WEB EXCLUSIVE: RHA hosts forum on lottery proposal

Residence Hall Association members and students voiced concerns over a housing lottery proposal to give rising sophomores priority in the housing lottery at a town hall meeting Monday night. The meeting, which was open to the public, drew about five students.

Under the proposal, rising sophomores would choose from rooms in certain residence halls on the first day of the lottery while reserving New, JBKO, Munson and Gutheridge halls for rising juniors and seniors on the second day.

A lot of the developmental reasons that sophomores should be living on campus are also addressed by this proposal, RHA President Kelly Snyder said. Juniors and seniors are a lot more independent and capable of living by themselves.

RHA members said the plan will prevent sophomores from buying lottery numbers designated for upperclassmen and moving into upperclassmen residence halls ahead of upperclassmen with better lottery numbers.

Some students said they were concerned about the lack of singles available for sophomores.

There are no available singles for sophomores. I’m a (community facilitator) in Mitchell and I know some of my residents are not going to want to have a roommate next year, sophomore Ben Posner said at the meeting. Can we at least consider reserving the five rooms in the Crawford for sophomores?

Under the proposal, rising sophomores would not have first priority in choosing any single rooms on the Foggy Bottom campus.

Most in attendance dismissed reserving five Crawford singles for sophomores. To accommodate the sophomores who want to live in singles, Mike Weaver, assistant director of Housing Services, emphasized the availability of Mount Vernon singles to males and females.

Attendees also debated a possible addendum to the proposal that would require students to sign a licensing agreement, a lease for on-campus housing, when they choose their rooms at the housing lottery. Many students said they favored signing licensing agreements at the time of the lottery. Some said requiring students to sign a lease would increase the number of people who opt to live on campus instead of trying to find an off-campus apartment.

RHA Treasurer Alyssa Nickow suggested that GW give priority to students who are prepared to sign a lease at the time of the lottery over those who are unsure and could be using the lottery as a safety net in case they fail to find off-campus housing. A final vote on the license agreement and the proposal will be taken at an open RHA meeting Monday.

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