Staff Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Updated: Sept. 8, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.

Program Board takes risks: Thumbs up
So far this semester, Program Board has taken a fresh approach to some of the University’s largest events. Last weekend, Cold War Kids headlined Fall Fest – a much-needed shift away from the electronic dance parties of the past two years.

Then, Program Board announced it will give students an opportunity to help choose future acts, including them in decisions that often draw strong reactions – both positive and negative – on campus. The organization also plans to hold a talent show for student performers, and the winner will open at Spring Fling.

All of these are welcome innovations that demonstrate the group’s commitment to please GW’s diverse, if picky, student body. We’re looking forward to their ideas for the rest of the year.

Media Credit: Cartoon by Jay Fondin

Application changes allow for flexibility: Thumbs up
The University announced last week that applicants can now indicate one school as their top choice and a second as an alternate. It’s a smart move for GW to try to allow for more flexibility in the application process: Not every 17-year-old high school senior knows he or she wants to spend all four years of college locked into the Elliott School of International Affairs, for example. These changes allow the less precocious, or less decisive, among us to still apply to GW confidently.

And experts told The Hatchet that the changes will attract more applicants to the school – a chance to increase student diversity. Excitingly, too, students who apply exclusively to the Corcoran College of the Arts + Design won’t be required to submit ACT and SAT scores, which keeps with the school’s previous requirements. It’s encouraging to see GW preserve some of the Corcoran’s traditions as the two institutions merge.

MSSC building crumbles: Thumbs down
The Multicultural Student Services Center building has been in disrepair for quite some time, a problem that many students at GW had likely never noticed. But those who spend a great deal of time in the building have watched it suffer from neglect.

For years, student leaders have called for more student space, and yet a building with that kind of space that’s essential to the diversity and betterment of the school has been forgotten. GW seems to constantly build new, large academic buildings to boost its research reputation, and after the GW Housing Horrors Facebook page gained traction on the local news, the University promised to renovate residence halls every seven years. But for a school that claims it’s committed to diversity and inclusion, it needs to start paying attention to buildings not on the admissions tour route. The University should take a systematic approach to renovating the townhouses and buildings that act as the core of student life – starting with the MSSC building.

GW hoops earns national exposure: Thumbs up
This season, 14 of the times GW’s men’s basketball team takes the court, their game will be nationally televised. That’s a program record, and it shows a remarkable amount of faith from the powers that be in the potential for fireworks from GW’s program this season. Not only does athletic success boost morale on a campus often lacking it, but spirit can also benefit a school that needs to tap students and alumni for donations. The national exposure will be valuable to the University as it continues a $1 billion fundraising campaign this year.

A solid athletics program also brings the potential of adding two new types of students to our campus – more sports fans, as well as athletes from the far reaches of the country. The chance to watch their kids on TV, an NBC sports reporter told The Hatchet last week, will make parents more willing to send their sports superstars sometimes thousands of miles away for college.

The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, culture editor Emily Holland, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and design editor Sophie McTear.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that 14 of the men’s basketball team’s games will be broadcast on ESPNU. Fourteen of the games will be nationally televised, but not all will be broadcast on ESPNU. We regret this error.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.