Letters to the Editor

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This letter is written in response to senior Dany BouRaad’s concerns about accessing the University Counseling Center through the University Police Department (“Bad Experiences,” Sept. 30, p. 5).

We are happy to know that students like Mr. BouRaad may be interested in volunteering their services to care for other students. There are a myriad of ways that this may occur. For example, the UCC recently initiated a peer educator program, and we are working with GW-Suicide Prevention Action Network as well, both of which allow for volunteering opportunities. However, we do not use undergraduates to staff any of our clinical endeavors. The provision of clinical services in the UCC occurs by professional counselors and licensed psychologists, and the environment is a highly confidential one. Not only is information about our clients confidential, but the fact they even seek our services is held confidential as well, as required by D.C. and federal laws.

Another concern raised by Mr. BouRaad is about contacting the UCC after regular business hours. GW students have 24/7/365 availability of care through the GW Hospital Emergency Room and the UCC. During business hours, the UCC has a therapist available to address emergencies at 994-5300. After business hours, at night and on weekends and holidays, a student can call UPD at 994-6111 to have the UCC Counselor-on-Call paged. This information is on our Web site and on our answering machine greeting, so even if the UCC were called after hours, the caller would be provided with instructions on how to reach us in the event of an emergency. Students with more urgent or severe problems are strongly encouraged to go directly to the hospital emergency room. For on-campus students who are in the midst of a crisis or emergency, CLLC and Dean of Students staff are available to assist and to contact the UCC. The phone numbers for local, around-the-clock hotlines, including the D.C. Crisis Line at 202-561-7000 and Crisis Link at 703-527-4077, are listed in UCC brochures and on our Web site.

In addition, Mr. BouRaad raised a concern about being “put on hold and bounced around” by the UPD dispatcher when his call was initially placed. Dolores Stafford, Chief of the University Police Department, is aware of this complaint and is investigating UPD’s handling of this call.

We are pleased to use this forum to remind all students that the University Counseling Center is located at 2033 K St., Suite 330 (entrance on 21st Street). Our phone number is 994-5300. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. We have a very informative Web site at gwired.gwu.edu/counsel. This site includes information about our counseling and academic support services, FAQs about our services, and screening and self-help links on a variety of issues affecting students. We invite students to drop by and visit during the day or to use our Call-a-Counselor service for questions or consultation.

As counseling professionals we are pleased to practice in the GW community, especially knowing that students are aware of and care about each other’s health and welfare.

-Ann B. Judge, Ph.D., Senior Associate Director, University Counseling Center

Do your research

In Zej Moczydlowski’s editorial titled “Swallow the Pride” (Sept. 27, p. 4), he starts off by saying that he has turned his head to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict up until now. This is very obvious from his article. If Zej knew anything about the Israeli-Palestinian history he would know that Israel’s new policy to pull out of the Gaza strip is one of Israel’s several attempts to make peace. He clearly would not have written that the tension between Israelis and Palestinians is “due to both sides refusing to compromise”.

It is questionable whether Moczydlowski did even five minutes of research on the history of the Israelis and Palestinians at all. Well, since he obviously hasn’t done his research, I will do part of it for him.

One of the more prominent, recent instances in which Israel was willing to give the Palestinians almost everything they were asking for took place in 2000 at Camp David with President Bill Clinton. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yassir Arafat the following: the entire Gaza strip, a Palestinian state with in the borders that were previously Israeli settlements, the removal of isolated settlements and handing control of those areas over to Palestinians, and a large portion of east Jerusalem, including much of the Old City and complete control over the Temple Mount.

In return, Israel simply wanted the Palestinians to announce an “end of conflict” and to cease any further claims to Israeli land. Arafat not only refused Israel’s offer but also did not even offer a counterproposal.

Almost any historically factual resource will tell you this. My information came from www.palestinefacts.com. Check out the truth, Mr. Moczydlowski, unless you enjoy misinforming your readership.

-Leah Carliner, freshman

Wait list confusion

I’m sure all of us can remember during the class registration process when we would refresh the page numerous times waiting for an opening to appear in the class, and jumping on it immediately. So it is no wonder why the SA would want to establish a waiting list system in attempts to ease the pain for students. However, most of the articles so far have missed major problems this plan would cause.

Imagine if you will, early in the morning, picking your classes. The class you need or want is full, but in order to make sure that you won’t get locked out, you register for another class at the same time. After doing so, you place your name on the waiting list. On that list you manage to get a high spot. Weeks pass, and all of a sudden a spot opens up in the class for you. But do you get it? You’re already registered for another class at the same time; will the system pass over you? If the system does pass over you, will you be dropped from the waiting list, and will you even be told that you have become ineligible or overlooked because you picked another class? I agree with Assistant Vice President Linebaugh that the process is prone to confusion. I would go further to say that the current plan, as reported in various issues of The Hatchet, seems to be destined for failure.

Finally, just today I asked the people I work with, all at different years, and any student I could find, and all of them seem opposed to the measure. That leaves me wondering from where the SA is drawing this great student support.

-Gary Nuzzi, freshman

Leave the office

In the article, “Bar Belle: Lulu’s” The GW Hatchet gave Lulu’s a horrible review of 1/5. It stated that, “It is surprising that a venue in such a prime location with plenty of space – two floors and six bars – is unable to draw a consistent crowd in a city full of spoiled undergrads and yuppies.”

I am not sure where the author of that article has been on almost every Thursday night when the line to Lulu’s is virtually around the block. The crowd is shoulder-to-shoulder in every inch of Lulu’s “two floors and six bars.”

It is a great place to party in a great location, and the crowds of GW students who frequent Lulu’s keep coming back for a reason. Perhaps The GW Hatchet should start getting out of the office a little more on Thursday nights.

-Dave Frankel, junior

Outrageous food policy

In the past, the University has granted the Jewish Student Association food waivers for on- campus programming which permit the JSA to bring in kosher food from outside vendors. This year, however, Colonial Catering is offering the JSA and all other student groups a unique yet totally irrational opportunity. They have made a “concerted” effort to outsource kosher catering to local caterers in an effort to provide a greater variety of options for students. While I appreciate the gesture, the resulting bureaucracy and unreasonably high price mark-ups have only further inflamed an already delicate issue with regards to the availability of kosher food on campus. For example, the JSA recently held their annual “Welcome Back BBQ” in the Marvin “Student” Center Grand Ballroom. Attendance at the BBQ exceeded six hundred participants ,yet was limited by heavy financial constraints placed upon the JSA by Colonial Catering. As a result, the JSA chose to order food for three hundred people – the invoice for which totaled $1,276. When JSA priced out the order from the kosher vendor directly, the quote was a much more reasonable $571. Similarly, the Student Alliance for Israel received a price quote of roughly $1,600 from Colonial Catering for their opening event. When taken outside of the Marvin “Student” Center, their event cost only $939.

This outrageous display by University officials, and more specifically Colonial Catering, takes advantage of student life on the GW campus and must be stopped. Without student programming, GW would not be where it is today. These exorbitant prices from Colonial Catering not only restrict student participation and programming, but indirectly restrain the rich diversity on our campus as well.

-Sam Cutler, President, Jewish Student Association

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