Letters to the Editor

Cutting costs to make GW more affordable

On Monday evening I attended a debate between eight Congressmen, four Republican and four Democrat, held at Jack Morton Auditorium. The theme of the debate was economic growth for America in a changing world. One central theme of the debate was the cost of education here at GW.

The University responds to student criticism of the cost of school by claiming there is no alternative without cutting academics or other services. They have taken baby steps to alleviate the problem, but only for select demographic groups. A family earning $150,000 annually with two college age children would most likely not be able to afford GW for even one child. The government assists low income families and high-income families don’t need the help. It’s those of us in the middle that are in trouble.

Several proactive solutions have been mentioned, but never implemented. One involves selling books individually, rather than as a bundle to reduce this cost. Another solution is for Congress to lower the Stafford loan rate from 6.8 percent. Another solution would be to reexamine the bureaucracy of the university. Why not merge GW Housing and Residential Property Management into one office? Why not merge financial services, student accounts and financial aid into one office? The University cannot expect alumni to donate significant amounts of money if they do not trim the bureaucracy.

If they made it easier for people to accomplish simple tasks such as financial aid, not only would the University’s overhead decrease, but future alumni would look more favorably upon their GW experience. To alleviate the debt burden of the University, couldn’t GW sell some of their real estate holdings and pay down the debt? This in turn should reduce annual interest payments on the debt, thus allowing the Board of Trustees to reduce tuition. We can look to the example of Congress and how they must trim the bureaucracy to save money. We could do the same at GW without cutting essential services. That would reduce the cost of attendance on our students.

Seth Weinstein, Senior

Paying the most for the mediocre?

University President Steven Knapp argues that GW’s high fees are needed “to operate a rapidly growing institution while also improving national rankings” (Feb. 21, p. 1). When I first attended GW in 1990, the school was ranked between 51 and 75 (at that time, U.S. News and World Report grouped schools outside the top 25 into quartiles but did not rank them more specifically) and cost $13,560 a year for a full-time undergraduate.

Today, GW’s ranking is still not in the top 50, but now costs more than $50,000 a year for a full-time undergraduate. Given that national rankings have essentially not changed since 1990, a nearly 75 percent tuition increase (if you factor out inflation) hardly seems justified. As for rapid growth, what is the purpose of this growth, and how does it benefit the student who is being milked for ever-increasing sums when the quality of the institution clearly is not improving?

Perhaps GW should focus on holding costs down and improving quality rather than feverishly building new facilities. I would certainly be curious to know how many administrators, staff and other people who do not actually teach students are employed at GW today relative to 1990. Are these non-essential personnel the real source of the “rapid growth” that is driving costs up?

James Perry, Alumnus

Resource center not solely reliant on SA

During this current SA election season we have witnessed countless errors in regards to our work for a LGBT resource center for the George Washington University population. This letter hopes to set the record well.straight.

GW is the only university in its market basket to not have a LGBT resource center. The student LGBT community faces unique needs that cannot simply be met by traditional departments.

In recognizing this need, Allied in Pride and its allies began a grassroots campaign to obtain such a center. We have conducted research, met with numerous administrators, hosted a town hall meeting and engaged the GW community about the need for a resource center. In order to further demonstrate the need for a center to the GW community we decided to push for an Student Association Senate Resolution. Introduced by Vishal Aswani, and supported by 20 other senators, we were able to pass the resolution.

The resolution was simply another step that we took to making the LGBT Resource Center a reality. While we appreciate the help of the SA, we would like to recognize the continual hard work of our members and allies as the main organizing power throughout this process.

Allied in Pride executive board

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