Alyssa Rosenthal: Reflection on the new slogan

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Alyssa Rosenthal

It’s difficult to miss the huge, pompous slogans plastered on the wall near the escalators in the Foggy Bottom Metro station.

“Here, a stroke of genius can become a stroke of the President’s pen,” one reads.

With such an obvious focus on politics, the slogan is a missed opportunity for the University to capture the essence of such a diverse student body and campus. Although it is clear GW wants to be known for more than just political science and international affairs, it fails to articulate the University’s expanding focus on research.

The slogan should have been something with which all students could identify. It should have broken away from the University’s most obvious perk – its location in the nation’s capital. It should have pointed out that GW is more than just a place for politics and congressional hopefuls.

But instead, the new slogan leaves very little to the imagination. It focuses more on how we want outsiders to perceive us than how it pertains to our own student body.

What was wrong with the old slogan? “Something happens here,” actually had meaning. Most students progress through their four years in college and experiment with classes. The old slogan left it up to students to figure out how to spend their time, reflecting the diverse opportunities available to students in the city and on campus – and made you want to find them. It left room for interpretation. It lacked specificity and was sometimes the butt of students’ jokes, but implied limitless opportunity, encouraging students to explore their options and find their place at GW.

In another decade, when University officials sit down again to brainstorm a new slogan, it must be reflective of the entire student body.

Alyssa Rosenthal, a senior majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet columnist.

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