Staff Editorial: An introduction to the editorial board

As any good relationship starts with introductions, The Hatchet’s editorial board wants to both welcome the Class of 2015 to campus, and also introduce ourselves so you know the people behind this editorial.

The board is comprised of seven impassioned and unique editors who meet twice a week to write to the readers of The Hatchet. Our goal is to use our collective opinion to reflect the sentiments of both this paper and the student body regarding central campus issues. We seek to critically examine all aspects of the University and provide a healthy dialogue across campus about GW.

The board’s permanent members include: opinions editor Annu Subramanian, contributing editor Doug Cohen, development director Lyndsey Wajert, special issues editor Rachel Lee, production manager Allison Elfring, contributing editor Josh Perlman and sports editor Elizabeth Traynor.

It is important to note that the editorial board is distinct from The Hatchet’s news section and the other pages. It is not representative of the other opinions of those who write for this page. This structure plays a key role in allowing us to provide our thoughts without influencing our fellow staffers’ coverage of on-campus issues.

This structure is also important because we often take a critical look at this University, and sometimes our opinions are not the most well-liked on campus. Writing editorials undoubtedly helps a person develop thick skin. Often, our messages are perceived as overly cynical – but understand that, in criticizing certain aspects of GW, we hope they will change to better both student and academic life here. Kvetching is not something we revel in, but it is at times necessary.

Despite potential disagreement and the disapproving responses we frequently receive, we constantly strive to empower and educate students on campus. Throughout the year, we always encourage comments and constructive criticism through letters to the editor and op-eds.

Over the past year, ed board has engaged in discussing several important topics on campus, and we applaud the developments the University has made on many issues. These are just a few changes that you as freshmen will face in your time at GW:

The Gelman Library has been criticized for its drab architecture, poor ventilation, lack of seating and need for improved technology. Yet after collaborating with numerous students and administrators through Gelman meetings and forums, the University pledged to put $16 million toward renovating multiple floors in the building. We are excited to see the administration responding to students’ concerns, and, though the renovations will not be ready by the fall, this nonetheless illustrates the power students can have when it comes to valuable changes on campus.

GW is often maligned for its lack of school spirit and campus identity. Yet you, the Class of 2015, have the ability to change this perception. One great way to do this is to attend sporting events, such as men’s basketball games. Despite a few painful seasons, the team has steadily improved – and garnered more support from students – over the last two years. A new athletic director, a new coach and the return of injured star Lasan Kromah means campus-wide excitement for the upcoming season is very high. With the bleachers in the Smith Center beginning to fill again, freshmen should attend games and display GW pride.

In the past, students have often complained that GW dining is expensive, lacks variety, is unhealthy and feels like a mall food court. Yet this is all about to change, as J Street is receiving a full makeover this summer. The University has lowered prices and added new food venues, which will provide variety and healthy choices. The removal of Wendy’s and Chik-fil-A and the addition of seating space will give J Street more of a traditional cafeteria feel. And the meal plan options with dining dollars and Colonial Cash have also changed, meaning students have more options for spending their GWorld money. Surely, only fast-food lovers will lament the changes made to dining, but you can get your burger fixes elsewhere in D.C.

This year, you also get to experience an easier-to-understand Student Judicial Services. Many students have criticized this judicial system of our University for its lack of transparency. In previous years, students went through the SJS process unsure of potential punishments they might receive. Yet recently, SJS split into two offices: one dealing with minor offenses, while the other handles more serious cases. This division, along with a newly developed flow chart details punishments for drinking, provides students a better understanding of the consequences of their sometimes ill-advised but forgivable actions.

We hope this is only the beginning of your involvement with GW and that you will make the most of your opportunities during your four years. Welcome to GW!

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