Letters to the Editor

Alumni feedback should outlast Commencement

I read David Ceasar’s recent editorial “For What It’s Worth” (April 28, p. 4) with great interest. Mr. Ceasar makes an excellent point when he notes that the value of our GW degree is linked to the University’s current caliber, and that graduating students can play a role in improving the GW experience by sharing their feedback.

I’d like to add to this point by noting that GW’s newest alumni should not just feel that graduation is the only opportunity for them to share their thoughts about the University. We are all members of a lifelong and worldwide community of GW graduates, and we should therefore feel empowered to speak out about GW in the years to come.

One of the primary goals of the GW Alumni Association is to “gather a voice for alumni.” We place so much emphasis on this goal for the same reason that Mr. Ceasar notes – GW’s alumni have a unique perspective that can benefit the University immensely. The GWAA would like to hear from anyone who has a story to tell about their GW experience or a recommendation to share with us or the University – you can reach us at alumni@gwu.edu, by calling 1-800-ALUMNI-7 or visiting www.alumni.gwu.edu.

I urge all students – those of you who will graduate on the National Mall this weekend and those who will don the cap and gown in years to come – to remember that your voice will always be welcome at your alma mater.

Richard Crespin, President, GW Alumni Association


Misspellings of “Elliott School” insulting

I think it’s fairly safe to say that most students on the GW campus know that the University president before Steven Knapp was Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. But how many people know who came before him some twenty years ago?

His name is Lloyd Hartman Elliott, and I had the pleasure of not only graduating from the school named in his honor, but to hear him speak at my graduation ceremony two years ago. He is the reason we have the Cloyd Heck Marvin Center, the Jacob Burns Law Library, the Melvin Gelman Library, the Paul Himmelfarb Health and Sciences Library and the Charles E. Smith Center. Without his efforts, there would be no dedicated school for international affairs, yet awareness of his efforts and contributions go largely unnoticed.

They go unnoticed to the point where our University’s primary campus news source, The GW Hatchet, has continuously overlooked the misspelling of one the University’s most notable schools. These spelling mistakes did not just occur this past academic year, but rather over a span of many years. For the record, it is the Elliott School of International Affairs … with two t’s and not one. It is demeaning to me, my fellow alumni, current students, prospective students, school staff, faculty and President Elliott when our school’s name is misspelled.

Consider how you feel when people leave the “The” out in The George Washington University, and you may have a general idea of how it feels for an Elliott School student to see their school’s name misspelled.

I hope that in the future The GW Hatchet, along with all other campus media sources, will take the necessary efforts to ensure that the Elliott School, along with any other University school or office, be spelled correctly.

Kathryn Santo
Graduate student in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration and a graduate of the Elliott School.


Ability to carry concealed weapons part of a safer campus

I agree whole-heartedly with the idea of arming the University Police Department. It is indeed a step toward a safer campus – but it is not enough steps. In much of the country, states allow adults over 21 years of age with no criminal record and sufficient training to carry concealed weapons.

If one looks at the studies by the Center for Disease Control, University of Chicago professor John Lott and others, you will find that gun control laws do not reduce or positively affect crime. If you look at the states that have passed concealed carry laws, they experienced a significant drop in crime after they implemented the carry laws.

When D.C. adopted its outright ban on handguns in 1975, crime skyrocketed and has been way above the national average ever since. D.C. law and our University should allow citizens who are legally allowed to do so, to carry on our campus. This is the biggest step to create a safe campus. When you have seconds to defend yourself, the police are minutes away.

Arming UPD is a fantastic idea, but it is not going far enough. The Supreme Court needs to overturn the handgun ban in D.C., allow for carrying a concealed weapon, and the University needs to allow people to defend themselves, because if one cannot defend one’s self from attack, then we are not truly free.

Kenneth Stauff, Junior

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