Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Alternative Reality of The Vern


My friends and I are sick of J st., we are sick of WOW, and in our relentless pursuit to save our Colonial Cash and waste away our Dining Dollars, we made the trek this evening from the comforts of our Foggy Bottom abode to The Vern for some sunday night dinner at Ames and a study session at Eckles Library. Let me begin by saying we missed the Vern Express by literally 20 seconds (we watched the bus drive away just as we turned the corner) and my first thought was "Thank God I don't live on the Vern." 

GW makes a visible and considerable effort to promote "vern" living and make the University's satellite campus an attractive alternative to the Foggy Bottom location. The most recent edition of The Hatchet included an article highlighting the "second annual Rock the Vern Weekend" which featured
"the Mount Vernon Semi-Formal, a Rock Band competition and a concert on Sunday with student bands"
Seriously, a semi-formal. I thought awkward middle school dances were over. To be fair, I did not attend. But I can only imagine what that could have been like. (If anyone reading did attend, please comment and let me know how it was) As for a Rock Band competition, it guess its fun, but as a school sponsored event? And I cannot comment or critique the Sunday concert but student bands tend to be very hit or miss. 

This is just one of many examples of GW trying to bolster the social life of the vern. The Hatchet covered the Mount Vernon Open Mic which proved to be a "success" in the words of Mt. Vernon Programming Council Performance co-Chair, Alex Larkin. However, the event only drew 5 or 6 people. Larkin claims,
"Its really hard to get people out on Mt. Vernon."
I have also heard some interesting rumors through the grapevine about GW planning to move all Freshman housing onto The Vern. This is merely hearsay. Yet, if it is true, I predict significant uproar from the student body. I could not picture myself living on the Vern. Although the campus is beautiful and tranquil, it is just too quiet. Hailing from Los Angeles, I like to think of myself as a city man. And I like walking home from Gelman at 2 a.m. and having cars and people constantly around. Yet the journey from Ames to Eckles at 9 p.m. is dead silent with no viable signs of life. 

I like making the occasional trip up to the Vern, as my friends and i did tonight. Ames is better than J St. Cafe and finding a place to study in Eckles is blissful compared to rummaging through Gelman just to find an open outlet. The Vern is a nice getaway from the day to day Foggy Bottom life. However, I would dread to live there. But if you are ever so inclined, make a trip up there for an evening of decent food and studying. 

19 comments:

Sam B said...

I could not agree more. While I might have a little more sympathy for the Vern than you do, I completely understand the seeming contradiction of going to GW for the urban location but being sent up to the Vern to live. I have also heard that there are plans to build up the Vern a little bit more, including the rebuilding of Pelham Hall, which is supposed to house more students than Somers currently does. I think Pelham is also supposed to have a food court similar to the way Ivory does, but I'm not completely sure. Like you said, I appreciate the efforts of the university to play up the Mount Vernon Campus, but I don't know if quite enough is happening on the Vern as of yet to get a large turnout of students to these events.

Farhan Daredia said...

If GW were to move all freshman housing to the Vern, there wouldn't be an uproar from the student body because the freshman class that would be affected isn't here yet. It's quite an ingenious tactic, similar to the way tuition works. We have fixed tuition, so the only tuition that ever changes is the tuition for the incoming freshman class, which hasn't even been decided on yet, so they can't really cause an uproar.

Anonymous said...

You're right, the vern has some very nice aspects and it's great to go up there once in a while, but forget living there. Just waiting for the shuttle to leave on both campuses is enough to drive me insane once every few weeks, much less every day.

KFunk said...

As someone who takes the metro to get around the city two to three times a day, I can't imagine living on the Vern. You would have to take the shuttle just to get to the Metro, right?

Anonymous said...

Farhan makes an excellent point, those who would be affected by any change in Freshman housing would not actually be experiencing any change. Second, that is just hearsay; even with Pelham's expansion, The Vern still won't have anywhere near enough space to house an entire Freshman class.

