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

Marriott: ‘Students Welcome’

By Kristen Wayne Special to The Hoya

Last school year conflicts arose when students trying to study in the South Gallery – the hallway in the Leavey Center between Sellinger Lounge and the Athletic Hall of Fame – were asked to leave and study elsewhere by the Georgetown employees working in the area.

The South Gallery is maintained by the Georgetown University Conference Center, which uses the space to serve food and seat guests of the conference center while they attend events at different periods during the day.

Last year, then-GUSA representative Jacques Arsenault (COL ’01) alleged that these students were asked to leave not only during the time the space was reserved for conference center guests, but throughout the day.

According to Willy Wright, general manager of the conference center, the South Gallery has never been designated as a study hall, but is open to the general public, including students, when there are no groups using the facility.

Wright explained that this has been the policy for as long as the conference center has existed and he does not understand why it is an issue or a concern. He emphasized his belief in the importance of hospitality and the fact that the conference center staff welcomes students and will only cordially ask them to leave if the space has been reserved for paying guests of the university during the time students are studying there.

He explained that students were perfectly welcome to study throughout the day in both Sellinger Lounge and the North Gallery, and that the South Gallery was open and reserved specifically for students during activities such as “Late Night at Leavey.”

Wright went on to emphasize that the conference center does give site tours of the area for potential conference center customers all during the day. He explained that these people come to see what their organization will be spending its money to reserve and that, as a result, the conference center tries to preserve a “professional learning environment” in the area and so expects a “certain decorum” from students. This is why there are signs posted at the entrance to the South Gallery which read “Proper Attire Required.”

Also posted is a notice warning, “No food or beverage allowed in this area.” Wright explained that there had been incidents in the past in which students came in and took food and beverages being served to conference center guests, who had paid for the meals. Wright hopes, however, to avoid any future incidents or problems relating to student use of the South Gallery.

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