In response to budget cuts, the Office of Residential Living reduced the Alumni Lounge hours to three nights per week at the beginning of November.

During the spring semester, the lounge will only be open for reservations. Student employees will be dismissed at the end of the fall.

“The decision to make this change rested with two important priorities: the interest to expand student meeting space on campus while reducing costs in a difficult budget climate,” Ed Gilhool, director of residential education at the Office of Residential Living, wrote in an email. “Ultimately, we hope this step offers students even more opportunities to gather and engage in this space.”

In the past, Alumni Lounge, located on the second level of Village C West, has been open to all members of the Georgetown community. The lounge contains flat screen televisions, pool tables, board games and other amenities for students to rent and use.

During the upcoming semester, the lounge will be closed unless a student group reserves the room between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon. Because student employees will be dismissed, each student groups will be in charge of setting up the room and cleaning it once their event has finished.

According to Gilhool, the Office of Residential Living will attempt to find jobs for the dismissed employees. Employee Michael Lindsay-Bayley (MSB ’14), The Hoya’s director of sales, has worked at the lounge since the beginning of this year.

“I’m not work-study, so I’ve found it really hard to get jobs on campus,” he said. “In terms of getting another job on campus, I’m not hopeful, but they said they were going to try, so we’ll see.”

Another student employee, Ari Peña (MSB ’15), has worked at the lounge for more than a year. Once he heard about the cuts, he found another job as a driver for D.C. Schools without the help of the university. Peña said that could not wait for common on-campus openings, like Residence Hall Office jobs, to appear for the fall.

“I found one on my own because I couldn’t wait until an opportunity at an RHO opened up,” he said.

“I was also concerned because, my first thought was, if the school can’t afford to keep essentially what is our current very small student center open, how are they planning on affording a larger student center in New South next year?” Peña added.

Peña said he understood why the university shortened the hours, but that the Office of Residential Living should keep the lounge open for weekends.

“To completely close it down, I don’t think that it’s the best call,” Peña said. “The reality is that for someone who’s just looking at a spreadsheet, it’s certainly difficult to justify the lounge because of attendance.”

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