Rachel said...

As a resident of the Mount Vernon campus and a member of the Mount Vernon Programming Council I am at a unique position to comment on this blog post. Although I am in the Women's Leadership Program and did not chose to live on this campus, in retrospect I would not change my freshman experience and live on Foggy Bottom. Although missing the Vern Express by 20 seconds (or less) is a daily reality and 9 pm silence is a mainstay of our campus life, the Vern has been a unique freshman experience that has allowed me to get to know the people on my campus at a level which would never happen on Foggy Bottom. I have gotten to know the majority of the people in my dorm, developed close relationships with the librarians at Eckles and look forward to my daily conversations with the people working at Ames who know me by name. Along with my Vern resident peers, I of course am sometimes frustrated at having to take the shuttle back in forth and am forced to turn to takeout when Ames closes at 8 pm, but it's an experience I wouldn't trade for a room in Thurston.

In response to the comments about Programming Council, any organization that plans events is going to have some successes and some events that only draw small crowds. As an attendee of the Semi-Formal this past weekend I can say that although it was in no way an "awkward middle school dance" and was a unique way for Vern residents to bond with their friends and dance the night away. While it was no Hawk & Dove or Thursday Mai Tai, the Semi-Formal was the chance that my friend and I have been needing for some weeks now to dance, relax and enjoy each other's company.

Most importantly as highlighted by the recent article in the Hatchet calling the Vern a "satelite" campus, the University and GW students obviously have a long way to go in promoting a sense of camaraderie between campuses. Frankly, by you insulting the Semi-Formal, you are undermining hard work done by your fellow GW students. It is my opinion as both a "Vernie" and a member of PC that articles like this only further the division between campuses and detrimentally separate the Vern residents from their Foggy Bottom counterparts. Programing Council does have its struggles, but so does Programming Board and any other group on campus organizing events. The reality of this situation is that GW is not going to take away the Vern. Students are still going to live there (if they chose to or not) so for those of you reading this, why not catch the Vern Express one day and come see what our campus has to offer? It may not be the city life of Foggy Bottom, but it's the place I call home, and love for the unique and wonderful experience it has provided me for my first year here at GW.

Jake Stewart said...

I think the best thing about GW housing is that it offers you a choice to live on either Foggy Bottom or Mount Vernon. To be fair, most college experiences happen on private campuses similar to the Vern. And hailing from a small town, I find that living on the Vern is a great way for me to adjust to city life. Plus, I get the benefits of going to the city whenever I want, but returning to a comfortable life on the campus. Either way you look at it, people have different preferences, so 'hating' on one campus because you hail from LA and want an urban lifestyle doesn't take into account the opinions of others. Fortunately, GW students are not homogeneous, and the vern has a better sense of community life for those that prefer it.

Anonymous said...

First of all, catching the vern express isn't really difficult. Its like any other form of public transportation. Look at the scehdule and be there before the departure time or wait for the next one. Pretty simple.

Second, I would like to point out that you mis-quoted the advertisement and left out a screening of the film "School of Rock."

Third all you say in this is that you didn't actually attend anything during Rock the Vern Weekend but you are sure it all sucked. Instead of running your mouth, why not try going to an event? Then you might be able to make a legitimate claim about its success or failure and back it up with some first hand experience. Honestly, don't knock something until you try it. At worst you would just be confirming your pre-determined ideas about how lame the Vern is, but if manage to get off your high horse long enough to actually participate, who knows, you might even have fun.

Kylee said...

