The Forum

Commentary

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

Dear Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

When I saw my Facebook feed blow up with your logo on Wednesday, I at first thought it must be about something in relation to the Zika virus spreading into the United States. That would make sense, since that’s a public health crisis. But instead, I watched my friends share your announcement that women of reproductive age should not consume alcohol unless they’re on birth control.

Later that day, I saw the handy infographic you distributed that stated drinking too much for any women could result in injuries or violence, heart disease, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, fertility problems and unintended pregnancy.

First and foremost, arguing that women drinking too much can lead to unintended pregnancy and injuries or violence is an inaccurate and sexist statistic. The CDC defined drinking too much as “eight or more drinks per week, four or more drinks in two to three hours and any alcohol use under the age of 21.” But if a woman drinking in a social environment is not the cause of sexual violence or pregnancy. Rather, sex leads to pregnancy, and non-consensual sex is rape – a form of sexual violence. Your report also does not acknowledge that there are ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, like condoms.

But the sake of argument, let’s assume that you meant for this announcement to remind women that drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause birth defects. You say that more than 3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 risk exposing a fetus to alcohol because they drink, are sexually active and do not use birth control. But still, your argument is sexist, demeaning and ignores the struggles women face in society – especially college-aged women.

First of all, your infographic and report fail to acknowledge that before there’s a fetus, there has to be sex. But you still do not address men at all. That’s sexist.

Saying that sexually active women are putting their would-be children at risk by drinking without using birth control shows a general lack of understanding of contraception. Some women cannot take birth control pills for medical, religious or downright personal reasons. Many uninsured women don’t have access to affordable birth control or an intrauterine device. Plus condoms aren’t always effective, and women shouldn’t be the only party responsible for providing contraception.

Alcohol and planned sexual activity are not mutually exclusive. When I go to a party on my college campus, my first thoughts are not, “Did I take my birth control today?” or “I’m going to have sex tonight.”

This report could begin the slide down a slippery slope. Imagine a young woman going to a restaurant and ordering a glass of wine. If a waiter sees that woman is of reproductive age, or at least assumes her to be, could he ask for proof that she is on birth control?

CDC, your report isn’t wrong. Drinking during the first month of pregnancy can cause harm to the fetus. However, your messaging shifts the blame solely onto women. By implying that women should be on birth control and ignoring men, you have ignorantly furthered the argument that a woman has one purpose in life: to carry and birth a healthy child.

Sincerely,

An offended woman who has more to offer than a womb

Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor. 

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Varun Joshi, a senior double-majoring in economics and math, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

Technology in the classroom is a double-edged sword: Many are optimistic that it will enhance visual learning and student participation, while others lambast it as a major source of distraction.

Still, it’s an undeniable trend that professors are increasingly adding technology to lectures. Given this evolution in classroom education, professors should realize they have the potential to radically shift the student‒professor dynamic, enabling far more effective communication between both parties.

The best way to do this is through a smartphone app called nClass, which allows students more freedom to participate in lectures and a greater ability to talk to their instructors.

Reflecting on my freshman year brings back memories of large lecture halls, and the very real fear that even by the end of the semester, professors wouldn’t recognize me. I was, after all, just one name among 100 or 200. It was always difficult to catch an instructor’s attention during lecture – whether because it meant a battle against a sea of raised hands, or because of the long line of students eager to talk to the professor after class.

Large classes also tend to make students feel self-conscious, less willing to acknowledge confusion and afraid of asking the dreaded “dumb questions.” I recall times when I wished I could pose questions anonymously, rather than saying them out loud. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised this semester when one of my professors incorporated the smartphone app nClass into her lectures. Because I was comfortable expressing myself during classes, I also felt I was able to better understand her. Without nClass, I probably wouldn’t have been forthcoming about my confusion.

