SJT: businessman of the year
The D.C. Chamber of Commerce named President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg “Businessman of the Year.” The perception of President Trachtenberg as a businessman does not often play well with local residents. An urban university with large real estate holdings and a small endowment, however, needs a leader with a great business sense. The GW bureaucracy is certainly sub-par, but the University has grown both physically and in academic standings since Trachtenberg’s arrival 18 years ago. Congratulations, Trachty.
GW hurricane Katrina response
Displaced New Orleans university students who found themselves at GW for the semester faced a mix of help and hindrance. While GW waived some registration fees, housing was not readily available to the New Orleans refugees. A special Colonial Inauguration designed for these students will probably help to create a little less confusion and instill a little bit of colonial spirit during the students’ semester in D.C.
Unsanitary conditions in Hell-Well
The University doesn’t seem to have a problem keeping residence halls generally free of disease, but recent infections, possibly from the use of mats at Lerner Health and Wellness Center, raises concerns about a lack of sanitary standards. Students need to feel comfortable utilizing that facility without fearing potential infection.
Expanded wireless Internet and cell service
Terrible cellular reception has been a hallmark of GW buildings and residence halls for the past few years. The addition of a new cell tower at 23rd and H streets should alleviate some of the problems. Increased wireless hotspots on campus, including J Street, will positively impact the lives of an increasingly mobile campus community.
Residence hall policies
GW’s parental attitude toward student residents has already caused friction this year. The placement of a significant number of CFs into upperclassman residence halls and unannounced health and safety inspections degrades the feeling of privacy and community within residence halls.
The SA’s plan for a Dulles shuttle during the holidays to transport students cheaply and efficiently to their flights finally proves that this representative of the student voice can do something that has a direct impact on student life. Another SA initiative, a Web site for students to trade textbooks and get other pertinent information, is set to launch soon. If the SA continues to focus on service-based initiatives throughout the year, it could prove to be a viable organization capable of serving all students required to pay for its existence through mandatory fees.
Secrecy over sex-ed scandal
The University’s continued secrecy over the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of popular sex-education professor Michael Schaffer has caused a local media storm questioning the role of due process and academic freedom at GW. The details of this high-profile case must be released to prevent further damages to GW’s reputation.