March 2016 Edition

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Georgetown Community Mourns Loss of Nathan Kittredge Rom (F'19) 

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,

I am writing to share the very sad news that one of our students, Nathan Kittredge Rom (F’19), known as Kitt to many, died in a skiing accident on March 9, 2016 while on spring break with his family in Colorado.

We are deeply saddened by this news and know that it is difficult for the many members of the Georgetown community who knew Kitt. Please join us in remembering Kitt’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

Kitt lived adventurously. Prior to beginning his freshman year on the H​illtop, he made friends around the world on a gap year, during which he picked grapes in Italy, backpacked across the U.K., and worked as a barista in Sydney, Australia, among other adventures. In DC, one could often spot the red-head working the morning shift at Saxby's, where his coworkers knew him as Nathan (his legal first name).

Kitt was studying Science, Technology, and International Affairs in the SFS, and particularly loved physics. Kitt had recently joined the Georgetown University Boxing Club and enjoyed the intensity.  Among his many passions, he relished finding music, making pottery and tie-dye, brewing excellent coffee and living with fierce independence.

Kitt’s father, Mark Rom, is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the McCourt School of Public Policy and teaches in the McCourt School and government department at Georgetown. Kitt's brother, Chris (C’16), will graduate from Georgetown College in May.

Counseling and Campus Ministry staff members are available, and we encourage anyone who may be in need of these services to take advantage of them:

To schedule an appointment with CAPS (Counseling and Psychiatric Services), students may call (202) 687-6985 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. In the event of an urgent need after hours, call (202) 444-7243 and ask for the CAPS clinician on call.
The Office of Campus Ministry is available to all students during business hours by calling (202) 687-5259. In addition, chaplains in residence may be reached after hours by calling (202) 677-0361.
The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) can provide free confidential counseling and referral services to faculty, AAPs and staff. For more information, visit or call (202) 687-2396.

Please join us for a memorial service for the Georgetown community to honor Kitt at 4:00pm on Thursday, March 17th in Dahlgren Chapel. A reception in Dahlgren Quad will follow.

Kitt’s funeral will be held at 1:00pm on Thursday, March 24th at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 1545 Chain Bridge Road, McLean VA 22101. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, Kitt’s family has requested that donations be made in Kitt’s name to the Georgetown Scholarship Program Necessity Fund. To donate, please visit the GSP Necessity Fund Giving Page. In the space indicated on the giving form, please indicate that your gift is in memory of Kitt Rom.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kitt’s family, friends and everyone in our community during this difficult time.

Todd A. Olson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Rev. Kevin  O’Brien, S.J.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry

On Campus Living: Don't Move Out Just Yet!

By Matthew Larson and Karla Griffith

It has been a great year at the Georgetown University. You and your student are critical part of that success.  It is now time to consider where your student will live this fall.  Residential Living hopes you will encourage your student to return to campus based on their many changes.

Ahead of the upcoming 2016 housing selection, the Office of Residential Living has launched a new housing selection portal called Hoya Housing.

The redesigned housing management system replaces Georgetown University Student Housing, the university’s housing portal for over a decade. Hoya Housing will provide students with a greater range of features and a more streamlined housing selection process, among other upgrades.

Under the new Hoya Housing portal, the number of room selection phases will be reduced from five to two. Students will select apartments, suites and townhouses in the first phase, and singles, doubles and triples in the second phase, according to Director for Residential Services Patrick Killillee.

In GUSH, students were assigned time intervals one minute apart for their initial housing selection process. A student’s number of housing points, which were distributed by school year with extra available to those who attended certain events, determined these time intervals.
With Hoya Housing, the one-minute intervals will be replaced by a 15-minute exclusive time period in which an undetermined number of groups — possibly 20 — will search for rooms before the next group of students has access.

“Every group will have this time when they’re the only 20 groups in that 15 minutes. But you’re up against everybody at the same time, there’s no time that’s all yours,” Killillee said. “If you don’t pick in that 15 minutes you won’t get locked out, but the longer you wait, the less options you have.”

Under the previous system, a group sponsor would be solely responsible for taking group members’ selection codes, but in Hoya Housing, every group member must individually add himself to the group.

Additionally, there will be a new roommate-finding feature through which groups of students may look for others who may help them fill a vacancy in their room. As part of this process, students will be expected to update their living preference questionnaire.

