On those colorful Georgetown University brochures and pamphlets that started coming in the mail my junior year of high school, I remember seeing fun phrases like, “Join us on the Hilltop!” or “Hoya Saxa!”

Do you know what fun phrase I didn’t see?

“We’re locking you on campus for three years! And you have to pay for it!”

Proponents and administrators are saying that they have no choice, that the 2010 Campus Plan agreement forced them to do this and that we should have read through the document earlier.

Maybe I’m simply careless, but in the chaos of my freshman year, I most certainly did not have time to find, read and understand that document. Sure, I had heard phrases like, “bring students back to campus” or “angry neighbors,” but I never imagined that we would be forced into a three-year housing requirement.

I can’t help but feel like this is part of an ongoing trend of university decisions made behind a thick curtain of jargon-filled, wordy plans and contracts hidden in the abyss of the Internet. Will we come to be known as a bureaucracy?  Will people see Georgetown one day and think about elitist secret societies? About receiving emails containing bombshell decisions that no one saw coming?

That the Facebook event entitled, “Change 3 Year On-Campus Housing Requirements for Class of 2017” had hundreds of attendees within its first day of creation demonstrates that I am not the only freshman who was unaware of the nitty-gritty details of the campus plan, who feels bamboozled and taken advantage of by a bureaucracy and who feels that junior year is high time to start building a life separate from the confines of the Georgetown campus proper.

That the news of the new requirement and that student reactions flooded social media demonstrate that this is not a mundane news update for students who overlooked a detail somewhere. We were misinformed, and we are being taken advantage of.

At the very least, this decision should be delayed for another class, who would know about the requirement before choosing to come to Georgetown.

I love this school, and I love this castle-like campus. But I want to be able to rent a real house, in a real neighborhood and start my real life in the fall of 2015. I want to have the things promised to me when I committed to this wonderful institution. We deserve that freedom.

IMG_5443Melina Delkic is a rising sophomore in the College. Year One-And-A-Half appears every Wednesday at thehoya.com

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