Don’t break promises!

When I was first deciding what college to attend, I saw GW’s recruitment video. One of the things I remember best about this video was that at the end, it showed Commencement on the Ellipse, and smiles on everyone’s faces. How about this for the next video to send to prospective students – Commencement at the MCI Center and scornful and angry faces on all of the graduates.

When I was a little kid, one of the things my parents instilled in me was to never break a promise. Isn’t telling prospective students (which we all were at one time) that we’ll have graduation on the Ellipse more or less a promise? Wouldn’t it then be unfair to break such a promise? Granted, the slap on the wrist or the warning from Mom and Dad wouldn’t apply to this situation, but apparently GW has done what our parents told us not to do. After all, a promise is a promise, and graduation on the Ellipse follows suit.

So why can’t the student body collectively, or individually, file suit for breach of contract in a court of law if GW intends to hold graduation elsewhere (at least for any of the four classes of students currently enrolled here). Or why doesn’t the University look into ways to accommodate the Ellipse graduation ceremony, such as by purchasing large tents? It seems that all I’ve heard is how GW wants to move the Ellipse graduation ceremony entirely away from its location of the past. And if the University doesn’t want to have graduation on the Ellipse, then at least something better than the MCI Center (read: President Trachtenberg’s house).

As for having a committee to look into the issue, I am surprised that the University didn’t appoint the “real” concerned members of the committee – all of us undergrads who were led into believing things at GW would be what the University promised us when we were deciding whether or not to come here. All of the undergrads should more or less make up the committee on Commencement since it affects all of us, rather than a committee of figureheads and tools who most likely will be following the K-mart cost-cutting mindset of the University. If GW wants to continue to uphold the little faith left in the minds of its students, it should start acting more like a caring academic institution than a money-hungry corporation.

-The writer is a sophomore majoring in economics.

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