The glitz of the Ritz

Most campus resident halls have cable TV and high-speed Ethernet access. Some even have built-in washers and dryers and weekly maid service. GW ranked high among competition in a Nov. 11 Wall Street Journal article, Luxury Learning, which analyzed resident halls at 15 universities around the nation.

Some students are awed by the perks offered in GW’s housing options, while others said they expect more with the price they pay to live on campus.

Although GW may offer some swanky amenities such as a maid service for freshmen resident halls and free cable TV, including HBO and Showtime, the residence halls could be better, junior Vinnie Balzotti said.

Balzotti, a Francis Scott Key Hall resident, said he does not think FSK is worth the money.

They say it comes with a kitchen, but it’s really half a kitchen, Balzotti said. It’s not very spacious. The carpets are dirty and stained. I wouldn’t consider it luxurious in any shape, way or form.

Balzotti said his experience living in Crawford Hall last year was not any better. While in Crawford, Balzotti said he dealt with moldy shower curtains, broken bathroom tiles and slow maintenance service. His air conditioner broke in January and was not fixed until the last day before he moved out in May, he said.

Balzotti visited residence halls at other colleges and said GW’s luxurious residence halls, such as New Hall and the Dakota, are not as luxurious as some of the lavishly decked residence halls at other schools.

He said his brother and sister pay half as much as he does for housing at other universities and live in residence halls much fancier than New Hall.

For the money we pay, we should be living in high-rise apartment buildings, Balzotti said.

Sophomore Allison Stein, a Fulbright Hall resident, said she is concerned that the University puts amenities before the safety of residence halls.

I like the building, but the school doesn’t seem to be concerned with the safety of the students, Stein said. I think GW focuses on added amenities and perks and puts a lot of money into them, but doesn’t put enough money or focus on the maintenance of some of the buildings.

Sophomore roommates Vanessa Adamo and Allison Schecter said they moved off campus this year but enjoyed living in Thurston Hall last year. While the sophomores said they would not label Thurston luxurious, they said the freshman residence hall does offer some nice perks. The roommates had a bathroom to themselves, two closets, free cable, their own Ethernet connections and phone lines.

Although students probably do not base their decisions on what university to attend solely on amenities, Adamo said she believes students look for perks and luxury on a college campus after finding colleges that meet their academic needs.

If people will pay $34,000 a year to come here, they expect a higher level of amenities, Schecter said.

Freshman Jessica Dunn visited several universities before coming to GW, but was attracted by GW’s atmosphere and residence halls.

Dunn said her father thought her sister’s room at Syracuse University was a cubicle compared to her room at GW.

Freshman Kat Sprissler lives in Mitchell Hall and said it is a shame she pays $4,800 a semester for the housing she receives. She said her refrigerator leaks rivers.

There are a lot of minor annoyances that really shouldn’t be there with the amount of money I’m paying to live (in Mitchell), Sprissler said.

Although she complains that Mitchell is not as fancy as other buildings on campus, she said it is nice compared to residence halls she saw touring other schools.

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