It’s no secret that GW is a bit crowded this year. It’s also no secret as to why: increased enrollment, all in the name of what increasingly seems to be more important to our administration – lots and lots of money.
At the close of the first week of classes, students are already fretting about a multitude of problems with the University, some old, some new. The crowding, which touches just about every aspect of campus life (on Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon), is mostly due to the 25 percent increase in freshman enrollment. This is something that the University obviously anticipated, considering they engineered it. However, while more money is coming in, the campus seems to be left woefully unprepared for any such influx of new students, along with those returning.
Students are facing an unprecedented textbook shortage, in part due to overfilled classes and shipping errors. Inside the classroom, there is a rampant shortage of desks and chairs, not to mention adequate classroom space. More classes are held on the Mount Vernon campus this year, but the University somehow forgot that this and the doubled population of the all-women’s campus would require a better shuttle service.
Where there used to be a mere rush hour in J Street, there is now an approximate three-hour period of chaos, complete with long lines and newly repackaged, still unhealthy dining options. Not only is there a larger-than-usual crop of freshmen to deal with, but this is coupled with the fact that juniors, unlike previous years, are now required to be part of the meal plan.
The University, in its lack of foresight, did not even find enough community facilitators to meet the growing population of on-campus students and has now hastily thrown sophomore CFs into the mix.
These continuous lapses of judgment must stop. Growth of any kind, as long as there is space for it, is fine. Supposedly, it is all in the name of increased recognition and prestige for GW, something any self-respecting university hopes and strives for. But once again it seems that, as is habitually pointed out, that GW administrators care less about the welfare of their students and more about wealth, fountains, and rankings in U.S. News & World Report.
Indeed, is it any wonder that our Student Association is now following in this example of lunatic spending? With such an administration to look up to, it isn’t difficult to see how the SA President could somehow rationalize the purchase of $6,000 worth of fireworks, and even disregard University protocol and authority, when we’ve already put money toward unneeded gates, fountains, and $10,000 kiosks.
In reference to the letter (“Students must act,” Aug. 30) in Monday’s Hatchet, the SA is obviously devoid of a “Mario Savio” or a “Greensboro Four,” or any type of savior, and this is deeply troubling. Never mind the administration, but if students can’t trust their own Student Association (motto: Students Helping Students), just who are they supposed to trust?
-The writer is a junior majoring in journalism.