It is bad enough that the University mandates students to study abroad through affiliated programs to continue receiving tuition charges even while students study in foreign countries. But now, with GW’s new housing policy, some juniors and seniors will pay room and board while they are abroad.
According to an administration-produced housing advertisement (see p. 14-15), juniors and seniors living on campus and planning to study abroad must live in HOVA, Mitchell or the Aston to avoid extra fees. Upperclassmen who go abroad and choose to live in any other dorm will be required to pay housing fees for the entire year – like a lease.
Instead of trying to find incentives to lure upperclassmen into traditionally freshman and sophomore residence halls, the administration has chosen to threaten students with gratuitous financial penalties.
The University must fulfill the Board of Zoning Adjustment’s ruling that requires GW to house all freshman and sophomores within defined campus boundaries, which does not include HOVA, the Aston, City Hall or Pennsylvania House.
The BZA order, which the University is appealing to a nine-member U.S. Court of Appeals, has forced an overhaul of GW housing procedures beyond those mentioned above. In order to fulfill the mandate the University should strongly consider providing incentives such as reduced rent or free parking to lure upperclassman to live in HOVA or Mitchell. It will be tough to get juniors who lived in New Hall or City Hall to move into HOVA, which has solely been a freshman hall since it was purchased.