Op-Ed: More opportunities to assemble

To the GW community:

Student space means additional study rooms on campus, more places to hang out and more opportunities for student organizations to assemble, hold events and make an impact.

It’s about more than just the physical area — it is the idea that the community has its own place to pursue its goals, fulfill the tasks that fill to-do lists and spark a sense of identity on campus.

GW provides us with endless opportunities. But when things like an over-crowded Gelman Starbucks or a booked Marvin Center impede students’ ability to collaborate with peers, we find ourselves disappointed.

If we push for more student space together with one united voice, the administration will listen. The Student Association cannot tackle this initiative alone. The need for more student space is a campus-wide problem that all students at GW face. The more space we have, the more room we have to grow as a community and as an institution.

In the past few years, we have witnessed the loss of WOW Café and Wingery, the Hippodrome and the Fishbowl. The upcoming departures of Froggy Bottom Pub, Mehran, Thai Place and Panda Café from their homes on Pennsylvania Avenue will add to the list of venues that are in alumni’s memories but will soon vanish.

Students at GW are unique. Some are here to study hard and get their degrees. Some are here to become actively involved in the community. Students’ ambitions take them outside the classroom to work, collaborate and do good.

That’s why investing in student life and student space is the best thing we can do for GW.

Friends tell us that they lack the space to practice for performances, to meet in groups to collaborate on upcoming projects or to simply have a place to call their own in between commutes, which is especially important for graduate students who live off campus.

If we are expected to turn knowledge into action and become the next generation of doctors, lawyers, engineers, diplomats, teachers, politicians, community organizers and entrepreneurs, we need the space to come together.

We hope you will join the student space rally in Kogan Plaza Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. and sign the petition that will be presented to the Board of Trustees in February. This is our university, and our tuition – let’s make it our space, too.


Patrick Kennedy, Avra Bossov, Julia Susuni, Daniel Egel-Weiss, Tyler Calder and Ari Massefski

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