upperclassman halls, Levine said. He added that as students become more accustomed to college life, they should have to take more responsibility for themselves.

Levine did not say exactly how this new housekeeping policy would affect housekeeping staff and the security of their jobs. But he wrote in an e-mail sent Saturday that housekeeping still had to maintain common areas and freshman halls.

Levine wrote that he is unable to discern the cost of living in a residence hall next year and therefore cannot be sure how the lack of housekeeping might affect boarding fees.

The Board of Trustees will approve room rates in February.

However, there are certain continuing rising costs that make up a larger portion of our budgets and therefore cause yearly increases in fees, Levine wrote. These include utilities, data connectivity fees, asset acquisitions/debt service, wage increases and maintenance costs related to building repairs.

But current residents have concerns about the prospective loss of housekeeping.

I think a lot of people are too lazy to clean their own rooms, said Liz Cannizzo, a sophomore who lives in Madison Hall but plans to move off campus next semester.

She said emptying the trash and cleaning the bathrooms will cause the most problems when housekeeping ends. Cannizzo said students have to take responsibility for their rooms at some point and said that other universities do not afford such luxuries.

Junior Matthew Hillson plans to live in a residence hall next year and said he is unhappy about the decision to remove housekeeping.

It’s nice to know that once a week, my room will be vacuumed, my counter top will be clean and the bathroom will be cleaned, Hillson said.

Other changes will increase the University’s support for freshman residents. Community facilitators will continue to play a larger role in freshman residence halls, Levine said. In addition, CLLC is integrating new living and learning programs into the residence halls.

Levine said the living and learning initiatives are GW’s response to trends at other universities around the country.

Classroom learning doesn’t end in the classroom, he said.

Townhouses are another addition to CLLC’s agenda as the lottery approaches.

A group of four or five students will apply together for The Scholar’s Village, an academic program. Students who apply should have a minimum 3.0 GPA, a clear judicial record and eligibility to participate in housing selection. The interested residents have to develop a living and learning program that will allow them to explore their intellectual curiosities.

The houses for this program are located at 526 and 619 22nd St.

The University Honors Program will also select a limited number of students fulfilling similar requirements to live in townhouses at 2208 F St. and 605 21st St.

CLLC also revamped the housing lottery.

Housing selection will be broken into two days instead of taking place on just one day. Rising juniors and seniors will choose housing Feb. 26, and rising sophomores will select rooms March 5.

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