The app has multiple functions, including automatically tracking attendance and issuing quizzes. But nClass is better than a standard iClicker, which many classes also use. With nClass, students can send the professor private questions during lecture. The app’s interface also includes two emoticons – representing confusion and understanding – that students can touch at any time to provide instant and anonymous feedback on whether or not they need a concept repeated.

nClass also helps professors tailor their lectures to their students. While a professor can presumably pose iClicker questions that ask students to rank their comprehension of a lecture, the interaction still remains one-sided. The iClicker doesn’t encourage independent classroom participation nor does it improve students’ abilities to communicate with professors.

nClass is also a far more economical investment for students, since it costs just $4.99 in comparison to an iClicker, which usually costs more than $30. Plus, while it’s easy to forget to bring a laptop or an iClicker to class, few students would ever forget their smartphones.

Professors should capitalize on our use of smartphones and integrate them into lectures. Doing so would give them a more active and responsive classroom, and would help students feel comfortable asking questions.

Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Stefan Sultan, a freshman majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

For the last two years, once incoming freshmen finished settling in to their new residence halls on move-in day, buses have pulled up to take them to George Washington’s Mount Vernon for GW’s First Night, which celebrates Washington’s legacy. Yet at no time that night was there any mention of Mount Vernon being a plantation – home to 318 of the Washingtons’ slaves.

Although slavery ended more than 100 years ago, it hasn’t disappeared as a topic of conversation. Last month, the publishing company Scholastic made national headlines after publishing a children’s book about Washington’s “happy” slaves, who – with pride and smiles – made a birthday cake for their owner.

We’ve also seen debates over the names of buildings on college campuses, like at Georgetown and Yale universities, where students have begun to take issue with naming buildings or schools on campus after those who kept slaves.

At GW, University officials don’t try to hide Washington’s past, but GW must still do more to address it. The University could start by taking action to publicly remember the men and women Washington kept as slaves.

There are countless ways that the University could create a space for students to reflect on the past. For example, officials could place plaques on the busts and statues of Washington across campus that acknowledge the slaves he kept, or erect a monument in Kogan Plaza in their honor.

In the past, University President Steven Knapp has addressed diversity and race relations on campus, which he could take a step further by addressing this issue. Finding a way to honor Washington’s slaves through a monument or a memorial is an idea “consistent with that tradition and certainly worthy of a broad discussion,” Knapp said in an email.

Knapp also said that last year, GW hosted historian Philip Morgan, who is a black history professor at Johns Hopkins University. In 2011, GW was chosen as the site for author Toni Morrison’s Bench by the Road, a memorial to slavery and the civil rights movement, he said.

“The University has long encouraged open discussion of our namesake’s complex relationship to slavery,” Knapp said.

But while both of these are good examples, GW can do more to acknowledge Washington’s connection to slavery.

Washington is, like so many other historical figures, quite complicated. Of course, he did many incredible things – notably leading the American Revolution and becoming our country’s first president – that made him a part of our heritage. Those achievements are visible through the city and the school named after him. But at the same time he was a slave owner – a fact that cannot be dissociated from him or his legacy.

Ultimately, the University has to acknowledge and memorialize its namesake’s unpleasant history. It’s important that we remind students, faculty and visitors of the importance and complexity of our school’s heritage.

Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 11:01 p.m.

Op-ed: Open carry opens up new fears

Sara Schaeffer, a senior majoring in geography, is a member of Colonials Demand Action, a gun control advocacy group.

Here at GW, we face the same daily stresses and trials as most college students around the country do: the desire to belong, the need to balance schoolwork and sometimes, loneliness. When you add drugs, alcohol and other peer pressures to that mix, it can result in a very difficult time for students to get through. Now imagine facing that same strife while surrounded by firearms.

That’s exactly what students in states like Florida and Texas may soon have to do as officials debate proposals to allow concealed guns on campus. As their fellow college students, it is our responsibility to voice our support for the majority of people who oppose campus carry. Supporting the Second Amendment as well as a student’s right to an environment that inspires learning – not fear – are not mutually exclusive.

With NRA-backed legislators claiming that guns on campus are the answer to safety concerns, it’s crucial to remember the truth. Students, faculty and law enforcement all overwhelmingly oppose campus carry. Seventy-nine percent of students said they would not feel safe if other students, faculty members or visitors were allowed to bring concealed guns on campus.

The issue of gun violence is the most salient and visible that it has ever been. Across the country, candidates are addressing the need for reform. As the issue grows, it is increasingly hard to ignore. Congress’s disregard of gun violence prevention on college campuses proves that they are more interested in playing politics than representing their constituents.

