Freshmen move in to cramped quarters

When transfer student Gaurav Laroia moved into GW last week he expected a dormitory like the lavish New Hall and City Hall that grace the pages of GW publications. Instead, he was assigned to a newly converted Fulbright Hall quad.

“At our first floor meeting with our CFs, a bunch of people were talking about trying to move out, especially since we’re juniors,” said Laroia, who transferred this semester from Catholic University.

All of Fulbright’s rooms changed over to quads this year to accommodate the 2,400-person freshman class, the second largest the University has ever had. Director of Housing Andrew Sonn said Fulbright now houses 268 students, about 60 more than last year.

Several Fulbright residents said they are living in cramped quarters, and triples suited the hall better.

“We have problems with space for clothes,” Laroia said. “There are two dressers here, and I don’t have space for half my clothes. It’s obviously not meant to house four people.”

Freshman Carrie Kerstein said she drove for nine hours from Massachusetts to D.C. on Thursday to start moving into Fulbright at 8 a.m., the official start of move-in day.

“I got to GW … and found that all three of my roommates had already moved in and the room doesn’t have (enough) space for four people,” she said. “So I have a bed in one room, a desk in another room and a closet in another.”

“(The side bedroom) is big enough for one person but not for two, ” she added. “Hey, just because we’re freshmen doesn’t mean we’re smaller.”

Many residents said the only perk of living in a Fulbright quad as a freshman is having a kitchen.

Although about half of Fulbright’s residents are freshmen, the majority of freshmen will reside in Thurston Hall and Hall on Virginia Avenue, the two traditional all-freshmen dormitories on campus.

Despite the hot and humid weather Thursday, a line of students, family members and possessions stretched along F Street from Thurston to 20th Street during most of the day. Traffic was backed up to 23rd Street.

But Thurston Hall Housing Director Sarah Coates said Thursday’s move-in went better than in past years. She said students followed designated staggered move-in times, which have not been adhered to in the past. The times cut down on elevator traffic by coupling the move-in of some upper floor residents with the move-in of lower floor residents, she said.

The University also closed down F Street between 19th and 20th streets so parents and students could unload their cars outside the building.

However, Thurston residents said they waited a long time for an elevator. Thurston has two patron elevators, plus one service elevator.

Margaret Wiss, a freshman from New York, said she had to wait more than 30 minutes for an elevator.

“(Moving in) was hellish, but it’s what I expected,” Wiss said.

Although Sonn said Thurston move-in is “down to a science,” the University had to slightly alter its procedures at Fulbright. Sonn said the University reserved more parking spaces around the dormitory and increased staffing throughout the day.

One building students did not move into this year was the Doubletree Guest Suites. Last year, the University temporarily housed about 50 freshmen and transfer students there, after they turned in housing request forms late.

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