Don’t punish those who seek help
University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg has wrongly equated the Jordan Nott case with the shooting incident at Virginia Tech (“Shootings spark Nott debate,” Apr. 23, p. 1). He should know better. Like the friends and peers of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy, Jordan experienced a difficult time in his life. He sought help and as a result was charged with disciplinary action and suspended from school.
Clearly, in the upcoming weeks, many students at Virginia Tech and other schools will suffer the emotional repercussions of losing friends and peers in such a sudden and violent way. Like Jordan Nott, they will need help and will need to know that it is safe for them to ask for it before it is too late.
Rather than penalizing students for seeking help, schools will hopefully do all they can to de-stigmatize mental illness, encourage students to seek mental health treatment if they need it, remove barriers to seeking treatment and ensure that students will not be reprimanded or suffer negative consequences for seeking professional attention.
-Karen Bower, Staff Attorney, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Mount Vernon residents still frustrated with dining
I am writing in response to Frank Broomell’s article, “Mount Vernon residents get more food options via shuttle,” (Apr. 23, p. 3). It is nice to see Mount Vernon Campus Life experimenting with additional stops to give Vern residents more dining and shopping options, but doing this one time on a Sunday is not enough.
This expanded service would not even be necessary if Ames Dining Hall and G-Dub Java (formerly Grounds for Change) didn’t drastically reduce their hours. I sent an e-mail complaining about the reduction in hours to MVCL, as did several fellow Vern residents whom I know, yet not one of us received a reply. G-Dub Java used to be open until 11 p.m. most nights, making perfect sense for a convenience store. For some idiotic reason, GW decided to move closing time to 2 p.m.
How do you cut a convenience store’s hours by nine hours? What if you or a friend became sick and needed medicine around 9 or 10 p.m.? Buying over-the-counter medicine is no longer possible, and this is exacerbated by the fact that this store is no longer open at all on Saturday. Furthermore, Ames used to be open at 7 or 8 a.m. for breakfast, but now it doesn’t open until 10:30 a.m. on weekdays.
Perhaps these venues didn’t receive as many customers as they would have liked, but Ames and G-Dub Java exist for the benefit of students. They are the only dining options available on the Vern. To drastically reduce their hours is absurd, and I do not know how Dining Services got away with it. I can’t wait to live on Foggy Bottom, where dining facilities are actually open when you need them.
-Ben Sugarman, Sophomore
Stop complaining – recognize and appreciate
In light of the controversy over President Trachtenberg speaking at Commencement, I have realized that, unfortunately, GW students fit the infamous stereotype of a group of seldom-satisfied students who rarely appreciate what they have.
There is no legitimate basis for complaining about something we lack if we don’t take full advantage of the wealth of opportunities already available. I attended the Stop Global Warming Tour last weekend, headlined by commencement speaker-worthy names. Despite the performer list and the free admission, the attendance was half-hearted at best, and the crowd largely unenthusiastic.
Although the show was just five minutes from ending, many in the audience decided they would completely interrupt Sheryl Crow and Larry David with a mass exodus. Here were big names with an important message for us as future leaders, but perhaps those who left early had something more important to do, like post anti-administration statements on a Facebook group against Trachtenberg.
Having just attended the Excellence in Student Life Awards, I became truly inspired by all the hard work that administrators, the Student Activities Center, Program Board, more than 350 student organizations and our peers pour into making our experience here at GW worth every penny. From luaus, to theatre, to alternative spring breaks, to countless impressive guest speakers, there is no shortage of opportunities to allow you to make far more memories than from a 20-minute speech, no matter how famous the speaker.
Take a look around and realize this is a truly amazing University that is what you are willing to make it.
-Collin Stevenson, Sophomore