With recent dramatic increases in enrollment, GW’s administrators have been struggling to make adequate, accommodating arrangements for students. It is difficult to see much progress being made, though. Classes are jam-packed, J Street is a mess during lunch, and off-campus housing is increasingly becoming more difficult to find. GW’s most recent announcement of The Scholar’s Village is yet another unfortunate decision.
On paper, the program sounds great; four or five people, with GPAs of at least 3.0 apply to live in University-owned housing at 526 and 619 22nd Street. As Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine said in Monday’s Hatchet (University changes student housing options on campus, p. 1), the students selected will be living and learning because, classroom learning doesn’t end in the classroom. This is true, but do they have to live in a special Scholar’s Village?
Unfortunately, the Scholar’s Village will displace the current residents of the property. As a current resident, I am disappointed with the University’s poor decision. Four people live in our house at 619 22nd St. Four to five people will live in this house next year. The four of us are all good students, but in order for us to live here next year we would have to apply for the program. The paper cites that this initiative will expand student-housing options. How? It will expand on-campus housing, while leaving students who live off campus on the street.
More disturbing is the question of when these takeovers will end. Does GW want all students to live on campus? Does GW want to capitalize on the fact that living on campus is significantly more expensive – in most cases – than living off campus? Will GW continue to anger the non-student residents of Foggy Bottom by slowly chipping away at what is left of the area’s traditionally residential sections? Will GW continue to beg fraternities to give up their houses? The answer can only be yes. It can be seen in the recent takeovers of houses and apartment buildings around campus.
This is yet another prime example of GW’s unfortunate and unfair attempts to create a top-tier school, another rash attempt to make the University look better on paper. What the administrators have obviously failed to realize is that their vision of what GW should be will never be satisfied if students are continually bombarded with hazy and unjustified improvements to the school. Students should be given the full story. Unfortunately, Monday’s article failed to discuss the full implications of GW’s newest takeover plan.
The GW administration needs to stop playing this reckless game of Monopoly before it gets more out of hand.
-The writer is a senior majoring in management information systems and human resources.