Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Change we can believe in?

First, let me introduce my self, as it's my first time blogging. My name is Jason Lifton and I am the Vice President for Community Affairs of this year's student Association.

Anyway...After weeks of negative Hatchet Articles bashing the SA, is it possible that there is change in the air? Its clear that President Vishal Aswani has been the target of much criticism, but looking at the past really doesn't accomplish much if you ask me. I am not saying to forget the first semester of this year, but I AM saying that we go into the spring with an open mind.

Vishal has promised change and progress for the upcoming semester, and if he does what he says he will I'm optimistic. I hope that my optimism will stick! Vishal has promised a revised plan for next semester that will be rolled out at some point in the next month or so. I'll be sure to keep you updated on that.

In other news: WE GOT THE FLOAT IN THE PARADE! Yes, for those of you who didn't hear, GW will have a float in the inaugural parade for the first time in like 60 years, thats exciting. HUGE props to Charlie Burgoyne who helped make this happen! I have seen the design picture, and I'm not sure that I understand it but I assume thats because its lost in the CAD translation. It also seems that I'm not the only one who's lost. The Washington Post ran a story this morning about it that made me laugh at bit. Check it out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

GW makes front page on the post

Soooooo, I know I already posted about the tuesday night election activities in front of the white house BUT I thought this one needed to be said as well...

A GW kid made the front page of the Washington Post on Wednesday morning. Personally, I think it is an epic picture in general and it just so happens that he is a friend of mine but he represents all of our school on the front page of a huge national newspaper, so i thought you should probably know about it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

GW knows where to go

Pretty much everyone has loved Obama for a while now, but the real love showed around 11pm on tuesday night when CNN made the prediction that Obama would win presidency. From that moment on, not only did the screaming not stop until 3am but all the Gdubs kids knew exactly where to go... the White House.
It was said in an article that I read that the secret service had never seen anything like it and I believe them. It was an incredible experience that really does only happen once in a life time.

p.s. i know this is a little late, but GW got somewhat of a shoutout ( if thats what you want to consider it)

"Thanks to guest writer/my co-worker Mike for going to the 10/11 Girl Talk show at 9:30 Club in DC and for doing a quick write-up about his experience. Here goes:
Aside from the audience selected exclusively from GW frat boys from the J. Crew catalogue and ironically-dressed hipsters, Girl Talk took on DC in the perfect venue."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

No Laws Were Broken, Yet I Did A Very Stupid Thing

No feelings were hurt, no property destroyed, ect. Yet I did a very stupid thing as figured by the post's head title. Now what was this thing I did?

Well, it all starts out on Halloween. I saw the week before washing my clothes that I only had enough laundry detergent for one more run, so I set out to buy some more at Target. I made the trip with a couple of friends and upon getting there, I decided to purchase two large boxes instead of just one. For five minutes, they tried to convince me that just one box would suffice. Being the stubborn person that I am, I calmly explained that getting two boxes was reasonable as I did not want to make another trip in the future. They gave up and went to get their own things.

Back in my dorm room, I did the math and found out I had bought enough laundry detergent to last me through the fall of 2010.
Tide, anyone?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Victory! GW No Longer Most Expensive School in Country

We've all dreamed of the day that GW would no longer be the most expensive school in the nation. GW has finally been outpaced in the overpriced tuition race by Sarah Lawrence College. Based on total cost (tuition + room and board), GW is a downright bargain at $50,312 compared to Sarah Lawrence's $53,166.

Forty years later, it looks like the cost of adding men's bathrooms to the campus has finally caught up to Sarah Lawrence (yuk, yuk).

[via Consumerist]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A few weeks ago, some house proctors in dorm were on the first floor recruiting people and handing out pieces of yellow and blue paper and telling us that yellow was for the good and blue was for the bad. Good and bad what? Well, good and bad alcohol experiences of course. Guess where those pieces of paper went? They went directly onto the wall of my dorm's being in a dorm where it is pretty much implied that everyone is underage and having my house proctors encourage me to write down things that I've done while intoxicated... weird, right?

I know that when you are in college you have a lot more freedom to do pretty much whatever you want, regardless of whether or not it's legal. As far as I'm concerned, people are allowed to do whatever it is that pleases them, but this type of recreation didn't seem like it was the type of thing that should be highlighted from all of the intelligent and cultured students here. Don't get me wrong though because it was hilarious to read all of the mini summaries of "awesome" and not so pleasant occurrences. It just seemed a little strange though, to have underage drinking experiences decorate the main hallway as a way to represent a large portion of GW students.

Maybe it was too much.
Or maybe it's just me and this is normal for GW.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It Happens at GW

You know, when I was in high school, whenever we’d get a visit from a former alumni and he or she would talk about how different college was from high school, I believed them. That is, to an extent. I mean, if you had told my summer self that sometime in October I would be contemplating mixing a batch of cement in my dorm room, I would’ve told you to go do something physically impossible to yourself.
In the end, I didn’t go through with the cement plan, as I found a much better substitute in “universal space age adhesive glue”. In one of the clubs I belong to, there was talk about strange things we’ve found in our dorm rooms left over by the occupants the year before, as well as the things we have left ourselves. I heard someone found a brick in their freshman dorm, that same person I believe, leaving a snowball in the fridge.
I’ve got a friend to had to deal with a bee hive right outside her window well into the quarter. I found a hole in the ceiling walking down one of the halls, with a candy bar wrapper comically protruding from it.
During my first night at GW, I turned off the lights ready to go to sleep when I look up at the ceiling and notice something. All that came to mind was What the hell?! upon seeing the many glow-in-the-dark stars and planets spaced out (no pun intended) across the ceiling. This led me to wonder one very important question: no doubt they were put up there by a previous resident, but did that person really go through getting hold of a ladder to do so? Or did that person use the bed as a spring board? I could always ask her, but I’d rather not, as I already find it strange enough that I keep receiving her Forbes magazines in the mail. I ask myself, what shall I leave behind?
I’m looking to a shoe filled with cement.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Chains of Identity Released, the Plastics of GW Attack

If you don't get the reference in the title, just read on.

Throughout my time at GW, I have learned to ignore the more foolish aspects of the school, like those people who fly home on the weekends even though home is only 2 hours away, or the girl who chastises her dad for writing her a paper that was too long. It's the stuff of Overheard at GW. It mostly comes from the people who sport Gucci bags, Uggs, and the typical bug-eye pair of sunglasses. And even if their éclat makes Anna Wintour look like just an amateur queen bee, it is mostly harmless.

But I could not ignore JuicyCampus, the subject of James' recent entry. I won't link to it to directly, because I do not intend to drive traffic there. Suffice it to say that JuicyCampus is where college students go to dish the dirt, however crude and defamatory, on their peers. As James noted, it is completely anonymous. The site features many schools across the country, but I think that it is (sadly) well suited for GW.

As one of my friends astutely observed, reading GW’s page is like reading the script of Mean Girls. Except that instead of North Shore High School, now it's Foggy Bottom. What JuicyCampus has effectively done for GW students is enable them to express their true selves - their true, exceptionally soulless selves.

You come to this school under the penumbra of an ingeniously crafted, lofty, almost decadent event – Colonial Inauguration - that appeals to your taste, and your pocketbook. If you enroll, you notice very quickly that you are immersed in this fantastic nirvana of a gorgeously spartan city. It's almost dreamlike - almost.

But in reality it is a Faustian bargain. What really happens is that you forfeit large sums of money to receive a decently good education alongside a student body composed of people who, for the most part, have no class. You make this painful discovery when you find they have dragged your name and the names of your dear friends through the mud.