“If you’re in a group of three and want to find a fourth person, you can search around and find someone to be part of your group,” Killillee said. “Or, if you’re an individual and you want to find someone to live with you can find a roommate that way.”

Students living in apartments, suites and townhouses must select in advance which members of their group will live together in each room and who will take a single room.

According to Killillee, the change from GUSH to Hoya Housing occurred due to a university-wide initiative to eliminate “homegrown” systems made in house. A few years ago the Office of Residential Life redesigned the housing system and settled on a proposal by StarRez, a company providing housing software for other universities.

While many new features exist as part of Hoya Housing, Killillee noted how there are a few things that the system does not do that GUSH did do. Hoya Housing does not have a room specification feature like GUSH, so students will have to research the specifications of each room ahead of time.

The Office of Residential Living has held three information sessions about Hoya Housing since the beginning of February and received a record turnout of students. The Office of Residential Living is currently hosting office hours about the new system in case students have questions, and the new system has been well-received by students.

The 2016 housing process will begin with phase one from March 23 to 30, consisting of selection for apartments, suites and townhouses.

Additionally, we included reasons gathered by students to stay on campus!

4 Reasons for your student to consider staying on campus:

Education – Grades matter. Research shows that students living on campus are more likely to graduate. They make better grades. Residential Living staff members work hard to build a positive community of academic and social support through event programming and leadership development.

This effort sets up your student to graduate and achieve.

Community  – Living on campus among more than 5,600 other young adults is an experience that remains forever memorable for your student.

Resident Assistants (RA’s) work in each hall to create a community that engages students outside of the classroom. Community is primarily built from the everyday conversations that students have with one another.

Campus housing fosters an environment for conversations and connections to occur.

Simplicity  – Housing costs are billed to your student’s account. No need to worry about a last-minute heating bill or a panicked call about rent being due. One charge covers it all — housing and food.

Residential Living staff members are a phone call or email away for students who need help. Maintenance and Technology (UIS) services are available to support your student while living on campus.

Safety  – Georgetown University boasts safety among its gates with GU Police and a conscious community that reports incidents or situations.

Residential staff members are also trained to spot when the stress of school becomes too much. Community Directors (CDs) and Chaplains-In-Residence (CIR’s) can discretely and sensitively offer help when your student needs someone to talk to about things.

Consider the reasons above when discussing housing options with your student. 

Expanding Mental Health Resources at Georgetown

I am writing to make you aware that the university will be expanding its mental health resources in the fall of 2016. Colleges and universities across the country have seen greater use of mental health services by students in recent years. At Georgetown, we recognized similar needs for additional counseling services for our students. Over the past few months we have worked closely with students to address these needs on our campus.
Georgetown’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), serves the mental health needs of our students at Georgetown. CAPS has branches on the Main Campus, at the School of Continuing Studies, and at the Law Center, and has urgent need appointments available every weekday, as well as staff on call every night in order to provide 24/7 responsiveness to members of our community.
We will add two staff psychologists in CAPS - one on the Main Campus and one at the Law Center - as well as a case manager on the Main Campus, who will coordinate closely with CAPS to address students’ mental health needs in relation to other campus services. We are working to have these new positions in place by the fall.
These expanded resources are designed to enable us to serve students more effectively, reduce waiting times for routine appointments and support students as they work through complex issues. We hope that by increasing our capacity we will be able to meet the increased needs of our students, as well as reduce students’ waiting time to see a clinician.
I would like to thank the members of Georgetown’s Mental Health Advisory Board, a team of students and colleagues across the university, who have been working to identify the key needs and interests among our students on this important topic. Their engagement and thoughtful work have guided our planning and our work in strengthening our mental health resources on campus.
We look forward to continuing our work and exploring how best to serve our students on this important issue.
If you need to make an appointment with CAPS on the Main Campus, at the Law Center, or at SCS, call 202-687-6985 during business hours or 202-444-PAGE (7243) for after-hours emergencies (ask to speak to on-call clinician).
The Main Campus CAPS office is located behind Darnall Hall on campus.
The Law Center CAPS office is located in Gewirz Center L-102-G.
The School of Continuing Studies CAPS office is located in C107 on 640 Massachusetts Ave NW.
Todd A. Olson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs