Where the boys are

“There are boys at Mount Vernon?” freshman Swathi Veravalli asked.

Beginning this semester, 68 men joined 192 female students at the Mount Vernon Campus. But many females said they do not notice the male presence.

“I don’t see them around,” freshman Laila Hasan said. “More guys come up from Foggy Bottom to eat here.”

Originally a women’s college, Mount Vernon housed only women before this semester. Classes have been open to both males and females since GW purchased the campus in 1998.

Freshman Gurpreet Sadhi said the male-to-female ratio did not factor into his decision to live at Mount Vernon.

Sadhi, a soccer fan, said the 23-acre campus attracted him because it houses the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse fields. Sadhi also said the campus appealed to him because it is reminiscent of his suburban home.

“The smaller class sizes allow me to interact more with the professors,” Sadhi said. “The food is also spectacular. You can’t miss it.”

Freshman Matt Speiler said choosing Mount Vernon also had little to do with an abundance of women around.

Speiler, who comes from a small town, said he felt living at Mount Vernon would make his transition to college easier while adapting to the heart of the nation’s capital.

For Speiler, it admissions played into the decision.

“I heard they were looking for guys to live there, so I figured my chances of getting in would rise if I applied to live at Mount Vernon,” Speiler said.

Jeff Press, a freshman living in Thurston Hall, takes a class at Mount Vernon twice a week for an obvious reason: “The reason I’d live up here is for the girls! What other reason is there?” Press said.

Women at Mount Vernon often live there to study women’s studies. Having men might improve the social atmosphere, but some students said it doesn’t change whether or not they would be there.

“Having guys here is great, but it wasn’t the reason I decided to live at Mount Vernon,” freshman Daisy Dawson said. “Most of the girls come for the Women In Power program.”

Freshman Orchid Liu said whether or not men live at Mount Vernon is unimportant when deciding where to live.

“I like Mount Vernon because it is quieter, somewhere to retreat to,” Liu said.

The men at Mount Vernon live in the campus’ two largest residence Halls, Executive Dean of the Mount Vernon Grae Baxter said. Pelham Hall is coed by wing and Somers Hall is coed by suite.

Baxter said the campus made only two changes to prepare for the male students. Male community facilitators were hired, and the all-important men’s rooms were added to the residence halls.

GW administrators have allowed both sexes to take advantage of the housing options available at Mount Vernon. Students say they hope in time the male-to-female ratio will begin to balance out.

On living on a campus that is 74 percent female, freshman Tanner Blonquist said simply, “It’s really nice.”

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