This article gives the appearance of having done its research but I'm not sure it has.
First, Mount Vernon is not a satellite campus. A true satellite campus is the one in Virginia. Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon BOTH consist of main campus.
Second, the "Rock the Vern" weekend is put by the Mount Vernon Programming Council (which is made up of students) for students. Please don't confuse a campus department with student organizations. And just because it is something you think is childish doesn't mean that someone else (*cough* 125 people) enjoyed it.
Third, I'm concerned about your view of housing here. I'm glad you don't live on the Vern. Most residents are happy to be here. This year, the vast majority of students who reside here marked the Vern as either their first or second housing choice. Whether they're willing to admit it or not is another story and usually dependent on who their audience is. It's hard to voice an opinion when they will only be met with a critical one.
There are some great benefits to living on the Vern. The smaller campus lends itself to making great connections. There are smaller residence halls to live in and a leadership program for women, both of which foster life-long relationships. It also provides freshmen with opportunities for event planning, working and studying that aren't as readily available for those on Foggy Bottom. And also, for those of us coming from smaller towns, the Vern is a great place to transition to living in the city. I always felt like I had a home to come to at the end of the day.
So next time, please come up, talk to students and staff and truly understand why the Vern is special to others, instead of criticizing the Vern Express because you can't schedule correctly.

Nicole said...

It is a little absurd to assume that the there would be an uproar over a decision that, as has been stated, wouldn't produce an actual change for anyone immediately involved. Moreover, since you don't live on The Vern you aren't really in any position to make claims about how it would affect you. I lived there my freshman year. Admittedly, I was frustrated with assignment when I first got it. However, after living there I am incredibly grateful for the experience that I got there.

Like Rachel said, the environment among Vern residents is incredibly close-knit and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Even now, as juniors, I have plenty of friends who lived on both campuses, but my closest friends continue to be the kids that lived with me in Merriweather.

As a member of the Mount Vernon Programming Council, I can't help but be frustrated by the ignorance of your claims about Rock the Vern Weekend. You admit to attending none of the events. How can you possibly know what any of the events were like? You weren't there and you pretty successfully strip yourself of any real credibility by insisting on making unfounded claims. The only attendance numbers you gave were for an event that was not a part of RTVW. Some of our events draw more people than others. That's just a reality of putting on events. It is not at all a Vern-specific characteristic. You try things out and learn what works and what didn't.

Finally, you can't feign to be some sort of authority on the reactions of future freshman to being placed in Mount Vernon housing since you were not placed there. Moreover, the greater the population of the Vern, the greater the incentive to hold events there. Therefore, it still remains to be seen what campus life will be like after the completion of the new residence hall.

Thank you for this well-thought-out and obviously meticulously researched post...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure even where to begin commenting on this ridiculous article. So you missed the vern express! BIG DEAL. You've never missed a bus or the metro before? Secondly, RTVW was amazing. Lots of people came to our events and had a really good time. But maybe even more people would have come if people like you didn't write disgraceful articles every couple of weeks about how horrible it is to live there. Maybe instead of furthering the divide we can participate as a school, you know, since we are one. Lots of schools have two campuses and you don't see them writing immature articles like this one. Also, can you really judge something you didn't even go to? I was at the concert on Sunday and not only was the music fantastic, lots of people stopped by. It's a shame you missed it. Finally, as a resident of NYC, I find the Vern a nice change of pace and an amazing transition in my first year of college. Not only are my dorm rooms nicer, they're bigger. Finally, I've left Gelman in the early hours of the morning and have yet to see that many people out on weeknights.

Madeleine McCambridge said...

Just because someone hailing from "LA" doesn't like the quiet life doesn't mean that no one else does. The Vern offers a great transition for those who aren't accustomed to city life (and, honestly, what city life do you notice on Foggy Bottom? I've been to Gelman at 2 am before and there's no signs of life) Coming from San Diego, I will admit that the Vern is quiet at times, but for some it's a nice treat to be able to sit on the quad and not have to hear ambulances every two minutes. Rock the Vern weekend was fun considering there was free food, free music, and friends, so I'm not really sure what your expectations were when you went and chose not to go (honestly, who did you think was going, Spoon? They're not coming until April 25th...on the Vern, mind you) And you know what? Ames is open on the weekends...and has killer grilled cheese sandwiches. I don't know why you were so critical about a place that is so loved by many You know what, stay on Foggy Bottom, please, and leave the Vern a "best kept secret," because we don't need your surly attitude here.

