SJT and J Street
I found myself fuming after attending the annual “Late Night with the President” with my residents Tuesday evening in the Hippodrome. Full of his usual disgrace and unwitting jokes, a jolly University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg answered questions from this year’s freshman class. The freshmen, with painted faces and pom-poms, probably would have cheered for a 20 percent increase in tuition, and their enthusiasm certainly did not falter when the president discussed the unhappy disposition of J Street workers.
In his condescending attempt to explain their temperament, the president addressed the dynamic between the employees and the students they serve. In sum: the “haves” being served by the “have nots.” He alluded that this dynamic serves as a source of bitterness for these employees, and he questioned whether students would want to “flip burgers” as the workers do. He also pondered whether employees are upset because they cannot tell students to “piss off” when they are rude. This sent me into a rage I was forced to contain. Since when do we utilize the degenerative, classic example of “flipping burgers” to describe employees of an esteemed University? When did it become OK to make jest of people’s daily discontent? Do J Street employees really just want to say “Piss off”?
In stigmatizing a group of people who carry out the reproductive work necessary to keep our student body healthy and our University running smoothly each day, we erase its past struggles with unionization and employee protection. We also fail to value employees’ daily efforts to accommodate the demands of the student body, staff and faculty. Demeaning a person’s job and source of livelihood is virtually synonymous with demeaning that person specifically or, in this case, an entire group of University employees.
The first mistake we make is degrading the type of work that J Street employees do. Their work has far-reaching beneficial effects and is a dire necessity to the University at large. The second mistake, however, is being complicit in the degradation of these people and their work.
Trachtenberg says they flip burgers, and everyone just nods.
-Heather Bradley, sophomore, Mitchell Hall community facilitator
I, along with the senior mechanical engineers, was dismayed to discover upon obtaining our respective copies of last Thursday’s Hatchet that there was no crime report to be found. Could there have finally been an end to the “suspicious odors” emanating from doors and lurking in residence hall hallways? Let me just say that each reporting of a “suspicious odor” provides an exciting and suspenseful moment of intrigue and distraction as we hapless engineers contemplate whether perhaps the odor is a gas leak (leading to a fireball on 23rd Street), terrorist plot, or just the pothead next door blazing up. To clear up this confusion, perhaps in the future the report should just read, “Officer Mason reportedly smelled that sticky icky and/or ooooh weeeee! and found blah blah in plain view and blah blah blah.”
Back to the dismay. In all seriousness, were there really no last week? I cannot help but think back to the first “Matrix” (the best of the series, it would seem) when Agent Smith explains how the inferior human psyche summarily rejected the idea of a utopian society free of violence and crime. If there is a lack of crime, Matrix, I mean, University officials should create crime on campus. It sounds counterintuitive; however, if students are entertained by reports of crimes committed, then you may effectively stave off the boredom-induced compulsion to committing non-funny crimes. We need a return to the days of the boyfriend throwing a cell phone at his girlfriend’s head over a phone bill dispute. Where are the organized homeless fights held in the Hippodrome (a.k.a Hippodrome Homeless Fight Club)? But now, following this current revolution of no crime report, we find people reporting hoax crimes with serious implications. Short of reporting false taxicab confession allegations in 4-RIDE vans, something must be done. To the potheads of GW, I implore you: take that last toke of the sticky icky and/or oooh weee, and get out there! Do something dumb. Your selfless sacrifices entertain a bunch of us lowly engineers who otherwise might have to return our attention to bypass ratios of gas turbine engines.
-Will Alexander, senior