The people that do this may occupy positions of power, or may be entrusted with your residential well-being. They are around you, even if they reveal their opinions only behind the trustworthy veil of anonymity that JuicyCampus' virtual-reality bitchfest provides.

I will be criticized for characterizing my peers like this. This is a given. What I'm saying is self-evident regardless. I was personally victimized on the message boards of this website and my friends were labeled ugly whores. I, as they, have a reason to be pissed off.

I speak for all of us when I say that it's nothing short of reprehensible that students at a major university who pursue degrees of higher education do this. You are at liberty to think whatever you please, but publishing it is another matter, and in that area you most clearly do not have the liberty to do whatever you please. You have no right to publish patently libelous content because you have nothing better to do. You have no shame.

JuicyCampus doesn't only defame its victims. It also undermines the schools featured on the site. After seeing discussion threads on topics from "who is the biggest tool in the Student Association" to "who is uncircumcised", what is a prospective GW student to opine about us? Besides thinking that we are, in general, an obnoxious coterie of spiteful bitches who prognosticate from a sky-high pied-à-terre (an idea which is apparently true), they may truly believe the accusations that target specific people. This skews their perception of the school even further, and as a result our reputation as a university is slowly muddled away, all because of utter nonsense.

For that reason, and also because it provides a platform to publish untrue, offensive and slanderous statements about real people who have real lives, JuicyCampus should be unequivocally condemned. (Interesting aside: my home state of New Jersey - bless its oil refineries and old-man bars - is suing the creators of JuicyCampus in an attempt to show that the site violates state consumer fraud laws.)

When I went to Colonial Inauguration in July 2007, I was admittedly naïve. Now, 26 months later, I am acutely aware that there is but a scintilla of nicety in the entire 20052 zip code. Saboteurs are many. I have my suspicions as to exactly who mine are. I almost wish I could publish their names here, but I don't, because I have the decency that they so perspicuously lack.

It's amazing, when you think about how puerile it is. Or maybe sadistic is really the word. I guess the rule of thumb is this: give a GW student an anonymous platform, and he/she will abandon the façade of politesse and milk it for all its worth. Especially when the target is other GW students.

My confidence in the student body is low at this point. I don't desire revenge, and I try not to appear bitter, because frankly, I don't care what was said about me. But I do care for my friends, and the abuse they suffered. The bottom line is that no one should have to endure the kind of treatment one gets on JuicyCampus. I urge everyone to boycott it so we can put an end to this madness.

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Official: It Was The Squirrels

Those conniving little bastards... they scurry across the streets, climb up the nearest tree when someone comes near, take a plunge in one of the coolers the vendors have set up in front of Gelman... damn them. After much investigation, my sources have linked a strange phenomena occurring at The George Washington University to the mammal widely known as Sciurus-niger: they took the clocks.

Have you noticed the conspicuous lack of them in all the classrooms across the school? They did it! Why do you think there's a variety of them on campus? The dark ones belong to the covert espionage unit that is responsible for the sabotage of any attempts done by the university to install clocks. The peppered kind keep a look out from the safe canopies of the trees outside, while the brown ones act as decoys, flashing their adorable little selves to the ignorant passerby.

Just the other day, I was walking down 22nd Street passing by Strong Hall when I spotted one of them digging for food on the front lawn. I was five feet away from it, yet it still did not move. I think they're on to me. This could have to do with the fact that I posted a similar version of this article on my Facebook page two weeks ago. If my hunch is proven correct, then it means the squirrels of GW have mastered the art of accessing and surfing the web.

As of this report, the squirrels have failed time and time again to destroy the clocks in Corcoran Hall. You know why? The lasers. Have you noticed the warning signs set up on the walls? I have. But rest assured, I will sleep comfortably tonight knowing the squirrels will have no chance of ridding the University of the giant clock tower up on The Vern.

But its only a matter of time before the squirrels hack into the government data base and send out orders to retrieve the Dorothy Williamson Clock Tower...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Public Hookah'ing

I've oft wondered: will the day ever come when hookahs become socially acceptable enough that they are smoked publicly in plain view, without fear of police mistaking it for something else?

I may have found my answer. See pic on the right.

What do you think: Is this the new norm? Are these guys on the cutting-edge, slightly ahead of their time? Or is this just an aberration - not even close to socially acceptable yet?

(Oh, and in case UPD is reading, hookahs are legal.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Forget G-Scene/InsideGW, JuicyCampus Is Where Real Gossip Is At

While G-Scene and that kaleidoscope masquerading as a blog claim to have the juiciest gossip at GW, they aren't even close to the stuff that's posted on JuicyCampus, which recently opened its legs doors to GW.

Even though GW was only recently added to the site, you'll already find great dirt like which chicks have the loosest pussies, who at GW is nicknamed "the Urinator", and even which guy has the smallest dick on campus.

And yes, it NAMES NAMES, so you can Facebook these people and maybe have something to talk about if you ever run into them at a party. No more "which GW girl who wears leggings and carries around her Blackberry and has brown hair like totally hooked up with everyone's favorite guy whose dad made a lot of money and now he's looking to blow it on coke and overpriced bottles of Absolut at Lotus??!?!?!?!?"

G-Scene and Inside GW might as well close their doors - or just keep posting event promos for THURSDAYS AT K STREET, because that's all the original content they'll have left.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apparently money doesnt matter anymore

Yesterday, as I hope all of you heard about or saw, the bill to put about 700 billion dollars back into our economy failed. Yes, that's right the house of representatives didn't think it necessary to bail out some of then most essential cooperations in our country when they were very clearly and very desperately in a time of need.

After Nancy Palosi, the speaker of the house, gave her speech, magically the votes that were in favor of this very necessary bill started to swtich over to opposed. Both Democrats and Repulicans became so concerned with the minute and irrelivant details that they forgot that if this bill failed, which it did, that there would be almost nowhere else to turn.

The arguments that the banks and markets needed to fix themselves was thrown around a lot as to why some voted "Nay" ont he bill. what they didnt consider though, was the fact that they cannot fix themselves if they aren't given anything, or even worse- dont have anything, to fix the markets with. the reason they need to be fixed and funded is because they have no money to function with. so the solution to their problem would be to somehow generate more money, right? I mean thats only logical thinking, it doesnt take much depth. For some reason though, the house was unaware of logic last night when they failed the $700 billion bailout bill.

The other argument that the media circulated last night was that many of the representatives were voting with the constituencies, whether or not they actually agreed with them we will never know BUT my guess is that they were just trying to get in good with those who "knew what they were doing." Thats not really representing though, is it? No thats being a lost dog following around the person with food NOT listening to your own beliefs and judgments.

so guys, what now?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

To call or not to call

I woke up at 3am to hear the sound of crashing glass outside my window.
Actually concerned, I rolled over and opened my half-functional blinds.
A few guys were tossing beer bottles out their 3rd story window and being vulgar and drunk and in college.
I was faced with an ethical dilemma- to call or not to call (UPD).
Because their landing strip was the exact route I take to my Geography class, and since I wear flip-flops religiously (and glass through my shoe would be really unpleasant) I called.
I listened to "Fly me to the moon" and other popular jazz hits as I sat on hold, for three minutes.
I gave up and hung up.
Unfortunately for all of us, the guys refused to shut up and I had to call again. After a minute, I got connected to an officer and left my (at that time) anonymous tip.

Do people actually call UPD? Is it a way for students to help keep our campus safe, or are the people who call just ratting out people for having a good time?

Should students call UPD?
Yes, whenever in doubt, do it.
Not really, just in life or death situations.
No, basically don't. free polls

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Hippo Is Almost Certainly Going Away

According to the poll on MyGW, 69% of students think that "Absolutely!" the hippo should be kept as the unofficial GW mascot, while 13% think George is better as the only mascot and 18% of respondents were freshmen.

