Charles Nailen/The Hoya The university plans to change six of its 115 local townhouses to Jesuit Housing.

With the university’s housing lottery quickly approaching, tensions are mounting for many students, as well as for a more unlikely group at Georgetown: the Jesuit population. Plans are currently underway to allocate six university townhouses to Jesuits and to convert six townhouses now used as staff houses into student housing.

A new Jesuit residence, smaller than the current one located off of Dahlgren Quadrangle, is being constructed in the Southwest Quadrangle, and is scheduled to be ready by the beginning of the 2003-04 academic year.

“It was decided by the previous Provincial Superior of the aryland Province that we should build [the Jesuit residence] with the future demographic of American Jesuits in mind,” Fr. Brian McDermott, S.J., rector of the Jesuit community, said. “Over time, while we will have a substantial number of Jesuits, we will not have the total number that we have now, so we made it somewhat smaller.”

The diminished size of the Jesuit residence in the new building, however, will leave some Jesuits without housing.

Currently, 58 priests live in three buildings on campus and 12 live in the dorms with students. The new building will house 40 Jesuits. Twelve will continue to live in dorms, and the Jesuits are seeking to garner 10 to 12 additional bedrooms outside the new building.

The Housing Department’s response to this problem is to convert six of the University’s 115 townhouses into Jesuit housing. Though a lease has not yet been signed, Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services Margie Bryant anticipates that the six townhouses will be within a block of 37th Street. McDermott stressed that these plans are still under negotiation.

Should an agreement be reached, five current Jesuit community members will move into the townhouses. The other spots will be reserved for Jesuit doctoral students, priests on sabbatical from other institutions and newly hired community members.

Sharon Lynett (COL ’06), wonders about the plausibility of freeing up six extra townhouses.

“If it’s so easy for them to take six townhouses away from the administration and give them to the Jesuits, then they should do it in the first place for the students who pay the tuition,” Lynett said.

But seniors hoping to live in a townhouse need not worry yet. Bryant assures that the number of student townhouses will not change. Of the 115 townhouses owned by the University, a limited number currently constitute student housing. Six student townhouses will become Jesuit housing, while six other townhouses will convert from staff to student housing.

“They’ll move from apples to apples, not apples to oranges,” Bryant said.

According to McDermott, the relocation is not a long-term solution.

“In the not-so-distant future, [the residence’s size] will be adequate,” he said.

The old Jesuit residence will be renovated and put to new use, which is still “being discussed in various offices,” Laura de Joseph, assistant to Provost James J. O’Donnell, said.

McDermott would like to see at least a portion of the building to go to campus ministry.

“We hope that there will be some continuity of use,” he said.

De Joseph emphasized the fact that absolutely no decisions have been made.

“It would all be conjecture at this point.”

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