Administrators share pillow talk with students

University administrators packed their bags for a night in Thurston Hall Monday as residents hosted the ninth annual Presidential Sleepover.

GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak were just two of the administrators who spent the night in freshman rooms.

“It seemed neat to have the president in our room,” said Shaun Jayachandron, one of the students who hosted Trachtenberg. “We are a diverse group and very much a true mix of what GW is.”

Students who wished to host an administrator in their room had to apply for the honor.

Monday’s sleepover was the first opportunity for many first-year students to meet Trachtenberg and other University administrators. Representatives from campus offices like dining services, parent services, the Computer Information and Resource Center and the admissions office also attended.

Trachtenberg and company spent nearly two hours of discussion with freshmen before moving into the student rooms.

Several students challenged the University’s allocation of funds. One major concern among freshmen was the lack of Ethernet wiring in most of the residence halls.

Administrators responded to this and other issues.

“Networking in the dorms is as important as plumbing,” said Jim Porter, a staffer in the University’s division of administrative and information services.

Porter said that Ethernet wiring will be implemented through a seven-year plan. He said that to expedite the plan will take a commitment on the part of the students and the administration to make Ethernet wiring a priority.

Students also directed tuition questions to Trachtenberg.

“Every year is a new year with new inflation,” he said. “Although a considerably smaller increase is expected this year than last.”

Trachtenberg compared GW’s tuition with competitors, and said it is significantly lower than that of Georgetown, Boston and New York universities.

Many freshmen were concerned that their Commencement exercises will not be held on the Ellipse.

Trachtenberg explained that as much as he would prefer to keep graduation on the Ellipse, it would cost nearly $500,000 to ensure a backup plan in case of rain. A Commencement ceremony in the new MCI Center would cost significantly less, he said.

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