As I See It: Fraternities and fees – what a year for dissent at GW

GW students are fond saying what an asset living in D.C. is for their education. The University plays up the D.C. angle, too. But when students are given the opportunity to take advantage of D.C.’s special qualities, few do. The Elliot School of International Affairs sponsors lectures with renowned policy makers and famous political figures that are sparsely attended by students. If students really are here to learn from their environment, attending these lectures and other academically oriented events should be a priority.

The fault does not entirely lie with apathetic students. Not all sponsors of guest lectures are adept at publicity. And not all of the speakers’ appearances are convenient to students. Hosting a lecture beginning at noon does most students no good because they are in class. And sponsors should do everything possible to promote a speakers. A single Hatchet ad will go a long way for publicity, but it is not enough. Neither are a few posters around campus. Try announcements in class, e-mail notifications and, perhaps most importantly, word of mouth advertising.

If students perceive these events as exciting and worthwhile, they will most likely attend. GW students are supposed to be interested in all D.C. has to offer. If you publicize it, they should come.

The people in the Student Association were a little upset about me discussing their exploits, so I have decided to focus on other matters.

It seems the folks of Zeta Beta Tau have finally seen their fledgling return at GW wane to a sad and abrupt end. Unlike others, I am not here to condemn. I happen to know quite a few of the brothers, and I feel sorry for the unfortunate circumstance.

What I do not understand is why the Interfraternity Council President Jared David has declared a personal jihad against Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. I would think that tending to fraternities under his control would be a more sensible thing to do. I am sure he may mean well, but it seems that at every turn he just had something else negative to say about Zeta Beta Tau. Zeta Beta Tau had more pledges this semester than any other fraternity. I am quite sure that meant something, and it made him look silly as he proclaimed his way, the IFC way, the right way. The sad thing is that David’s zealotry helped take away from quite a few GW students something they enjoyed and loved – their fraternity. Whatever David was afraid of from Zeta Beta Tau, I think he can now turn his attention to the other demon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. But from what I have seen and read, I do not think they will be as receptive.

On another note, there really seems too be much ado about this proposed printing fee that the University seems ready to slap on students. I may be in the minority here, but really what is the big deal? OK, before I am labeled as a student turned sellout, let me explain.

Last year discussions were held between the SA and the powers that be dealing with printing. It was generally agreed that GW would begin charging students for printing after they exceeded a certain quota of pages. My senior year memory is a little hazy, but the agreed figure was about 500 pages per semester. So I guess the only people who should be mad are those that print over 500 sheets a semester. You know that is really 1,000 pages if you use the option to print on both sides.

But my ambivalence about the fee turned to anger this week. I am no environmentalist, so all the wasting paper does not bother me so much. But like many GW students, I am a big procrastinator. So at 6:05 p.m. when I pressed print in the computer lab, I knew I would probably make it to my 6:10 p.m. class on time or a bit late. But alas, this was not to be. I waited, and I waited while someone printed 60 pages from an electronic journal. Then someone else printed 50 copies of a sign to post around campus, and another kid printed a cartoon Marijuana leaf, similar to Towlie from “Southpark,” exclaiming “you want to get high!” All I could do was wait.

What pissed me off more than waiting and the little “Mr. Weed” was that half the crap that was printed out, no one even bothered to pick up. It just sat in the tray, as though it is not bad enough typing a paper in the temperature-control-deficient computer labs. The printers are always messed up, and then you have to wait for these pricks who think free printing means print everything you come across – everything.

Then it hit me, maybe if we had a fee there would not be so many people printing so much foolishness all of the time. If this fee goes through, when it goes through, I will be happy to see those who abuse the free printing agonize over the impulse to just press the print button whenever they see something they liked. We would not be in this position if people were somewhat responsible in the first place.
Oh yeah, if the administration decides to enact a fee without a quota, I will be the first to cross off my voluntary library gift.

-The writer, a graduate student and former SA president, is GW licensing and trademarks coordinator.

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