Students trade city life for Mount Vernon

Although the majority of West Hall’s residents are freshmen, a significant number of upperclassmen also call GW’s newest Mount Vernon Campus residence hall home.

Of the 287 residents in West Hall – formerly Pelham Hall – 94 are upperclassmen, said University spokeswoman Jill Sankey. Several of the students had previously lived in Foggy Bottom, but decided to trade in their city housing assignments for the suburban Foxhall neighborhood campus.

“I initially signed up for Foggy Bottom housing,” said junior Jacob Oxford, a West Hall resident. “After an unfortunate sophomore year housing accommodation, as well as a hectic freshman housing accommodation in a Thurston six [person room], I decided it was time for a little peace.”

Living on the Mount Vernon Campus has proven to be particularly convenient for Oxford.

An interior design major, most of Oxford’s classes are held on the Vern, so living there has cut down on the number of Vern Express rides he has to take to and from Foggy Bottom.

The single-bedroom suites were another factor that drew him to West Hall, Oxford said.

Sophomore roommates and former Foggy Bottom residents Blake Bergen and Damian Legacy both decided to live in West Hall after they visited the new building while it was still under construction.

“We loved all of the amenities, like the theater and fitness center,” Bergen said.

Even still, Bergen said adjusting to the “quiet and quaintness” of the space has been difficult.

“Pelham is extremely quiet, which feels weird,” he said. “I’m not used to a deserted dorm, especially one that’s so big.”

Senior Jordan Chaffin, a West Hall house proctor, said the transition from Foggy Bottom Campus to the Mount Vernon Campus has been smooth.

“Life so far here is fun and lively,” Chaffin said. “The community feels bigger since West Hall is situated further down the hill from the other buildings on campus. it actually feels full of people and not isolated at all. It’s still nice and quiet, but its community gives it a really fun feel that is even better than I anticipated.”

As a house proctor, Chaffin said traveling on the Vern Express is a good opportunity for her to assist more freshmen.

“I’ve been able to connect with several freshmen I meet on the Vern Express that had questions about GW and just wanted to talk, who I may have never met otherwise,” she said.

Bergen has had a tougher transition to commuting between campuses.

“Taking the Vern Express has taken some getting used to,” he said. “Once I’m down on Foggy, I don’t feel like coming back unless I have to.”

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