Georgetown University plans to bring back more undergraduate students and release another round of housing applications for the spring 2021 semester, according to Georgetown University Student Association Senate Speaker Leo Teixeira (COL ’21).
Teixeira provided spring reopening updates after an Oct. 21 meeting between GUSA leadership and university administration. The meeting included Provost Robert Groves, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, GUSA President Nicolo Ferretti (SFS ’21) and Vice President Bryce Badger (MSB ’21), with other students and members of the administration. Teixeira publicly announced the details of the administrative meeting at the GUSA Senate meeting Oct. 25.
The university hopes to increase the amount of students on campus up to approximately 2,720 students, according to Teixeira.
“They’ve expressed that their goal right now is to increase density,” Teixeira said at the GUSA meeting. “So they want to bring more students back on campus.”
The 2,720 limit is based on the number of students that can be housed in single rooms. While the university hopes to bring back more students, a fully in-person semester is not an option the administration is considering, according to Teixeira.
“The only option that’s off the table right now is fully in-person, normal situation,” Teixeira said. “I think that’s pretty obvious to everyone, but they’ve said that that is the only thing they’ve taken completely off the table so far.”
A university spokesperson confirmed in a comment to The Hoya that the administration ruled out bringing all students back to campus. The spokesperson said the administration was considering “various scenarios” but did not provide more details.
“While there is no scenario in which it will be feasible to bring all 5,000+ residential undergraduate students back to campus in the spring, the administration is reviewing a number of options,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hoya. “As always, we are working to find the best way to sustain our academic mission and meet our public health obligations in the midst of a pandemic.”
Teixeira also reported the administration said testing is not a constraint on how many students will be brought back.
“Testing, they said, is going very well,” Teixeira said. “Right now, they’re just focusing on upping their infrastructure to be able to do rapid same-day testing.”
While the administration still wants to release plans for the spring semester Nov. 16, Teixeira expressed concerns about whether they would actually be prepared with a plan by then.
“They’re still adamant that they want to announce the plans by November 16,” Teixeira said. “It is also very clear that they are way behind schedule in terms of actually being able to get a plan out by then, which is no surprise.”
Teixeira also said there will be more housing applications for students with unstable home situations.
“In regards to the unstable housing application, as you all know, there are a large amount of students on campus right now who had to apply because of unstable housing situation to be able to get on campus,” Teixeira said. “They’ve confirmed that they’re going to be doing another round of that once the spring plans are approved.”
Teixeira did not specify who will be prioritized for on-campus housing this spring and if there will be another tuition discount. The university announced Oct. 28 all students living on campus during the fall semester will automatically be granted spring housing if they enroll for the spring semester.