Thursday, February 22, 2007

Some Girls are Bigger than Others.

I don't see where it says that on the site. If are indeed going to do that with the money, I think it's a noble cause and I said as much in the blog. As of now, though, I don't see any mention of it on that site. I see that the 3rd, 4th and 5th are being auctioned off for charity, but see no mention of what the money for number one and two is being used for. One could assume that it is going to charity, but my motto for assumptions is that it makes an ass out of u and me.

It's great that the money goes to charity, but as usual, there are a few problems:

Transparency at GW. They make no clear mention of where the money goes. Why not? Wouldn’t a school like GW love the publicity that giving this money to charity would bring? Don’t tell me that this school doesn’t like to honk it’s own horn—it trumpets every little thing on the GW site and sends home numerous pamphlets to our parents bragging about every little thing done on campus.

Money. Again: fine, it goes to charity, but there are a lot of kids who are being priced out of having a fair shot in the housing lottery because of this lottery. The money goes towards charity, but it is not a fair system at all. Don’t call it a “random draw” if you can BUY THE RIGHTS TO THE FIRST FIVE SLOTS. The school offers ways for students to get better housing without paying more money, and I think that this is admirable. We live in Building JJ this year because we put in a proposal for a Living and Learning Community. The proposal was thirty pages long and done during midterms. If students are willing to put in the work in exchange for better housing, fine. Many students do apply for LLCs.

But how is a system that prices out the University’s own students even fathomable? The school is run as a corporation and sells out to the highest bidder. I'm not being a poor sport about the housing lottery--I have no idea what my number is and have no intention to find out. I would have no problem with having the first, second, third, fourth and fifth slots randomly given away to students, though. Wait! That's what is supposed to happen!

And to the comment about living near school: it’s a law in Washington D.C. that all universities must house their freshmen and sophomores on campus. We cannot commute or live in cheaper, “off-campus” housing because we are prevented by law from doing so. We should be given a fair shake.

I’m not complaining about the prices that we pay for housing, I’m complaining about the fact that some students can bypass the system that the school calls “random” by being the highest bidder. I understand that money makes the world go ‘round, but it’s unfair to treat one student who is paying the same amount of money (in theory—if one forgets about scholarships and financial aid) worse than a student who comes from a richer family. All students are supposed to be equal. At GW, though, some students are more equal than others.

But it goes to charity! But someone is still bypassing what is supposed to be a system that favors no one by paying money to the school, who will then give the money to a charity (supposedly—there is surprisingly little mention of this).

We all pay some exorbitant and obscene amount of money for tuition. We should all be treated the same. I guess I'm too naive to think such a thought.

Morrissey, lead singer of the Smiths, once sang:

"Some girls are bigger than others
Some girls' mothers are bigger than
Other girls' mothers"

Morrissey sang it as a sad fact of life. GW, though, decided to switch out "are bigger than" for "have more money", made it their motto and are doing their damnedest to capitalize on it.