`Living and Learning’ gone too far

It is repulsive that the Community Living and Learning Center would try to put a positive spin on holding classes in Thurston Hall. If it is necessary, because administrators blundered by enrolling too many students, the least they could do is fess up and admit it. I prefer that, as opposed to them espousing what I must assume is a lie. I cannot possibly believe Mark Levine, CLLC assistant dean, when he says that they have wanted to do this for “some time” (“GW schedules freshman classes in Thurston Hall,” Sept. 7, p. 1). That is just absurd.

I will warn the readership promptly that I am in the minority when it comes to my general views regarding Thurston Hall. Most of the people I have asked about their experience in Thurston Hall will say that they loved it, but they’d never do it again.

But I do not find Thurston Hall to be an adequate living environment, let alone a study environment. Most students live in crammed spaces the University calls “quads.” Last year some students were temporarily warehoused in study rooms. The residence hall, and make no mistake, that’s exactly what we’re talking about here, is a holding pen to the lowest on the University food chain, first-year undergraduates. It is bad enough that the University does not have enough facilities to effectively house its students, but now it does not have enough facilities to effectively hold its classes. So GW holds them in the Thurston Hall piano lounge? Is that not a ridiculous place to hold a class?

And do not be fooled by those who will defend the benefits of living where you learn. Many freshmen live in the Hall on Virginia Avenue, which is extraordinarily far away. Not that I am opposed to walking to class, but it is a nauseating misrepresentation of facts to assume that all freshmen will be “rolling out of bed” to get to their English 10 class.

The Residence Hall Association was not consulted. I doubt that freshman advising or the English department was consulted. I would not have consulted them. “Excuse me professor, would you mind holding your English class in our one building that is a cross between a landfill and a 24-hour bar?” What an awful day for those who possess a Ph.D.

Let’s all be clear on this. GW doesn’t care about quality of life issues for undergraduates. Freshmen should organize an effort to boycott this abomination next semester. Undergraduates need to send a clear message that this academic travesty will not be tolerated for $33,000 a year. CLLC has enough problems housing bodies. The idea that CLLC has been asked for the responsibility of housing classes is revolting.

-The writer is a sophomore majoring in political science and philosophy.

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