GW tour guides tell prospective students that the hippo statue standing outside Lisner Auditorium will bring good luck. They encourage teens and parents alike to “rub the Hippo’s nose” to carry on a tradition. Of course, no one really rubs the hippo’s nose, but if the animal actually was GW’s enchanted lamp, I know just what my three wishes would entail.
For argument’s sake, assume the major issues have all been taken care of by other eager students who wished for a successful basketball team, improved dining options and easier registration. (Also assume the majority of parents asked for lower tuition).
My remaining concerns revolve around the Mount Vernon campus, the Student Health Service and the various forms of transportation GW students use.
The Mount Vernon campus, or “the Vern,” seriously needs a new PR campaign. After residing on the Vern my freshman year, I have come to the understanding that many GW students regard the campus in primarily negative ways. Most argue that the appeal of GW lies in its city-based location on Foggy Bottom. Also, many contend that the trek back and forth between the Vern and Foggy Bottom is too much of a hassle.
While these arguments are valid, the positive aspects have been overlooked for much too long. For example, the Vern is gorgeous, providing residents with the small, grass covered hills and fields that Foggy Bottom lacks. The dorms are more accommodating, a few classes are offered in the academic buildings and Eckles Library is arguably nicer than Gelman. Plus, the Vern can provide a much-needed escape for those looking to get away from the high volumes of fellow freshmen in Thurston. Students would be wise to consider this a good option for housing or at least relaxation.
GW students are fortunate enough to have a full-blown hospital right on campus. Yet in the case of a non-emergency, GW students generally go to the Student Health Service, located just north of campus. While the medical staff is excellent, the hours do not fit the schedule of most college students. I fell ill with painful cases of strep throat three times my freshman year. Ironically enough, my symptoms would kick in when the center was closed. On Saturday, it’s open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and it’s closed all day Sunday..
Consequently, students face the decision between sitting for hours in an emergency room for a non-emergency, or waiting through pain for Monday morning. The Student Health Service should take note of this and provide students with a schedule allowing us to receive treatment as soon as possible so that we can heal faster.
On the subject of expediency, the final issue is transportation. As GWorld cards are not used for the Metro, I hope GW can make a serious effort to include some subway capabilities in the GWorld program. This push has been made in recent years and seems to have come up short, but I hope the University and Metro officials can find a way to make this initiative work. It would be a good service to students.
Improving all of these areas will only enhance the experience for current and prospective students. Though the GW hippo may not produce three wishes – although whoever wished for Jon Stewart to perform at Colonials Weekend deserves two more – I hope that those involved will be able take note of mine.
The writer, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.