The week’s best and worst

Best: Fundraising hauls from parents

Parent donations to the University nearly tripled last year, helping GW on its path to a $1 billion fundraising campaign. GW’s fundraising goal is audacious and seems to come in small victories.

But the sharp increase in parent giving has intangible benefits, too. Increased giving means that these parents feel a greater connection to the GW, and likely that their students do as well.

This could reflect a slow-moving change in GW’s culture. Several years ago, students may not have felt close ties with the University and parents may have seemed peripheral. But now, the University is making a concerted effort to reach out to parents and cultivate a welcoming community for students on campus, and this positive change is evident in the numbers.

Worst: Negligence drives rise in fires

Over the last three years, the Foggy Bottom Campus has seen the number of reported fires double, jumping from nine fires in 2010 to 18 reported last year.

With 40 fires and $279,000 in damage to property over this three-year period, the problem seems to have grown out of hand.

Although some fires, such last year’s dryer fire in The Dakota or the fire in the Zeta Beta Tau house, may have been difficult to prevent, it seems that most of the fires could have been easily avoided. Kitchen appliances caused over half of the fires, and kitchen safety is something that is easy to exercise.

This large number of kitchen appliance fires points to a problem of negligence. Many of us are privileged to have kitchens in our rooms or residence halls, an amenity that is rare at many other universities. With this privilege, the least that students can do is use common sense and be safe with them.

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