While your editorial in favor of GW’s bond issue was hardly unexpected (“Bond, GW Bond,” Oct. 12), I am a bit surprised with the tart manner in which you dispose of the legitimate concerns of the bond’s opponents.
The thesis of your support is “GW brings jobs, money and talented people to DC” and therefore it should be allowed to do as it pleases. While I would not take anything away from GW and its important role, your logic would mean that anyone with lots of money should be allowed to take more of it away from the people who have less of it. For that is exactly what happens with the sort of bond issue now before us. By using tax-exempt bonds to take care of internal maintenance, GW will have freed up other parts of its ample financial resources so that it may continue purchasing commercial property (such as the Hall on Virginia Avenue and the Aston), thereby removing that property from the tax rolls.
Second, you deride the proposed stipulations of the Advisory Neighborhood Council regarding an enrollment cap and the housing of undergraduates on campus. I would agree that the specific figures put forth by the ANC are unrealistic; however, both proposals should be adopted in some form, because it is in the interest of GW students.
Quite simply, GW cannot afford to continually admit large and larger freshman classes – it diminishes the overall educational experience for everyone. A cap of, say, 8,000 students would be beneficial to GW in the intermediate term. Likewise, a commitment to adequate housing for the bulk of the undergraduate students (which becomes much easier when you stop unmitigated growth) would be good for students and community alike.
Finally, I am a little disappointed The Hatchet did not examine the entire need for the bond in the first place. If GW is doing so well, why does it need to incur approximately half a billion in new debt, part of which is going to refinance old debt. Is that a healthy way to run a University?
-The writer, a former GW student, is a junior majoring in paralegal studies at the University of Maryland.