One last memo to GW

Usually, when I send in my tuition checks to GW, I try to include a little humor. On the check’s memo line, I like to leave a little message – something like “Enjoy my $50,000, now you can buy yourself almost two full lunches at J Street,” or “Here’s a year’s tuition, maybe I should’ve bought a Hummer instead?” Other times, when I’m feeling especially guilty about what I’m paying to go to school, I include some data, my own little Josh Akman Snapple fact such as “Please deposit my tuition check, it is more than three times what a family in Mexico makes in a year,” or “This is not a tuition check, instead I’m choosing to pay my voluntary $50 library gift for the next thousand years.”

This tuition check, though, is different – it’s my last. How can I possibly convey such a significant message to GW in a brief memo line on a check? Maybe I could use some of my patented sarcasm – “Thanks for all the knowledge, criminal justice department, now I’m so far in debt I’m going to have to start selling drugs!” While I’m not exactly sure what to write, I’d probably talk about some of the changes I’ve seen at GW over the past four years. Perhaps, by examining some of the ways life has changed on campus, I can write something on the check’s memo line that might actually be useful (other than, of course, my witty jokes). If I had some extra room, I’d say:

Greek-letter life is a good thing. When I joined my fraternity during my freshman year, I felt like Greek-letter life was the best-kept secret on campus. Four years later, it still feels like the administration hasn’t quite embraced the popularity of the Greek community. Greek-letter life here breaks almost every stereotype – almost all of the fraternities and sororities get along, hazing is practically nonexistent and it’s far more inclusive a community compared to similar organizations on most other college campuses. Hopefully, GW can move closer to fully embracing the positive impact fraternities and sororities have on campus.

We should all be embarrassed by J Street. My freshman year, it was disgusting and overpriced. Now, four years later, it’s disgusting, overpriced, and. required?! GW actually mandates that freshmen and sophomores eat here. That’s one way to fix a fledgling business – make it mandatory.

My first year at GW, I was stunned when I found out about the “voluntary” library gift. For those who haven’t seen it, GW puts a $50 “voluntary” donation in your student bill, and you have to check the box each time to remove it. Now, in my last year here, I’m every bit as incensed. If it was a real “voluntary” gift, I would be given the option to “volunteer” to give it. Instead, I have to make the effort each time to take it off. It’s comforting to know that GW and scam Web sites use some of the same payment-collection methods.

Freshman year, I thought Thurston was the best. Looking back as a senior, I now know how right I was. The people constantly complaining about a lack of community on campus haven’t spent enough time here. I’ve had a great time at GW, but nothing compares to freshman year in Thurston. The more freshmen who get moved to the Vern, the more students miss out on this unbelievable experience.

So, I guess the memo on my final check should read, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I’m not sure how great that is, but either way, I know I’m definitely sad to be leaving in June.

The writer, a senior majoring in criminal justice, is a Hatchet columnist.

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