Next Stop GW #2 - Introduction to Housing, Residential Life, and Dining at GW

May 21, 2020

We hope you're having a great week! Hard to believe we are almost done with May.

Here's what you can expect in this edition...

  • Welcome message from the RHA President
  • Peek into living on-campus
  • Dining and food options at GW
  • Spotlight: The Store, GW's student-run food pantry
  • Real Talk GW - an intro to a new podcast-like series by students, for students

Note: at the end of the week you will receive an email from GWorld with instructions on how to upload your GWorld Card photo (student ID).

After this edition, Next Stop GW will come to your email inbox every other Wednesday.

Welcome from the RHA President

Greetings class of 2024! My name is Manvitha Kapireddy and I'm the President of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) for the 2020-21 academic year. I'm excited to welcome you to your new community. I wanted to share with you a little bit about me, why I chose GW, tips for getting acclimated in a new setting, and some information about RHA.

I am a rising senior majoring in political science and economics. I chose GW because I wanted to be in the center of American political life. As a political science major, I value the historical and political significance of D.C. that students from other colleges don't get to fully experience. I love being able to take morning walks along the National Mall, hear Supreme Court oral arguments, and attend discussions with senators, journalists, and writers.

What is RHA? The Residence Hall Association (RHA) is the second-largest student organization on campus. Our mission is to make every residence hall a home. We do this through programming and advocacy. Our focus is to create community among our on-campus residential student population through programming and activities. In the past, we've hosted events around Halloween, Black History Month, and during midterms. Our advocacy initiatives aim to fulfill residents' needs by bringing to the residence halls things like whiteboards in common rooms or cooking classes in common kitchens.

Tips for incoming students: Get involved on campus! Whether it's through RHA or through one of the many other student orgs at GW, getting involved allows you to meet new people, hear different perspectives, and find something you're passionate about. I met two of my best friends through RHA, and being a part of a student org has allowed me to grow as a leader in ways I didn't think were possible.

Follow us on social media - InstagramFacebook, or send us an email ([email protected]).

Get to Know Campus

We are excited to introduce you to the diverse array of living options for your first-year. Our two campuses, as well as the varied housing experiences we offer will help you find your home away from home.

Our Foggy Bottom campus offers the excitement of living in the urban environment of Washington, D.C. Most dining options on the Foggy Bottom campus are offered through vendors that have partnered with GW. Within walking distance or a short Metro ride, the Foggy Bottom campus offers opportunities for students to explore many museums, parks, and attractions.

Our Mount Vernon campus offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life within a close knit community. It is home to several residential college living-learning community programs. You will find a more traditional dining option of Pelham Commons and amenities such as Eckles Library, a black box theater, a gym, and multiple classroom and laboratory spaces. Additionally, it is home to many open green spaces, other outdoor spaces including tennis courts, soccer/lacrosse fields, and an outdoor pool!

Live-In Residential Staff
No matter which campus you will call home, one thing that remains consistent are the caring staff in our halls! Our live-in team, which consists of undergraduate Resident Advisors (RAs), full-time Community Directors (CDs), Area Coordinators (ACs), Faculty in Residence (FiR) and Faculty Guides (FG) are here to help support your transition now and throughout your years living on-campus. Your new home away from home will also offer you the opportunity to find community through future roommates and hall mates – some of whom will become your close friends or maybe even a mentor who helps you discover your best potential at GW!

Housing Application - How It Works
The first-year housing application opened on Thursday, May 14 and will close at 5 p.m. EST on Monday, June 8. During this period you can update and change information on your application an unlimited amount of times. The application asks you lifestyle questions and allows you to list housing preferences based on different communities and room types offered. We recommend you preference every option available on both campuses (highest to lowest), unless you are part of a Living-Learning Community (LLCs). Students participating in LLCs do not select building preferences because these are pre-assigned. Visit our website for a step-by-step guide of the housing application.

The housing placement process begins after the application closes. It is not first-come, first-serve, but rather generated randomly with preferences for lifestyle questions taken into consideration. With all of this mind, the staff makes every effort to match students with one of their top five preferences. Students who do not complete the application during this first window will be able to apply in the second round. Details about the second round window is provided in emails from Housing. For questions please email [email protected].