Since GW likes to do the exact opposite of what students want (think: J Street reform, CVS at 2000 Penn) we can expect the hippo statue by Lisner Auditorium to be gone by next week.

If the hippo was never in any real danger, NOW IT IS.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Aaaar you on Pirate Facebook?

Today, September 19, is the official "Talk Like A Pirate Day." From the website:
In the seven years since Dave Barry mentioned us in his nationally syndicated newspaper column, what once was a goofy idea celebrated by a handful of friends has turned into an international phenomenon that shows no sign of letting up.
Today, Talk Like A Pirate Day went even more mainstream. Facebook has a new Pirate option for ye. Scroll down your Facebook page, see the word English at the bottom, click it, from the menu of options pick English (pirate). Your Facebook page will have a whole new look.

Speaking of Facebook, join GWBlogspot's Facebook group today!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


There's been talk in the U.S. presidential race about "phony outrage." I'm curious, does today's Hatchet editorial calling the University "heavy-handed" for phasing out the hippo resonate as a real controversy for folks?

Some specific parts that caught my eye:
The University's eventual removal of the hippo, a mascot students love and embrace, is a heavy-handed, unilateral and poorly defended move that should be seriously reconsidered.
Do you actually love the hippo?
Students have embraced the hippo as representative of the more whimsical side of the University. On a campus populated with BlackBerrys and suits, the hippo grounds us and keeps our college image lighthearted.
Is there really a whimsical side and non-whimsical side of GW? (And if anything represented pure whim, is the hippo a better example than, say, random Greco-Roman structures near the Gelman library?)
What the administration should realize is that the hippo is GW's most distinctive brand.

When I think about Georgetown, I don't think about the Hoya--I think about a good school, the one that Bill Clinton went to. If I was neutral in this "controversy," learning that the hippo is GW's most distinctive brand might actually be the strongest argument for ditching it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today is Adam's Morgan Day

For those who weren't feeling Fall Fest, today is the 30th annual Adam's Morgan Day on 18th Street (right above T street). It's until 7 p.m. Event link is here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fall Fest Open Thread

From the GW Hatchet:

Poor weather and a lack of big-name headliners contributed to a sparsely attended Fall Fest Saturday afternoon in the Smith Center.

Program Board moved the annual event indoors from University Yard last week due to Tropical Storm Hanna. In addition to food and games, the festival featured performances from student organizations, The Canon Logic, Virginia Coalition and Wale.

Did you attend Fall Fest? If so, was it good? If not, why not?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Who is this "Pita Pit GW" and is (s)he friend-worthy?

I have a hard-and-fast Facebook rule. If I don't know you, you're not my "friend." Period.

So, normally, the choice I faced today of whether or not to confirm "Pita Pit GW" wouldn't require more than a second's thought. Ignore.

But...for some reason, this one took me more than a second to catch my thoughts:
"Aww, that's kinda cute."
"Why would someone create a profile for a food place?"
"Why would someone pick THAT place -- a pita stand?"
"Then is kinda cute."
Not just cute, but quite popular. 401 friends? Obviously, not a total loser. Though maybe it's just a really good Facebook stalker and I'm its latest victim. Or, maybe it's just using me for free GWBlogspot publicity after my recent profile of Indian food on campus. (Note to Pita Pit - if that's your motive, I'll never fall for that!) (Doi!)

So, I thought I'd throw it out to the Inter-webs? What do you know about this "Pita Pit GW?" Friend-worthy?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Political Convention Open Thread

GW's in the heart of Washington, D.C. What did folks think of the political conventions?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Something Special Is Coming To J Street

As a native of Edison, NJ -- which has one of the highest Indian populations in the country -- I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of fine Indian food. I test places out wherever I go, and often am not overly impressed.

Recently, at a housewarming party, I got into a conversation with some folks about Indian food in the DC area. They told me that they trek all the way from DC to Arlington just to eat at a restaurant called Sangam. I was in the Arlington area yesterday, and tried it. It was quite good.

The owner (very friendly) said they were opening up a kiosk in J Street! For all incoming Class of 2012'ers, this is NOT normal for college cafeterias. This...put bliss.

And apparently, today's the very first day the kiosk is open! So, is this a cutting-edge, amazingly-timely GWBlogspot dining review? Yes...yes, it is. (Compare and contrast to the GW Hatchet's cutting-edge review of Chipotle. Great job, guys.)

The Sangam dishes I highly recommend are Saag Paneer (spinach and cheese cubes) and Malai Kofta Curry (vegetable balls in a nice yellow sauce), both vegetarian. Also pretty good was the Paneer Makhani (cheese cubes in orange sauce). Hopefully all of those are at J Street. If not, a trip to Arlington may be in order. I'd give this place a solid 8 on a 1-10 scale.

For other Indian food aficionados, I have a few other Indian food recommendations in the area:
  • Bombay Palace near campus -- 2100 K, NW. Big advantage: weekend buffet! Saag Paneer is pretty good, other stuff is ok. They don't always have Saag Paneer in the buffet, so good to call and ask. I'd give it a 7 on a 1-10 scale.
  • Ascot -- 1708 L Street, NW (5-10 minute walk from campus). Big advantage: Weekday buffet! Saag Paneer is good, other stuff is ok. They also don't always have Saag Paneer in the buffet, so good to call and ask. I'd give it a 7.5 on a 1-10 scale.
  • Heritage India in Dupont -- 1337 Connecticut Ave., NW (immediately below Dupont Circle, about a 15-20 minute walk from campus). AMAZING Paneer Makhani. I've tried a million places and if Heritage ever shuts down, it will be a blow to Paneer Makhani fans everywhere. If you go to Heritage and don't order the Paneer Makhani, that's like going to Rome for Chinese food. They, unfortunately, do not have a buffet. They, fortunatley, do deliver. I'd give it a solid 9 on a 1-10 scale. Maybe even 9.5.
  • Udupi Palace 1329 University Blvd East Takoma Park, MD. I'm not going to pretend this is easy to get to. But if you're ever near University of Maryland, you need to try this place. Awesome weekday and weekend buffets - all vegetarian. Tons of variety. Really low price. If this place were any closer to downtown DC, I'd be 30 pounds heavier. Solid 9 out of 10.
  • There are some others in the area in the 3-5 range -- not really worth highlighting.
Feel free to share your favorite Indian restaurants or Indian dishes below. And to the good folks at Sangam, welcome to GW!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Well Someone's Wrong About GW's Eco-Friendliness

Not long ago, USA Today sang the praises of GW's Green Move-In and our supposedly eco-friendly campus.

What a difference a week makes. Now the Hatchet reports the Sierra Club has called the USA Today report - pardon the pun - garbage.

GW was named as one of the schools that "failed to implement policies to fight climate change." Sierra Club's lifestyle editor, Josie Garthwaite, sums up the entire GW experience in one pithy quote:
"What we were measuring was accomplishments," Garthwaite said. "We were not measuring aspirations."
My green tip of the day - never recycle anything at Carvings. At the end of the day, they take the bag from the recycling bin and place it in the regular trash bag to throw away with the other garbage. Your recycling efforts are thwarted by lazy workers wearing a ganja hat (the only thing "green" about that place).

What do you think? Is GW a green campus or not?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Whenever You Get E-Mail from Soapy Joe's...

...seriously, do your own freaking laundry. Freshmen beware, it's pretty much another e-mail scam. You'd have to do roughly 74 loads of laundry - about 5 loads a week, wash and dry - to equal their cheapest plan of $185 a semester. Do you do that much laundry?

Not to mention, I know a friend who had nearly her entire wardrobe stolen when she left her bag outside for Soapy Joe's. Someone just walked by, picked it up, and took it.

