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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Melissa Holzberg: This week’s best and worst

Melissa Holzberg, a junior majoring in political communication, is The Hatchet’s opinions editor.

In case you missed it, here’s the best and worst news from around campus and the District this week.

Thumbs up:

GW officials are on the cusp of exceeding fundraising expectations. As of the end of July, officials have raised $875 million for the University’s $1 billion campaign. Not only does this mean officials raised over $40 million dollars in just five months, but it also means that there is a real chance that officials will cross the $1 billion finish line seven months ahead of the June 2018 deadline. If the campaign continues at a rate of raising $40 million every five months, the campaign would reach $1 billion dollars by November 2017.

Students should take notice, because a lot of the donations directly benefit student life. Although some may have been skeptical that officials would be able to reach such a seemingly lofty goal, the success of the campaign shows a commitment to student life and education at GW. We should be proud of the campaign, and we should encourage officials to continue the campaign through June 2018 and expand the goal, regardless of when they hit $1 billion.

While there’s no way to predict the level of success officials will have in fundraising during this fiscal year, the campaign’s structure should give students and officials hope that donations will stay on track. Because donors can give money to specific schools and organizations, they can notice the direct effects of their money. That’s important because parents and recent alumni often give money to the activities in which they or their children participated. If officials can show near-immediate return on investment to donors, it’s more likely that those donors will give more in the future or encourage others to donate.

It’s nearly impossible to walk around campus without hearing the familiar #OnlyAtGW moments that officials and tour guides say cheerfully and students say sarcastically. But perhaps this new fundraising bump, and the real chance of an early finish, will give students and officials something they can both be proud of.

Thumbs down:

Students signed up for sculpture classes this upcoming semester will have to wait a bit longer to post an Instagram photo of the newly renovated Flagg Building – home of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.

Sculpture classes that were set to be held in the Flagg Building will be temporarily moved to Smith Hall or the Science and Engineering Hall for the first three weeks of the semester until the renovations are complete. These renovations are part of the first phase of the multi-year $47.5 million construction project scheduled for the Corcoran that includes updates to things like bathrooms and faculty offices.

Although moving classrooms for just three weeks isn’t all that bad, officials aren’t doing much to improve their reputations for longer-than-expected renovations. In March 2015, two months after the Science and Engineering Hall opened, many researchers still hadn’t moved into their facilities because renovations ran late. And the renovation of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is only one of the major renovation projects happening this summer. Construction on District House is finishing up to be open for fall move-in, and the basement of Shenkman Hall is being updated.

Hopefully sculpture students get to move into their new digs by the three-week deadline. But until then, students will have to chisel in less majestic rooms on campus.

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