The single life at GW is thriving, but these singles are not necessarily lacking significant others.
Dorm rooms for individual students – singles – are located primarily in Mitchell, Strong and Pelham halls, and they are in high demand, said Seth Weinshel, director of assignments at GW Housing Programs.
“The institution knows that there is demand for singles, and at this moment the institution does not have the inventory to meet that demand, which is one of the reasons we’re working on Square 80 (behind the School Without Walls), and the Pelham Reconstruction Project,” Weinshel said. “When these projects are completed, there will be over 700 beds in single suite style.”
One example of the popularity of single dorm rooms, Weinshel said, is the fact that 286 students vied for the five single rooms in 1959 E Street, one of the most popular residence halls for singles. The 1959 E Street, Guthridge and West End residence halls have a few singles each.
Once the University completes its F Street dorm ?- located on Square 80 – and Pelham reconstruction projects, GW Housing Programs will have 300 more singles to offer on campus. Weinshel estimates the number of single rooms will be smaller next year with the slated reconstruction of Pelham Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus.
The amenities of the single rooms vary and the chance of a student getting a single depends largely on how many are available for the student’s class year.
There are about 15 singles with kitchens and bathrooms for seniors, about 35 singles with bathrooms for juniors and several single rooms available for sophomores with communal bathrooms at Mitchell Hall and Strong Hall, an all female residence hall.
Despite the attractiveness of solidarity, Weinshel said single rooms might not be a good choice for all students.
“I’m not sure that there is a ton of benefit (from living in a single dorm),” Weinshel said. “I think having roommates is an important part of the college experience and you know, I think that not having a roommate can affect who you meet, what your social network looks like, things of that nature.”
Many of the students who live in single dorm rooms agree with Weinshel’s sentiment, including sophomore Emma Carhart, who did not request her single room in Strong Hall.
“I’m a transfer student, so I got stuck in a single and it sucks, because I didn’t know anyone here,” she said. “It’s probably been the least conducive thing to making friends and getting adjusted to a new school. It is really isolating-especially in (Strong Hall), since it’s all girls.”
Her floor mate and fellow transfer student Mary Knoop, a junior, agreed, but added that there was an upside to living in a single.
“I like having my own space,” she said.
Mari Kishida, a Japanese exchange student, said she likes living in a single.
“You can do whatever you want, and there are no roommate problems,” said Kishida, who lives in Strong Hall. “I can bring friends in whenever I want.”
The residents of Mitchell Hall – GW’s largest concentration of single dorm rooms – also seem to have found the silver lining of the single-living situation.
“I really like having my own space, and not having to share a room with someone else,” sophomore Mike Shea said. “I suppose maybe it’s harder to meet people, because you don’t have a roommate to introduce you, but I don’t really find it that bad, because there’s plenty of other ways to meet people.”
Kathryn Boland, a freshman, requested to live in a single this year, and would like to to live in a single again next year.
“I figured it could avoid the problem of having a bad roommate,” Boland said. “I heard that people here were still pretty sociable, so it was a way to be sociable and still have my private time.”