Gabriel Okolski: Let’s take a crack at something funny

I had the unpleasant experience of checking my e-mail two weekends ago only to find a whole host of prank messages from the entire senior class, of which I am reluctantly a member. The incident started when a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee solicited fourth-year students for class gift recommendations, providing mischievous students with the listserv address for the whole group of seniors.

It is somewhat ridiculous that even after four years at this quirky institution, someone would not realize that providing a bunch of college kids a way to contact more than a couple thousand students would be a bad idea. That issue notwithstanding, it is also a sad statement that students would lack total consideration of the fact that an entire class would not like to hear commentary that very few would consider funny.

I hate to be pessimistic, but this is a characteristic I’ve consistently seen on campus. I also hate to sound parental, but I can’t avoid it with the advice I’m about to give – grow the hell up.

Overall, the people I have met at GW have been much more friendly, pleasant and mature than those with whom I was sentenced to spend high school. That doesn’t mean I haven’t seen behavior that brings back memories of my grade-school days. Perhaps I am holding our age group to too-high a standard, but certain activity should not be present on campus.

I feel sick when I see that someone has thrown a drink all over the Ivory Tower elevators. It is utterly disgusting when a visit to New Hall on a weekend reveals bulletin boards that have been torn down, presumably in someone’s drunken state of merriment. For a school filled with so many socially minded individuals, it is surprising that the perpetrators of these “jokes” have no regard for the service workers that need to clean up their mess.

There are more subtle examples of this immature behavior that really get at the heart of what I’m talking about. A couple of weeks ago, The Hatchet received a letter from a girl who accompanied her friend on a tour of GW. The visitor mentioned that while on the tour, several students approached the group and began saying some not-so-nice things about the school. Suffice to say, the writer of the letter along with her friend will probably not be coming to GW.

During my year as a campus tour guide for GW, I encountered this sort of thing a surprising number of times. It’s a strong statement about our campus culture that some people think it’s a good idea to turn people away from the school.

Granted, these sorts of actions don’t reflect on everyone at this school, but we all have the ability to end this sort of thing. Sure, we can be polite to everyone and promote responsibility around campus, but I’m getting at something more appropriate for our age group here.

There is one thing that hasn’t happened yet during my time at GW, and I’m really surprised it hasn’t. I’ve witnessed fights, people throwing up in the street and destruction of property, but I haven’t seen a good prank. I’m not talking about putting laundry detergent in the Kogan Plaza fountain or covering Rice Hall in graffiti – I want to see something creative done on a large scale. Like someone organizing 5,000 students with air horns to march to Georgetown University’s campus during their change in classes.

This may sound like a totally ridiculous idea, but I think that a well thought-out, smart and funny prank would show the kind of garbage behavior that ruins campus life for the rest of us for what it really is. I’m not advocating anything illegal, but I hope that during the year, someone comes up with something really good that will make people reconsider the humor behind knocking over a garbage can.

On another level, a creative prank will help build school spirit and get us all thinking beyond cheap laughs from sources such as giant foam shocker hands. But that is of secondary concern to me. What I really want is for people to stop their actions that some may find funny but amount to little more than nuisances for the GW community. Let’s take a crack at doing something that actually has some humor to it – we can do better than property destruction and sophomoric commentary sent out to the entire senior class.

-The writer, a senior majoring in political science, is the Hatchet opinions editor.

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