Letters to the Editor

Downgrading, shortchanging
In response to the letter “Not Simply Downsizing” (April 28, p. 4) I’d like to state its suggestions were ludicrous. If we switch to a four-by-four credit system, we take less classes and as a result have less class time. While the letter suggests that there will be smaller course loads for professors, I simply cannot believe this to be true. If this were an institution of higher learning then perhaps the University would allow for this to be the case. The sad truth is that this is an institution of higher profit, and as a result will maximize the potential revenue that can come from having each student require less class time. Since the University will need fewer classes per student it will simply admit more students, meaning that the suggested extra one on one time or smaller classes will simply not exist. All that comes of this is fewer classes for us and more revenue for SJT and his real estate speculation. While it is difficult to double major now, it will become nearly impossible under this new system, especially if students wish to graduate in four years. GW needs to stop finding a way to maximize profit and start thinking of a way to maximize the quality of our education.
-Timothy Kaldas freshman

Have they seen summer?
As a graduating senior, I shall try to use my four years of GW education to be more eloquent and logical, though I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment of the author of “Summer school sucks” (April 28, p. 4). To give a summer weather update, it’s 95+ degrees outside, with 95 percent humidity. We have the lovely large thunderstorms, and though not as large as on the Great Plains – they are a frequent occurrence. Air quality is Code Orange or Code Red. No, this is air quality – not our color-coded homeland security alerts. What Code Orange and Red days mean for an asthmatic person is being imprisoned in their house. Though I have no diagnosed problem with my respiratory system, even I dislike going out during Code Red days. So, a summer session would require those students with asthma to endanger themselves by going outside – that alone would hamper their learning, as getting to class would be a harrowing experience.

Furthermore, for those of you who are used to your nice, clean dorm rooms that have perfectly-working temperature controls- hahahaha; OK – we all know I am kidding. There is a reason the dorm rooms are somewhat clean by September. GW has summer maintenance people, and we can see the globs of paint they use on everything to make the room appear cleaner. However, the AC in most of the dorms does not handle the summer heat well. Freshman year, ours could not handle the late-September heat. I do not want to think about how bad it would be in July. So before the committee decides in favor of their illogical mandatory summer session – they should spend a week in a dorm in which the poor rising juniors would stay.
-Jared Eisenmann senior

Forgetting study abroad
It is interesting to see how quickly the GW community has forgotten about the outrage affecting the study abroad program. It seems that there should be more questions asked when an administrative decision so clearly puts students at a disadvantage for no apparent reason other than the need to profit. This administration needs to be held accountable for its decisions; its vague and unsubstantiated excuses for the change in policy should not be so passively accepted by the students. Let’s take a moment to look at the actual numbers involved in this situation.

Cultural Experiences Abroad offers a spring 2003 semester session in Madrid, Spain for $7,395, which covers tuition, housing, one meal a day and all excursions taken on the trip. It excludes the cost of flight. GW did not choose this program as an affiliate.

A program which was chosen to be an affiliate, Center for Education Abroad, hosts a similar program in Spain which also includes tuition, housing, and excludes the flight, for a semester cost of $9,720.

So here we have it: a student at any other university has the chance to study abroad for $7,395 or $9,720. However, for the ill-fated GW student, the cost suddenly increases: $14,535 for tuition and fees, a study abroad fee of $250, housing fee of $4,110 and a meal plan cost which ranges from $750 to $1,500. This adds up to a whopping $20,395 – $19,645, depending on your meal plan. Don’t forget to add the cost of a flight and spending money.

To be a GW student means to pay $10,675 more for a study abroad program, which costs at most $9,720 for all other students. And the administration’s explanation for this tuition increase? According to Lynn Leonard, Study Abroad director, this extra money will ensure “academic quality.” But how? I ask. Sure beats me.
-Lucy Kafanov sophomore

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