Letter to the Editor: Housing hang-ups

The recent lease terminations of graduate students living at 2109 F Street reveal the core problems with campus housing. The system is hypocritical, deceitful and unfair. Students are forced to sign housing contracts months before the lease begins to secure housing. These binding contracts contain numerous stipulations of which students are often unaware. One condition is students cannot cancel housing contracts. However, the University can cancel a contract whenever, for any reason.

Many things can cause a student to want to cancel their contract. However, GW’s strict rules only allow cancellations for medical reasons, study abroad, transfer or withdrawal. Often students may decide to seek housing off campus but are unable to do so because they are locked into their housing contracts.

Many juniors and seniors on campus still live with roommates in efficiency-style rooms. Meanwhile, sophomores live in the lap of luxury in New Hall. After years of sleeping on top of one another, these students may wish to get out of the on-campus housing system.

What about students who have problems with roommates? If a student wishes to be removed from one of these situations, GW places the student with a complete stranger. Does this really help the students?

If the GW can cancel a housing agreement or make changes in housing plans, students should be able to change their plans as well. When housing is in such demand, why force students to remain in housing if they do not want to?

-Justin Tatham

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