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George Washington University

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Your time at GW really depends on what

Feb 23 2004Anthropology
Your time at GW really depends on what you make it...but you have to work hard to make it worthwhile. Take internships, get jobs outside the city, take classes at the Smithsonian, do research projects and you might get something worthwhile out of it. If not, good like.

The students here are pretty much numbers to the administration. Getting any sort of paperwork done is made so difficult that apparently simply things (registering for classes, renewing financial aid) are made impossibly difficult. Few decisions appear to be made with student welfare in mind. Everywhere you look you see your money being thrown down the drain to make the school look better-- though not really improve it in any meaningful way.

The students here, I have found, are of two sorts: brilliant kids who got into better school but are here because of the generous financial aid and lazy idiots who are here because they couldn't get in anywhere better. Seek out the former if you want to meet anyone interesting.

The faculty here (with a few notable exceptions) I have found to be excellent, and sympathetic to the problems the students experience. They seem to be equally frustrated by the adminitration and with the fact that there is pressure to "dummy down" their classes. If you can get to know them, however, it can be a rewarding experience-- many of them have jobs outside the school, however, which can make it tricky to track them down outside of class.

The campus is both very safe and very dangerous. It is safe in that there are fairly decent security features in the dorms, policemen who patrol the streets and shuttles to take you back and forth between the dorms. However, while your chances of being mugged by a complete stranger are pretty slim, watch out if you're the victim of a member of the student body, because justice here is incredibly aribitrary. In the two years I have been here I have seen someone who sexually assualted someone on his floor (to which there were three witnesses) get off the hook, one student with two ounces of pot expelled and another let go with know charges, and all other sorts of disciplinary shenanagins. The rule seems to be that if Mommy and Daddy are well connected and your paying full tutition, you can do whatever the hell you please.

The dorms are beautiful, but God help you if you need anything fixed. It took me four weeks of calling every day to get them to replace my microwave, in an apartment I am paying 1300 dollars a month to live in. I could get a cheaper place in the building across the street.

In total, if you can get in somewhere better and you can afford it, go there. If you can't afford it or your an idiot, come here.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2006
Campus Aesthetics: A, Individual Value: F

Some of the faculty in my major --

Dec 09 2003Other
Some of the faculty in my major -- International Affairs -- are fairly unapproachable and difficult to reach. They regularly leave their classes to TAs to teach as they pursue their other activities outside of GW. They seem much busier with non-teaching projects than seems acceptable for such a very expensive school.

There is also a significant amount of difficulty in getting decent housing here. Though housing is guaranteed -- it is far from "dorms like palaces" . The room I live in was meant for two students, and there are four of us living here.

1st Year Female -- Class 2007
Surrounding City: A, Faculty Accessibility: D-

I have not even begun the second semester

Dec 26 2003Other
I have not even begun the second semester of my freshman year and I, along with many other freshman, are looking at other schools to transfer to. My experience at GW has been a horrendous mixture of redtape, terrible TAs, professors who are about as approachable and easy to find as Dick Cheney, spawn of Satan classmates, incompetent registrar workers, and a bizarre social atmosphere in DC, especially Georgetown that is somewhat reminiscient of the pre - Civil War south.GW promised an intellectually challenging environment, with a diverse student population.What crap. At the orientation I was shocked at the lack of diversity. There are little to no Hispanic,Black, or Asian students. If you are desperate to meet overprivileged, snotty, arrogant, lazy Caucasian suburban kids from NJ, Westchester or Long Island then GW is the school for you. Good lord, whoever thought that randomly putting together freshman in the hottest days of summer in DC was a good idea? First of all my CI group was terrible, they were all jerks except for my CI group leader. No one needs to spend 3 days trying to figure out how to register online either. What a waste of time and money (just like everything else here.) The night before move in day i was informed only by one email that my room and roommate had changed! Had I not checked my email before leaving i would have moved into the wrong room and with the wrong roommate! On campus i found people to be narrow minded and lazy. In one class I was preparing to take a midterm for that class, and told the girl next to me that I was nervous. Another student commented on what I said saying that you don't need to study anything like in highschool, because "this is college." What the hell does that mean?! Little did I know that this comment would encapsulate much of what it means to "study" at GW. In my Economics 11 class with Prof.D, I quickly learned I would be "done" with my college career if I kept registering in classes like this. First of all my TA doesn't speak english; consequently all my notes from my discussion sessions are in broken english, and my TA could not answer any questions. My TA also NEVER gave any problem sets or graphs and worksheets because he claimed that he doesn't know what the questions on the test will be, so basically why bother? My professor then held th eclass accountable for all the chapters on the syllabus regardless whether he taught them or not, then announced he would be leaving for Europe and would not even teach the last class! For the last class a grad student who i had never seen or met before taught us. For the final, I learned in one day what i should have learned in a semester from fellow students who were better teachers than my professor and TA combined. This class has made me hate Econ, the learning environment at GW, and my major. Also, fear group work or projects at GW. So far, every group project i have been involved with, the other students have been lazy,incompetent, and rude and rarely if ever contribute to the task at hand. Stay AWAY from the registrar's office. This year the registration for spring '04 was completely messed up. THey did not open up the classes for registration on time and possibly the caps on the classes. I went to see a registrar official, and when told her I had problems registering, possibly due to the Registrar Office, her response was, "well, that's possible. I wasn't here, i left early for Thanksgiving vacation." So, let me try to understand; you are the REGISTRAR and you left to sip mai tais in Bermuda while I was slaving away at school at GW while the entire undergrad population was registering? What the hell is the matter with this school?! Of course, no one corrected the my registration problems, the registration system, or double checked to make sure the Registrar office properly did their job. Great. Also, if you grew up in an urban environment, like any of the boroughs or towns in New York like Jamaica where you interacted with people of different races and religion on an everyday basis, and people have real problems beware of the social atmosphere in DC. You will rarely if ever see Hispanic or people of African descent working as anything other than maids or menial jobs. If you do not look like a rich, white Southern socialite you will most likely be ignored by sales people in georgetown, or trailed by security there as they guard there store from nice college students who do not look like a rich, white Southern socialite.The cafeteria workers at j street are the worst. The first time i went to home zone, one of them actually said to me "WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?" You will be fascinated and annoyed by their extreme hatred of their job, their abilityto roll their eyes while serving you your mashed potatoes, and then still be able to say "your welcome" and "thank you" when you pay. Also, a word on the elliott school; ok, one word OVERCROWDED. So many students, that when i said i needed to meet with my advisor because of registration problems, i could only meet with him AFTER registration! Lastly, those weird statues are masonic symbols;who knows who paid for them.I wish I had been a better student in highschool so i wouldn't have had to end up in this situation and deal with this. I am most disappointed with the intellectual atmosphere of this school; i have learned nothing from my teachers and fellow students that is new or interesting. in fact, in some classes the teachers ask me about what we are supposed to be learning. I am frustrated and upset beyond belief. I feel like I don't have anywhere to go to. I am scared that I will not be able to learn or grow, and that is my biggest fear here, not grades or money. If i could tell prospective students one thing, it would be to STAY AWAY from this school; it is a blackhole that will eat up your money, individuality, self - esteem, intelligence, and spirit. If you are not a grade grubber like many students here you may or may not do well; if you take my advice and go somewhere else i commend you for doing something which i myself was not wise enough to do.
1st Year Female -- Class 2007
Perceived Campus Safety: B, Education Quality: F
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