The presence of firearms is not the solution to any of the problems students encounter during college. Don’t let it be the cause.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Laura Castro Lindarte, a freshman double-majoring in journalism and political science, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

Snow: You either love it or hate it. It’s beautiful, magical and can change any winter view from an ordinary one to a wonderland.

At my high school in the D.C area, snow didn’t just mean a snow day. Snow meant weeks of snow days followed by the cancellation of midterms and plenty of fun. But snow days are no longer fun and games to me. It already takes me an hour to travel to GW from Sterling, Va. every day, and snow is just another obstacle that makes that never-ending commute harder.

Snow is difficult for everyone, but no one is affected as much as those students, professors, administrators and staff that live far away from campus. These people have to deal with hours of traffic, a barely functioning Metro and even risk getting in car accidents just to get to their classes. GW needs to remember the obstacles commuter students face when deciding whether to cancel class or not.

Last weekend, the D.C. area faced one of the biggest snowstorms it’s seen in recent years. The District ended up with more than 20 inches of snow, making Winter Storm Jonas the fourth-largest snowstorm in the region since 1888.

Unfortunately for me, my home in Loudoun County – the same county where the Virginia Science and Technology Campus is located – received higher levels of snow than D.C., about 36 inches total. On days like that, I’m left with a hard reality: If GW chooses not to cancel class, I may have to find a way to get there.

Class was cancelled this past Monday, but not Tuesday. Instead GW opened at 10 a.m, which was not not very helpful for me. While plenty of professors cancelled classes on their own or allowed students to take the day off, my professor still said he was going to start class at the regular time, 9:35 a.m., to avoid having to have a make-up day.

Since the Silver Line was shut down, my dad had to drive me into the city. Opening school when the full Metro system is not yet up and running after the storm makes life difficult for the students, staff and faculty who have to commute in from areas outside of D.C.

Driving in D.C. with snow on the ground is extremely difficult, and frankly dangerous. Just last Wednesday, after only an inch of snow fell, there were about nine hours of traffic jams and more than 150 accidents. Imagine that traffic with several feet on the ground, and with every commuter that would normally take the Metro heading into the city. Now imagine having to travel during rush hour because you have to be in at school for your early morning class.

I understand that administrators may worry canceling class will limit the amount of material a professor can cover in a semester, and they have to weigh factors like whether or not it is safe to get to campus. Cancelling class may be a last resort, but the truth is, I’m not the only student that commutes a long way to get to class.

The decision to keep the University open after bad weather will undoubtedly force us out of the house into the icy roads. Of course, I’m not asking to cancel class at any little snowfall that appears, but next time D.C. sees a snow storm that shuts down the city, GW should really consider what is best for all students – not just those living on campus.

Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 11:00 p.m.

Editor’s note: Introducing personal essays

The Hatchet’s opinions section is introducing a new type of content. In addition to columns and blogs, we will begin publishing personal essays.

The Internet has afforded journalists and writers the ability to publish virtually anything, and personal essays have become a staple of online culture. Perhaps the most widely read are The New York Times’ Modern Love essays, which have become so popular, they inspired their own podcast. But you can find pieces about writers’ personal lives and experiences on almost any news organization’s website.

Through essays, our opinions writers will be sharing some of their stories and experiences – about identity, hardships, triumphs, relationships and more. They will write about things that are unique to us, as college students, at a point in our lives when we’re finding ourselves and confronting new ideas.

But these essays are also an opportunity to fill the opinions page with more diverse perspectives and voices from around the GW community. Much like letters to the editor and op-eds, we will be taking essay submissions from students. Anyone interested is welcome to submit their idea for consideration, but anonymous submissions will not be accepted.

Personal essays have the power to make us think about ourselves and our lives in a unique way. And writing about your personal life is an act of bravery in and of itself. Opening up to readers with the hope that they can relate is a huge risk, but many writers have done it successfully.

