Housing oversees smooth move-in

Packing her car at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, freshman Meredith Blumoff prepared for her 12-hour drive from Atlanta to Washington on little sleep. Blumoff said she arrived in D.C. about 8 p.m. that night, exhausted but looking forward to move-in the next day.

More than 1,500 freshmen moved into GW residence halls Thursday, filling the sidewalk with Yaffa blocks and other dorm-room essentials. Most upperclassmen moved into residence halls Friday.

University Police diverted traffic from F Street between 19th and 20th streets for residents moving into Thurston Hall all day Thursday, as minivans and U-hauls lined the block. Residents also packed the streets around the Hall on Virginia Avenue as the HOVA parking garage overflowed into the street.

Community Learning and Living Center officials instituted staggered move-in times for students this year attempting to prevent lines of freshmen stretching for blocks in the morning. GW scheduled three time slots for different floors of HOVA and Thurston. The procedure was created to make for a “quicker and easier” move-in, Associate Director of Housing Services Anna Cenatiempo said.

“The idea behind staggering move-in is to regulate the traffic flow outside and inside of the freshmen halls,” she said. “We typically have an upper floor and a lower floor scheduled for the same move-in time, so that we don’t have a logjam at the elevators.”

Many students in HOVA began carrying their belongings up the stairs in order to escape the long lines forming at the elevators. Suming Briskin, a freshman from Radnor, Pa., said moving in was a challenge despite the different move-in times.

“Everyone was moving in at the same time, so the elevators were tied up,” she said. “I’m on the seventh floor, so it’s kind of a hike.”

Representatives from CLLC, who assisted with freshman move-in, said the day went very well. GW Senior Jeanie Wendell, an area specialist with CLLC, said this year’s system worked better than other years.

“Everything was much better planned this year,” she said. “This isn’t the first time the University has tried to stagger move-in times, but it is the first year it has worked. Most of the freshmen have kept to their scheduled move-in time, and they are following directions.”

Some parents and students were frustrated with long waits that arose despite the staggered move-in times. Saul Kalish, father of freshman Adam Kalish, said he was discouraged by the lack of organization during move-in.

“I was disappointed,” Kalish said. “They gave us a parking spot for twenty minutes, and it took longer than twenty minutes to get on the elevator.”

Housing Services did not have a waiting list this summer for on-campus housing, but 22 freshmen and 28 transfer students were forced into overflow housing at the Doubletree Guest Suites on New Hampshire Avenue this week.

Andrew Sonn, director of Housing Services, said the students will be placed in permanent housing by Sept. 21. He said GW uses an “overflow procedure” every year, as Housing Services adjusts for changes in the residence halls during the first month of school.

“We have such a plan in place almost every year. The thinking behind this is that we always have a certain percentage of students who are no-shows, or, who ‘melt’ from the housing system,” Sonn said. “These no-show beds become vacancies that we can place students in during the first few weeks to maximize the number of beds we can offer students interested in residing on campus.”

The University allowed nearly 150 students to move into residence halls Wednesday night to ease traffic for the following day.

“It helped tremendously at HOVA,” said Satish Ayer, a GW graduate student and area specialist with CLLC who assisted with move-in all week. “It’s been incredibly smooth compared to what I’ve heard of previous years.”

almost every year. The thinking behind this is that we always have a certain percentage of students who are no-shows, or, who ‘melt’ from the housing system,” Sonn said. “These no-show beds become vacancies that we can place students in during the first few weeks to maximize the number of beds we can offer students interested in residing on campus.”

The University allowed nearly 150 students to move into residence halls Wednesday night to ease traffic for the following day.

“It helped tremendously at HOVA,” said Satish Ayer, a GW graduate student and area specialist with CLLC who assisted with move-in all week. “It’s been incredibly smooth compared to what I’ve heard of previous years.”

As the commotion eventually settled around freshman residence halls, many upperclassmen moved in to other halls Friday, including 1957 E St.

Senior Marianna Kuperman said she enjoys living in GW’s newest residence hall.

“The rooms are really big,” she said. “They have a lot of space in them. I lived in Crawford Hall before, and it was much smaller.”

Construction continues on the portion of the building that will serve as home to the Elliott School of International Affairs.

“I don’t really know how I feel about this construction,” Kuperman said. “I’ve been living with construction for all four years at GW, so I will be able to sleep, but it is kind of annoying.”

Mitchell Hall welcomed students to a building undergoing extensive renovations and improvement. A sign warning about asbestos treatment was stripped from the entrance just before moving day, while black tarps remain placed securely over many residents’ windows.

“I have no natural light (in my room),” said Mitchell resident freshman Blake Phillips. “It’s kind of depressing. I have to ask the person down the hall what the weather is like.”

Amrita Bagaria, also a freshman, agreed.

“It needs to go. When you wake up, you have no concept of time,” she said. “I’d rather get asbestos than wake up to that awful tarp.”

Courtney Flaherty of Property Management said the tarps remain in place for student safety.

“The black tarps were placed on all of the windows in the courtyard area in early July to ensure occupant privacy, as well as to seal the windows from the removal of lead paint and asbestos from the exterior of the building,” she said. “The tarps will be removed as the waterproofing and painting work is completed.”

Moving complete, both freshmen and upperclassmen said they are meeting their new floor mates and adjusting to their new surroundings before the start of classes Tuesday.

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