Students cannot help but be proud of the surface additions made to GW over the summer. University officials are obviously focusing on improving the aesthetics of the campus and responding to student requests in some areas of service, but should realize that many of these improvements are only skin-deep.
Impressive new buildings, J Street renovations and technology upgrades are causing students to turn their heads in awe and feel that GW administrators are actually listening to and acting on their concerns.
Administrators should further keep an ear tuned to students as they suggest solutions to the campus printing problem and complain about class size and expense of their degrees.
The most amazing accomplishments have been the timely completion of the GW Hospital and the 1957 E St. residence hall in the Elliott School of International Affairs. These two buildings, costing $168 million, add up to a major boost for GW’s image.
To land that top-50 spot in the U.S. News rankings, however, an equal boost is needed in attention to quality of faculty and academics.
The University has turned some students’ concerns into administrative action. This is most apparent in the Marvin center, where students asked for more seating and the University did them one better by building a sharp-looking, glass-covered extension of J Street seating. Students complained about the menus in J Street and dining officials announced the addition of two new stations that include more vegetarian and kosher selections. Cranberry Farms, now called Home Zone, is beefed up with more options and a cheesesteak section.
While new buildings and flashy Web sites may be considered surface improvements, positive changes in services like dining are signs that University officials realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this case, the beholder is the average student, who eats at J Street and uses campus facilities every day.