Every year GW freshmen travel the well-worn path around the National Mall to see D.C.’s famed monuments, but some freshmen got a different view of the sites Saturday as they cruised along the Potomac River.
Thirty tourists, city dwellers and GW students glimpsed the District’s landmark attractions by boat, catching riverside views of the Kennedy Center, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial and the U.S. Capitol. After departing from the Washington Harbor, passengers aboard the Washington by Water cruise also got sights of Washington Harbor, Georgetown and the Watergate.
A Welcome Week event sponsored by the Student Activities Center, the tour drew mostly freshmen students looking to explore their new home town.
“A lot of people get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city,” said freshman Brooke Delancey, who planned to tour the monuments by foot before she heard about the cruise. “This is a relaxing trip where you get to see the same things.”
Jeffery Llewellyn, campus community director for SAC, said GW officials organized the event “to get first year students to see something they hadn’t seen before in a different way.”
“I visited the monuments during (Colonial Inauguration). You can never get enough of seeing them,” said Jenny Roh, a freshman on the tour.
Freshmen may spend their first weeks on campus with a hurried drive to tour D.C.’s highlights, an eagerness that is lacking among some upperclassmen who come back to school with a “been there, done that” mentality.
Junior Julianne Hunkins said she doesn’t visit D.C.’s tourist sites much anymore, but instead uses the city’s institutions for broader opportunities, like her internship with the French Embassy.
“I went to (the monuments) once when I was a sophomore,” Hunkins said. “(Freshmen) visit these things because they haven’t seen what there is yet.”
But some freshmen said they have no plans to stop touring the city, no matter how familiar it becomes.
“Some (tourist activities) are cool no matter how old you are. They’ll always be fun,” freshman Brittany Wirth said.
“I saw the monuments before I came (to GW), but I’ll definitely go see them again,” said freshman Paula Halicek. “I’d continue to do the touristy thing, that’s what I came here for.”