Join us every Monday for a wrap-up of the week’s hottest stories! For this week’s “Mondays With Melanie” podcast, we begin with Ranee Brady’s (SFS ’26) article about the Hilltop Tap Room, a new restaurant and bar that is set to open in the Healey Family Student Center. Next, the conversation shifts to competitive club culture at Georgetown with Shray Dewan’s (SFS ’24) piece about his experience in Hoyalytics and the new open-access club policy. Finally, the podcast wraps up with Jack Lonergan’s (CAS ’25) discussion about Georgetown club rugby.
Melanie Elliot (ME): Hello Hoyas! And welcome to this brand-new podcast series, titled “Mondays with Melanie.” Through this series, I will be bringing on the authors of each week’s top stories to discuss their articles and provide a brief synopsis of their topics. This week, that of Sept. 4 to 10, has been an exciting one, as students are settling back into campus life. From new campus establishments to major waves in club rugby, it sure is a great week to be a Hoya.
ME: Our first story this week comes from Ranee Brady about the Hilltop Tap Room, a new restaurant and bar that is set to open in the HFSC. Take it away, Ranee.
Ranee Brandy (RB): Hey everyone, my name is Ranee Brady. I’m the GUSA desk editor for The Hoya. And this week, I wrote an article on the new HFSC Hilltop Tap Room, which is a new bar and restaurant that will open in the Healey Family Student Center by the end of this month. The Hilltop Tap Room will be a casual space for students to gather, eat and drink. The space has been leased to ExPat Hospitality, which will own and operate the restaurant and pub. ExPat co-founder Ben Sislen (LAW ’10) sat down with me and said that the restaurant plans to have late hours and serve alcoholic beverages to students 21 and older. Sislen said that he hopes the Tap Room will bring a fun and lively atmosphere to campus. Georgetown students Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) and Casey Borella (CAS ’24) have been involved in advising ExPat on student demands for the space. Borella told The Hoya that the tap room will bring a new sense of community to campus. “These spaces are important because they foster community and contribute to Georgetown’s history,” she said. Thank you.
ME: I, for one, can’t wait to check it out! And now to move towards a hot-button Hilltop topic, which is competitive club culture. Shray Dewan will walk us through his piece about his insight on this topic from being in Hoyalytics.
Shray Dewan (SD): Hi, my name is Shray. I’m a senior in the SFS, and I’m the chief technology officer at Hoyalytics. Hoyalytics is one of the consulting clubs on campus, and my article discusses how the new open-access policy has left many other pre-professional club leaders very upset and attempting to find loopholes in the new policy, because they don’t want their club to lose their sense of exclusivity.
SD: I find it quite ironic that these people are adamant against opening their club to the masses, when they were part of the masses just a couple of years ago, trying desperately to get into these competitive clubs. And so I hope my article serves to encourage leaders to be more empathetic and charitable with their club offerings. After all, we should be learning from each other in college, not trying to gatekeep and exclude. And I really hope future leaders can be more creative in how their club handles open access, so everyone can benefit from the great materials all of these clubs have to offer.
ME: Thanks for that wonderful insight, Shray! And finally, given how eventful this past week has been for Georgetown sports, I would be remiss to not discuss one of our many talented athletic teams. Here is Jack Lonergan with a brief discussion of his article about Georgetown’s club rugby.
Jack Lonergan (JL): Hi everyone! My name is Jack Lonergan. I’m a junior in the college. This week, I had the pleasure of covering Georgetown club rugby as they welcomed two coaches to Cooper Field from the Crusaders, who are the best domestic team in New Zealand — widely regarded as the best rugby nation in the world. They’ve won 12 Super League titles, which is the equivalent of basically the Super Bowl, winning the last two on the bounce. Tony Flay, who is a former New Zealand Youth International and has also played for the U.S. team, actually scoring in his debut out of Rugby World Cup, and then Grant Keenan, who is a current USA Eagles skills coach and is the head of the Crusaders International Academy.
JL: It may seem a little weird that this was for just a club sport, but Georgetown club rugby has been very, very competitive over the past couple years, competing at the Division 2 level in the Mid-Atlantic rugby conference. They’ve won multiple conference titles and even made it to a national championship semifinal last spring. Overall, it was a perfect start to the season for the rugby club, who then went on to play in a preseason tournament that weekend and came away with a clean sweep of three wins from three. And the expert coaching they received from the Crusaders coaches will surely set them up for success this season.
ME: Wow, what a hectic week here at the Hilltop. Thanks so much for tuning in! I’m Melanie Elliott, and this has been “Mondays with Melanie.” Be sure to check back in next week for another round of top stories. And until then, have a great week!
ME: This podcast was edited by me and produced by Amna Shamim and Emily Han.