Letters to the editor

Bad working conditions

If the zoning regulation changes and allows the Health and Wellness Center to stay open until 1 a.m. Monday to Friday, many unforeseen problems will come to head for HWC management and is student employees.

Currently, all student employees at the HWC are seen as expendable, and management urges students who are unhappy about quality of life issues and wages to seek other employment instead of trying to give pay raises and create a good working environment.

HWC management is not striving for high standards but is concerned with saving its own jobs at the expense of the student worker. With the additional burden of later hours on the horizon, it is of utmost importance to take care of student employees who constitute the workforce that runs these buildings and to take into consideration their thoughts and feelings.

Presently, however, management resorts to firing those who express their concerns with such operations, as it did to my friend, who voiced his concerns. It is probably those that express such concerns, after three and a half years of work, that truly care about the organization for which they work and are trying to improve – as with my friend.

I saw first hand how employees are treated when I was poked with a radio antenna by the head manager during the Jay Leno concert at the Smith Center. He treated me condescendingly for looking like I was enjoying the show. I have also heard horror stories of student employees who get screamed at by student patrons for enforcing pointless Department of Athletics and Recreation policies, then have the management side with the screaming students instead of backing up the student they employ. Furthermore, I asked student employees how much they are paid, and it is surely not enough to take such abuse from management, who sees them as expendable, or from fellow students, who yell at them for enforcing mundane policy.

Next time you go into the HWC, please inquire as to how upper management treats their student employees.

-Chris Kucharski

The real shaft

In Eric Daleo’s column, “Local Government Shafts Students,” (Dec. 5, p. 4) he writes, “as a group, we’re routinely screwed over by our representatives on every level of government” and goes on to refer to Jack Evans as “our D.C. councilman.” Mr. Daleo, unless you are a permanent resident of Washington, D.C., who is registered to vote in the District, Jack Evans is not your councilman.

GW and other college students are “shafted” (as you so eloquently put it) not because they are being discriminated against but because they do not participate in the political process in the way that their neighbors do. If you want to get parking privileges and cheaper Metro rides, urge your classmates to change their residency so you can vote in council elections and lobby effectively as citizens of the District.

Once you’ve done that, you can find out what getting screwed over is really all about – no representation in the House or Senate and a congressional subcommittee that micromanages the city’s affairs regardless of the wishes of its population.

-Lisa K. Bates
class of 1999

Bah, humbug

Recently, my roommates and I decorated our window and a tree outside for the holiday season. My roommates and I wore Santa hats and played holiday music. Passersby offered numerous compliments, telling us,
“Everyone should do this; it really gets you in the spirit” and “This really makes me feel good during finals.” Unfortunately, just as we were preparing to put a star atop our tree, we were informed that our outdoor fire-safe lights had to come down.

GW’s “bah, humbug” policy regarding hanging things outside of residence hall windows should be altered. The policy has been amended before – after September 11, students were allowed to hang American flags outside the window. In light of this previous exception, it does not seem unreasonable to ask that outdoor fire-safe lights be allowed during the holiday season to get students in the holiday spirit and help relax during finals.

-John Loveday

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