Can anyone justify them? Is it worth it to any of you?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wanted: SMPA Advisors

For all the things the SMPA program has- small class sizes, talented faculty, and state-of-the-art equipment, this is one area in which the program needs improvement.

Currently, SMPA has ZERO staff members whose primary function is to counsel the 400+ students in the School of Media and Public Affairs.

While I've found that the professors who are assigned to advising duties are generally pretty interested and able to help students meet their academic and professional goals, it just becomes a question of time. Professors are expected to teach multiple sections AND serve as an advisor to sometimes upwards of 100 students!

This is unfair on all sides; firstly to advisees who battle long lines just to meet with their advisors. Secondly, to all SMPA students who have limited access to their professors who have secondary obligations as SMPA advisors. Thirdly, the current system places an unreasonable strain on SMPA faculty. We only have a handful of them anyway; why not better capitalize on what they bring to the classroom and for which they were actually hired?

I suggest bringing in a couple fulltime advisors for SMPA. I know it sounds revolutionary but hey, CCAS finally got a few, ESIA has them, and don’t get me started on the impeccable roadmap business majors have at their disposal.

I am lucky enough now to have access to the undisputedly best advisor in SMPA, which has really helped me to grasp what a true disadvantage it is to students without a similar resource.

I’m interested to hear if this is something more people would like to see, or maybe if there are already alternative resources that SMPA majors can take advantage of on campus.

Friday, August 15, 2008

USA Today Gives Props To GW

GW gets some well-deserved recognition for it's Greenness:
Students arriving on campus this month are seeing green — and not just from the money they're spending on tuition.

For example, students coming to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., will start their school year with the university's first "Green Move-In."

Rose Dunnegan, the university's property manager, says the program follows the success of last semester's "Green Move-Out." Student and staff volunteers recycled thousands of pounds of clothing, household items, food and "e-cycling" materials, including cellphones, batteries and computer parts, Dunnegan says.

The Green Move-In includes:

•An online check-in system is an alternative to the paper forms usually distributed to students who move into the dorm rooms.

• Laminated posters with maps and campus information will be posted in residence halls instead of being distributed on paper.

• The university's bookstore will sell reusable grocery bags and clothing made from recycled and organic materials.

• Students are encouraged to pack items in reusable containers.

• There will be designated recycling areas for moving boxes.

If you're not a grizzled college graduate like me, take part in the Green Move-In and show some love for your planet.

OMG my room is naked!

A few tips to dress up your space.

An old comforter, temperamental alarm clock, and beaded curtains that proved far more trouble than they were worth: basically, my freshman year dorm decorating scheme.
I laughed all-knowingly as peers raced to Target and online sites like for things they had obviously lived without just fine up until college season.
But now I find myself entering junior year with the insatiable need to purge myself of all my old crap and figure out how to create a comfortable living space like everyone else did freshman year.

So, to freshman, and all other ambitious redecorators, some suggestions:

1. Good bedding

My roommate came to college with the most comfortable down comforter I’ve ever had the fortune to come in contact with and now, after two years of active envying, I’m getting one too!

After a lot of research, I’ve learned you can get high-quality down comforters for $30-$50 on eBay and

*Get a duvet cover (pillowcase for your comforter) if you are prone to spilling things.

Pick up a comfortable body pillow or arm chair, and you’ll honestly never want to get out of bed (which may or may not be a good thing).

2. iHome Alarm Clock/Radio

It’s worth it, if only to hear something other than that hideous default alarm beep on your cell phone.
Get it for $60 from Office Max (I know it’s weird, but who can complain about half price?)

It’s great to have background noise on when your friends are over and the sound quality is so much better than your laptop speakers.

Sometimes you can score a good deal on eBay too. I’d give you a link, but eBay tells me I’m “currently the highest bidder” and I’m feeling a bit territorial :).


I just spent the last half hour browsing through my 2009 catalog. By far the best place to for really cheap (but good quality) brightly-colored sheets, towels, organizers, and kitchen supplies.

Hope this helped! Feel free to leave questions/suggestions~!

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Capitol Hills" Looks Official, Will Air After Project Runway on Lifetime

The oft-rumored DC reality show based loosely off MTV's "The Hills" will finally become a reality when filming starts this September. The show's slated for a November debut on Lifetime immediately after Project Runway.

Meet Alexa Johnson, Krista Johnson, Katherine Kennedy, and Sophie Pyle. Unlike The Hills, though, these ladies don't have the intelligence of a brick. Katherine runs her own PR shop (with actual clients) and Sophie dabbles in web design. As for the Johnson sisters? Well, their names are far too generic to show up on the first page of Google.

Given these girls' looks and the level of douchebaggery from the guys in these photos from Sophie, I'm predicting a show very similar to The Hills. Expect more on these girls as the air date nears.


[via Yeas & Nays]

Gmail is down -- open thread

How is Gmail being down affecting your life, your workplace, your school?

Vent or be philosophical here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


After reading all of the controversial comments on Kayla Howe's most recent blog post, I came across a comment from anonymous that said: "I liked gwblogspot a lot better before it was overrun by incoming freshman who are desperately clinging to their ideal picture of college life. Its amusing to see how misguided they are, but its also getting a bit tedious. I don't think I'll visit this blog anymore if there's one more entry which can be summed up as 'I'm excited for college!'"

So, I decided I'd find something different to blog about. On GWBlogspot, we've already covered the most recent news: the transition to our new email server, the new CI, moving, and the excitement for school beginning. So just as I found myself wondering what else there is to blog about, my phone vibrated as an email came through.  It happened to be from "AlertDC", informing me of a power outage that had affected a few houses in Adams Morgan.

Basically, if you don't have AlertDC sending you either texts or emails, check it out.  It's awfully useful for transportation updates, city-wide celebrations, road blocks, weather, and more.

See you all soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Verdict: 74% say CI was awesome or good!

All summer,'s had an online poll about people's experience at Colonial Inauguration.

Today, the verdict is in:
  • 74% say their CI experience was awesome or good.
  • 25% say awful or nothing special.
Interesting fact: Before this year's CI sessions began, and only upper-classmen were voting, the poll was split nearly evenly across all 4 options. After CI began, "awesome" and "good" gained steam.

So, what does that mean? Was this year's CI was much better than years past? Do people's fond memories of CI retroactively get dimmer? Are the upper-classmen who read this blog just cranky old curmudgeons? :) What do you think?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Changing people's email address on them: Always cool.

From an email sent today by Ronald C. Bonig, GWU Vice President and Chief Information Officer. I'm 90% certain this email address change was not necessary to convert to Gmail:
As you might have heard, we have introduced a third party email system for students and alumni - we will now be utilizing the Google Mail interface. This is a vital component of ensuring a successful academic and social experience for our students. All student accounts will change from to
Quiz: Which of these is the worst idea?

A) Changing people's email addresses on them.
B) Making people's email addresses longer.
C) Using both "GW" and "GWU" in an email address.
D) All of the above.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Does this speak to you?

Someone from the House Committee on Education and Labor emailed this to me today. It's about the House passing the Higher Education Opportunity Act. It's obviously aimed at youth. Curious: does this speak to you as a college student (or to-be college student)?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Incoming freshmen rock GWBlogspot...

Something pretty amazing has happened on GWBlogspot the last couple days. A vibrant conversation has broken out between incoming freshman pondering their college days ahead and upperclassman who have some really valuable advice to dispense.

GWBlogspot traffic has increased by the hundreds. This is really the natural progression of an energy that's been building throughout the summer with posts from incoming freshman like these:
Big props go out to all of our guest bloggers so far. Your posts have truly been excellent. There are 3 concrete things we can do today to help this conversation grow even more vibrant:

1) Tell a few friends about GWBlogspot. Just send them the link to this post, or share it on Facebook.

