Secret Residents – Staff Editorial

For the past few years, freshmen at GW have been forced to live in study lounges because of the lack of available housing for all students. Ask any student who has spent time in a residence hall what it is like to live with three, four or five other students. They’ll tell stories about long waits for the bathroom, colds that spread like wildfire and snoring roommates who keep them awake at night.

But if you’re a Community Living and Learning Center administrator’s lucky underling, you can be spared all the hassle of sharing a room. In fact, you even are spared the hassle of paying for a room.

If you’re one of the lucky few, you get a fully furnished room all to yourself. And what do you have to do to earn your free spacious room? That’s a good question. Maybe one of these days somebody will come up with the answer.

These luxury apartments in residence halls are supposed to house GW staff members who are part of the Community Initiative Fellowship program. The fellows are supposed to be an “adult presence” in the residence halls. But how can the fellows do that when no sign on their door identifies their “presence” to fellow residents? And isn’t maintaining an adult presence the job of community facilitators? At least CFs are seen around their buildings and are on a first-name basis with their residents.

The fellows also are supposed to act as the “eyes and ears” of the building. But with no identifying signs and with most students apparently unaware of why the fellows are there, this task may be a bit difficult to accomplish.

Conspiracy buffs may see the fellows as secret agents placed in buildings to spy on students. But it is simply another in the long string of ironies that is GW.

It is ridiculous for a select few to live in luxurious apartments while students are forced to live in study lounges. If GW staffers are getting free housing while students pay thousands of dollars for spots in crowded residence halls, they at least should perform some function not already being done by someone else.

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