Letters to the Editor

The need for GW radio

The proposal for renovations to the Marvin Center is near approval, and while the benefits of an improved student center are obvious, there is a small provision tucked away in the proposal that could give this University something it probably didn’t know it was lacking: a visible and fully functioning student radio station.

As they stand now, the renovations call for moving WRGW’s studio and offices to a more central location on the Marvin Center’s ground floor. The relocation would benefit the station immensely, but it also would benefit the GW community.

A campus radio station fosters unity on campus. If students were able to listen to shows hosted by their friends or have a say in the kind of music played on air, they would take advantage of the opportunity.

WRGW’s programming schedule is a perfect display of the diversity that exists on this campus. If students were permitted to hear it, they would be exposed to a variety of music and talk programs that they might never experience elsewhere.

Currently, students cannot hear what is being broadcast because the station lacks funding to purchase better transmitters. Many don’t even know WGRW or the electronic media program’s station, WRTV, exist! A centralized location would allow students to see the stations in action and would invite them to take a hands-on role in campus media.

Think about what a more visible radio station could do for campus media. Right now we have a handful of student publications on campus but no viable radio outlet. Radio allows students to express themselves and their opinions in a more immediate manner than other forms of media. The exchange of information is what campus media is all about, but radio has been left virtually untouched. What does this say about GW?

Shouldn’t a top-notch university in the nation’s capital have a radio station that, at the very least, can be heard in University buildings?

I know there is support for campus radio. Polls that WRGW has conducted in the past indicate that more than 85 percent of GW students would take interest in the station if it were centrally located and had a boosted signal.

I urge students to support the current Marvin Center renovation plans. With you behind WRGW, the station can be a student voice as loud as any other at this University. It is one worth listening to.

-Rick Terpstraoperations director, WRGW 540 AM

Superfan responds

“Tradition” is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “the passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication.” As a senior graduating on the Ellipse in May, I find it quite ironic how we view tradition at GW.

Oral communication has become one of GW students’ strongest assets in the 1997 “class action” case Students v. Administration. We showed signs of a united front at the successful town hall meeting held in Funger Hall last week. Our collective voice has been clearly heard as we aim to become the 22nd member of the 21-member Commencement committee, headed by Law School Associate Dean John Jenkins.

But in our role as the “sixth man” at GW basketball games, our oral communication as fans has significantly deteriorated, and is becoming quite a liability.

I really haven’t taken any offense to the comments dished out by The GW Hatchet in the past two weeks. Big deal – Superfan Mike gets one hatchet on a five-hatchet scale. I found that pretty funny. And I was flattered by the fact that the editors mentioned that “no one doubts the intensity and devotion of Mike the Superfan to the Colonials.” (The GW Hatchet, “Superflunk,” Nov. 17, p. 4) I’ve been loud and foolish at games during the past three years; I’m glad that it’s taken some face paint to get some recognition.

In Thursday’s Hatchet, columnist Audrey Molina decides to play tough and give the Superfan a number of appealing suffixes (-pest, -geek, -fool, -nerd) (“New Smith Center mascot rules,” p.5).

What do you people want? What do you go to games for? Are you there to watch your Colonials win and have a good time, or are you there to be hostile to YOUR band, YOUR cheerleaders and YOUR own peers? Ooh, maybe an article in the school paper will be tough. Give me a break; let’s be tough together.

Maybe a “Mike Man” tradition isn’t quite catching on right now. Then let’s get the tradition of an exciting crowd going again. I may sound like an old man, but I can remember my freshman year, when no one sat down and fans lost their voices by the end of each game.

Anyway, I took last Wednesday’s game off, sat amongst my peers and kept my uncontrollable hands off Ms. Molina. It ticked me off that I could hear the American University fans louder than GW’s at times, in our house. I didn’t see The Hatchet assuming the task of getting fans rowdy. Who’s gonna do it?

We have two great basketball teams this year. Help them out. Have some pride in your school. You’re paying enough for it. Stand up when we take the court. Shut up during our free throws. Scream the fight song. Sing the alma mater at the end of the game.

I really don’t do this for the students, the administration or the personal spotlight. I do it because I love GW basketball and I want to remember being part of the collegiate tradition, after I graduate on the Ellipse – May 17, 1998.

-Michael Brownsenior

The power of one

During the last few weeks, there has been an intense discussion about the possibility that Commencement might be moved off the Ellipse. At first I didn’t think there was anything one individual could do to influence the University’s decision, but then I realized there was.

I started a petition drive to let the University’s Commencement committee know how important this tradition was to me and to many members of the GW family. The response I got was more than I had ever thought possible.

During the past week, other students and I collected more than 825 signatures to prove to the administration and the Commencement committee that graduating on the Ellipse is an issue that all students are concerned about. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, law and medical students, doctoral candidates, professors and alumni all stated in a loud and unified voice that Commencement on the Ellipse is tradition that we will not allow to be lost.

Although hundreds of people participated in this petition drive, a few students truly made a difference in the endeavor, proving what it means to be a “Colonial”: Hillary Creely, Matt Amitrano, Patrick Macmanus, Rob Miller, the GW Band, the Philippine Cultural Society and most of all, Chris Steinke, who stood out in the cold with me for two hours to collect more than half the signatures we received.

Anyone who thinks one person cannot make a difference in this world should talk to me. If you care about something passionately and you want to make a change, then do something about it! You won’t know until you try. Thank you.

-Gayle Crispin senior

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