Letters to the Editor

Not academic?

I always enjoy reading The Hatchet and Jason Kane’s article in the Nov. 15 issue was no exception. A couple of questions come to mind.

Mr. Kane writes, “Former University President Lloyd Elliott fell under harsh criticism for being more interested in real estate than education. In his 28-year presidency, Elliott presided over such ambitious construction endeavors as the Gelman Library, Smith Center and medical and law centers.” What exactly makes those initiatives non-academic? When is a library a piece of real estate rather than a center of scholarship? Lloyd Elliott needs no defense from me, but without the foundation he constructed, George Washington University wouldn’t be the center of learning that it is.

As for the remarks attributed to me by Ron Cocome, they do not reflect what I said.

-Stephen Joel Trachtenberg

University President

Thanks, from Coggins’

As Thanksgiving nears and folks begin thinking of what they have to be thankful for, we at Coggins’ are doing the same. Since our opening in late August in the new Ivory Tower residence, we have been overwhelmed by the reception given us by the George Washington University community. And by community I mean everyone: students, administrators, professors, the athletic department, hospital services and University Police.

As with opening any new business, we came to GW with certain expectations, uncertainties and trepidation. The uneasiness quickly subsided as some of the first students to move into Ivory Tower began asking about our new restaurant, when we were opening and what we had that they could try. I recall first meeting Anna, Kelly and some members of the women’s soccer team and thinking they were a great group of people.

Well, that was just the beginning. We met more and more people who were interested in who we were and what we were building. Little did we all know that not only were we building Coggins’ and all that we offer, but more importantly we were, and still are, building relationships. In all my years in this business I have not experienced a nicer group of people. In fact, I have worked in two other operations on college campuses and neither can compare. Furthermore, at one Ivy League school – which shall remain nameless – the general student body was the antithesis of what we enjoy here at GW. The students at GW have proved themselves to be polite, courteous, helpful, appreciative and genuinely interested in me and my team as people, not just as faces who are servicing their needs. We realize it is a two-way street and that the employee team must reach out to be pleasant, helpful and kind, but it is so much easier when the customers are receptive to your efforts and then return the same kindness and respect.

So as you return to your homes this weekend and celebrate Thanksgiving, please know that we at Coggins’ are thankful for your help in welcoming us into your community and that we will continue to strive to earn your confidence.

-Ron, Abdoul, Ameth and the team at Coggins’

Keep zones

I absolutely disagree that meters will be better than zones (Nov. 18 staff editorial, p. 4) for anyone but the uninitiated, or visitor to D.C., who I do not doubt are routinely overcharged. But for everyone else, with a modicum of sense and sensibility, the zones are a superior value.

And do not doubt the value of the zone for people needing to get home who do not live in the city center, or the GW campus, ahem. Yes, a meter for short trips would give riders a better deal, but then again you can also walk.

This globalization stuff has proved itself for what it is, a scam perpetrated on ordinary people. The zone system is a local system, and it serves the residents of the District. And out-of-towners that are concerned about overcharging can very easily ascertain the correct charge for their trip beforehand. Or call a Red Top or a Blue cab out of Virginia.

-Christian Anderson, D.C. resident

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