Some of my personal favorites deal with highly personal issues. In “I choose to be fat,” Laura Bogart explores her struggle with her appearance, and how she now embraces her body to fight back against societal expectations. In “Swearing Off the Modern Man,” Jochebed Smith wonders what it means to be “chill” while dating in the 21st century, and considers how social media affects our love lives. In “I Don’t Know What to Do With Good White People,” Brit Bennett wrestles with her feelings about her white acquaintances who want to assure others that they’re such good people because they aren’t racist.

The goal of introducing personal essays into The Hatchet’s opinions section is to diversify the content we put out into the world. It’s easy to believe that as college students, we’re too young for others to see our feelings and experiences as legitimate. But our stories are important – and we should share them.

And if you’re interested in sharing your own story, feel free to submit an idea for a personal essay here. We look forward to hearing your voice and what you have to say.

Sarah Blugis, a senior majoring in political communication, is The Hatchet’s opinions editor.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 10:23 p.m.

There’s a place for Netflix in the classroom

Nate Muramatsu, a freshman majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

Technology is a staple in the modern classroom. Laptops and smartphones have saturated today’s lecture halls, and no class is complete without a PowerPoint presentation. In response, professors have been finding more creative and effective ways to teach their students.

For example, professors can ask students to use apps on their smartphones to participate in class, or to post in online discussion forums. Many homework assignments must be submitted online, and some professors even teach their students by using YouTube videos or social media platforms.

However, there’s something extraordinarily prevalent in the life of the average college student that professors have yet to exploit: Netflix. Most people see Netflix as purely an entertainment tool, used for binge-watching shows like “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” in just a few weeks. But professors should consider the platform’s educational value and start assigning shows or documentaries on Netflix for homework.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had a professor that’s done this. But I think it would help some students feel much more comfortable contributing to discussions if the topic was something they learned about by watching Netflix, as opposed to yet another dense reading that they may have skipped. This would likely lead to better participation grades, and a better theoretical understanding of a course’s main ideas. Plus, each student has a radically different learning style and professors should plan accordingly. For visual learners like me, watching show on Netflix would help me retain information better than reading a book.

There are plenty of documentaries – covering science, social issues and politics – on Netflix that would be helpful in certain classes. For example, the true crime series “Making a Murderer” offers a shocking level of insight into our criminal justice and legal system and raises questions about the effectiveness of the courts and police departments. It could offer important insights for a criminal justice or sociology class.

But more entertaining shows have value, too. Popular dramas like “House” or “Dexter” force us to think about morality, and whether or not beneficial outcomes in the long run justify detrimental decisions in the short term. These shows in particular would work well in a philosophy, economics or University Writing class because students are challenged to think critically about the world. Dexter, a serial killer who only murders other serial killers who escape justice, must decide if taking matters into his own hands is a better decision than to turn these people over to the authorities. House is a medical doctor who saves the lives of his patients by any means necessary, and he makes very ethically questionable decisions in order to do so.

We often explore moral questions in our classes, and Netflix gives professors thousands of examples to illustrate these dilemmas. It may be unconventional, but it’s time to give it a try. Netflix is more than just for fun: It can be a learning tool, too. It may get students more excited about their classes – and it may teach professors a thing or two, as well.

Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Bonnie Morris is a professor of women’s studies.

In late November, as I prepared to head home for Thanksgiving, I was summoned to a meeting with the directors of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Since it’s been a very good year for me – three book releases, seven articles, literary prizes, all classes overenrolled – I hoped for recognition: a promotion or a raise.

Instead, I learned that my teaching contract will not be renewed after this year. My colleague Todd Ramlow received similar stunning news.

We have serious grievances about the process we experienced and the message it sends to our students. At a University with a majority female enrollment and a substantial LGBT presence, we question the symbolism of dismissing the two long-time instructors who built enrollment in the women’s studies major and the LGBT minor.

I am grateful for the opportunity to address the chilly winds of change. And I direct these words to my beloved students – the men and women, LGBT, black and white, Pakistani and Latina, Arab and Jewish, Native American and Korean, returning military veteran and teenager, Democrat and Republican, learning-challenged and living with cancer – who as individuals made the bold decision to take a women’s history course in college. You are one of more than 6,000 Colonials it’s been my privilege to mentor since 1994.

