What do you get when you add 550 students and 300 undergraduate classes to the current University population without adding any new classrooms? Yes, you’re right: overcrowding.
For GW, this oversight means classes must be held in non-traditional locations, such as the Thurston Hall piano lounge and the School Without Walls.
By now the theme seems utterly redundant – overcrowding and inadequate accommodations for the influx of students cause chaos at GW. But the problems stemming from the record size of the freshman class reach all the way to the supposed goal of the University: education.
Freshman English courses and advising workshops are now being taught in the Thurston Hall piano lounge, an ill-equipped learning facility. Many students are forced to sit on couches and lounge chairs, taking notes on clip boards because their aren’t any desks.
Community Living and Learning Center Assistant Dean Mark Levine said that the University wanted to incorporate residence hall classes into the concept of “living and learning” for a long time and that students approved of the idea.
But Alan Elias, the Residence Hall Association president, said that the RHA was never made aware of the CLLC initiative. Clearly, CLLC has not thought the program through.
Classes are being taught wherever the University can find space, regardless of the nature of the facility. The Gelman Library and the School Without Walls are other locations where classes are held. Oddly enough, prospective students aren’t told that their classes might be held in lounges, libraries and high schools.
GW’s growth comes at a painfully high cost for students this year and in the near future. New classrooms, like in the planned School of Media and Public Affairs building, are in the works and will help students down the road. But the added classroom space is of little comfort to students attending GW today. The future students of GW should have plenty of room for their classes, but a better solution must be found to accommodate today’s students.