Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Appreciate Interhall

In the past month since classes began, there has been a general increase, in comparison to past years, in student activism on campus. Though this general movement towards greater student advocacy has been in large part due to the changes in the Georgetown alcohol policy, there have been several other groups advancing causes across campus. The recent protest of the trial of the Jena Six in Red Square was a highly successful bid to draw attention to an issue that many students knew little about.

While this small campaign received a sizeable amount of press ? though there could have been more coverage ? there are many campus organizations that receive little or no acknowledgement for their continuing activism for the students themselves. Perhaps one of the least recognized of these organizations is InterHall ? an independent student organization that operates much like a student council, facilitates programming and advocates on the behalf of campus residents.

The presence of InterHall at Georgetown has undoubtedly grown in the past few years. Events such as the Target Bus Trip, Hoya Homecoming Bingo, and InterHalloween have become Georgetown traditions and brought numerous campus communities together. Perhaps InterHall?s most important and least recognized undertaking, however, has been the invaluable work of the organization?s Student Advocacy Committee. While many students have been focusing on the new alcohol policies, this committee has been working tirelessly to improve student life by working on projects that few organizations have even considered.

Last year, Caitlin Chen (COL ?08), who heads this committee, coordinated efforts with Facilities Management to put cigarette urns around campus. While such a task might appear minor, it took several months and many meetings before the project was realized, and it has without a doubt improved campus life.

Another exciting project started last year was a program to supply free newspapers ? USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal ? to Georgetown students. InterHall hopes and expects to implement this program in the next couple of months, after almost a year of planning and careful collaboration with the administration and GUSA. For a university that prides itself on its students? knowledge of current affairs, to only now have an organization take up the issue of free access to national print media is shocking. Yet few people have heard of this initiative nor have they taken the time to advocate for access to these important resources.

Another issue that Interhall has been advocating for is a way for students to proactively discuss the new alcohol policies. So far many students have had no outlet for their viewpoint. Taking the perhaps controversial viewpoint that student safety comes first, and acknowledging the attempts of the administration to provide an enjoyable environment for both students who wish to party and those who do not, InterHall has stood firmly by its policy of representing the whole student body.

In a meeting with Todd Olson, other administrators, and selected students two weeks ago, members of the Facebook group ?Work Hard, Play Hard: GU Students for Stopping the Madness? listed their first demand (of many) as a call for the administration to host a town hall meeting to hear every student?s view on the matter. InterHall was a step ahead. This organization had already taken steps to organize a student town hall meeting on the new policies and the revisions. Scheduled for Wed., Oct. 3 at 8:30 p.m. in Sellinger Lounge, InterHall hopes that this town hall meeting will provide the outlet that students need to discuss both sides of this seemingly all-consuming, controversial and complex issue.

Few Georgetown students take the time to recognize those people who are quietly effecting change; many of these people don’t, in fact, want grand celebrations of their continuous efforts. For InterHall, and several other student groups, advocacy remains at the forefront of their organization?s missions. Rather than expounding one particular viewpoint, InterHall has provided the avenue for listening to all viewpoints. Few Georgetown students take the time to recognize those people who are quietly effecting change beyond protesting the alcohol policy.

Chloà Waddington is a junior in the School of Foreign Service and Secretary of Interhall.

More to Discover