Jeff Mnich: Spice up The Hatchet

At this point, it’s obvious: GW is a very politically-minded school located in the heart of the nation’s capital. And yes, our nationally-decorated student paper provides more political insight than the “Washington Journal” to all our junior Carvilles and O’Reillys.

But this being said, is it wrong of me as a student (who is both a political science major and political participant) to say “enough!”?

Call me old fashioned, but when I think of a student paper, I’m not looking for the latest spin of CNN. Students should be wondering, “Where’s the sex, social observations, D.C. scene and altogether humor?”

We are taking ourselves much too seriously. It’s great to have articles that are truly newsworthy, but this should not be all our paper is made of. Perhaps our well-skilled writers should look to The Onion, an online humorous news source, for example. The Hatchet’s April Fools edition proves we can think outside the beltway box; where are these ideas year-round? The popularity of programs such as “The Daily Show” more than proves that humor can be not only acceptable, but preferred when facing even serious issues.

This paper used to offer its “Chick and Dick” advice column; should we think that GW students are so skilled in their ways that playful tips about the opposite sex aren’t valuable (not that this student is in need …)? Would a column every week that tells of a previous weekend’s exploits, triumphs and social disasters be too much for our “Crossfire”-loving minds? Forget writing about the national threat level; tell me instead about Fox News’ scare level.

If we wanted to hear about what happened over the weekend on the West Bank, we could look to any of the 20 immediate news sources in this city; The Hatchet should be telling me what crazy stuff happened in a college townhouse. I find it hard to believe that a party with 100 people, two kegs and a foam machine didn’t yield even one newsworthy story. Send one of your reporters undercover in the Package Services line with only enough food and water to last 48 hours; do a ride-along into a classroom disturbance with LaRouche protesters; find out SJT’s favorite power-hour soundtrack. The possibilities are endless.

Perhaps what we need is more participation from students who normally don’t write for The Hatchet; if so, this paper should embrace the idea. We all know tons of people with good stories and lots of things that can be researched and reported. It would take half of your reporters to figure out some of the craziness my friend experienced with this girl last week, but I’ve gotta believe that it’d be a heck of a column. It couldn’t be too hard to think of articles that your female readers would want. What girl wouldn’t love a Cosmo-style section?

Of course, some of your readers will be simply appalled by the idea of a more college-themed approach. Yet, in a society where our most serious political candidates make appearances on “The Daily Show” and “SNL,” it’s crazy to be so “adult” all the time. Come on, who would complain about a report on the upcoming miniskirt season and its implications for increased male tardiness to classes? And how excited could we be for the approaching Student Association elections if we could get truly entertaining coverage? Certainly it’d be interesting to hear the candidates’ stances on issues such as Facebook relationship status, text-messaging entire conversations and yes, perhaps even platforms on some SA issues too. If the candidates can be engaged in dynamic ways, wouldn’t that be a better method to raise interest from the student body?

The Hatchet is an extremely capable college paper. Now let’s take it to the next level by looking at the world with less obvious, but more amusing perspectives. There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with, well, pretty much everything.

-The writer is a senior majoring in international affairs and political science.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.