Staff Editorial: Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down

Gelman Library

Gelman Library has long gotten a bad rap, but concerns heightened in the last month after consultants said it doesn’t measure up as a research library – a shame as the University tries to ramp up its research output. And if that wasn’t enough, the library temporarily closed due to excessive heat two weeks ago, creating an even more uncomfortable environment as students prepare for final papers and exams. The ongoing construction to the first floor and in Kogan Plaza looks promising, but going forward, the University needs to make upgrades that are not purely cosmetic.

Donation to the arts

A generous alumnus marked in his will that he will leave $2.5 million for the University, part of which will go to the Department of Theatre and Dance. This is a great sign for the arts at GW, especially since these departments often go overlooked. The fund will be used in part to help pay for MainStage productions and provide scholarships for student actors. The District has a growing theatre and dance scene, and this gift is a great opportunity which will hopefully permit GW students to continue to embrace this burgeoning culture.

The Washington Post story

The University has had its fair share of embarrassing headlines this year. And two weeks ago, The Washington Post published a story that drew ire from students and aministrators alike. Instead of delving deeper into a university at a crossroads, The Post favored scandalous tidbits and drunken man-on-the-street reporting to provide a surface-level snapshot of GW. We tip our hats to University President Steven Knapp for defending our school and lambasting the article as a “distorted characterization of our students.”

A Win for Student Space

After administrators largely dispelled students’ appeals for more student space earlier this semester, it is reassuring to see that the most recent plans for the “superdorm” include meeting rooms with couches and pool tables. With these new changes, the residence hall – which will replace The West End, The Schenley and Crawford Hall and is slated for completion in 2016 – has potential to fit the bill as a much-needed campus hub.

University Police Department

The Hatchet reported Monday that after years of operating outside of its jurisdiction, the University Police Department would change its protocol. But UPD Chief Kevin Hay declined to provide any information regarding reports of a change in his department’s off-campus response policies. UPD is responsible for keeping campus safe and enforcing the rule of law, and it is troubling that at a time when officers apparently were operating outside of the law, the department’s leader refused to comment. And UPD’s off-campus actions are even more frustrating because unlike the Metropolitan Police Department, UPD keeps its records under lock and key. When MPD responds to an incident, it maintains a record that any member of the public can view. This lack of transparency, coupled with the refusal to comment, is unacceptable.

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