GW to adjust enrollment during Thurston renovations, expand residence hall tap access

Media Credit: Dean Whitelaw | Staff Photographer

Colette Coleman, the associate dean of students, said officials will expand tap access to all residence halls this fall and mandate good-neighbor training for students living off campus during Thurston renovations.

Updated: June 21, 2019 at 1:54 p.m.

Officials announced several changes to local residents in Corcoran Hall Monday night, including expanded tap access to residence halls and accommodations for students while Thurston Hall undergoes renovations.

At a GW Campus Plan Advisory Committee meeting, officials said they plan to adjust enrollment, expand study abroad programs and offer on- and off-campus housing options to accommodate the 1,080 students who would have lived in Thurston, which will undergo renovations beginning at the end of next academic year. Administrators also said they will grant on-campus students tap access to all residence halls this fall, expanding a pilot program that began in freshmen residence halls last semester.

The Board of Trustees approved renovations to Thurston last month, including the addition of an atrium, lounges and a penthouse community space. Second- and third-year students will live in off-campus locations like Aston Hall and One Washington Circle to accommodate displaced freshmen during the construction, which will be finished no later than fall 2022.

Alicia Knight, the senior associate vice president for operations, said officials will reduce first-year enrollment by 100 students for each of the next two years and admit 50 extra students to fall study abroad programs while renovations are underway.

She said 198 students will be moved to on-campus beds, 305 upperclassmen to rooms in One Washington Circle Hotel and 238 upperclassmen to Aston Hall. The remaining 89 beds will be accommodated by enrollment drops and an increased number of students studying abroad, Knight said.

Colette Coleman, the associate dean of students, said students living in One Washington Circle and Aston Hall during the renovations will be required to complete the “Being a Good Neighbor” online training, participate in monthly all-community meetings and abide by quiet hours. Local residents voiced concern last month that students living off-campus would disrupt neighbors.

She said hotel management will staff the front desk at One Washington Circle hotel around the clock while students live at the hotel. Five resident advisers and a staff member will live at both One Washington Circle and Aston Hall, and an RA will perform two rounds of the building nightly to address disruptive behavior, Coleman said.

“The majority of our students want to follow the rules, they want to be civil,” Coleman said. “You have a small population that tends to break that. I wouldn’t want that to be the narrative for all of our students, because I don’t think that’s fair to them.”

This post has been updated to reflect the following clarifications:
The Hatchet reported that the name of the body holding the meeting was the GW Community Advisory Committee based on a posted notice about the meeting. The committee’s full name is the GW Campus Plan Advisory Committee. The Hatchet also reported that Colette Coleman is an interim associate dean based on information posted on the University’s website. Coleman is the permanent associate dean of students.

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