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenna said...

It is so very unfortunate when someone feels they need to cushion a single negative experience with further (and in this case, flawed) examples simply to justify their initial complaint. This article is a perfect example, where missing the Vern Express snowballs into a condemnation of the entire Mount Vernon campus. The faulty logic Daniel presents is glaringly obvious and his claims are painfully inaccurate. Having lived on both Foggy Bottom and the Vern, and worked extensively with the GWU and MVCL administration, allow me to correct a few of your less-than-accurate suppositions:


Missing the Vern Express: Missing the Vern Express is an unfortunate reality, but not more so than missing a city bus, Metro train, or flight home. These things happen every day, and expecting the Vern Express to wait for every passenger who might be running behind is entirely unreasonable. It is the passengers’ responsibility to arrive at the stop before the Express is scheduled to leave, just as it is International Limousines’ responsibility to keep their busses on schedule. I could understand if you were making constructive criticism about the Express running late, but disparaging The Vern as a whole because YOU missed the bus by 20 seconds just comes off as whining.

I’m sure there will be those out there who argue that getting to The Vern shouldn’t be like riding the Metro or city bus, but consider how fortunate we are to have a 24-hour, clean, private, FREE shuttle service to a campus which offers an entirely different array of resources and change-of-environment. Compare this to the University of Michigan shuttles, which do not run all hours of the night, and take you only to the other end of the same campus!


Rock the Vern Weekend: What exactly is your argument here? That GW is “trying to bolster the social life of The Vern”? I’m not sure I see a problem with that. Would you rather we hosted such events on Foggy Bottom? Because then you might as well complain that The Vern has better activities and offers more for students than the Foggy Bottom campus; confusing, considering you are criticizing The Vern as a living option. Regarding low attendance rates, it’s understandable that some events are going to be more popular than others. An event that garnered 6 attendees this year (ie. MVPC Open Mic) had over 50 last year. No one can predict what each year’s Vern residents are going to enjoy or have time for, but at least such things are made available to Vern and Foggy residents alike. If you presume to know what activities Vern students might enjoy more, email mvpc@gwu.edu, instead of carping about the programs we have offered in the past and – need I mention – you did not attend.

Also, one major correction: Rock the Vern Weekend was no more school sponsored than Green GW or Program Board. The entire weekend was coordinated, funded, and put on by Mount Vernon Programming Council. If you’re going to make the argument that a “school sponsored event” is… what, uncool? Lame? At least take the time to find out the extent that it was sponsored by the GW administration, and perhaps consider why that would have any bearing on its success or entertainment value.


The Mount Vernon Semiformal: I didn’t think anyone could be so bold as to insult something they did not research or have any information about, much less experience personally. You say “I thought awkward middle school dances were over.” Well guess what? They are. Calling the Mount Vernon Semiformal “awkward” and immature without first interviewing attendees, or going yourself, is a step far beyond the boundaries of acceptable conjecture. Your immediate assumption that a Semiformal is going to be like “middle school” simply because it is held on The Vern flies in the face of reason. Are you also implying that Fraternity and Sorority semiformals are awkward? Or are those exempt from the “middle school dance” rule because the attendees are Frat and Sorority members? If so, you are implying that residents of the Mount Vernon Campus have yet to progress past the social level of middle school students. I’m sure you understand the concept of an unfair generalization.

By the way, here are some facts about the Mount Vernon Semiformal: Last year there were over 200 attendees - every single one of which had an AWESOME time. And this year we had over 120. (Granted, that’s fewer, but remembers what I said about being unable to predict the turnout of an event based on changes in the student body?) We had Vern alumni e-mailing us asking if they could come this year because they had so much fun last year. We had students this year say they wouldn’t attend, and then come anyways because their friends told them how fun it was. Yes, this year it was hot. Here’s why: Last year there was a noise complaint from one of the neighbors and we were therefore asked to keep all windows and doors shut. As a consequence, Post Hall became oven-like. We regret that we did not have the foresight to rent fans, but that’s a live-and-learn moment that will only guarantee a more successful event next year. But, you know what? I can’t imagine the dance would have been nearly so hot had we not had such a large group of students coming and dancing in a far-from-middle school manner.


