Many students have been troubled by the negative attention the GW basketball team has recently received. Few, I believe, have been more troubled than me. At a University without a drop of credibility with regard to school spirit and invested interest in student life, we need to save our last durable thread of the authentic college experience from the throes of collapse. Like most any other self-respecting school, we need to change our policies to ensure our basketball players are above the law.
Let’s face it. Most of us haven’t seen more students hanging out in one place on-campus than at a GW basketball game. Maybe I spend too much time indoors being bitter, but from what I have seen, it’s been rare to encounter any sizable group of random people enjoying the social scene on GW campus. One time I thought I saw forty people having fun at the Smith Center, but it just turned out to be Welcome Week.
So this could be it for our sense of campus community, our pride eroding like the earth and environmental sciences department from University neglect. By not giving our basketball team the proper cover for potential transgressions, we forfeit the last bastion of integrity vis-?-vis the relationships that many university administrations have with their athletic programs. Thus we subject our athletic program to a latent moral hypocrisy that the University perpetuates.
Speculation has it that two people were sent to the hospital from the purported brouhaha that took place at Lulu’s at a few weeks back (by the way, you have no idea how long I’ve waited to use the word ‘brouhaha’). So with proximity in mind, the two smackees were probably taken to our beloved GW Hospital, which has a legacy for caring for prominent Republicans such as when it tended to the shot President Reagan and performed the heart procedures for Dick Cheney. I’m not sure it worked, he’s still seems heartless to me…ooh, snap!
But I digress. It’s hard to forget the hospital was subsequently accused of closing its doors on a 97-year-old black woman from Anacostia who was “re-routed” while awaiting treatment for diabetic shock last October. Strangely enough, the city has no records of GW Hospital’s announced closure in the emergency rooms. It’s also odd to note that the mayor’s office and the Department of Health were unavailable for comment when GW Hospital was “exonerated.” See, the hospital got away with it.
Another example not to be discounted revolves around the issues many students have with the million-dollar budget for our ostentatious orientation, designed solely to impress parents. Sure it’s fun to buy into, but I imagine parents would be more impressed if the University cared about academics instead and wouldn’t have to do things like peace out on the peace studies department or combine the Romance and Slavic language departments. That doesn’t seem like a very Slavmantic set of priorities. God, I am lonely.
So anyway, as long as everyone is getting a free pass to be morally bankrupt, we might as well help out our basketball players, whose alleged recent action pales in comparison to the gobbledygook the University continually pulls. At least the basketball team unites the student body for something other than disdain for this school’s administration.
Simply put, the basketball players should be able to smack around whoever they want and the University should sweep it under the rug like other schools do. We’re not special, there’s no need for moral superiority when it contradicts the actions of the administration and GW on the whole. Other schools don’t adhere to these standards.
Also, students should boycott Lulu’s. There was a letter to the editor written a few weeks ago in defense of Lulu’s after it received a poor rating from The Hatchet’s bar critic. The critic didn’t like Lulu’s, heaven forbid. It was her personal opinion as a critic; who can say that her opinion is wrong? It’s too bad the author of that letter to the editor was underage. Ultimately, if Lulu’s is going to put our school’s uniting agent at risk, they at least need to provide better drink specials.
-The writer, a senior majoring in Middle East studies, is a Hatchet humor columnist.