For 22 years, this campus has been my home. I am not a typical adjunct. Throughout most of the past two decades, I have taught five women’s history classes a year – an overload even for a full-time professor – on a three-quarter time contract, with a half-time salary pay. By accepting this mathematical challenge, I received unequal pay for an overload of work.

My reward has been total immersion in my chosen field, women’s history, and daily interaction with dynamic students. I played for the love of the game, as my student athletes might say, never expecting to get rich. I dug in, learning to live big on a budget. And when fan mail arrived from First Lady Michelle Obama in response to my book about teaching GW students, I knew that the White House valued my efforts.

There’s no price that can be attached to loving what you do, or to the joy of spending each day as an adult intellectually engaged to capacity. Every day I leap out of bed and run two miles downhill from my Connecticut Avenue apartment to Foggy Bottom, glad to greet your smiles. Every fall, the first day of Women in Western Civilization signals the start of something special – the coming together of a diverse crowd of (mostly) first-year students who gain a safe space to look at women in world history.

Every spring I walk into graduation ceremonies awash in pride with seeing you complete your education – an education which included scholarship on how our differing foremothers overcame obstacles and challenges. There is no greater honor than calling myself your teacher in these times. When violence, race-baiting and intimate assault threaten our dignity and focus, the classroom must be a warm space of hope which transcends hate.

In reading your first tentative papers on the history of the world, I find comfort in your questions, resilience in your solutions and refreshment in your humor.

It takes courage now to rise each day and walk to campus after being made to feel expendable, rather than prized, by an administration I have served from age 33 to 55. But courage is a quality Todd Ramlow and I know well, as faculty who have shared LGBT history (and the example of our own lives) with students in search of lesbian and gay role models.

As I quote Sappho every fall, “Some one in some future time will think of us.” I quote Abigail Adams, too: “If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion.”

Thank you for the many concerned emails and inquiries you have sent as we all continue this difficult dialogue about GW’s future. Know that that you are unique, valued and loved for who you are, and you can raise your voice. So, raise high.

Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Robin Jones Kerr is a 2015 alumna and The Hatchet’s former opinions editor.

I’m writing in response to the story, “Two positions in women’s studies cut as budget troubles continue” by Ellie Smith (Jan. 13, online).

I’m ashamed to admit it now, but when Dr. Bonnie Morris walked into our Women in Western Civilization class on the first day of my freshman year, I inwardly groaned.

“Well, hello!” she called out, thumping a massive bag of textbooks down onto the desk at the front of the room. She whipped off the multi-colored scarf she was wearing and spread it over the podium, commenting that she wanted to brighten up our dingy Funger Hall room just a bit.

“Oh god,” I thought, seconds after Dr. Bon – her universal campus nickname – walked into the room. “Here’s one of those professors that’s gonna try to bond with me.”

I had seen “Dead Poet’s Society” and “Take the Lead” and “Sister Act 2” and “Freedom Writers.” I knew how this story went: Misfit teacher finds unlikely ways to bond with hardened, callous students and everyone’s lives are changed forever.

I clenched my jaw and rolled my eyes because even as a 17-year-old freshman sitting in one of my first-ever college classes, I was cynical. I didn’t think a single professor in a giant lecture course could or would have any real impact on me as a person.

But the truth is, those hokey, inspirational movies are based on something real. Sometimes, there really are teachers who find a way to connect with you on a personal level, who affect your growth and development as a student and, ultimately, as a person. Dr. Bon was one of those teachers, and I’d wind up taking three of the classes she taught during my time at GW as a women’s studies minor.

A university’s finances are a complicated thing, and it’s understandable that cuts have to be made somewhere in order to keep a school afloat. But not inviting Dr. Bon back to teach next semester in order to save a bit of cash shows just how deeply out of touch GW is with the needs and wants of its students.

After teaching at GW for more than 20 years, Dr. Bon has touched countless lives, including mine. Failing to let her continue on as a professor and mentor means GW is failing its students, and I hate to think what future generations of students will miss out on without her.

In Women and Western Civilization, Dr. Bon opened my eyes to how the women’s movement isn’t just a modern phenomenon, but one that’s rooted in structures of power and gender that were established centuries ago. She taught us about ancient warrior queens, witches and midwives, the women who worked for the abolition of slavery, and, soon after, for their own right to vote.