2) If you haven't guest blogged yet but are an avid reader of this site, now's your time. Email adamgree [at]

3) Join our Facebook group. When big news breaks, you'll be the first to know.

Thanks to all who've participated in the conversation so far...and let's keep it going!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Email Scam?

I just got this. Seems like this warning about an email scam is, in fact, an obvious email scam itself. Does anyone have official information to confirm:

Dear GWU Users.

The reason for this message is because of the Email Scams & Phishing going on the GWU Network. We have decided to contact all our students and staffs toprovide their password so that we can confirm the active users and to de-activate the inactive user. We regret the inconveniences this might have cost you. Please provide us with the below details.


With the above details we can verify active account.

Copyright © 2008, The George Washington University.
All rights reserved.2121 Eye Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052 Phone: (202)
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
Then, very sneakily, this was on the bottom...seemingly generated by my email, but actually part of the email sent:

This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by
MailScanner, and isbelieved to be clean.

Who sent this email? Hmm...

from <>
to undisclosed-recipientsdate
Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 6:27 PM
subject Update Your GWU E-mail

Who is Google says nobody. But, a Google search for paulj101 yields a hotmail account and some weird stuff. Ok, I did my fair share of research. Who's got other facts?

UPDATE (July 29, 10:24am): Commenter mit429 points out that on July 7, ISS sent the following:
WARNING: EmailAlert!

This is the third reminder in 30 days about email security. Please remember
that you should NEVER reply to email messages asking for personal information,
even if it is security related. Regardless of how official the email looks, no
such message will EVER come from GW or the ISS help desk asking users to reply
with information such as log-in, password, birth date, social security number,

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ISS Help Desk at
202-994-5530. The Help Desk is open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm.

Moving Concerns...

So, it's been a long road to get to this point. I can remember writing those essays, getting the amazing blue acceptance packet and everything in between. Plus, I just got back from Colonial Inauguration a few weeks ago! The whole GW, or as the cool kids say, G-DUB, experience seems like a complete whirlwind now. And can you believe it?!? We move NEXT MONTH!!!! :)

As housing assignments were just announced a few days ago, we all know where exactly we will be sleeping. For me, it's Thurston 124! But how exactly do we know what the room will look like, whether it has a walk-in closet or not, or any of the other unanswered questions. It seems like every time that I call G-DUB a student answers and has no clue what I am talking about. They then connect me to someone else who connects me back to the original student, and then I'm back to where I began. So I guess we are just supposed to know exactly what to do even though we have never been to college! ARGH! And my mom's biggest concern is how to get all of my clothes and other items to campus. They said to ship it all or buy it when we get there but 1) It would cost a TON of money to ship because I have a lot of stuff and 2) I do not want to be running around DC trying to find a Target or Wal-Mart to buy it all at and then carry it back to the dorm. So at this point my mom is wanting to get a U-Haul... :-/   Uhhh... who knows how it will turn out?!?
How are you getting your junk to campus on August 30th???

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Housing Assignments

So, freshman dorm assignments came out. I'm sure you've heard a story already, whether it was good, bad, or ugly. If you haven't, here is mine.

In February, I met a girl named Lindsay on the GWU Class of 2012 Facebook group on the "Female Roommate Search" message board. We hit it off and started talking online and on the phone everyday, as if we'd known each other for years. She was great! Although we are different in many ways—she is a Journalism major in the School of Media and Public Affairs and I am undecided in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences; she is from a small town in Connecticut named Suffield and I am from this slightly larger city in Florida named Miami, haha; she graduated from a New England boarding school and I graduated from a larger private school—we also have a lot in common—we both want to go to law school; we both want a double; and we both wanted to be anywhere but Mount Vernon or Thurston (as much as we love green places and partying all night, neither place appealed to us). Basically, we were different enough to learn from each other, but similar enough to be able to live with each other. So, when dorm request forms came out, we decided to request each other as roommates. As for dorms, we loved Madison but could definitely live in Crawford, Lafayette, and Strong. It was perfect! We were both Regular Decision so we knew we would get the leftover dorms after Early Decision 1 and 2 students got their picks, but we hoped for the best.

For the weeks that followed, we chattered every day about what we would buy for our dorm, what we were bringing with us from home, and any other dorm thing there was to talk about. When we met at CI 3, we were sure we would make great roommates.

Finally, it was time for dorm assignments. At about 8 o’clock PM on July 21 (her birthday, I might add), we decided that no matter what the verdict, we would not let it get to us. After all, there was always Room Swap.

The next morning at 8:30 AM, I woke up and grabbed my laptop, knowing that a thousand other GWU freshmen across the country were doing the same thing. I clicked the link to the Housing Portal and opened it… but there wasn’t even a link there to view the assignments! I called Lindsay, wondering if she had been able to find our assignments. “Nope,” she said. “It’s not on here.” We agreed to call each other when we found it.

I stared at the computer and wondered where in cyberspace our housing assignments were. Hadn’t they said 8:30 AM? Could I be wrong? And if I wasn’t, what awful person was playing this joke on us? Even more importantly, were we the only two people having this problem?

So, I logged into Facebook and opened the GWU Class of 2012 group. I read through a few Wall Posts from confused students like myself. “Where are the assignments?” one person wrote. I refreshed the page a few times, and all of a sudden, I read the best and the worst news I’d ever heard. A girl I knew who had been Regular Decision and had requested the same dorms as me had left a post telling us that the assignments had been emailed to us, and that she ended up in her seventh choice housing. The good news? Housing assignments were in our email inboxes. The bad news? I don't even know if I filled out a seventh choice! Could we really end up there? Now, what this student experienced could have been a rare event, but with only one person’s story to base it off of, I was worried. I logged into my email and opened the one called Your 2008-2009 Housing Assignment.

Room: Madison Hall 810
Room Type: MA-DBL

I grabbed my phone to call Lindsay. She answered the phone, frustrated with the computer. “I can’t find i-” she began.


Needless to say, it was a great day. But for many others, it wasn’t. One of the odd trends from this year’s assignments is that many people that did not want singles ended up in Mitchell, the all-singles hall. How did this happen, when they warned us that usually only the Early Decision 1 students get rooms in Mitchell? Most are trying to switch out of Mitchell because they want that “college experience”. Hopefully it works out for everyone.

How did housing go for you all?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My CI 3 experience...

was incredible.

So that I don't run you through the entire schedule of events, because chances are you've already been to it (sorry, I was on vacation for the past few weeks!), I'll give you the most meaningful things that I took from it.
  1. The Activities Fair
  2. The "what's the deal with" lectures
  3. CI at Night

The Activities Fair was the most meaningful activity I attended, for one main reason. Everything you could possibly get involved in was scattered throughout a few rooms of the Marvin Center, and it was your job to find what you were interested in. Most importantly, you have the oppurtunity to sign up to receive information from the clubs without actually needing to commit to them yet. I signed up for a bunch of the clubs I wanted information on, and in retrospect, I've already decided on about half of them that definitely aren't for me. But it was totally worth it, if not to get information on the clubs at GW, simply to understand what we have been told all along: GW really has something for everyone.

The "What's the deal with...?" lectures are VERY informative. Basically, they are short lectures on the second day on a bunch of different topics that we will need to know about in the upcoming years- Technology, Study Abroad, Move-in, Jobs/Internships, etc. I attended two of them and learned a lot about my work-study job for next year and move-in day.

Lastly, CI at Night. CI at Night is the evening activities in which we were given a chance to bond with the CI Cabinet and really explore the city. It was at this point when I realized that next year is going to be an absolute blast, being in a great city with some of the best people.

