Saxa Politica: ResLife: quit passing the hat

September 25, 2008

I am not going to pay my floor funds this year. I shouldn’t have to fork over $10 to $25 to pay for “community-building activities” that I probably won’t attend, nor should any other student.

I know that Georgetown is hard-pressed for cash (our relatively paltry endowment of around $1 billion is frequently cited as a reason for our 23rd place rank in U.S. News and World Report college ranking), but since we already pay around $4500 a semester for housing, it’s not too much to ask that the University foot the bill for its own sponsored activities.

I have nothing against community building, especially in freshman residence halls where students don’t know many, or any, of their peers. But the sad fact of the matter is that most of the activities are poorly attended, even by freshmen—I never once went to a pancake breakfast on New South 3, and whenever I walked by the common room during one of those get-togethers, it was the same roughly ten to fifteen people that came.

Joe Combs (COL `10) explained that he has never paid his floor funds because he doesn’t see any benefits in it for him—they are “just a subsidy from me to people who want to do boring stuff on weekends and get up early to get their ‘free’ food,” Combs wrote in a Facebook message, adding that, “most activities are like ‘free’ food, but I can just buy food with the money I pay to floor funds.”

Obligatory contribution to poorly-attended events is the main objection I, and most people I’ve heard from, have to floor funds. Just last week I received an e-mail from my RA about a program featuring “Professor Daddio and lots of free food” with the subject line: “floor funds at work Part 2!” The catch? There are only eight to ten slots open.

I live in Village B, and some might consider it unreasonable that I refuse to chip in $10. Freshman dorms, however, ask for $25, as do Nevils, LXR, and the Southwest Quad. According to an RA, who asked to remain anonymous because RAs are not allowed to discuss ResLife matters with media outlets, there was talk of upping Village B’s floor fund amount to $20, a proposal that was eventually shot down because no one thought students would actually pay that much.

And since the ResLife powers-that-be must be aware that sophomores and juniors know better than to believe that floor funds are required, they unfairly proffer up the real threat of denying party registration approval to those who refuse to pay.

C.J. Chuapoco (MSB `10), who normally doesn’t attend the “community activities” that he pays for because he has “other stuff” he’s involved in, is particularly bitter about floor funds. “I paid them because I wanted to be able to register my stupid parties,” Chuapoco wrote in a Facebook message.

The RA also said that, “any student that says they won’t see a return on $10, I’d say they’re crazy. We’ve already hosted an ice cream social and a barbecue with the funds, and I’m planning a program for this week. If a student came to those three events, they would have made back their money already.”

I passed by that barbecue last week and maybe 15 people were there. And I don’t want to go to an ice cream social—I’m not in middle school.

Skip barbecues and do “other stuff” with Kate at


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