About the GW Residence Hall Association

Our Mission

The GW Residence Hall Association was founded in 1971 by alumnus Jerry Nadler. Our organization was created to support and improve residence life at the George Washington University through advocacy and community building, or as we like to say it, making every hall a home. We are the second-largest student organization at GW and offer many ways to get involved with on-campus life.

Initiatives

Responsible for advocacy, programming, and leadership development in the residence halls, the RHA has a budget to host events in every residence hall. Each Residence Hall has a Hall Council, comprised of 5 members, who represent each hall and coordinate individual advocacy and community building initiatives on behalf of their fellow residents. Additionally, our Executive Board is responsible for advocacy and programming on a campus-wide level.

Current & Past Initiatives

  • iHousing, our online housing portal, was an initiative that began as a conversation between RHA and GW Campus Living & Residential Education

  • Gender Neutral Housing was an advocacy initiative pushed forward by RHA and the GW Student Association

  • Welcome Home banners that now adorn all of the residence halls on campus were initially designed and proposed by RHA

  • GW’s seven-year renovation cycle, which will see all of the residence halls across campus receive major renovations, was initiated by a housing cost-comparison prepared by RHA and the GW Student Association

  • Community Kitchens are now outfitted with cooking supplies in first-year residence halls thanks to a collaboration between RHA, GW Campus Living & Residential Education, and GW Facilities, Planning, & Construction Management

  • Initial Community Composting in select residence halls will begin in Spring 2020 due to a conversation between RHA, the GW Student Association, and the GW Office for Sustainability.

Residence Life at GW

GW houses approximately 7,500 undergraduate students on two undergraduate campuses and throughout nearly 30 residence halls. The two campuses, our Foggy Bottom campus located in the heart of Washington DC, and the Mount Vernon Campus, located in the historical Foxhall neighborhood of Washington DC, are connected by a ten-minute shuttle ride that brings students back and forth throughout the day. Many of GW’s residence halls are converted hotels or apartment buildings; as such, the overwhelming majority of our residence hall rooms have private bathrooms and kitchens for residents to use. Every residence hall on campus has student lounges and study spaces for residents to use, and several residence halls also have leased dining venues built into their spaces. One building, Shenkman Hall for upperclassmen, is the host of a Dunkin Donuts and Pita Pit; another residence hall, Potomac House for freshmen, houses Carvings, a grill and sandwich shop. Our entire campus is equipped with wireless internet and cable television. 

In October 2012, the GW Board of Trustees approved the construction of a new 850-bed residence hall to be completed in fall 2016. This $130 million project, which will top out by spring 2015, will house sophomores and juniors in efficiency-style apartments and Affinity Housing environments that will allow students to combine their residential experience with their academic pursuits or extra-curricular interests. It will also include outside food retailers in the lower level in the building.

Residence Life at GW

GW houses approximately 7,500 undergraduate students on two undergraduate campuses and throughout nearly 30 residence halls. The two campuses, our Foggy Bottom campus located in the heart of Washington DC, and the Mount Vernon Campus, located in the historical Foxhall neighborhood of Washington DC, are connected by a ten-minute shuttle ride that brings students back and forth throughout the day. Many of GW’s residence halls are converted hotels or apartment buildings; as such, the overwhelming majority of our residence hall rooms have private bathrooms and kitchens for residents to use. Every residence hall on campus has student lounges and study spaces for residents to use, and several residence halls also have leased dining venues built into their spaces. One building, Shenkman Hall for upperclassmen, is the host of a Dunkin Donuts and Potbelly Sandwich Shop; another residence hall, Potomac House, is home to nearly 400 first-years each school year, and is also the location of Carvings, a hot grill and grab-and- go shop. Our entire campus is equipped with wireless internet and cable television at no additional cost to students. 

In May 2019, the GW Board of Trustees approved the complete interior renovation of Thurston Hall, one of GW's largest residence halls. The $80 million renovation concept is planned to include a new three-season atrium, student lounges and spaces with natural light features, food service, and a penthouse-style student space offering views of the surrounding city. The hall would house roughly 825 students in doubles and singles as well as faculty-in-residence and residential life staff, and is set to reopen in Fall 2022.

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