Letters to the Editor


As the final decisions are made regarding the renovations of the Marvin Center ground floor, I would like to offer a recommendation.

While administrators in Rice Hall are concerned GW has fallen out of U.S. News’ Top 50, and students complain about our poor use of technology for communication, both groups complain of a lacking campus spirit.

Walking through our student union, the Marvin Center, we are bombarded with retail: The MC Store, Ticketmaster, parking passes, the GW Bookstore and J Street. Student-run organizations, at the heart of student activities, have been tucked away on the fourth floor. The building created to “encourage, develop and support cultural, intellectual, social and recreational activities” appears to have strayed from its original intent.

For the past seven years, WRGW has pushed to be granted a more visible location in the Marvin Center. Specifically requested is the ground floor space once used as a newsstand, but now only as a Ticketmaster outlet. The positive outcome of this move would not be for just the radio station, but for the entire GW community.

Campus radio has the potential to be one of the more powerful communicators to a university, yet remains an untapped resource at GW. A move would benefit the entire student body, lending itself to an atmosphere of student activity, aiding in communications on campus and allowing the Marvin Center to increase a sense of community at GW.

-Deborah Rothberg general manager, WRGW AM 540

New traditions?

Finally GW students are making their voices heard regarding an upcoming administrative ruling. Unfortunately, our means of protesting are so childish that they are unlikely to be taken seriously by the administration.

Instead of whining like two-year-olds about the proposal to reduce the cost of our Commencement ceremony, we should offer real alternatives and be willing to compromise regarding a backup plan. If we insist on having graduation on the Ellipse, we must be willing to have a far less than optimal poor-weather alternative (i.e. Lisner Auditorium and closed-circuit TV for the guests of graduates). The thought of renting out the MCI Center as a backup is ridiculous and unwarranted.

Furthermore, what’s so bad about the MCI Center as the primary site? In a historic section of our nation’s capital, the thought of having Commencement ceremonies here would be appreciated by many people who still graduate in their University’s auditorium, football field or gym.

Although I have eagerly anticipated and flaunted the fact that I would be graduating on the White House’s back yard, I was never promised that this would be the case. Surely it was touted in the promotional videos and brochures by GW, but this is not a contract signed by the University. Furthermore, the placement of Commencement ceremonies is not the only reason I came to GW – its academics are.

Do I want to graduate on the Ellipse? Obviously. Was it promised to me prior to deciding to come here? No. Will any alternative lessen the joy I will feel knowing that I am completing a major step in life and will never have to go into Rice Hall again? Impossible!

Therefore, we must be willing to compromise and engage in a constructive dialogue with the University if we are to save any hope of have a dignified Commencement ceremony.

-Ross Webersenior

History of phrases

In the exhilarating and obfuscating letter to the editor Nov. 17 entitled “Freedom of speech,” (The GW Hatchet, p. 4), the writer uses a whole bunch of big words to completely trivialize the point being made about Vice President Katz’s “reckless abandonment” in insulting women.

Bottom line is, “rule of thumb” is a phrase started to justify men abusing women. And no matter what the phrase means now, the writer – by defending it, knowing what the expression signifies – is defending the whole Germany-during-the-Holocaust mentality of “I didn’t know, so it’s OK.”

P.C. may be a fad, but if, like the writer suggests, no one worries about offending gay people or black people or women, it’s going to be one sucky world we live in. The writer needs to realize that not everyone in the world is a white man.

-Matthew Rothsophomore

Return the crime log

As members of the Student Security Advisory Team, it has come to our attention that The GW Hatchet has stopped printing the campus crime log as a regular feature.

We believe that in the interest of campus security, The Hatchet should re-establish this feature. At GW, we are fortunate violent crime is not prevalent. However, theft and other petty crimes unfortunately are a common threat. By publishing the campus crime log, The Hatchet had established itself as an advocate of students’ security concerns.

As the SSAT moves forward, it is imperative that all student organizations work together to ensure a safe and educated campus community. We ask The Hatchet to recognize its role as a major campus publication and take a proactive stance on campus security issues.

-Cat Sadler & Scott LevySSAT members

GW’s Africana studies

Something happens here. Or at least that is what GW’s administration would have you believe. Africana Studies minors wish that this was more than a catchy admissions slogan, for something really needs to happen in that department.

GW offers a minor in Africana studies in the Columbian School and a concentration in Africa in the Elliott School. However, the department does not have a full-time professor holding a Ph.D. in African studies, or a director. This is the case despite promises made by the administration six years ago; promises which have so far proven themselves empty.

Without a full-time professor, the department lacks substance and intellectual credibility. Without a director, there is no one, for example, to keep records on courses offered, make sure that students are kept informed, encourage special topics courses and collaborate with Gelman Library to improve its Africa collection. The lack of a director has proven itself frustrating for Africana Studies minors.

The department is in such disarray that some courses have not been offered for several semesters, yet they still are listed in the bulletin. For this reason, some students will have to spend an extra semester in order to fulfill requirements for their minor. This affects not only Africana Studies minors, but also those who are interested in Africa, the Caribbean and African-American studies.

As of yet, GW does not offer these courses, even at the freshman level, as part of its liberal arts education package. To those interested, I encourage you to sign the petition that will be going around campus to hopefully encourage the administration to take a more definitive stance on its promises

Something happens here. Don’t we wish.

-Naledi Ketlogetswe sophomore

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.