Seniors said that although construction and renovations are the most noticeable differences at GW since they arrived, dining and housing selection changes over the past four years have also greatly affected the University community.
The University has constructed new buildings including New Hall and the School of Media and Public Affairs building and begun renovating old buildings, such as the Marvin Center and the Law School since seniors arrived at the University in 1997.
Angela Pratico said she is sorry she will not be at GW to see the results of GW’s current projects.
“GW has grown markedly over the past few years,” she said. “I really wish I would be here to see the completion of the new Health and Wellness Center. The Smith Center is a lovely facility, but non-varsity athletes need a place they can call home, too.”
The addition of Kogan Plaza in 1999 was a renovation seniors said they enjoyed during their time at GW.
“I think that GW definitely has more of a campus feel than it did when I first came here,” senior Amy Foley said. “There are a lot more places for people to hang out now. We just used to have the Quad and really no other place.”
Some seniors said campus renovations have not necessarily yielded positive results.
“It’s a little like plastic surgery of the campus,” senior Grace Herrle said. “It is definitely making the buildings and campus look better. B ut I don’t know that it’s doing too much for education.”
Pratico and Herrle said along with the campus expansion, the enrollment rate has increased.
“The freshman class this year seems a lot bigger than my freshman class,” Herrle said. “I think that can take away from the more personal feel of the University.”
Pratico said she thinks the University’s academic vitality should increase with enrollment and campus expansion.
“I believe in the expansion only if it’s not just the physical size of the University getting bigger,” Pratico said. “The academic rigor provided by the University should also be increasing along with the physical size of the campus.”
Senior Jean Duffy also said housing seems to be a growing problem for the University, which she said can be attributed to this year’s changes in the housing selection process.
“Although it wasn’t necessarily a problem that directly affected me, I know a lot of people who were complaining about the housing shortage,” Duffy said. “It seems like people are being pushed off campus. I know a lot of juniors that would have liked to have stayed but were impacted by the change of the lottery system.”
Seniors also said the University’s switch from a meal plan to an all-points system in 1999 has made dining more effective than the old system.
“I think the system now is definitely a lot better,” Duffy said. “The new system offers people a lot more options and is also saving them some money that used to be wasted on missed meals.”
Herrle agreed the new system has definite benefits.
“With the old system, because there were specific times to eat, if you missed your time you were out of luck,” she said. “There were a lot more hungry kids under that system.”