Alex Shoucair: This semester’s epic fails

No, they can’t all fit into one column. This semester was full of excitement, controversy and a ton of Infomail e-mails. It also provided us with plenty of reminders of what GW does wrong and what it needs to change in the future.

The semester got off to a really great start. All that excitement surrounding the historic inauguration really got us into the school spirit. Sadly, true to Washington form, GW decided that it would be a good idea to sink well over $100,000 dollars into an inaugural float that scorched retinas all the way from Capitol Hill back to campus. Big George waving from the back of a pick-up truck would have looked better, and cost less. But instead, GW decided to pay homage to the well-established Washington attitude of spending tons of money to do something completely unnecessary that ultimately proved to be an embarrassment to the school.

In line with tradition, GW once again hosted its very own inaugural ball. As this was my first inaugural ball, I looked forward to the event with great anticipation. If only I had known that it was going to be a glorified high school prom, I might not have dropped the $75 to go see girls prance around to “Womanizer” in clothing that would make Pamela Anderson blush. To exacerbate the problem, GW chose a bizarre venue that was woefully inadequate for the scale of the event. Next time around, students and administration must give the ball the location and elegance it deserves. The inaugural ball was supposed to be the epitome of class. Instead, it was the epitome of crass.

Speaking of catastrophes, the Student Association ranks right up there with the rest of them. From the Unity Ball, to the inaugural float, to the widespread defections of meaningless cabinet members, the SA provided constant entertainment. And not to go out without a bang, our glorious institutions of student government made the election one more giant meltdown. The result? Now we have a student body president whose rise to power has about as much legitimacy as a North Korean election.

Finally, GW found it possible to throw in one more infuriating move before the semester’s conclusion. A week ago I was studying for finals with friends in Rome Hall. It was about 12:30 a.m. when a University Police Department officer decided to write us all up for being in the building too late. No, I am not joking. I guess UPD had nothing better to do than bust kids for using classrooms during finals. GW’s lack of study space is inexcusable, as is the fact that our library is a relic of the Cretaceous Period.

Clearly, GW has a lot to work on. Multiple levels of the school – the administration, SA, and student body – need to exercise better judgment, a little common sense and some class. First and foremost, we need to stop throwing money into fiscal black holes like the inaugural float and the Unity and inaugural balls. Maybe GW can use some of the savings to actually educate students, permanently fix Gelman Library and provide sufficient study space.

The writer, a junior majoring in Asian studies, is a Hatchet columnist.

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