Letters to the Editor

Be courteous and quiet for our neighbors

One of the great benefits of attending GW is its location in the Foggy Bottom/West End and Foxhall communities. We enjoy numerous cultural activities as well as excellent shopping, restaurants and entertainment opportunities.

The University is committed to being a good neighbor in our community. The University Police Department, the Office of D.C. and Foggy Bottom/West End Affairs and the Office of Off-Campus Student Affairs demonstrate this commitment and work in partnership with students and neighbors to address concerns and make a better community for all of us.

We often hear concerns from our neighbors about noise. Our neighborhoods are filled with working professionals, senior citizens and families with young children. The lifestyle of students can be very different from the lifestyle of our neighbors. You may be walking with a group of friends for a fun night out at 8pm on Saturday night, just when parents are putting their children to bed. Or, you may be returning at 1am from enjoying a night on the town and families are sound asleep.

To help us all be better members of our community, we are introducing the Quiet Zone initiative for the spring semester. As a reminder to students leaving their residence halls, Quiet Zone posters will be placed on building doors. We encourage everyone to keep these tips in mind:

When walking in a group, please keep your talking and laughing to a moderate level, particularly during late night hours.

Pay special attention to residential buildings. D.C. laws make it illegal to shout or make a disturbance outside a building at night.

Try not to congregate beneath windows of a residential building.

Keep your mobile phone conversations to a reasonable volume.

We encourage you to follow these tips, and your own common sense, in our neighborhoods. Courtesy can reap tremendous benefits for our communities. Please help us all to be better neighbors and encourage others to take part in the Quiet Zone.

-Brian F. Hamluk, Director, Off-Campus Student Affairs

-Michael P. Akin, Director, D.C. & Foggy Bottom/West End Affairs

-Dolores A. Stafford, Chief, University Police Department

Look at interest, not course challenge

Gabriel Okolski’s column “Working hard or hardly working” (Jan. 22, p. 4) has its merits, but his thesis that those of us who are liberal arts majors have it easier than sciences majors or math majors has a serious flaw: the assumption that students have similar skill levels in varying (if not opposing) fields.

I am willing to bet that there are quite a few dedicated math/sciences majors out there who find it simple to do well in their classes but would grimace at the idea of writing 35-plus pages for an upper-level Jewish studies course.

Yes, there is something to the fact that many GW students can pan the front page of Financial Times and have all the material they’ll need to speak up and write well in class. At the same time, the reason why this is the case is because some classes cover material that political science and international affairs majors are particularly good at.

I for one, a religion major, couldn’t pull it off, but I know that the truth resides in interest as well as in skill: after having taken 57 credits in my major, I’ve done much better in my major courses than my non-major courses.

The fact that the vast majority of GW students are particularly good at their liberal arts or science or math majors but have trouble stepping outside of their comfort zone is not really a problem – it’s business as usual at GW. No amount of surveying in an attempt to create an equal level of difficulty between a biology and a history class is going to change the fact that people who dig biology will do better at biology, and the people who dig history do better at history.

-Will Donovan, Senior

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