Letters to the Editor

Time is right to build science center

I enjoyed reading Lindsey Wajert’s op-ed on the proposed construction of the new GW science center. Her column was well-written, well-reasoned and well-argued. However, I disagree with Ms. Wajert on three basic premises.

First of all, despite the shrinking economy, GW remains financially strong, as reported by Lauren French and Sarah Scire (“Outlook positive in poor economy,” Nov. 20, p.1). French and Scire attribute this fiscal steadfastness to student tuition money, but I would argue that the primary reason is actually the land holdings and real estate investments from which GW collects a substantial, if unknown, amount.

Secondly, the fact that GW relies less on its endowment than other universities provides a considerable competitive advantage in the current economic environment. GW needs to take advantage of this opportunity and continue expanding in accordance with the strategic plan for academic excellence. Construction of a new science building would show alumni and outside observers that GW is serious about improving our natural sciences faculties.

Lastly, I felt that Ms. Wajert’s statement that “Current students should not have to put $52,000 a year toward a new building that today’s Colonials will never use” does not take into account the responsibilities that come with membership in this university. As an alumnus of GW, I understand that attending college is not a four-and-done club. It’s a lifetime connection to a larger community and a responsibility that requires a commitment from previous students in order to facilitate the studies of future generations.

We have already seen what a new building for the Elliott School and the Business School have done for the standing of those programs. A new science center would pay immediate dividends to the University’s reputation and enhance the experience of thousands of future students.
Greg Shtraks, Alumnus

Teach for America is not résumé filler

As a 2003 Teach for America corps member and GW alumna, I was shocked by your recent article titled “More grads seek service corps jobs,” Nov. 24, p.1).

TFA and other service corps are not the place for aimless, unemployed college grads looking to beef up their resumes. These are challenging, demanding, 24-hour-a-day commitments that should not be taken lightly. When you become a TFA corps member, you have dozens of children relying on you to do your best every single day.

This means waking up as early as 5 a.m. and working until well after midnight. This means spending your vacations grading papers and planning lessons to help your students catch up, not tanning in Ibiza. This means taking on the emotional commitment of trying to be a teacher, counselor, therapist, disciplinarian, coach, friend, parent and motivational speaker to a room full of children weeks after graduation.

TFA is a wonderful opportunity for college grads looking to make a difference in solving the problems that prevent our children from excelling. But if you are considering applying to pad your resume or to fill time before deciding what you want to be when you grow up, please do our students a favor and don’t.
Miriam Epstein, Alumna

Sex column off base

Once again the sex column manages to disgust. I think The Hatchet is totally missing the mark with this column (“Satisfying mind and body,” Nov. 24, p. B1). This is a huge outlet to reach out to GW students and teach about responsible sex.

We live in the city with the largest HIV-positive population in the country and all the writers can come up with are the “fun times” to be had with anal sex and the benefits of multiple partners. Perhaps you should consider interviewing a woman who cannot have children because of scarring from STDs or someone who contracted HIV from having sex. Maybe an article about life with herpes as well to mix things up.

I would love to see the sober and responsible side of your column. I know it may not be as much fun, but to be perfectly honest what you write about is not new, creative or witty. It has either been written before or is just foul. Again, Hatchet, please consider something new!
Maryann Grunseth, Freshman

Congrats to women’s team

I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Coach Mike Bozeman and the GW women’s basketball team on what was an inspiring and remarkable performance against Tennessee. Despite a disappointing defeat, the grit and determination displayed by our young team had all of us fans proud to call them our own.

I hope that the students who were there will not only come out for the rest of the season to offer the great support they showed Tuesday night, but will also tell their friends that this team is worthy of a full Smith Center.
David Earl, Senior

GW Medical School a great institution

We were dismayed by the news of the GW Medical School’s academic probation.

There is no finer medical school in the country, as we came to know when our daughter Alexandra attended it. She graduated, completed her intern year at GW and then went to Harvard Medical School where she is now a second-year resident in neurology. She is first in her class and is often asked at what school she got her extraordinary medical formation. She is always proud to reply “at GW Medical School.”

Please reassure future students that they will get the highest-quality medical education by terrific faculty in a caring top-notch environment.
Andre and Veronika Hovaguimian

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