Residence halls not limited to GW students

On the bustling floors of residence halls live men and women without midterms, debit dollars or floor meetings.

Who are these mysterious few? The select group makes up the more than 40 non-GW students who choose to call GW residence halls home.

The West End houses 27 permanent residents, Director of Housing Services Andrew Sonn said. Ten live in The Aston, six are in 2109 F Street, one resides in Munson and two are in the Schenley.

Sophomore Aston resident Emily Bouaird said she does not have much contact with her neighbor, who is unaffiliated with the University.

“She never really comes out of her room,” Bouaird said. “She doesn’t open her door, so it doesn’t really bother me”.

On the other side of campus in the Schenley, sophomore Jackie Ackerly said she is more than pleased about the permanent resident who lives on her floor.

“It’s nice to see a non-GW resident in our dorm because we are in a city and we should see more D.C. residents,” Ackerly said.

“The reason I chose a city school was to be exposed to a variety of people and cultures”.

Ackerly said the tenant in the Schenley finds his own way to be a part of the residence hall’s community. Students can expect to see him relaxing on the bench outside the building greeting Schenley residents as they come and go, Ackerly said.

While most students interviewed for this story said they are not affected by people other than their classmates sharing the same living space, not everyone is happy with the situation.

Katie Powers, a sophomore living in the Aston, said living with permanent residents can cause some inconveniences.

“We may get permanent residents’ mail, and we will have to drop it into a special box for them,” Powers said.

Sumana Jayasundera, 80, or “Mrs. J,” as students call her, is comfortable with her choice to live on GW’s campus.

Jayasundera, a resident of The Aston for 20 years, said she enjoys living in such close proximity to GW students.

“I love it,” Jayasundera said. “The students are good to me.”

When GW took over the Aston apartments, Jayasundera said she wanted to remain in what had become her happy home.

“The noise does not bother me,” she said. “When I am in my room I am in my own little world. I am very happy here.”

Jayasundera, who works in a fabric store, carries a card much like a GWorld card to access the building and has a mailbox in the lobby.

David Wooden, 72, and his wife Terry, 67, have lived in their apartment in the West End for four years. They said they enjoy living with GW students.

David’s concerns – inadequate laundry facilities and mail services – echo complaints from GW students in the West End.

“A problem I had was finding where UPS sends my mail,” David said “Now I have to go over to JBKO hall in order to get my packages.”

David, who is studying for his master’s degree in ceramics at GW, described his relationship with the students of the West End as friendly.

The Woodens said they are content with their living situation and do not plan to move anytime soon. They access the building with a key and do not have problems with parking because they do not own a car, they said.

While they do not approve of all of GW’s expansion in Foggy Bottom, Jaysundera and David Wooden said they are content with their living arrangements.

Next time you are walking through the halls of a GW dorm don’t be surprised if you see someone who looks a little out of place. They may live closer than you think

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