The Office of the Provost has agreed to retain 3616 N St. NW — popularly known as Brown House — as student housing following the successful #SaveBrownHouse petition, which amassed 1,057 signatures, according to the Georgetown University Student Association.
The administration removed Brown House from the housing lottery this year, drawing ire from the student body. The petition argued that the repurposing of Brown House would negatively affect undergraduates and reflected a broader deceptive university attitude toward the reassignment of townhouses.
GUSA, which sponsored the petition, plans to negotiate with the university to ensure that Brown House remains student housing for the long term, push for the renovation of existing student residence halls and advocate for more student housing rights, according to GUSA’s Facebook announcement from April 27.
GUSA originally planned to hold a March for Housing Rights on Thursday but cancelled the event because of the petition’s success.
GUSA Deputy Chief of Staff Ari Goldstein (COL ’18) said a meeting next week between GUSA and the university administration will determine which students will be assigned Brown House.
“We have a meeting with the Provost’s Office, Residential Living and Student Affairs next week to figure out how to allocate the house for the next year since the housing lottery is already complete, and everyone’s been assigned a residence,” Goldstein wrote in an email to The Hoya.
Despite the petition’s victory, Goldstein said the status of Brown House is still in doubt after the 2016-17 academic year, as the administration still wishes to repurpose it for faculty use.
“It’s an open question right now: what will happen to the house after the 2016-2017 school year,” Goldstein wrote. “I imagine they still hope to convert Brown House a year down the road after we discuss this more.”
Goldstein said GUSA is committed to lobbying the university to keep Brown House and other off-campus townhouses residential living options for students.
“GUSA’s goal is to make sure that Brown House remains in student hands for the long-term,” Goldstein said. “Our goal is also broadly to make sure that as many townhouses as possible remain in student hands for the long-term, so we’re going to have to have more detailed discussions with the provost’s office.”
Jillian Aicher (COL ’19) said he was glad Brown House was remaining as a student housing location but was frustrated by the university’s attitude toward off-campus housing.
“I think that it is a step in the right direction for the university to give us back Brown House,” Aicher said. “The fact that it was even considered is pretty upsetting.”
Sophia Griffith (COL ’19) said she believes the university singled out Brown House for its reputation as a party location but will not publicly admit its rational.
“I feel like Georgetown chose Brown House in particular; I think they know what goes on there,” Griffith said. “But for them to not say that’s the reason — it is really dubious.”