Overall, this semester has been a good one for GW. We’ve avoided major controversies, and seen some notable improvements and events on campus. Still, there is always room for improvement. Here is GW’s report card for the semester:
Guest Appearances: A
This semester, GW hosted Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Al Gore, Colin Powell, Public Enemy, Jill Biden, and the Obamas. Of course, this is excluding all of the ambassadors, senators, congressmen, and other inspirational speakers who have visited Foggy Bottom this past semester. Whether these people are coming because of work done on the part of the University or the convenience of a D.C. location, GW has surpassed expectations this semester. This is what students come here for. Let’s keep it up.
Office of Greek Life: D-
Transparency has been a major issue for the Office of Greek Life this semester. From unreasonable summer fines to taking over Phi Sigma Sigma’s house to forcing the entire sorority system to re-rank preferences for housing, Greek-letter life has been the cause of much frustration. With the growing presence of Greek-letter life on GW’s campus, the Office of Greek Life needs to improve communication and cooperation with students.
President Knapp: B
President Knapp has made some noteworthy improvements to his visibility and prominence on campus this year. Between drumming duels with basketball players and attendance at more student organization events, President Knapp’s participation is something we are happy to see. This semester has been a good start for the President’s Office, but of course, there is still progress to be made.
Fundamental Issues: F
Advising and dining. For years now, these issues have topped students’ concerns. We’ve seen little to no progress on these issues. Where is the advising reform? The degree-auditing system that was promised? Significant improvements to J Street? It is unacceptable that the University continues to do nothing to resolve these issues.
School Spirit: A-
Considering the sentiment on campus last year, it is amazing that school spirit is even on the radar. This semester, GW has shown that school spirit does exist on our campus. Seeing the Smith Center filled with over a thousand screaming Colonials would have been nearly unimaginable the past two years. But the men’s basketball team has stepped it up this year, and so have the fans. We hope GW can maintain the momentum throughout the spring semester.
For more than 18 months, the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education has yet to name a new director. In that time, GW experienced a tragic alcohol-related death and conducted a complete evaluation of alcohol policy at GW, all without a nominal director leading the effort. At best, GW has simply not given the title to Katie Bean (the assistant director of CADE, and currently the highest ranked member of the department); at worst, it is gross negligence on the part of Student and Academic Support Services.
Study Abroad Hatcheteers: C
Next semester, the Hatchet will be losing three devoted members of its staff. We are happy that Amy Rhodin, Anne Wernikoff and Erica Steinberg are going to be enjoying African safaris, Brazilian bikinis and British accents, respectively. At the same time, their gain is our loss and the townhouse won’t be the same without them. Have fun, but not so much you don’t want to come back!