Letters to the Editor

Ranked Colonials

I almost drove off the road Tuesday morning when the local radio’s sportscaster glumly reported, “… GW now ranked seven, and Pitt eight …” Pittsburgh, my hometown, obviously brims with Pitt and Penn State alumni, most of whom believe there are no other college teams.

Rarely have I driven to work so gleefully.

-Christina Bosley Coulter, alumna

Shame on SJT

GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s statements to Tuesday’s New York Times on the preparatory school programs attended by senior Omar Williams and sophomore Maureece Rice were troubling (“NCAA wants to end diploma shortcuts,” New York Times, Feb. 27).

Unless there is evidence that Williams or Rice are struggling in or out of the classroom at GW, his statements – the embarrassment he described, combined with his curiosity as to their respective academic standings – were callous and inappropriate.

If Williams and Rice have both proven to be model citizens and fine students – which is every indication – then Trachtenberg owes both of those young men, Coach Karl Hobbs, Athletic Director Jack Kvanzc, Senior Vice President Robert Chernak and the Admissions Office all apologies for suggesting that they were engaged in something improper.

-Steven G. Shepard, alumnus

A rich kid reputation?

Monday’s article in the Life Section, “A Rich Kid Reputation” (Feb. 27, p. 9), was absolutely revolting.

Ms. Cooper-Henry’s comments were particularly obnoxious: “To be an elite has nothing to do with your wealth .” I hate to disagree, but in this country it does. One only needs to peruse the glossy pages of Verse to see that in action. I doubt very many people who feature prominently in those pictures are on financial aid. Conspicuous consumption and rampant materialism are the rallying cries of the American upper class. I don’t necessarily fault the students; they simply learned this behavior from their parents.

GW should be commended for giving 60 percent of its undergraduates some form of financial aid. But we shouldn’t be fooled into believing that only the needy receive money: much aid is merit-based. Merit-based aid certainly goes to those who could otherwise afford tuition at GW.

I would disagree with Ms. Vandell that GW does not have a reputation as “rich kid’s school.” Having grown up in a comfortable Northeastern setting, I can attest that GW has a reputation for rich kids. But then that is an unfortunate trend in higher education in America.

Is GW a school divided by wealth? Yes, but then that can be applied to the United States in general.

-Conor M. Savoy, alumnus

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