Basically, CI was spectacular. The people are great, the activities are fun, and it is an overall informative experience.

The highlight of my CI experience would have to be when CI Cabinet member Joe Buono was giving the lecture at the floor meeting about not drinking and ended it with "and if you need any more reason not to drink, don't get drunk because Megan Cunningham will take pictures of you and post them on GWblogspot." Thanks Joe- people avoided me like the plague for the next 2 days. Just kidding.

See ya!

PS. Room assignments in 5 days! :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Show me my roommate already!!! Oh and the Mt. Vernon business

So as the fall semester of 2008 approaches, many of us (including myself) have been very anxious to see who the "magical" roommate selector has, well, selected. Everywhere I turned, people I befriended had requests for others, and it seemed like everyone around me already knew who would be staying with them in the fall. For the rest of us, don't fear, we only have a week and a day to wait until we soon find our other half...roommate(s) that is. I have heard nothing but positive feedback about the system, and even if you don't feel like you instantly connect with the person sleeping 3 feet away from you this fall, understand that you can't always speed up the relationships you make, especially those you have to live with your freshman year in college. Although it's not really too great when you are a roommate to your best friend. I made a lot of friends, and some close friends during CI (check out my previous post entitled "The CI Experience"), but I think we might only spend the night or live near each other...I have had way too many witnesses tell me not to room with a friend so, go figure, I might take their advice, at least this year. After finding out that I had received my first (or third) selection for housing, it seems as though I won't really have that problem.

For all those that aren't quite clear what I meant in the previous sentence (or the title. haha) I had selected Somers and Cole as my 1st and 3rd choice, respectively. I received the infamous Mount Vernon letter and began to have a bittersweet feeling about the choice I had made. I love Mount Vernon a lot, from the beautiful campus, dorms, library, and even football field. However, it seems as though my friends weren't too fond of staying there, mainly because it was far away from classes, and it was supposedly too quiet. I'm a very outgoing person, so hearing that the place that I'm staying for 9 months is completely unlike me isn't quite the first thing I wanted to hear about it. There's nothing wrong with the place, so I still plan on staying there, but others want to leave before they even move in. Is this because of society's influence on them, that they want to continue going the direction they did in high school, or listen to the people they might've known for a few months? Or is it their own personal dislike for the lush green of the Quad's grass? I guess I am biased with my own personal history of watching others fall into the influence of others, but it bothers me that people would actually want to give up an opportunity to live in such a beautiful place! I selected those halls not only because of the aesthetics but of the fact that its somewhere to take a deep breath when needed. The college life your freshman year can be stressful, and since the next 3 years, I'm probably staying at Foggy Bottom, I think having somewhere to clear my mind would be perfect for the first year. I could type forever about this, but if you're like me, you probably can't read forever. So to sum it all up:

What are your feelings about roommates and the selection process? Anyone staying at Mount Vernon? Comments about the campus?

Have an awesome rest of the summer and I'll see you in the fall! (47 days until official move in? 41 for SEAS kids and 40 for PE. haha man that shows you how bored I AM this summer. hah)

Noel B.

Alex Honorary Open Thread - What's On Your Mind?

What're you thinking about these days? An open thread...

In honor of Alex.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Where were you July 4th?

So...where were you July 4th? Got any good stories?

I was on a friend's packed rooftop in DC. Good time, not all that unusual. But one thing did strike me as unusual. All around the building, random people were lighting off their own fireworks. More of my story after this, from the DC Examiner:

D.C. police [said] they're expecting thousands of calls to come in from people reporting illicit fireworks and other pyrotechnic complaints.

Authorities are asking residents to remain patient. Fourth District Commander Linda Brown says the response will take time, because the call volume will be "tremendous."

Okay, so maybe it's not so unusual. But it was for me. I've truly never seen anything like last night - pretty much every side of this building had people lighting off fireworks in the street below.

A semi-professional looking van in a parking lot across the street did a pretty good job, actually. Unlike regular fireworks which explode far away, these had the illusion of exploding far away but actually were just a couple hundred yards away. Was pretty neat - and seemed well under control.

But what kind freaked me out were kids in the street below lighting off their own. They were down. We were up. They were shooting fireworks up in the air with no quality control what-so-ever.

I looked around and others didn't seem concerned. So, I generally went on with my life. Until every once in a while...BOOM! One would explode fairly close to the roof. I looked around again. Several people looked back--their eyes showing their sense of alarm too. But the majority of the crowd was just fine. So nobody moved. This went on for a couple hours.

Eventually, though, one came exceedingly close to us. It was practically exploding in front of our faces. I yelled, "Abandon ship!" and rushed to a lower area of the patio (it was a two floor patio -- lower one more insulated). I actually can't claim to be a leader of masses at that moment. The people on the lower-level agreed with me, but most others stayed up top. Until...a couple more fireworks later, when they all came down too. (Victory!)

As I walked home, I heard illegal fireworks going off all around me. I felt like I was in a war-torn city.

Overall, a fun fourth. But, I think I've accidentally become radicalized into an anti-illegal fireworks avenger. Didn't mean for that to happen. Never thought about it that much before. But now, I'm thinking, "No mercy. Lock em up." 4th District Commander Linda Brown, if you need any witnesses to testify at trial or some volunteer cops next year to make arrests, count me in!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Robin Williams Tickets for Parents Weekend Go on Sale Next Tuesday

Grab your tickets to this year's obligatory-past-his-prime-comedian-your-parents-will-love, Robin Williams, next Tuesday.

I've always thought that Mr. Williams was a better actor than stand-up comedian, particularly since it's pretty well known in the comic community that he steals jokes (kinda like Carlos Mencia).

I'm sure he's got a boatload of new material on how the wife's doing.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 8. Call TicketMaster at 202.994.7411!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CI's Student Gift: A Free GPS

This year at CI incoming freshman will leave campus at the end of day three with a brand new GPS system. Before you become emotional and start to complain about the money GW spends on CI... keep reading.

Student and Academic Support Services led by Brian Hamluk have created a GW Guide to Personal Success (GPS) program where each incoming freshman will be paired with their own staff GPS advisor in a major university office. GW employees from the Admissions staff to UPD officers will each receive four to five new colonials that they will guide through their time at GW. Even four lucky students will receive Chernak as their very own GPS.

As a GW student, the one complaint I hear the most is how bureaucratic the university has become and how difficult it is to get an answer. With GPS, I can only hope that students will feel more connected to the "higher powers" and become enabled to get answers and assistance efficiently. Who better than a UPD officer, a SASS employee, or Robert Chernak to help you get your financial aid package reevaluated or to give you advice after you get written up.

With all the programs I have seen at this university I think GPS will be one of the most beneficial and meaningful to students if it really does work as planned. Thank you GW for realizing the needs of students and making an effort to rectify a long term problem.

So, GW students, will you use your GPS??

Saturday, June 28, 2008

DC, are you really going to restrict cheap transportation when gas is $4?

Under the headline "Banishing buses to L'Enfant,"'s David Alpert reports:

DDOT is planning to force all low-cost bus carriers, like Bolt Bus, DC2NY, and the Chinatown buses to stop loading in Chinatown and at various other spots around the city (a few pick up in Dupont Circle), reports the Examiner (via DCist). Instead, all buses will have to load and unload at a special zone at 10th and D Southwest, right by the L'Enfant Metro. This seems like a terrible idea.
He also rightly points out, "At L'Enfant, there's nothing." Seriously, it's a dead land.

