Amy Hocraffer: Dear GW: Time to talk

Dear GW,

Now that the nonsense of Valentine’s Day has passed, I thought I would write you this note to really talk about our relationship. We’ve been together for nearly four years now – through the good times (Colonial Inauguration, free food and concerts) and the bad (anything to do with J Street and all-nighters). I’ve progressed from love at first campus tour to a deeper, more mature appreciation for you. And while I’ve really enjoyed our time together, I do have a few issues in our relationship that I’d like to discuss before graduation and we move on with our lives. If you want to continue our relationship after graduation (can you say “alumni giving?”), I have a few complaints that need to be addressed.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re a wonderful University. You’ve got a great personality and a gorgeous campus or two, but for this relationship to really work, you need to stop playing hard to get all the time. I need more communication.

When I send an e-mail requesting housing help or clarification on my financial aid, I’d really appreciate it if you could actually e-mail me back – maybe even with the information I requested. Just because I’m already enrolled here, doesn’t mean you can take me for granted. Back when I was in high school, you wrote me long letters about yourself practically every week. Nowadays I feel like my e-mails are dropping into a black hole.

It’s always frustrating to be treated like I don’t matter until I get my parents involved in the e-mail chain. When I’m paying $40,000 per year to be here, I expect a bit of reciprocation. Honestly, sometimes I worry that you’re only in this relationship for the money.

On that subject, when I studied abroad last year (I know you were really upset I had to go), you charged me the full price of GW tuition, even though my program only cost about half that. You said you needed the money for advising and logistical support. I understand your difficulties, but when you tell me these things and then only hire two study abroad advisers, I worry that you’re not being totally honest with me. If I’m seven time zones away and suddenly need help with class registration or student paperwork, I’d like to be able to reach a knowledgeable person in a reasonable amount of time.

Honey, what I’m saying is let’s put an end to this unnecessary secrecy. An aura of mystery can be enchanting at first, but eventually I would like to know what is actually going on. For example, when you decide to reserve the National Mall for graduation the day after last year’s Commencement, could you at least tell me before the next November? Maybe you could reveal the Commencement speaker before my final six weeks as an undergraduate? These are little things, but they add up to me feeling excluded. And for all your students, having events like the Town Hall is great, but they need to happen more than twice a year.

Sure, you send out plenty of blast e-mails about Lisner music and comedy shows and basketball games, but when major events happen, like the two-hour delay on Wednesday because of ice, you can’t be bothered to let me know? We’ve got the tools in place for great communication, why not use them? I’m not even asking for actual contact with your administration, just useful, timely news instead of fluff. You’ve got to let me into your life – share some meaningful information with me. If you’re going through some rough times, let me know. We can get through them together.

The writer is a senior majoring in political communication.

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