Letters to the Editor

Neighbors should support dorm

The Foggy Bottom/West End ANC has been complaining about GW housing for years, pushing for more students to be housed on campus. Yet now that GW has a joint proposal with the School Without Walls to develop an on-campus dorm on F Street, the University’s neighbors are against it.

What is GW supposed to do, house students underground? Bulldoze University Yard and build a dorm in its place? The ANC can’t have its cake and eat it too. If they want the University to house more students on campus, they shouldn’t complain when administrators try to do just that.

-Andrew Wiseman, alumnus

No end to counseling misconceptions

I’m wondering what kind of questions Clayton M. McCleskey asked before writing his piece “End misconceptions about suicide prevention” (Nov. 2, p. 4). I understand that the author lost a close personal friend to suicide and that students should feel comfortable going to the University Counseling Center; however, the column ignored the fact that a student named Jordan Nott did in fact get kicked off campus after seeking counseling for depression in 2004.

According to the author, there are painful “misconceptions” about how students can be removed from campus when they discuss depression and suicidal thoughts. Why didn’t he clear up these misconceptions by discussing repercussions or explaining the process a suicidal student must go through to remain a GW student and stay in University housing?

It is indeed a challenge to explain the flaming hoops that depressed students must jump through just to remain at this school. If the author wanted to compare the “lessons learned” from his personal losses and Nott’s experience, he should have at least considered what caused Nott to get kicked out of school in 2004.

-Rachel Malis, senior

Lawsuit was the wrong option

The attorneys at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law were wrong to pick up the case of Jordan Nott, who was barred from campus after disclosing suicidal thoughts. Nott sued the University, which settled with him last week. In a dormitory environment, it is a disruption to the education and mental health of other residents, especially the individual’s roommates, who have to worry about their friend and peer potentially committing suicide.

An acquaintance of mine tried to commit suicide one fall and was able to come back to school spring semester. We welcomed her into our quad because the University did not want her to live alone. She originally was open to her therapy and depression treatment; however, she soon relapsed, stopped attending therapy sessions, stopped taking her medication regularly and began lashing out at us.

The whole situation involved constant feelings of stress and worry. The policy that brought about the Nott suit did the right thing to resolve this issue. It forces students with immediate dangerous mental health problems to go where they belong – at home with their parents, who are most likely paying for treatment, therapy and medication. Parents can monitor their child’s behavior and participate directly in treatment in ways that roommates in an unstable college environment cannot.

-Erin Lamb, alumna

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