Deconstructing Gee-dub

Every columnist to grace these pages seems to enjoy using his first column to talk to the freshman class. You know, offer them some kind words, share a joke and initiate them into the world of GW – that sort of thing. I’ve been racking my brains for the last few days trying to think of what I can tell you that might make a difference in the beginning of your college career here at GW.

I’ve got nothing. You’re pretty much on your own as far as advice goes. Ask your priest or rabbi because I’m still trying to figure this whole place out myself. There are so many screwy things that go on around here on a daily basis that there’s really nothing I can compare it with, short of Duck Soup. You want to know just what I’m babbling about? Okay, check this out.

We have this other campus, in upper Northwest Washington, D.C. It’s called Mount Vernon. In reality, it’s nowhere near the real Mount Vernon in Virginia, which is where George Washington once lived. So we own a campus that happens to be named after the place that our school’s namesake used to live. Follow me?

We just bought this campus a few years ago. It used to be its own separate women’s college. Mount Vernon students didn’t like when we bought their school (hey, can you blame them?) because even though GW promised to try to keep it a female campus, that didn’t happen. I think GW convinced the Mount Vernon trustees to sell their school by confusing them into thinking the real George Washington was still alive and buying Mount Vernon. You know, just like he did in the 18th century because he needed a place to live and farm and stuff.

But old George is long dead, buried beneath the Washington Monument, next to Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Hoffa. Oops, that’s a different article.

In reality, GW students needed a place to live. So GW bought an extra college, sort of like the overflow stands at a high school basketball game. But then the administration admitted even more students, so GW had to buy a hotel, too. Ever wonder what it would be like to live in Howard Johnson? If you live in the Hall on Virginia Avenue, you’ll find out. GW must be a liberal arts school; math isn’t exactly our strongest skill. Case in point, the University accidentally overfilled HOVA, too. So now you freshman are reading this column in the Thurston study lounges. That is, in your beds in the study lounges.

Let me try to explain what happened. You know those word problems that leave you with, oh, say, one and one-third persons per bed? You know how you’re supposed to round up the number of beds needed, since we’re dealing with persons and not numbers? Yeah, well, ummm … you can see where things went wrong.

And if you wanted to escape all of this madness and live in your own apartment in Foggy Bottom, don’t move to Columbia Plaza. That’s also owned partly by GW. The University recently began enforcing the school’s Code of Student Conduct there, too. So, if you’re a male, you might want to consider living in a fraternity house. Except, if you get too rowdy, you’ll get kicked off campus, and mysteriously, your house may be shut down for fire code violations. The D.C. Fire Department might not tell you what those violations are. After all, you’re just some college kid. Why do you need to know how your life was allegedly endangered?

Here’s something for you ladies in the lounges: sorority houses don’t exist. I heard somewhere that’s because any house where six or more women live without a male presence is considered a brothel. Yes, that’s right, a brothel. I personally feel that D.C. has no right to judge our sorority sisters that way, but maybe Mayor Williams knows something that I don’t. Apparently the girls have figured out something about renting hotel suites. That’s good; certainly nothing inappropriate has ever happened in a hotel room before. No brothel activity in hotels.

Now, lest you think I spend all my time criticizing the University and the fair city it’s in, I should say that GW and D.C. do have a lot to offer. If you want to check out every art museum around town, get on that Metro, man! If you want to find a place to jam on your guitar or hop around to some good blues music, you can find that, too. If you simply want to look at the bright side of life and thank your lucky stars for every sunny day, you can do that here, too, right on the Quad. Just keep your clothing on.

GW is not paradise, but it’s not Dante’s Inferno either. It’s what we as students make of it, no matter which University or government institution happens to be screwing us at the moment. Perk up – maybe next week I’ll talk about monkeys. We should keep monkeys on the quad. That’s funny, right?

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