Moving Freshmen to The Vern: This is a MYTH. The GW administration is fully aware that moving the entire Freshmen class to The Vern is in nobody’s best interest – neither those of the Freshmen class, nor the surrounding Vern community. THE FRESHMEN CLASS WILL NOT AND COULD NOT BE RELOCATED TO THE VERN. Spread the news, kids. Even with the construction of New Pelham, the total number of students living on The Vern will border 700 – that’s not even the population of Thurston, much less the whole Freshmen body. Furthermore, zoning restrictions and budgetary constraints prevent the construction of the number of dorms necessary to house the entire Freshmen class on one campus. It cannot and will not be done. GW advertises the advantages of both campuses, and realizes that students should have the choice which lifestyle they prefer. Which brings me to the final issue…


Life on The Vern: You like walking from Gelman and hearing the sounds of cars and people (“viable signs of life” – except that viable means “able to be done”). You like the city… good for you. You are welcome to your opinion and nobody will criticize you for preferring urban environments to rural ones. But undeservedly pitying Mount Vernon residents simply because they live (and often prefer) a different environment simply perpetuates negative stereotypes about The Vern that aren’t true. Fact: There are students who live on the Vern who do not like it or who did not want to live there. Fact: There are more students who live on The Vern who DO like it and who currently choose to live there, regardless of whether or not they picked it as their first housing option. I’m getting the sense that you’ve written this negative article simply because you yourself wouldn’t WANT to live on The Vern. This is a logical fallacy, like criticizing the entire state of Pennsylvania (or Alaska, Texas, Maine, Delaware, etc.) simply because you wouldn’t want to live there, either. But you’d be surprised how many students are assigned to live The Vern and enjoy it, just like the number of students who attend Vern events and have a good time – but you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?


Daniel, you say “To be fair”, but you are in no way being fair. You address a number of issues but rely mainly on “hearsay” and “rumors” to support your arguments. The sheer amount of faulty logic in your article is simply astounding, and I’m not even sure what you’re objecting to. Are you criticizing J St.? Gelman? The Vern Express? Living on the Vern? Or are you simply looking for an outlet to complain about your negative experience missing the Vern Express? It’s unfortunate that, with such limited understanding of the Vern, its residents, and what it offers the GW Community, you come to the conclusion that living there would be such a terrible situation. I encourage you and anyone else who agrees with this article to get out to The Vern more often and actually experience what it has to offer, instead of seeing it as an “alternative” or “Other”. However, for those of you who say “No way! The Vern is lame!” without ever doing things up there – let me ask you this: Is living in ignorance as blissful as they say?

Farhan Daredia said...

First off, I just want commenters to know that I really appreciate their defense of the Vern, I kind of want to live there now...
But I would like to reiterate the question that Kaitlyn asked earlier: "You would have to take the shuttle just to get to the Metro, right?" Is this the case? Or is there some other transportation available?

Madeleine Peckham said...

OK. I don't live on the Vern. But I have many friends who do, and I kind of retrospectively wish I had chosen to live on the Vern. I'm even thinking of being a proctor there.

But I go up there a LOT and actually do the things we talk about on admissions tours, like get Sunday Brunch, study in Eckles when Gelman is busy, go to Octoberfest and Fountain Day, and chill with my friends on the quad when the weather is nice, etc.

ANYWAY

It makes me so mad when people who have no interest in going to the Vern or living there decide they want to air their grievances about the university by taking aim at the campus that they choose to have nothing to do with.

