Dan Grover: Student space is just a shuttle ride away

I’m going to make an outrageous claim, but before I do, you have to promise not to riot.

Students should use the Mount Vernon campus more.

Now, now, torches and pitchforks down. I’m talking about student space.

It’s an issue that has come up a lot this semester already. Student Association President Ashwin Narla was able to get the administration to agree to open Funger and Duques halls until 2 a.m. so students could study there late at night. But much of the rest of his plan to increase student space was rejected.

But how can we expect the administration to take the student body’s request for more space seriously if we do not use the space we already have?

If students want more places to study and hang out, they should warm up to the Vern.

The Vern has some fantastic facilities. Last year, the University opened the new Ames Hall after a $19 million renovation that created new classrooms, a study space with comfortable couches and a cafe with tasty options.

In 2010, the University also built the expansive West Hall which offers practice rooms and a recording studio for musicians, plus a black box theater. Eckles library is the perfect escape from the bustle of Foggy Bottom and the aging Gelman Library.

But despite the University’s successful efforts to increase classroom and study areas on the Vern, students continue to complain about a lack of space.

When the Vern comes up in conversation, students roll their eyes. It has developed a stigma for being a freshman suburb away from the metropolitan hustle and bustle of Foggy Bottom.

But it should be a place for everyone.

Since GW is effectively landlocked in Foggy Bottom, we have to come to grips with the fact that there is only so much space on the main campus.

But that does not mean we are out of options. Students should use the space we have now, instead of constantly complaining that we need more.

It is pointless to demand more space from the administration when what we do have goes largely under-used. Instead of the SA spending time scrambling to grab more office space in Foggy Bottom, remember that there is already a lot of student space.

We just have to use it.

Dan Grover is a freshman in The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

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