Presidential pick timing
The selection of Steven Knapp as the next GW President last week surprised many who expected the announcement to come next semester. Knapp and GW should use this early pick to begin a smooth transition over the next several months.
Students saw a number of service cuts this year – in academic departments, in services such as the residence hall newspaper program and in events such as Colonial Invasion – all while tuition continued to rise. Such cuts without lower tuition will no doubt result in extremely negative perceptions about GW for both current and prospective students.
While this year’s Student Association has not become embroiled in any major scandal, it has also produced few visible results in the eyes of students. While the group has increased its focus on student advocacy under president Lamar Thorpe, it should ensure that such services are well-publicized so that students will feel served by their student government.
Student health will no doubt benefit from free condoms in residence halls, the unlocking of prophylactics from cases at area CVS locations and the implementation of free HIV testing. GW and its students should continue such wellness efforts, as they directly benefit students.
University enthusiasm for a possible four-class, four-credit course system has been tempered by faculty and staff doubts about the proposal. Administrators should make a vigorous effort to build consensus on the issue and present a much more detailed implementation plan if they want it to pass in the future.
While a number of students had concerns regarding the revocation of Colonial Army priority tickets to GW basketball games, it appears that the system is working well so far. Administrators must be cautious, however, not to jump into a for-pay ticket system without building the program quality that would generate demand among students.
Despite a number of hurdles, especially due to community groups, GW has been able to progress on plans for Square 54 development and the construction of a new dorm on F Street. Hopefully, the University’s development agenda will continue smoothly to ensure a more focused and efficient campus.
This semester, the University forced students to organize their own room changes, stepped up its health and safety inspections and threatened the removal of dorm computer labs. Housing officials must realize that such changes will make students less likely to choose on-campus housing in the future and negatively impact the living environment of students living in residence halls.