By Andreas Andrea Hoya Staff Writer

While asking its students to “rest assured,” Georgetown is “quietly but furiously” looking into housing options for the 237 sophomores who were denied their preferred year of on-campus housing, according to Associate Director of Public Relations Bethany Hanley.

Hanley would not comment on speculation that the university is considering additional area apartments, saying that the university’s concerns about “missed opportunities” prevented her from releasing any specifics on which buildings or neighborhoods are being looked at. “We don’t have definite news to announce yet on these negotiations,” she said.

Hanley clarified an announcement concerning the procurement of 100 apartments made by Karen Frank, executive director of facilities and housing services, at last Thursday’s rally on Healy Circle. Frank was not speaking of any specific negotiations but rather her goal of obtaining 100 apartments, according to Hanley.

The university will not announce an exact location for students by the Thursday, 1:00 p.m. deadline set by Students Demanding Housing Solutions, Hanley said. SDHS is the group which organized Thursday’s rally and wrote a letter to University President Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., outlining three demands – aid, assistance and apology.

According to Hanley, the university is not planning to make any further apology to students. “The university’s concern was expressed by Fr. O’Donovan at that rally. I think he expressed his regret that they did not receive their first preference and that there is staff devoted to looking for new opportunities for the students. Certainly there was an acknowledgement that the university is concerned about this issue,” she said.

Hanley said, the administration is “pursuing every lead” and looking into apartment complexes, vacant buildings and hotels to meet the goal of 100 apartmens.

“The university is focused on finding locations with multiple units so that students can live alongside each other and feel like members of the Georgetown community off campus. They are also looking for places that would accommodate students’ budget needs,” she said.

According to Hanley, one employee is working full-time on the search and “several” others are helping out. She could not disclose the name or office that the one employee is working out of, nor the number of other employees assisting. She also said that it would be “premature” at this point to say how much the university is willing to spend to solve the current housing problem.

Hanley also said that the university is presently looking into the expansion of GUTS bus service.

David Sherrin (SFS ’02), one of SDHS’s leaders, said that the group is planning to meet within the next couple of days and decide what their next course of action should be if the university does not have a plan of action in place by Thursday.

According to Sherrin, the group is expecting the university to produce concrete results by Thursday or within a few days of the deadline. “Just them saying they are trying won’t be enough because people need a definite promise so they won’t have to turn to other less-practical solutions,” he said.

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