As your summer comes to a close and your freshman year begins, you’re about to be thrown onto this big campus we call “the Hilltop” to begin the college adventure. Now, I’m sure your Blue & Gray tour guide gave you the complete 4-1-1 about campus happenings during GAAP weekend, but you might be left with a few question?: What’s a campus plan? Does Aramark have an online menu? If weed is legal in DC, can I smoke a bowl on the Harbin patio?
A lot has happened at Georgetown since your first visit, so here’s a quick update on what went down on the Hilltop last year.
Healey Family Student Center opening and every other imaginable space of campus under construction
That’s right, the luxurious, spacious, fireplace-heated building known as the Healey Family Student Center (a.k.a. The Student Center, a.k.a. HFSC, a.k.a. HeaFamStuC, a.k.a. The Healz) has not always been underneath New South.
In Fall 2014, the Student Center opened its doors for study sessions, March Madness viewing parties, and Bulldog Tavern hangouts. This opening, though, seems more and more like a peace offering from administrators because of the endless construction they were about to put Hoyas through.
The walkway between Henle and Red Square closed, the old JesRes was gutted, the parking lot by McDonough disappeared, and my Copley bathroom never stopped leaking (sorry, that last one was a personal problem).
Hopefully, these construction projects lead to a more beautiful and functional campus. However, they sparked a conversation amongst Hoyas about how Georgetown plans its campus.
2018 Campus Plan Petition: “Let’s Not Get Screwed Again”
As a result of some of the frustration that arose with the constant sounds of jackhammers echoing across Georgetown, the Georgetown University Student Association started a petition asking the university not to begin any new construction projects before renovating and maintaining current buildings as well as not to require any more students to live on campus beyond the legal mandate from the 2010 campus plan.
This petition began the long process of crafting the next campus plan, the framework for campus development, which is expected to be completed by July 2017. The 2010 plan led to two new major construction housing projects, the Northeast Triangle and the Old Jesuit Residence renovation. The university decided to impose new three year housing requirement starting for the class of 2017 to fill up the 385 extra new beds on campus.
The classy GUSA title for the petition, “Let’s Not Get Screwed Again,” came as a result of hostile negotiations between the neighborhood and students during the 2010 planning process.
“There remain important differences between student and neighbor priorities, but the hostility of 2010 is hopefully a thing of the past,” Ari Goldstein (COL’18), Co-Chair of the GUSA Campus Plan Subcommittee, wrote in an email to the Voice in March.
Men’s basketball makes an early exit in the tournament, again
The Hoyas fell short of the Sweet Sixteen yet again last year with a Second Round exit at the hands of No. 5 seeded Utah. This loss added to the long list of defeats against lower seeded teams for Georgetown in recent years in the tournament.
Throughout the regular season, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Jabril Trawick, and Josh Smith led the Blue and Gray to a 21-10 record. The real story of the NCAA tournament for the Hoyas, though, was the standout play from now senior Bradley Hayes. The man looked like Patrick Ewing for a few key plays in the tournament after barely seeing any action during the regular season. Chants of Hayes’ name echoed throughout the Healey Family Student Center during the game watch parties. However, the Utah Utes proved to be too strong for Big Brad and the rest of the Hoyas.
D.C. gets high
Last November, Washingtonians decided enough was enough with all the stress and intensity of living the political life. The use of limited amounts of marijuana was legalized with the passage of Initiative 71, and now 21+ DC residents are allowed to possess up to two ounces and grow up to six plants. The transfer of weed without payment, such as gifts, is legal as well (because nothing says happy birthday grandma like bag full of drugs). On or off campus, however, Georgetown students must still comply with federal law due to the funding the university receives from the federal government.
A few years ago, a new group called GU Fossil Free (GUFF) began petitioning Georgetown to divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies. The group worked extensively with the Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility to rework its proposal before formally presenting it to the Board of Directors.
While the group was hoping for full divestment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies, the Board decided in June only to end its direct investments in coal. As a result, this still leaves investment in other fossil fuel companies as well as investments in shared funds that invest partially in the fossil fuel industry. GUFF responded, calling the decision “morally indefensible.”