We are writing to you with regard to The National Gandhi Day of Service, an annual national community service project in which GW took part on Sept. 30. We were disappointed to see that The Hatchet chose not to cover the project even though one of our coordinators personally came by The Hatchet office to drop off a media advisory announcing the event.
The National Gandhi Day of Service is a national service project that is aimed at getting college students to play more active roles in their communities. Nationally, there were 40 schools and one private company (Chevron Oil Company’s Houston Office) that took part this year. GW decided to do a joint project with six other schools in the D.C. area that were registered to take part in NGDOS. In total about 60 people came out to volunteer for the joint project, which GW hosted.
With the number of volunteers, we were able to help out at three different service sites. One of the sites was Miriam’s Kitchen right here on GW’s campus. At Miriam’s Kitchen, NGDOS volunteers performed one of Miriam’s periodic Kitchen Cleans, where the entire kitchen was scrubbed from top to bottom. The second site NGDOS volunteers worked at was the Capital Area Food Bank in Northeast Washington. There, volunteers helped sort and organize the donated foodstuffs the Food Bank received over the past month. The last site we worked at was with the Anacostia Watershed Society. The AWS had organized a tree-planting project and trash pick-up along the northeast branch of the Anacostia River. There, with AWS volunteers, we were able to plant a total of 120 trees and generally clean up the area along the river.
In summary D.C.’s joint National Gandhi Day of Service was a huge success – a large number of people came out to volunteer, and a lot of good work was done in and around D.C. In addition, this year’s NGDOS was one of the few times GW and other D.C. universities came together to act as members of one community. It was because of the success of the day, the united nature of the effort and the fact that GW hosted the project, that we were all very disappointed and ashamed as GW students that The Hatchet did not cover the event. We hope in the future that The Hatchet will place more importance on service projects than on stories about missing cell phones – a front page story that ran Oct. 10.
We did want to mention that when we called an editor at The Hatchet about why they did not cover D.C.’s National Gandhi Day of Service, he said that it was an oversight on the part of The Hatchet and that he was sorry.-Kamal PathakVikas GuptaSmita KampaniNGDOS 2000 D.C. coordinators