GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg visited my residence hall, Lafayette Hall, last Tuesday night as part of the Presidential Sleepover. During question and answer time, I asked why I have a class in the Thurston Hall Piano Lounge. He tried explaining to me that an English class being taught there is not a bad idea. Then I told him that there are no desks. And the chalkboard is chalkless. He promised that my professor will be receiving a box of chalk. I will believe that when my teacher gains the ability to write on the chalkboard. Our president so eloquently tried proposing the notion that a residence hall is not simply a place for living but a place for learning. That may not be a bad idea, but proper arrangements need to be made to accommodate learning in a living environment. There need to be desks, chairs, a chalkboard and chalk.
As an introduction, Trachtenberg told the audience how Lafayette Hall got its name. Up until last year, Lafayette Hall was Adams Hall, named after President John Quincy Adams. As Trachtenberg explained, Adams was a benefactor of the school, loaning it $30,000, for which he held the school itself as collateral. It is funny that the $30,000 that helped start this school in the 1800s is now the tuition for one year’s education. Trachtenberg announced that that is not a large amount of money now, though it was then. I guess that is how he has the nerve to charge the students the large price that he does for such amazing educational opportunities as being taught in a room without desks or chalk.
Trachtenberg boasted about the modern facilities found in the Thurston Hall television lounge. Well, I do not live in Thurston. I actually pay more for my residence hall room than I would if I lived in Thurston. However, I do not have a gorgeous TV lounge in my residence hall. Someone actually turned on our TV while Trachtenberg was there, which, though color, only works in black and white, except for the red static across the screen. So, the president of GW declared that our TV was an artifact, and we should be proud of it. Maybe my media teacher would be proud of that, but it is useless to me. So, that argument obviously did not work. So he commented that the self-proclaimed Nerdery of Lafayette does so well in school because we do not have a working TV. Trachtenberg promised a working TV and VCR soon. We’ll see. Is he just trying to make us happy or is he for real? I hope he will live up to his promises. If not, another editorial will be coming.
-The writer is a freshman with an undeclared major.