Best and worst from this week’s headlines

Officials approved a $10 million expenditure to update campus buildings, residence halls and outdoor spaces this week. As administrators take steps to bolster the University’s facilities, the District made news in a Gallup poll that claims the majority of Americans oppose D.C statehood.

Here’s the best and worst from this week’s headlines:

Thumbs Up:

Administrators have been efforts to add community spaces around campus and upgrade existing buildings over the past year. Despite ongoing work to overhaul Thurston Hall and create outdoor patios in Kogan Plaza, some additional spaces need to be spruced up.

After taking a walk through campus buildings, officials decided to spend $10 million this summer on updates to 40 campus buildings and outdoor areas students frequent, like the Marvin Center terrace and Mount Vernon Campus walkways. Building GG, which houses the Psychology Department and has been criticized for outdated facilities, will receive new heating and cooling units and two residence halls will receive new flooring.

The quality of campus buildings – whether it be class rooms, offices or residence halls – factor into the quality of life at school for both faculty and students. While students may still voice concern over a lack of relaxation and community space on campus, officials’ strides in updating existing spaces is a step in the right direction.

While officials have already renovated the Marvin Center and announced Thurston Hall reconstruction, their added emphasis on improving campus facilities during the summer demonstrates that they are putting students and faculty first. When students and faculty flock to campus this fall, they may have a fresher look at their study space or residence hall room because the University was willing to put its money toward bettering campus life.

Thumbs Down:

D.C statehood has been gaining national attention since 2020 presidential candidates began stating their support or opposition toward the issue. Now, Congress has an opportunity this fall to debate whether the District should become the country’s 51st state.

But before politicians could negotiate the topic, Gallup released a poll revealing that most U.S. citizens reject making D.C. a state. While the poll confirms that the issue has been taken to a national stage, it also shows that the prospect of D.C. statehood may be further away than its supporters would like.

In February, The Hatchet Editorial Board advocated for the District to become a state, saying students and D.C. residents are disenfranchised by the lack of voting power in the House and Senate. The poll’s results are disappointing because it demonstrates that citizens are OK with holding fair representation from D.C. residents.

Despite what the poll found, students should continue their push for D.C. statehood and support representation for the thousands of people who reside in the District.

The Gallup poll illustrates the state of American politics at the moment. D.C statehood may be heavily rejected because the move would increase the number of Democratic seats in the Senate, likely altering the current Republican majority. But the United States’ political divide should not hinder citizens’ right to be represented just like any other state.

Hannah Thacker, a freshman majoring in Political Communication, is the Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

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