Reflecting on four years: A recap from freshman year to graduation

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, visited the Smith Center last spring.

The Class of 2019 has lived through four unforgettable years on campus. From President Donald Trump’s inauguration to a campus visit from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, take some time to reflect on some of the highs and lows of your time at GW.

March 2015 – before freshman year
Aiming to boost enrollment, officials announced they would provide some admitted students with stipends to visit campus. The University accepted 45 percent of applicants that year – its highest rate in more than a decade.

September 2015 – before freshman year
Provost Forrest Maltzman took over as interim provost just as the Class of 2019 acclimated to campus. Now as seniors get ready to leave, Maltzman has announced his resignation from the post until a replacement is found.

March 2016 – freshman year

Jack Fonseca | Contributing Photo Editor

J Street, which was previously GW’s only dining hall on campus, closed in March 2016.

At the close of the class’ first year, the University announced that J Street – GW’s only dining hall on the Foggy Bottom Campus – would close at the end of the academic year, making seniors the last class to experience J Street. The spot has since been replaced with Panera Bread, which opened in January 2018.

After its closure, the University switched to an “open” dining model that gives students funds to spend at dining vendors around campus. Officials have increased GWorld funds every year since the change amid growing food insecurity concerns.

April 2016 – freshman year
Officials decided to hold sorority and fraternity recruitment for freshmen in the spring instead of the fall beginning in spring 2017, upsetting some Greek leaders who said they were left out of the decision. When the policy took effect, sororities also switched their bid day location from the National Mall to Kogan Plaza. The location has since switched to Potomac Park.

October 2016 – sophomore year
The Store, a student-led food pantry, partnered with the Capital Area Food Bank to address food insecurity complaints since the dining hall closed the previous academic year.

December 2016 – sophomore year
Resident advisers petitioned to become the first unionized student group at a private university. But the local labor group representing RAs withdrew its petition the day before RAs were scheduled to vote on unionization, canceling the election.

January 2017 – sophomore year
Students protested at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The election led some seniors that year to stray from politics post-graduation.

January 2017 – sophomore year
Thomas LeBlanc was named the University’s 17th president. Officials planned a three-day, roughly $500,000 inauguration when he assumed the role in the fall, but some students denounced the hefty price tag on the celebration. The Student Association Senate passed a resolution calling on the University to more wisely spend its funds.

April 2017 – sophomore year
After an SA election scandal rocked campus, the GW Memes page, a Facebook group for students to post about trending topics on campus, took off and gained a large following about a month after its creation.

August 2017 – junior year

Hatchet File Photo

In 2017, the GW memes page was titled “GW memes for the 10th most politically active teens.”

GW lost its four-year title as the nation’s most politically active campus, inspiring the title for the GW memes page, “GW memes for the 10th most politically active teens.”

September 2017 – junior year
Dockless bikes were added to campus for a pilot program run by the District Department of Transportation. Dockless scooters have also become a frequent sight on campus, and DDOT said it would more than double the number of dockless scooters in D.C. this year.

November 2017 – junior year
A year after Trump’s election, actor Alec Baldwin discussed his book, “You Can’t Spell America Without Me,” at Lisner Auditorium with author Kurt Andersen.

December 2017 – junior year

Hatchet File Photo

Wawa opened a location steps away from campus in April 2018.

Wawa opened a location on Foggy Bottom, a few blocks away from campus.

April 2018 – junior year
Spring Fling co-headliner Lil Pump’s performance was canceled, prompting several students to leave before Lil Yachty’s performance.

April 2018 – junior year

Hatchet File Photo

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, visited the Smith Center last spring.

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, visited the Smith Center for a town hall where he fielded questions from students about topics like the Paris Climate Accord and climate change.

May 2018 – junior year
The directors of “Avengers: Infinity War” came to Lisner Auditorium to discuss the inspiration for the film and the characters’ personalities. The movie was released days before the directors spoke at Lisner Auditorium.

September 2018 – senior year
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at Lisner Auditorium about gender discrimination and the necessity of diversity in law.

March 2019 – senior year

File Photo by Alexander Welling | Assistant Photo Editor

Ron Chernow, whose book inspired the musical “Hamilton,” visited Lisner Auditorium.

The hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” debuted in 2015 before the Class of 2019 arrived on campus. The musical came to the Kennedy Center in 2018, but students got their own glimpse of “Hamilton” in March when Ron Chernow, the author whose biography on Alexander Hamilton inspired the musical, visited Lisner Auditorium.

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