Quiet. That is the only word I can use to describe GW’s Mount Vernon campus. Reading the article in the Sept. 24 issue (“Mount Vernon students endure tough integration”) about the new campus made me want to express my frustrations about this issue.
First, not everyone living at Mount Vernon applied there. Some people were just put there, not knowing what Mount Vernon was. It isn’t even on GW’s Web site. Other students got wait-listed at Foggy Bottom and were told it was either Mount Vernon or nothing.
I actually applied to Foggy Bottom, not knowing the MVC campus existed and received an MVC pamphlet about it a few days later. I never had any intentions of applying to an all-female school. They said everyone was guaranteed scholarships and you only needed to live there for one year. During that one year, you could take classes wherever you wanted and when the year was up, you still kept the scholarship.
I was told by my parents that the only way I could attend a private university was if I received a lot of money because I have an older brother attending college. So I applied to the new campus, figuring that at least it would give me another option. When I began receiving acceptance letters from colleges, I got one from GW’s Mount Vernon campus. I was a little confused because I applied to Foggy Bottom first. I called up and to my surprise, was informed that my first application was disqualified. I also was informed they needed a certain amount of women to live there, so basically anyone who had interest was put there.
I became outraged because the pamphlet said “Women Have Another Bold Option,” and I felt my options were taken from me. I would have rather received a rejection from Foggy Bottom and a Mount Vernon acceptance, rather than call and find out my original application had been disqualified. I was faced with a choice at this point. It was either my choice of a SUNY (State University of New York) school or GW’s Mount Vernon campus, complete with my scholarship (which felt like a bribe).
I was assured at the open house that I only needed to live there for the first year; after that it would be my choice where I would reside. They stressed I would be a GW student and fully integrated with Foggy Bottom. So, I took a chance, figuring how bad could one year be?
I am not sure where I should begin, but I will start with the shuttle service. While last weekend marked the start of a new, later-running shuttle, I have experienced many problems this past month.
I went out to Foggy Bottom during the first week of classes with my roommate. The shuttles were scheduled to run late for Welcome Week and we planned to take the 1:30 a.m. shuttle back. It never showed, so we asked University Police and the Colonial Shuttle if we could get a ride back. We were informed that it was “out of their jurisdiction” and shunned off.
Wait, am I not a GW student able to take full benefits from any and all GW services?
Here is a petty issue – toilet paper. We have to buy our own? Come on, doesn’t GW cost almost $32,000 a year for a reason? They can’t simply provide it to us? So, when I went to the Mount Vernon bookstore to buy it one day and noticed it was closed, I resorted to taking it from numerous unnamed locations, including a Foggy Bottom friend.
Friends is a whole different issue. Do you think many students at Foggy Bottom want to shlep to Mount Vernon? No. How am I supposed to get the “college experience?” The only people I have become friends with are a few people residing in Lafayette Hall and the people who own and work at the music club to which I go.
Don’t Foggy Bottom students have housekeeping service? Cable? What’s that? Our rooms are not even wired. The only cable at Mount Vernon is in the lounges. We also only have one phone line to share per room.
In my opinion, the only redeeming qualities of GW’s Mount Vernon campus is the Coca Cola contract and the rooms. They are large, have new air conditioners and lights, and were repainted this summer, but do not make up for my feelings of isolation.
Receiving free bathrobes, umbrellas and Ricochet modems are not ways of calming my feelings of living in an isolated, gated community. Don’t get me wrong, I love GW and D.C., but I definitely cannot say the same for GW’s new Mount Vernon campus.
-The writer is a first-year student majoring in information systems.