An apartment for 12 is not one of the housing options available at Georgetown University. During the upcoming inauguration weekend, however, the floor of one Henle apartment will be covered with a futon for two as well as two full-sized AeroBeds as 12 people crowd into a five-person apartment.

One of the residents, Melissa Coleman (MSB ’11), said she is looking forward to the weekend despite the crowd she and her roommates are expecting.

“I am ecstatic for the weekend,” she said. “I’m very excited for my friends and my guests to meet in such close living quarters.”

Even with seven guests, this Henle apartment is abiding by Georgetown’s special guest policy for inauguration weekend.

The special guest policy will be in effect from 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 16 to 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21 in an effort to ensure the security of students during the weekend, when an unprecedented number of visitors to the D.C. area is expected. During this time period, students are allowed only two overnight guests each, and are asked to pre-register their guests using an online application. The university is requesting that students submit their guests’ contact information along with their emergency contact information. Students are also required to obtain guest passes from the RHO of the building in which the visitors intend to reside. These passes, as well as photo identification, will be required for entry into campus buildings.

Coleman, who is expecting two guests, is registering them this week. “I think [the policy] is a little much, but it is good that the university is taking extra safety precautions because of how many people are coming that weekend.”

Another Georgetown student feels that the policy is necessary even though it might be an inconvenience. “I guess they expect a lot of visitors and if that turns out to be the case, it is a good idea,” Thomas Clifford (COL ’11) said.

According to The Washington Post, federal and local authorities have predicted that nearly four million people may gather on the National Mall and along the parade route for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

“As the city prepares for the January inaugural ceremonies, Georgetown has been making preparations for the campus in expectation of the visitors,” a recent e-mail from the Offices of Student Housing states. “Safety and security of our students is paramount.”

The e-mail explained the temporary policy, and reminded students of rules that are already in place. While some might have hoped to make some quick cash by subleasing or renting their apartments to visitors, the university is intent on assuring that this does not happen. Violating the new policy or existing policies could result in serious consequences.

“Any subleasing of university housing would violate the housing contract agreement and be handled through the student judicial process,” University Spokesperson Julie Bataille said.

Other universities in the District have taken similar precautions to control the influx of visitors during inauguration weekend. The Eagle, American University’s independent student newspaper, reported that students who sublet or rent their campus housing could face consequences as serious as eviction. According to The GW Hatchet, George Washington University will also prohibit the subleasing of campus housing and will implement a guest policy similar to Georgetown’s. Students will have to apply to house overnight guests and the university will grant a limited number of requests only. However, GWU has extended the maximum number of nights that a visitor can stay during a normal weekend from three to five in order to accommodate guests.

Coleman believes that no matter where guests will stay that weekend, the entire city will be energized.

“Despite disappointed conservatives, I think that D.C. will be a happy and exciting place to be that weekend regardless of where you are specifically,” she said.

– Staff Writer Kaitlyn Gallagher contributed to this report.

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