This week’s headlines delivered a mix of good news and bad. At long last, officials announced they are renaming the Marvin Center, a sign that administrators are finally listening to the demands of the GW community and taking steps to acknowledge GW’s past. But alongside the promising announcement, this week’s headlines also contained disheartening news that should not be overlooked.
Here’s the best and worst from this week’s headlines:
The GW community has wanted a different name for the Cloyd Heck Marvin Center even before the building was dedicated to its namesake. After decades of protest against its segregationist namesake, the Marvin Center will finally be renamed the “University Student Center.”
Though it took 50 years for GW to finally be responsive to the community’s demands, the decision signifies that administrators are starting to take steps to deconstruct some of the University’s racist past. Renaming a building may seem like a surface-level act, but it still shows that the University cares what the GW community has to say.
In other news, the beloved Vex service will soon be running on a 30-minute schedule, and fully vaccinated individuals can ride without a mask on. But unlike the pre-pandemic days, a glass partition will separate the driver from the riders, and high-touch surfaces will be cleaned regularly. These additions signify that the University is still taking precautions against COVID-19 as we slowly get back to normal as a community.
Though many thought the Vex was a hassle during a packed course schedule, it is nonetheless intrinsic to the in-person GW experience that we lost during the pandemic. The prospect of students hustling into a Vex to get to their class is reminiscent of simpler times and it will be a relief to know that students living on the Foggy Bottom Campus have the option to escape to the Vern whenever they want.
D.C. Statehood still hangs in the balance as Senate Republicans continue to pull reasons against statehood out of the air. In the three-hour-long committee hearing last Tuesday, Ron Johnson, R-Wis. claimed that D.C. residents are too wealthy to deserve full voting representation in Congress. Let’s hope Johnson maintains his reasoning when he hears about the top one percent’s influence on our country’s economy and democracy.
In more pressing news, rising junior Deborah Berezdivin at GW is missing following the collapse of a condominium near Miami. As search and rescue teams continue their work, we hope that Berezdivin is found safe.
This article appeared in the July 2, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.