As a native New Jerseyan, I've traveled often from DC to the New Jersey/New York area. When I was a student at GW, to save money I took the bus. I remember the long slogs via metro to Union Station and then carrying my heavy bags from there to the Greyhound station several blocks away in a rather desolate part of town. When my trip back to DC would arrive late at night, walking several blocks in that desolate area didn't feel very safe. (Since then, I've noticed that buses make an extra stop at Union Station, eliminating the walk--though you still get a better seat if you get on the bus at the main station.)

These days, I mostly take the train or drive. With Amtrak's financial problems, their prices have gone up and up--veering me toward driving when I don't need to do work on the train. But now with record-high gas prices, the cost incentive to drive is nearly eliminated.

It was a huge breakthrough moment when I came across the new bus service DC2NY, which runs buses from DC to NY for $30 or less, with wireless Internet service, and which leaves from Dupont Circle! What convenience! (They even pamper you with free bottled water, and take a vote about whether to have a movie.) No longer do I need to slog my bags on a metro, then walk to a station, wait, and check in--I merely walk a few blocks to Dupont and board the bus. And the neighborhood is totally full of people, very safe.

Dupont is also quite proximate to GW. If I were still a student, I'd much rather go there than Union Station. Or, as an activist-type, I'd probably run a campaign urging people to contact DC2NY, asking them to make a stop at GW! At least around breaks when lots of students go home.

DC's proposed new policy would cut off all flexibility and convenience--dooming travelers who want to be cost-efficient to go to desolate areas of town, and dooming creative business types like the DC2NY crew from figuring out new markets and matching demand with supply. I almost wonder if someone in the government is friends with a businessperson in L'Enfant and was lobbied to bring travelers there against their will.

Anyway, David Alpert has set up a new Facebook group to protest this potential decision. Multiple people have joined while I was writing this post--obviously it's a hot cause. Hopefully, smarter heads will prevail at DDOT.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The CI Experience

Colonial Inauguration Session 2. I never thought I'd see the day. You know I'm usually not one to completely go crazy over a topic, but I must admit that CI really did blow my mind. Yeah, I had some awkward introductions (like my first one, where it was completely quiet in an elevator with my family and him) and some cheesy moments (like when we had to get hyped up for the fight song when there wasn't a particular event going on) but the fun you have with the Cabinet (which if you get to know them, they're actually great people outside of the hype) and with the buddies around you (late night visit to G-town) make CI a great experience. I was caught in quite a few situations that put me up to the test, but here are just a few tips to maybe help you take in the GW community:

1. Keep an open mind.
Most likely there aren't people that will fit the "role" you think they fit. Correction: No one there fits an "assumption" of themselves. Especially since this is your first time as a student, make sure you befriend everyone, because they're probably cool people.
2. Enjoy the environment.
From chilling late nights with the cabinet, and talking to friends in another persons dorm, the environment you get there is so much different than that you get in high school.
3. Have fun!
Don't analyze the structure of their schedule or see what you might think is corny or what you might skip. Enjoy everything that is there at GW because aside from the amount of effort in it, it really is pretty fun.

So when you enter your dorm room, find your roommate(s), and meet the cabinet, understand that this will be one of your favorite times of the summer. Because if you can't love this for what it is, a 2.5 days packed with fun/chill/crazy things to do, I assure you, you won't take it in full force. With that being said, do you think you will enjoy CI (did you already?)? and how did you like the cabinet (not just skits, but who they were)? I'm out for now, see you all in the fall!

Noel B.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

CI, Day 1

So, I arrived to CI for early check-in late Friday night, not knowing what to expect. As I walked to the Marvin Center Saturday morning to check in with my academic school, I was greeted with way too much energy and spunk for 8:30 in the morning. The CI cabinet was already in hyperdrive, being incredibly welcoming and incredibly energetic. I quickly dismissed them as some crazy hirees by the admissions office, but I was proven wrong later. Later on in the evening, while watching the skits that the Colonial Cabinet leaders put on, I was amazed. The skits dealt with common misconceptions about them based on how they look, their heritage and culture, the activities they participate in, or other lifestyle choices. Afterward, they discussed how GW helped them, accepted them, and what they learned from being in this kind of environment. The frank candidness and realness that they portrayed was moving and inspiring. I encourage everyone to get to known this year's Cabinet by looking on the CI Cabinet Website. They are all truly amazing people, but a big shout out to my small group leader, Mark. What did you guys think of the Cabinet? Any particular favorites or highlights?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Relief from the Summer Heat

As much as I love DC summers, the sometimes unbearable weather makes me miss shady NY beaches. To make up for the lack of beaches, I settle for pools. As all GW students know, there's a pool at the Vern. However, as noted by a previous guest blogger, Elizabeth, the Mt. Vernon pool isnt always ideal:
Vern is happening as Foggy Bottom gets increasingly foggier in this blistering heat and GW students (and GW interns) are jumping on the shuttle and heading to the Vern for the wonderful in-ground pool.

And the residents of the Foxhill district have the same idea. GW sells season passes to residents of the area which provides an interesting dynamic. 50% GW, 20% rich Foxhill parents, 30% screaming kids.

So what's the secret alternative? DC public pools. They are free to DC residents (but you don't need ID to get in, so essentially, they are free to everyone), full size, and usually not overcrowded. There's one in Foggy Bottom, 2 blocks up from Trader Joe's, at 2500 N St NW. The hours are Monday - Friday 1-8 (closed on Tuesdays) and Sat-Sun : noon - 6.

It's worth the 5 minute walk from campus, I promise.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Speaking at CI

So I don't know if anyone who went to kickoff could tell, but I got a chance to have about 5 or so minutes to speak at opening. It was beyond fun, although I was nervous like no tomorrow. I've got to ask though, anyone not like what I said or wish I said something else?

After being on cabinet last year and being S.A. President now, I kinda feel like this ball full of GW knowledge.

So let me ask y'all this- what do you want to hear from someone speaking at CI?

I'm a man of the people :)

Studying Study Abroad Options

Juniors study abroad.

Obviously not all juniors, and not always as juniors either, but I hope to be one of the many who do.

GW's Study Abroad Office webpage is really pretty. I liked all the colors and exciting program descriptions. In fact, I was hard-pressed to find a program that didn't interest me.
Then I remembered a conversation I had with GW grad last semester. I had been looking at programs in England, and the University of Leeds sounded fantastic:
Students will find challenging courses taught by faculty at the forefront of academic development while living in the UK's most popular student city...Through clubs, societies, the International Student Office and the Study Abroad Office at the University of Leeds, students participate in an active social and cultural life.
He, who will be referred to as John because that is his name, assured me that would be an awful choice and the only place to even consider in England is London. A few other SMPA classmates strongly agreed that I stay away from Leeds. Now, as I actually buckle down and look for a program, I remembered that conversation and I'm thinking about how much I (and anyone else who may read this) could benefit from good, specific study abroad advice.
I have specifically narrowed down my countries of interest to the following: England, South Africa, Costa Rica, Greece, Spain, Italy, South Korea, and... Canada. I am also considering all other countries.

If you've studied abroad or have an idea where I can look to get a legit understanding of what I may be flying around the world to get myself into, please share!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pre-CI Jitters!

Only a few days away from the start of CI2, the CI I will be attending, I can't help but feel way too many emotions. I'm excited to get down to DC, have some fun, and learn a lot about GW. I fear that maybe CI won't be that great, and I'll have doubts about GW. I'm nervous to meet new people, hoping to meet someone I click with, but also just hoping to actually venture out and talk to people. I'm happy that I'm going down to CI (a night early!) with a few friends from my high school, so that I have at least those 3 friendly faces to be confused and amazed with the whole time. And I'm sad that college orientation helps mark yet another step away from the comfort of tried and true friends, the comfort of high school, and toward the unsure yet full-of-potential 4 years that will be my GW education. Thankfully, the CI Website has all the information you need to scare you, inform you, and fill you with excitement. What are your thoughts? What are your feelings as your CI date gets closer? What are your expectations for CI and what do you plan to do once you're there? Let me know that I'm not alone!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Freshman Dorm Room Essentials

Scenario: You walk into Linens and Things, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, or ____________ (insert cheap dorm supply store here). You realize you have no idea where to start on your dorm room shopping. You don’t want to be the student with so many suitcases your roommate can’t get through the door, but you don’t want to be the weird kid with only a backpack and one pair of underwear. So, what do you do?

