When someone says “the Vern,” a student’s knee-jerk reaction is one of comedic disdain. Often it’s one of frustration over a recent traumatic half-hour long shuttle ride. Some students express tacit resignation at the year they’re expected to spend at the campus-away-from-Foggy-Bottom.
The reaction is rarely one of pride.
The Mount Vernon Campus is GW’s second residential campus, but it’s treated more like an exile destination. The University is making huge strides in changing that image with the programs it is moving to the Mount Vernon Campus, including the University Writing Program and the University Honors Program.
The Mount Vernon Campus is part of GW. And with time, programs such as the honors program will be able to create a community and affinity with the campus, as it will be strongly associated with the Mount Vernon Campus’s new classrooms and expanded housing.
Housing freshmen on the Mount Vernon Campus is too transient a system; students are cycled from the Mount Vernon Campus to Foggy Bottom the next year and no lasting ties to the more pastoral learning space are created.
The University, by moving the University Honors Program to the Mount Vernon Campus has found a way to make the two campuses work together in a more sustainable symbiosis, and hopefully in a few years’ time, students will don their Vern status with pride, and not as a scarlet letter “V.”