In a neighborhood bustling with college students, there is one group of people who are sometimes overlooked: the elderly.
A group of Foggy Bottom residents is looking to launch a support network for the elderly who wish to remain in their homes as they age and have reached out to the University for help arranging volunteers.
In theory, students could be paired with neighbors to help cook meals to take individuals to doctor visits.
But University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard told The Hatchet last week that while GW remains “open to negotiations” with program leaders, there are no plans to form ties with the program.
At a university in which community service is an integral component of campus culture, GW should not hesitate to establish a new partnership that would demonstrate a strong commitment to the larger Foggy Bottom community. Finding 200 students to join the program would likely not be an arduous task.
GW has increased its size and presence in Foggy Bottom over the last decade and has since worked to mitigate the bitter relationships that expansion produced. In striving to maintain the more positive relationship that has existed in recent years, this partnership would give back to individuals who have felt their community has been lost to a mammoth university.
This would be another way that students and administrators could get involved in the local community, in addition to the larger scale efforts like alternative breaks. There is tremendous value in making a difference down the block from campus.
It would be a missed opportunity for the University to not forge a partnership with the Aging in Place program.