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The GW Hatchet

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Debunking the myths about Merriweather Hall

Devon Fitzgerald, a freshman majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

If you’re a student at GW, you’ve probably heard rumors about a far-away land called the Mount Vernon Campus. It is a magical place, purportedly located somewhere beyond Narnia but not quite so far as Neverland.

What you probably do not know is that within this distant oasis is a residence hall called Merriweather Hall. Merriweather is somewhat like a lost colony. But instead of lost boys, it is inhabited by almost 40 girls – and it’s probably the University’s best-kept secret.

You might not know much about us, but there’s a lot you should know. For starters, we exist. We are students just like you.

If this is news to you and you find it utterly mind-blowing, have no fear. You are in great company: The key depot had little knowledge of us either.

At the beginning of the semester, once I had gotten over the shock of being placed in a hall I did not know existed, a friend and fellow resident of Merriweather was locked out of her room. She, being the resourceful young woman she is, called the key depot. But she, being the uninformed freshman that she was, didn’t know that there were separate key depots – one for the Foggy Bottom Campus and one for the Vern.

Of course, she called the key depot on Foggy and was asked where she lived. Her response was followed by a long pause, and then a polite but confused, “Is that on the Vern?”

If you end up in Merriweather, this question will be the first of many responses you should get used to. In fact, it’s probably the nicest, least judgmental response you’ll hear. Another “Merri-resident” – as we sometimes call ourselves – revealed the name of her residence hall, and her classmate’s response was, “Oh, yeah, the dorm for lesbians.”

No. GW does not have an entire residence hall set aside for its lesbian population. I urge you to think about the logistics of that idea.

We residents of Merriweather forever live in fear of being asked where we live for a variety of reasons. Mostly, we’re worried that you will assume, for one outlandish reason or another, that we actually chose to live there. But we also really don’t want to have to explain to you where it’s located.

People wonder how we ended up in this unfortunate position. The answer is simple: Many of us had no desire to be in Merriweather, let alone on the Vern. We were placed here by the fates – or GW’s iHousing system, depending on the belief system you subscribe to.

Accordingly, there are some things that the ladies of Merriweather would like the world at large to know: We did not (all) choose to live here. We are not (necessarily) lesbians. We are an assortment of women who have varying sexual preferences. And these are our thoughts.

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