Finding a Roommate
If you are looking for a roommate or would like to be matched with a roommate you can use RoomSync. Using RoomSync isn't required and only about 40% of students have or will preference a roommate. You can learn more about how Roomsync works on our website.

We know that this is an exciting time as you begin to imagine what your residential experience will be. We look forward to being part of this first step of your GW living experience! Keep your eye on your email inbox for reminders from [email protected] about the application.


Seth Weinshel, Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Living and Residential Education

Stewart Robinette, Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Living and Residential Education

Dining at GW

We know how crucial a role dining plays in your overall college experience and GW Dining wants to make sure you have all the tools, resources, and knowledge to make the most out of your dining experience. Our open dining plan gives you the access to eat at a variety of dining partners, easily accessible on campus or close by in the surrounding neighborhoods. Our dining partner network includes 105+ vendors that you can shop, dine, and eat. With options ranging from table service to delivery, and dining partners ranging from food trucks to regional cuisines and grocery stores, you'll always have easy access to food that meets your tastes and needs.

Included in our dining partner network is SAGE Dining Services, our dining partner on the Mount Vernon campus (MVC). SAGE manages Pelham Commons and Higher Grounds Cafe on the MVC. Pelham Commons is our all-you-care-to eat dining hall that offers daily lunch and dinner, and weekly Sunday brunch. Higher Grounds Cafe offers freshly brewed coffee, pastries, bagels, grab-and-go items and more. In addition, located in Higher Grounds Cafe is the MVC Convenience Store, offering students a wide range of hygiene products, basic over the counter medicines, frozen meals, pantry staples and more.

The GW Dining plan is administered through a declining-balance account. Purchases are made with a swipe of your GWorld Card using Dining Cash. Students can either manage their account online or through the dining-dedicated GET App, which can also be used to find dining locations, order food delivery from select dining partners, check account balances and add Dining or Colonial Cash funds. With the freedom and flexibility of our open dining plan, students are responsible for independently managing their dining funds. We encourage you to download the GW Dining Budgeting App to easily budget your funds for the semester. GW Dining also offers a wide range of programming to help you maximize your funds and get the most out of your dining plan! From meal deals and discounts, to meal prep guides and cookbooks, events such as Supermarket Sundays and RHA Cooking Classes, and direct shuttle service from the Mount Vernon Campus to the Georgetown Safeway; we ensure that you are well equipped to navigate dining at GW with ease and great success.

Follow us on our social media pages InstagramFacebook and Twitter to stay in touch and to stay up-to-date on new vendors, events on campus, dining tips and more! If you have specific questions regarding dining at GW, we encourage you to consult our webpage for more information or send your questions to [email protected].


Karen Zinn
Associate Vice President, Business Services

Spotlight: The Store, GW's Food Pantry

The Store is a student-run food pantry at GW that is managed by the Store student organization and the Division for Student Affairs. The Store's mission is to alleviate food insecurity at GW and provide other resources for students to thrive. We understand the adverse effects of not having access to essential items and the impact that this can have on a person's life.

The Store provides dried goods, meats, fresh produce, dairy, vegan options, and more to ensure access to things all students might need. Aside from food, the Store also rents out laptops and iClickers to students per semester and provides laundry and printing cards, gently used business attire, household items, toiletries, and menstrual hygiene products.

The Store recently expanded operations in Spring 2020 to the Mount Vernon campus and hopes to be open to students when campus re-opens. This past academic year, the Store had 875 shoppers including students, both undergraduate and graduate, faculty, and staff.

For more information or to sign-up to either access the Store or volunteer, visit our webpage.

Real Talk GW

Student driven and designed, Real Talk GW, is a podcast-like series with current GW students discussing topics related to the student experience. Tune in every Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST on Instagram (@StudentLifeGW) to hear students with diverse experiences discuss all things college!

Upcoming episodes:

  • May 27: School Culture, TBH
  • June 3: Money, Money, Money
  • June 10: How's the Food?
  • June 17: Work-Life Balance
  • June 24: Smarter, not Harder!

Check out the new student Buff & Blue Handbook - a guide to GW systems, processes, jargon, resources and more! A downloadable PDF version is also available on our website.

Encourage your family members to check out their very own version, too!