Benjamin Krimmel: What ‘Shit GW Says’ doesn’t say

It finally happened.

A group of students made a “Shit GW People Say” video comprising the real quotes from real GW students.

And we learned that students here say some outrageous things.

But this made me wonder: Who is the stereotypical GW student? Is our school filled with the nouveau riche complainers that the video portrays?

Maybe a little.

Now, I’m certainly not immune from these stereotypes. I came to GW because I wanted to study international affairs near the State Department. I love The “West Wing” and use a Brita filter because D.C. water tastes funny.

And this video is not the first time GW had its stereotypes satirized online.

Last year, the blog Stuff GW People Like chronicled some of the opinions and habits of the stereotypical GW student.

With posts on loving to brag about being an expert on a foreign country or looking down on American University, its portrayal of GW students was widely popular until the final post in March 2011 – its creator ended the blog because she felt it was hurting the student body’s image.

Last month, a Tumblr account was created to show pictures of expensive cars driven by students called Cars at GW. It has since expanded to

CarsOnCampus.com.

The shameless statements and displays some of the student body makes, though, make denying some of these stereotypes nearly impossible.

But these stereotypes represent only a half-truth about GW. What, on the surface, appear to be weird GW habits, are often really just quirks that make GW, GW.

And that quirkiness is represented in those “only at GW” moments. We’ve been late to class because of motorcades, experienced the enthusiasm surrounding Student Association elections and partied at the White House after Osama bin Laden was killed.

The blogs and videos fail to mention the love affair students have with late-night Manouche hot dogs or the excitement we have of seeing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shopping at Whole Foods.

The videos are funny and the Tumblrs can make us cringe but they’re not a self-fulfilling prophecy. We can be more than what our stereotype says we are.

The writer, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

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