The mismanagement of MLK Day
The Jan. 19 Hatchet article, “Students celebrate MLK Day with service,” about the successes of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service that was put on by GW, did a lot to highlight the successes of the event but did not focus nearly enough on the colossal failures.
This event was subject to the same mismanagement, over-spending and bureaucracy to which GW students are accustomed. While the event was a great idea to promote community service instead of simply taking the day off, students who participated only really worked for about 3 hours instead of the 7 hours they were at the school. The University no doubt logged all seven into the system for the Michelle Obama challenge.
Upon arriving at the Marvin Center, time was wasted hearing meaningless and repetitive motivational speeches rather than allowing more time for students to receive instructions and do actual work on the high school. After leaving campus (on luxury coach buses), the students arrived to the high school for more speeches and a lack of supplies.
What was most upsetting, however, was that despite speakers calling the event “not just a photo op,” students were asked to be wearing only GW apparel and colors. In addition, program leaders asked students who were standing around due to lack of supplies to pretend to clean bleachers with President Knapp because there weren’t enough students around him and they needed a good picture.
Overall, the work that was actually done was absolutely priceless to the students of Roosevelt Senior High School, but the event was not nearly as successful as it could have been, and the University would be remiss to ignore these facts.
Nate Hennagin is a senior majoring in political science.
A responsibility to the community
It was 1:15 a.m. Thursday morning and I heard students shouting in front of South Hall. Unaffected, I paid it no mind and focused on the assignment I had due in 10 hours. Fed up with the yelling, at 1:25 I looked out my windows to see, four male students screaming at each other. I was not very concerned, since I doubted the male population of this University has the grit to have a real fight, but then shoving started, and I called the University Police Department’s emergency line.
After repeating three times what was happening, the dispatcher said he would send somebody right away. The fight progressed to two of the guys actually punching each other. I looked to my left to see my neighbor standing in her living room, also watching the fight. Then a random student tried to interced, but the fighters ignored him. After minutes of fighting, the guys were separated, and two of the four fighters left.
At 1:32 a.m. two 4-RIDE vans and a UPD officer showed up on a Trek bicycle, who interviewed the two remaining fighters. I sat back in disbelief wondering, why did it take UPD so long to show up if their headquarters are right around the corner? For all their flash, new uniforms, expensive fleet of vehicles, and costly programs, why would it take them 7 minutes to get to this fight? UPD patrols an area that is miniscule compared to a normal police force, and I called the emergency line.
A lot can happen in 7 minutes, and anybody who has been in a dangerous situation would agree. The students fighting, the apparent apathy of my neighbor and the failure of UPD disappointed me greatly, because public safety is a community responsibility, and you should not wait until you need UPD’s help to realize that.
Lilian Thompson is a senior majoring in political science.