In Women and War, Dr. Bon revealed for us an untold underside of history: the women who waged, supported, fought and ended our world’s greatest battles. In Athletics and Gender, Dr. Bon broke down how constructions of masculinity imbue modern sports, and made her students – more than half of whom were GW varsity athletes – question the very structures of the sports they played.

And each semester, on the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Dr. Bon set aside time to discuss the events of that day with her class. She was on campus that morning when terrorists flew a plane into the Pentagon building just a few miles from her classroom, and she would spend the next weeks and months emotionally supporting her students, many of whom hailed from New York or New Jersey, and some of whom lost loved ones in the attacks.

Dr. Bon is an institution, but not just because of what she did when times were tough. On a daily basis, Dr. Bon was a phenomenal teacher at a school where academics often seemed overshadowed by fundraising campaigns or lofty research goals. She was happy to help you land a career-changing internship, but first and foremost, she devoted herself to making sure students left her class with a greater appreciation of history, gender, culture and society than they had when they joined.

It’s been more than four years since my rocky start in Dr. Bon’s class freshman year. In the weeks that followed, my cynical perspective would start to melt away – and I’m so glad it did. I let Dr. Bon, her superior teaching ability and her loyal friendship into my life, and she stayed close for my entire undergraduate career, shaping me into the feminist, writer and thinker I am today.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

David Meni, a graduate student studying urban policy in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, is a Hatchet opinions writer.

It’s time we retire the phrase, “D.C. is a transient city.” I’m sure you’ve heard it said around the District and on campus, or have even said it yourself. This city’s “transience” – the notion that people come here to work for a few years and then move on to where they’ll spend the rest of their lives – is a common stereotype.

Some people may be simply peeved by the repetition of the phrase, but there are bigger problems. Calling all of D.C. ephemeral is not only wrong, but it also ignores communities that have been here for generations and the people who have chosen to make this city their home. As students who live here for a least a few years, it’s important that we not simply dismiss D.C. with one sweeping statement – a statement, it turns out, that is largely false.

It might be easy to label D.C. as a transient place based on our own experience as college students, or given how many interns pour into the District each summer. There’s also the running joke that nobody is really “from D.C.” However, proving the level of transience in a city turns out to be a difficult task. Since the D.C. metropolitan area includes Maryland, Virginia, D.C., and even West Virginia, someone moving from Foggy Bottom to Silver Spring would technically be moving out of state, even though they are staying in the same area. Most other cities don’t have this measurement problem.

A WAMU report about a study of D.C. tax data released last year seemed to confirm that most new residents don’t stay in the city for long. It also showed that most of the people who stayed here were married and had high incomes. However, by only using data from tax filings from D.C. and not the rest of the region, they failed to capture nuances of regional migration.

When looking at U.S. census housing data, which tracks how long people have lived in a state, the numbers show that people in D.C. are hardly more or less transient than people in similar cities. About 60 percent of people currently living in the D.C. metro area have lived here for six years or more. Based on census measures, the District is actually less transient than cities like Boston or San Francisco, which both have higher mobility rates.

On top of being untrue, calling this city a temporary home to people who actually live elsewhere and will move elsewhere is both unfair and belittling to people across D.C. Many of the city’s more permanent residents live in black, Hispanic and other minority communities. Repeating, “D.C. is a transient city,” actively labels those communities as somehow less important.

It’s interesting that the notion of transience seems to be so commonly held by students in the D.C. area. To me, it seems widely accepted that college students in the District tend to stick around more often than students in other places – whether that means living here during summers or settling here for at least a few years post-graduation.

Some colleges and universities actually have a major problem with having their students leave in haste. Consider the typical college town, or even a group of colleges in northeastern Pennsylvania that commissioned a study of how to prevent this “brain drain.”

As students and current residents of this city, it’s important to discuss why this idea of transience seems to persist. Many of us will only experience D.C. as students. But describing this city as just a temporary pit stop demeans people from Foxhall to Congress Heights who either have lived here for much of their lives or who have recently chosen to plant their roots.

Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.

  • Permalink
  • Comments