Wednesday, February 6, 2008

HOVA, Housing, Huh?

The Hall on Virginia Avenue, known to GW students as HOVA, was taken out of our undergraduate lives in 2006. We may pass it on Friday nights on the way to Georgetown and reminisce. But on the whole, it has been removed from our world. The shuttle doesn’t even stop there anymore. And yet, HOVA is still in the buzz around campus.

Just a few years back, Foggy Bottom freshman vied for HOVA. Now, graduate students live in it but don’t necessarily want to. Last February, housing decided to raise prices in HOVA to $900 a month. However, with no kitchens and expensive parking, it isn’t the most appealing option for most grad students. Now, current students are
complaining about the building
, citing a multitude of problems. The reality is that it isn’t just HOVA where paint is peeling off the walls and the elevators are malfunctioning – it’s Crawford, Schenley, Thurston, Munson, Fulbright, and Madison (just from personal experience). I’m sensing one big bad bully as the common denominator here: GW Housing.

In response to resident concerns, Director of GW Housing Employment Matt Trainum said they will soon be implementing house mentors in the hall to increase communication with students.
GW Hatchet

And isn’t that exactly how we imagine the problems to be fixed? Just throw Percy Weasly in there and everything will be fine. I don’t mean to rant but we don’t really hear anything like “Student stops in front of Residence Hall in awe of its beauty” or “Students gather to commend housing on a job well done.” Instead we have stories titled “Bats fly into Guthridge and HOVA.”

Could it be that housing’s good deeds are overshadowed by its many shortcomings? That a privileged and ungrateful student body just isn’t as appreciative as it should be? That housing honestly isn’t something to marvel over? Could it be that the media only finds it interesting to report the negative? What we do know is that the general sentiment when walking by HOVA is “Oh what could have been.” For me, walking by HOVA is just another reminder of the potential that this university has. Potential that just isn't being taken advantage of.


Kate said...

I am in complete agreement with you on this one. Housing at GW has such potential in terms of location and variety, yet there never seems to be a huge effort to improve what is already there. When I lived in Schenley, it was a perfect location, but it was also the least expensive dorm -- and it showed. We had cockroach infestations and paint chipping off the walls into my bathtub. Housing needs to wake up and put some money into evening out the standard of living at GW, and hopefully they will one day they be able to brag about how all "residence halls" that are at least that: liveable.

Anonymous said...

I would not want to know the cost of upgrading the crappy dorms on campus. Sometimes it is cheaper to tear down and start new.

Anonymous said...

For the cost of housing at GW, the University definitely has the capabilities to maintain the residence halls. GW Housing Programs designates one residence hall to be renovated/upgraded per summer, but with the amount of residence halls on campus the majority of them just seem to be falling behind. I definitely think that GW should maintain the residence halls in better condition.

Anonymous said...

I think students underestimate the time and money that goes into maintaining the residence halls that we live in now. It's easy to jump to judge and say that housing isn't doing enough or they should redo a certain hall, but GWU doesn't have the funds to renovate all the residence halls and some issues are just a fact of living in any city. Also there are almost 10,000 undergraduates, so assigning the majority of them housing in the first place is a huge task. I don't deny that there can be some improvements to the process, but time and money is needed to make these changes, and GWU students seem to forget that in comparison to many other schools they have rather nice housing.

Anonymous said...

I agree, housing is so expensive already that more effort should be put into them to make it worth it. Especially regarding sophomore housing which is the worst of all.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Students can find cheaper housing off campus with kitchens and running elevators. GW housing needs to fix the situation or stop housing students in HOVA.

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