Oh and poor you-- you missed the Vern express by seconds. Seriously, have you ever *tried* to take a public bus in DC? I used to do that to get to work, and let me tell you, getting to work twenty minutes late roughly once a week because the bus didn't show up is a hell of a lot worse than having to wait ten minutes for the Vern express. And it's FREE, for God's sake, and there won't be homeless people trying to chat you up. You can't argue with that. You may also not be aware that you can borrow free bicycles from the Vern if you're really worried about it, or if it's just a pretty day.

Honest to God getting to the Vern is NOT a problem. I'm sorry you don't have a chauffer at your beck and call, but then you must still be upset about the fact that you can't keep your BMW convertible on the Foggy Bottom Campus as a freshman or sophomore... :(

Frankly, I think it's a little obnoxious that you willingly misrepresent Alex Larkin's comments. She is a good friend of mine, and I know no one more dedicated to getting people together to do cool stuff on the Vern. Maybe it's "really hard to get people out on Mt. Vernon" because morons like you perpetuate this idea that nothing happens up there (of course we know that since Mt. Vernon is part of GW, clearly "SOMETHING HAPPENS" there too, hehe). Seriously, so many people on both campuses bitch about how GW doesn't have any tradition or community spirit, so why are you denigrating the work of people who are trying really hard to do just that? I'm not even a freshman anymore and I still go up there to chill with friends and attend their special events precisely because it does feel like a "home" in a way that FB doesn't.

Case in point: I went up to the Vern for the semiformal, and it was pretty sweet. There weren't too many people, there was room to dance (something, I might add, you rarely find at those "uber trendy" clubs that the FB crowd packs on weekends), I saw lots of people I I knew, the DJ was spinning good songs, and the atmosphere was just right. There was nothing "middle school dance" about it. Frankly, going to dance where you know people and you aren't worried about a 35 year old man trying to get in your pants is oddly refreshing once in awhile.

Outside Gelman at 2AM and there are cars around? REALLY? Or is it just 4ride vans (which are way more inconvenient than the Vern express, by the way) and the pizza delivery guy? I'm sorry your "silent" journey from Ames to Eckles doesn't include a visit to your friends in Somers (I'm sure your attitude totally turns off anyone who lives on the Vern, so they wouldn't want to get to know you anyway), because you would find it far from quiet there most nights. I'm sorry the campus is just "too quiet." I could do with some of that when the VP's motorcade wakes me up at 7:30 AM, and I wouldn't mind seeing deer outside my window instead of rats and panhandlers.

I'm sorry you would "dread living there." But don't spoil it for everyone else.

I plan to take a serious look at house proctoring in Pelham when it opens-- I bet you can't imagine someone who wants to move from FB to the Vern. And I'm originally from a city too- Washington, DC.

Just some food for thought, Ames style.

wanderlust said...

Just another thought: I'm also from L.A. and I know enough to know how ambiguous that claim is. I don't know what part you're from but Los Angeles is essentially endless suburbia. Very people actually reside in the central city so I'm not sure what sort of comparison you're trying to make there.

This is kind of a trivial point in the sea of misinformed statements you made...

Liz said...

It's too hard to add to this stream of comments, but I have something I'd like to say which is more a general comment on The Vern as a topic of discussion.

Hating on The Vern begets hating on The Vern. If the campus has ever seriously offended you, go to someone's office and have your transgression reconciled. If you don't have a personal problem with The Vern, then stop reminding people that you don't like The Vern. Freshmen come, see The Vern, hear about the events that go on there, and ask to live on the campus. Then they move in and the moment they hit Foggy Bottom, they're told about how much the year is going to suck. Don't tell someone that their new home is a hell, especially if you know nothing about the place!

That is why it's hard to get kids out on The Vern or why it's hard to get Foggy Bottomers to see the campus in a better light. It's totally commonplace to talk about how much The Vern sucks. If you have any connection to The Vern and you meet someone at a party, I guarantee it's taken up the majority of your conversation. How deep of us.

There's nothing wrong with the place, and in the GW community, there's also nothing wrong with hating on it. Let's change that.

