- Peter KonwerskiSenior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
Stop limiting the freedoms of students when it comes to housing
Students recently learned, through a Hatchet post, that the GWU administration will soon implement a new policy that would threaten the freedoms of students who live off campus, targeting the Greek Community in particular. Additionally, an even more recent post points out that the GWU administration is considering expanding the jurisdiction of UPD officers so they can ask for your GWORLD at any off campus private residence. These new rules come only weeks after the administration announced a new policy that would require juniors to live on campus.
GWU has a deteriorating relationship with the Foggy Bottom Community, much of which stems from their recent construction and their aggressive lobbying to have that construction approved by community officials. The neighbors are understandably upset. GWU’s solution for improving this relationship is to transfer the burden of their own policies to the students. GW students have played no role in the decisions that led to the surrounding community’s angst, yet they bear the brunt of efforts to repair it. Once again, GWU demonstrates its priorities are not students but rather its expanding DC empire.
With these new rules in place, GWU has granted itself authority to:
-Collect addresses for all Greek life members living off campus, and withhold registration status from students who violate this policy
-Create an online complaint form for neighbors
-Decrease the strikes needed before taking disciplinary action
And if passed by the DC Council in September, this new authority would expand UPD officer’s power to students’ off-campus residences.
The GWU administration has gone about this process all wrong, for several key reasons:
-A policy that singles out one specific group of students and imposes restrictions on them that others do not have is wrong. History tells us policies predicated on such an obvious bias have not ended well, especially in today’s world where fairness, equality and justice are expected values that large institutions with power, like GW, should reflect. The Greek Community does not deserve to be the scapegoat for GW’s issues with the surrounding community.
-The GW mission statement says: "The University values a dynamic student-focused community stimulated by cultural and intellectual diversity and built upon a foundation of integrity, creativity, and openness to the exploration of new ideas.” The recent actions taken by GW have taken voice and consent away from the students, and have contradicted it's stated mission of creating a "student-focused community stimulated by...openness to the exploration of new ideas." By pushing these recent rules through during the summer, when a large portion of GW's student community is outside of DC, the GW administration has plainly shown that their priority is not the students but rather another, self-interested agenda. This process is not one of an organization that puts its students first.
This new policy affects all of us, and this petition serves as the first step in making our voices heard. By signing this petition, you join other in asking that before these policies are unilaterally implemented, GW engage in a conversation with representatives from the student body to come to a more reasonable, fair alternative.
- Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
The latest policy changes affect students and it's wrong that the administration used the summer time to push these policies through with little, to no, student input.
We want our voices heard and want the discrimination against greek life to stop.
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