Like most GW students, I was shocked to receive e-mail notification of my five-day eviction from my residence hall room. GW’s rhetoric of protecting students from the IMF protesters should be ignored. While I feel GW is doing students a service by informing us of the impending unrest, the policy of forced departure is and unfair.
We have no choice except to vacate the premises. While GW officials may not call this an eviction, that is exactly what it is. Whoever told GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg that three weeks is ample notice for such an event must have several residences from which to choose. Most students, particularly those who travel long distances, have few living options other than our residence halls. How dare GW expect us to jaunt to and fro at our own expense while they impose their will on us like a herd of cattle?
For those of us on tight budgets, this eviction holds serious financial consequences. GW officials have been gracious enough to offer us an Emergency Loan in the amount of $600, which we have to pay back! And during this break, we still pay the cost of our empty rooms.
When I asked Bob Chernak, Vice President of Student and Academic Support Services exactly how he expected $600 to cover food and housing for six days, he told me that such a sum would be more than enough for a room at the Holiday Inn in Old Town Alexandria. He had no answer to why I would want to spend five days there.
The options GW offers those students who cannot just run home for the weekend is reminiscent of a junior high camping trip. Rounded up and bussed out, perhaps we can roast marshmallows at the Mount Vernon Campus or enjoy a swim at the Holiday Inn.
GW owes students an apology and a prompt reversal of this asinine announcement.
I spoke with the Washington Lawyers Committee, and they showed a keen fascination with GW’s gall in thinking the University can get away with this. If enough of us get together, we can teach the GW bureaucracy what “Students First” really means.