Perhaps on a cold, winter night not too long ago, a Georgetown student was plodding down the sidewalk in front of Copley Hall. Struggling to keep the snow out of her eyes, she would be walking towards warmth. And she would be getting closer to the aesthetic pleasure of a building designed for the pursuit of knowledge.

Even though it would be late, she would be walking to Healy Hall, once a beehive of student activity.

Before Lauinger Library decided that studying had to take place in a cold, sterile, fluorescent hell, students warmed themselves next to the fireplace in Copley Formal Lounge or worked late into the night in gilded Riggs Library.

Before the Tombs convinced our students that it was the official student bar, the Pub was pumping out pints of cheer in the basement under Healy clock tower.

And after hours of reading literature and a few glasses of liquid courage, student piled into the Philodemic room to solve the greatest questions of the day.

Today, it’s difficult to imagine a university that would let this happen.

Healy’s basement became closed to students and their organizations. The Student Government, the Corp and the Pub were replaced with cubicles and university staff. Copley’s fireplace was extinguished. Riggs’ doors were locked, becoming barriers between students and Georgetown’s golden age.

In the late 1980s, the university made plans for a building which would again be the heart of student activities. The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center would play host to every major student club and organization. It would be a destination for students.

But most of the Leavey Center is occupied by a hotel, and half of the eastern wing’s offices are occupied by university administrators. What’s left provides insufficient space for student groups, who either have no offices or are forced to share space.

The problem of student space is not a story of insufficient resources, but rather an emblem of chronic mismanagement. Our campus is compact, but it contains more than enough space for all of its departments and organizations.

The president evicted the Philodemic Society from the room which was built for that group and incorporated the space as part of his office. Student groups that have no offices must reserve rooms through the Office of Student Facilities, only to be turned away as the School for Continuing Studies increases its monopoly on the usage of space in the evening. And even when rooms are empty, they are largely unavailable to students.

More disturbing is the university’s indifference to the notion of renovating abandoned areas of campus for student usage. The only part of the New South Cafeteria which was successfully renovated was for university staff. The unforgivably-ignored old Jesuit Residence could provide space for offices and meeting rooms, yet the building is in shambles. Our largest indoor space, cDonough Gymnasium, is no longer available for student concerts.

Georgetown must remember that the university exists to serve its students and those who teach them, and yet those are the two groups whose needs are most often ignored.

Responsible management, and not more land, is the solution to Georgetown’s spatial woes.

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