Naturally, you end up doing one of two things. You either over-pack and become the roommate who takes over the entire room with their crap, or you under-pack and get labeled as the weird kid who never changes his or her underwear.

If this sounds like you, worry no longer. There is a way to avoid this situation entirely! Yes, due to the experiences of some kind, caring upperclassmen that have already been through the GW first-year housing experience, we mere freshmen can save ourselves from dorm hell and social embarrassment. With the help of various GWU sophomores, juniors, and seniors, I have compiled a “Top 10” list of tried-and-true dorm items that you simply cannot live without.

10) A reliable alarm clock. It may seem trivial, but many of us freshmen are stuck with at least one morning class a few days a week. Having a reliable alarm clock will not only ensure that you wake up for this class, it will ensure that you wake up for this class on time. If you like music, try an iPod alarm clock. Just attach your iPod the night before and wake up to some smooth tunes. 5-in-1 Wobble Clock, Brookstone, $30. iHome iH9 Dual Alarm Clock Radio for iPod, Apple Store, $99.95.

9) Last minute cleaning products, particularly Febreze and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Perfect for almost every “sticky” situation, Febreze and a Magic Eraser will work miracles. Febreze is a great odor eliminator, easy to use, and most importantly, requires no effort. Just pull the trigger when your friends (or even worse, your parents) are seconds away from walking into your smelly dorm room. Mmm, the fresh scent of meadows and flowers. Magic Eraser, which really is magic, will take any sticky or nasty substance (yes, even when you’re not sure what it is) off of almost all solid surfaces. All you do is wet the sponge and rub the gunk. Alas, instant clean up. Febreze Air Effects Air Refresher Meadows & Rain, CVS, $3.29. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Disposable Household Cleaning Pad 2 count, CVS, $3.19.

8) Any poster or décor for the walls. Your dorm will be your home for nearly a year. Make it feel like home. Whether it be, for us native Miamians, a painting of our gorgeous South Beach shoreline, or your favorite Animal House poster, put something up on your walls! You may not be planning to spend too much time in your dorm room, but it is a comfortable touch for when you are attempting to sleep (for once). College Posters,, $6.99-$29.99.

7) Kitchen supplies. So, we freshmen may not get kitchens, but we do get microwaves and refrigerators. We will buy a limited amount of groceries (soda, cereal, milk, bread). We will probably go out to eat, and will probably save our leftovers for a late-night snack. Do yourself and your roommate a favor and don’t drink straight out of the milk carton, and don’t burn down your dorm by heating up your food in those plastic containers they give you your leftovers in. Buy some cups, a few plates and bowls, and a few sets of silverware. Your roommate and your flammable items will thank you later. Kitchen supplies, Urban Outfitters, $3.49-$17.99.

6) Shelving with removable joints. This shelving is ideal for storage in our small freshman dorm rooms. Whether you put it next to your desk, beside your bed, or in your closet, these stackable compartments are helpful to organize all of those things you might usually lose. Poly Cube Set, Target, $14.99.

5) A Swiss Army knife or a multi-use tool of some kind. Make sure it has screwdriver attachments and pliers. The simple reason for having one is that chances are, by the end of your freshman year, you will need a screwdriver or pliers. The more complex reason for having one is with, in addition to the main blade, a smaller second blade, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener, slotted/flat-head screwdriver(s), phillips-head screwdriver, nail file, scissors, saw, file, hook, magnifying glass, ballpoint pen, fish scaler, hex wrench w/bits, pliers and key chain, when won’t this tool come in handy? For you more technologically-advanced students, the newest Swiss Army knives are being made with a laser pointer and a 2 GB flash drive. Whichever you choose, make sure you’re set with your basic needs for a quick fix-up when your best friend trips over your laptop and steps on your Xbox. Swiss Army SwissChamp, Swiss Knife Shop, $15.95-$70.95.

4) Laundry supplies, and Complete Idiot’s Guide to Doing Your Laundry. Ok, ok, don’t get excited… because that book doesn’t exist. But according to a GWU student, laundry supplies are essential. “I wouldn’t have survived the first week without detergent, a drying rack, a laundry basket, an iron and ironing board, and a Tide-to-Go Stain Stick,” the sophomore recalls. Luckily, the great thing about some of these larger items, such as a drying rack, is that they can be shared between you and your roommate. So, sort out with your roommate who is going to bring the iron and who is going to take the laundry lessons from Mom, and viola! Clean and pressed clothes. Laundry supplies, Target, $2.99-$69.99.

3) The obvious technological devices. Had to throw this one in here because it’s horribly important and it could potentially be forgotten. GWU doesn’t provide you with some of the most important things we use in this day and age, including a laptop, TV, DVD player, Xbox, Wii, iPod… the list goes on and on. Bring the technology you see being a part of your every day life. Chances are, you aren’t going to want to go down the hall to watch your favorite TV show, and your friends probably aren’t going to be nice about letting you run on the treadmill with their iPod. Like the laundry supplies, you might want to work out with your roommate who is going to bring the TV and who’s responsible for the Wii… and keep in mind that you don’t need more than one DVD player when you only have one TV to watch movies on. Don’t forget to bring the appropriate chargers and cables to run your entertainment systems, either. Technology, Best Buy, $20.99-$399.99.

2) A lock box. As much as you think you’ll remember on move-out day where you stuffed your Social Security card at the beginning of the year, or that your passport isn’t fair game when it’s under the socks in your dresser, you’re wrong. Prevent loss or theft of your most important items by bringing a security box to put your identification and money items in, like your money, checkbook, insurance cards, passport or visa, and Social Security card. You won’t regret it when you’re able to get out of your dorm with your extra cash that much faster on the way to a shopping spree at the Eastern Market. Black Security Box, Target, $19.99.

1) Bed elevators. Why the most frequently recommended item? See for yourself. “There just isn’t enough storage space in the dorm room, and the beds are too low to fit things under. I couldn’t have fit half of my items in my room without making this extra storage space under my bed.” Bed elevators are simple to set up, and will save you from having to cram your empty suitcase in the back of your closet. Simply slip one under each of your four bedposts and the underside of your bed becomes instant storage space. Best of all, they’re sold right out of our school bookstore. Bed elevators, GWU bookstore, $12.99.

Hopefully this list will equip you to take on the nightmare of move-in day. Other less common suggestions that you should consider purchasing are a tool box, a first aid kit, a hanging shoe rack for your closet, extra tea/coffee, your own work desk chair, a full length mirror, some kind of lamp for extra lighting, and extra batteries. GWU has a great checklist of items as well, which can be found here.

Additions? Subtractions? Additional advice from upperclassmen? Questions from freshmen? Feel free to comment, of course.

Thanks to upperclassmen Cory McCrummen, Logan Dobson, Steve Casazza, Joe Buono, and many others for their input. Now you underclassmen know who to thank when your grade in Chemistry 001 is saved by your alarm clock or when your mom compliments you on how clean and Febreeze-y your dorm room smells when she comes for Parents Weekend.

And freshmen? Do yourself a favor and pass this blog entry on to your future roommate; you don’t want to end up with their excess crap taking over your half of the room, or having to wonder about that same pair of dirty underwear night after night.