Staff editorial: Just pool it

Let’s be blunt – it’s a slow day in the newsroom. It’s pushing 70 degrees, and although it’s only January, much of the staff is starting to develop spring fever. Springtime means two things – spring break and lounging around outside, preferably at swimming pools.

GW is blessed with several swimming pools, but unfortunately the most attractive are indoors or off limits to students who pay tuition. Although we’re looking forward to the opening of the Health and Wellness Center pool before the class of 2005 graduates, our excitement is curbed by one factor: it’s indoors.

There are two outdoor pools on the Foggy Bottom Campus. They are located on the roof of the Hall on Virginia Avenue and at City Hall – two relatively recent acquisitions. We’re told HOVA’s pool is nice – with an historical, breathtaking view of the Watergate complex. But unfortunately the University won’t let non-resident students indulge in such pleasures.

The spillover effects that would result from opening the pool will be highly beneficial. Pools make people happy, and the Counseling Center would be grateful for yet another way for students to relieve stress – one that will not get them kicked out of residence halls or locked in jail.

Student productivity will also increase – what outdoor swimming pool do you not see people reading newspapers and books?

Sunbathing, although often lambasted for causing skin cancer and wrinkles, also will help cure some vitamin deficiencies, deficiencies that J Street has failed to cure. Yes, sunlight and drinking milk are both good sources of Vitamin D. Student Health would notice differences immediately.

So maybe neighborhood residents might have concerns about students enjoying themselves in public. But a day of sunbathing and reading are sure to tire students out, which will alleviate many residents’ concerns of students partying all night long.

We feel so strongly about these issues that we are willing to take a risk and offer a challenge to the administration to a game of chicken. Because of the issue’s immediacy, we’ll settle for the Smith Center pool, even though it’s indoors.

But rest assured, the paper you’re reading would have come out a few hours earlier, if we were relaxing on the roof of HOVA.

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