Kelsey Rohwer: GW needs to sweat the small stuff

I often fear for my life as I embarrassingly teeter on the stones outside Funger and Duques. I feel like I am going to fall through the earth. This is not okay.

Most of the University’s issues brought up by GW students and The Hatchet are substantial and take some time to fix. But in the midst of these demanding issues is the “small stuff” – those little annoying problems such as the seesawing sidewalks near Funger and the oceans (well, large pools of water) that form most inconveniently in University Yard. This and other problems continue to exist, but are easily fixable, and are therefore worth addressing now.

Most of the small issues are out in the open, noticeable to prospective students, and puts GW in a poor light.

Take, for example, the University Yard “ocean.” Every time it rains, no matter the amount, pools of water form barricades on the already uneven brick pathway and flood the grass. Navigating through these swampy trenches is terribly inconvenient, especially at a school where walking is the main mode of transportation. The yard is frequently used to cut through the area and therefore demands attention. By rebuilding the pathways to flatten them out, traffic through U-Yard would flow easily, rain or shine.

Besides the “oceans” in University Yard, there is the threat of “earthquakes” in front of Funger Hall. The area outside Funger is very sensitive to walking; one misplaced step and the stones become seesaws. GW has cordoned off the area with tape, but with tour season in full swing, prospective students continue to see an area in disrepair. It’s not a tectonic plate; it’s a sidewalk, and the University should establish this and support the stones to make it more walker-friendly.

Another such issue is elevator maintenance on campus. Elevator outages are a constistent problem – even prompting an apology from the University in the case of South Hall. Imagine a tour piling into a Thurston Hall elevator and upon pressing the number seven, nothing happens. No glowing orange circle, no indication that the button has been pressed. Waiting on broken elevators, or seeing a lack of basic maintenance, is a visible sign the University is not in good repair. Is this what GW wants prospective students to take away from their visit?

The fact that these issues have gone unaddressed is embarrassing. At the very least, these problems present basic safety issues the University should have taken care of by now. And yet, the puddles, stones and elevators continue to annoy students on a daily basis. Perhaps the University is too focused on the expensive and long-term issues, and so the little ones slip through the cracks.

Everything addressed requires a “quick-fix” and would make the University an overall more enjoyable, safer environment. The larger problems of the University require a large amount of time and money. In comparison, these smaller issues are relatively inexpensive, and would have a lasting beneficial impact on our campus. The University would profit from these changes, as both the student body and prospective students would be better off.

The writer, a freshman majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet columnist.

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