The week’s best and worst

Thumbs Up: D.C. unity amid chaos

One could assume that the recent federal shutdown would hit the D.C. government the hardest. The city can’t spend its own tax dollars with congressional approval, after all.

But D.C. has been getting through it largely unscathed.

With the support of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, the D.C. Council passed a piece of legislation that kept the 32,000 employees who work for the District from furlough.

Using its emergency fund, D.C. has been able to pay its employees, continue collecting trash, and run its Circulator busses around the District.

And GW hasn’t taken a very hard hit either. Many students with internships in the federal government – both paid and unpaid – and professors who work in federal agencies have been sitting at home, but that seems to be the extent to the damage to GW.

Several effects of the shutdown are abhorrent: closed clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health and shuttered Head Start programs. Many federal employees are going unpaid through the shutdown and some of the District’s notable tourist attractions closed.

But it is positive that D.C. government officials have proven cohesive and functional enough start remedying the effects of the shutdown in our city.

Thumbs Down: Hate comes to the Mount Vernon Campus

Unadulterated hate and ignorance will make its way to the Mount Vernon Campus next week. The Westboro Baptist Church will picket in a rousing 30-minutes of gay-bashing and indiscriminate hate speech.

At a school that prides itself on diversity and acceptance, the presence of a group whose premise it to fight against a “generation of whores and fags” is met with poignant disgust. Their impending arrival has begged the question: Do we ignore them, or do we fight against them?

Some students have chosen the latter. Over 200 students plan to hold a pride rally-counter-protest, voicing their pride and support for LGBT students at GW, according to group’s Facebook page.

But, protest or not, this group will come and go. It will hurl its invectives and then return to Kansas. Whether we join the pride rally or protest silently, GW will only become stronger by having its students band together to defend its morals and values.

Let’s just hope the protesters don’t try to take the Vern Express.

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