Nicole E. said...

First of all, I'd like to point out that I am not the hugest fan of the Vern. But even this article makes me angry at how ill-informed you are. Your views about the Vern are shaped by things you hear from other people. You even say that you "like making the occasional trip" and, based on my knowledge, occasional is next to never. Meaning, you NEVER go there. Only someone who has actually lived on the Vern or spent a great deal of time there could know enough about it to write this article.

You might think of yourself as a "city man," but a lot of GW students don't. Not everyone who enrolls at GW chooses to attend because of its urban location. In fact, many people actually choose to live on the Vern freshman year, because they are not quite ready for city life. Coming from a small town, I am one of those people. I love Washington, DC, but I like quiet nights, when all you hear is crickets and the occasional plane flying overhead. That's what I like to hear, not sirens and motorcades. And just because you live on the Vern doesn't mean you have to stay there all the time. The shuttle runs all day every day; you can leave whenever you want.

You make it seem like there is no interaction between Vern residents, but I find it to be the most close-knit community I have ever been a part of. Yes, I live on the Vern, and no, it is not the dreadful experience you claim it to be (when you've actually never lived there). I don't know about you, but I feel safe and comfortable with the people living around me, so much that I have no problem keeping my door unlocked (or walking around in a bathrobe for that matter). How many people can say that they know and interact with everyone in their hall, let alone in their building?

It seems that you mention various programs that the Vern has offered, but you did not attend any of them. Yet, you still critique them as though you did. I have made the "journey" you speak of from Ames to Eckles at 9pm, and there are "signs of life." In any case, if I'm going to the library, it's most likely because I need to study (that's what libraries are for), so I'd rather not get distracted by people I run into along the way. I actually prefer Eckles to Gelman because one, you have the chance to get to know the librarians on a personal level, and two, it's much quieter and less crowded. It is almost impossible to find a space to work in Gelman.

I have very little to say about GW moving all freshman housing to the Vern because that is just plain false. We all know that there is not enough space for that. Also, too many prospective freshmen have heard lies from people like you, convincing them that the Vern is a terrible place, and thus most likely would choose not to attend GW if it was their only option.

It really is unfortunate that the Vern doesn't have the constant traffic at all hours of the night, because you know, I'm sure everyone sleeps like babies with car horns and sirens in the background. Seriously, this article is so one-sided it is ridiculous; you make assumptions and claims with no real evidence. In regards to your comments about the semi-formal, my high school had a semi-formal, and I attended all four years. I was not aware that semi-formal actually meant "awkward middle school dance." Clearly, you were not willing to learn the difference.

Although the shuttle can be a hassle, it's free and riding provides a nice time to catch up with other people or just relax for a few minutes between classes. I've had my fair share of times missing the shuttle, but those mishaps have never once caused me much of a problem. If anything, having to make the daily commute teaches you how to schedule around it. If you miss the shuttle, get used to it; it happens to everyone and it's not the end of the world.

I agree with Madeleine Peckham in that there are people like Alex Larkin who are making an honest effort to create activities for Vern residents, to bring us even closer together as a community. This campus has only been a part of GW since 1999, so it makes sense that it doesn't already have traditions and annual events such that can be found on Foggy Bottom. These activities (along with the campus itself) are still a work in progress.

Although I will be living on Foggy Bottom next year, I am considering becoming a house proctor in the new Pelham. I have enjoyed my experience on Mount Vernon so far this year, and I can appreciate the fact that I am a member of only a small percentage of GW students who can say they have lived on the Vern.

And so, just like you can't write a valid review without having read the book or seen the movie, you can't write an article about life on the Vern if you've never lived there. A "city man" needs to leave the city before he can make proper judgment about the countryside. Next time, don't make an argument unless you actually have substantial facts and firsthand experience to back it up.

Don't let your negative attitude ruin it for people who actually might be interested in living on the Vern. They might miss out on a good experience.