Affinity housing sign-ups nosedive

Applications for GW’s affinity housing program dropped 67 percent after the University announced this spring that only registered student organizations could be part of the program.

Thirty-three groups applied for the housing option – a drop from about 100 groups last year, GW Housing Programs Director Seth Weinshel said.

The themed housing option boomed after it first launched three years ago, prompting GW to tighten restrictions this year by only including registered organizations and upping the number of participants allowed per group.

Affinity groups next year will live in Fulbright Hall, The Dakota, Mitchell Hall and Guthridge Hall. While the average group will swell to 24 members – up from 11 last year – the affinity housing population will shrink by 25 percent.

A total of 600 students will participate next year.

Weinshel said the smaller size will not affect the program, which is slated to expand over the next decade as a flagship student life component of the University’s 10-year strategic plan.

“It doesn’t matter how many people, if those groups are living together and are building great community amongst themselves, affinity will only continue to grow over time,” he said.

The plan will also increase its faculty-in-residence and study abroad options. Six floors in GW’s newest residence hall, known colloquially as “the superdorm,” will have floor plans designed to house up to 20 students who will share a kitchen and living room.

Freshman Meg Glavey said the new requirements weren’t made clear enough to students applying for the program. She said she and 15 friends who happen to be involved with Campaign GW decided to apply together.

“It was hard to establish ourselves as a student organization because of the stricter rules,” Glavey said.

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