George Washington Slipped Here

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Were he alive today, the father of our country might look askance at the city, and especially the university in it, that bears his name. But if career politicians were something of an alien life form to the citizen-statesmen, some of the denizens of George Washington University might look like another set of extra-terrestrials altogether.

“Twenty students, including six GW students, were arrested at about 4 p.m. Friday for protesting on White House property without a permit as a part of the World AIDS Day rally,” Juliette Dallas-Feeney wrote in a story posted on the GW Hatchet online edition on December 4th. “The students dressed themselves as needles, pill bottles and doctors with coats stating ‘Missing Doctors.’”

“They were released quickly after their arrest, said Global AIDS Campaign Chapter Leader Lindsay Wheeler, who was one of the arrested students.” This was definitely not covered in Washington’s Rules of Civility and Conduct.

And what would the General have made of some of GWU’s guest lecturers, such as the rapper Ludacris? “Rapper Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges discussed AIDS prevention with 400 students in the Marvin Center Friday for the YouthAIDS ‘Kick Me’ campaign,” Nathan Grossman wrote in the Hatchet in a story that was also posted on December 4th.
“‘I’m here to save lives,’ said the Grammy-winning artist and actor Friday, which was World AIDS Day.”

He delivers an altogether different message in some of his hit singles, such as the million-seller Move B—-: “Move, b—-, get out the way, get out the way b—-, get out the way, Move b—-, get out the way, get out the way b—-, get out the way.” The funding for his appearance was raised by fraternities on campus.

Into this mix steps the new president of GWU—Steven Knapp. Knapp succeeds outgoing president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg who said at GWU commencement exercises a couple of years ago, “If anyone has a mortarboard, you can move your tassels from right to left, right to left, which is what I hope happened to your politics in the last four years.”

Knapp comes to the GWU post from a stint at Johns Hopkins where students recently created a controversy by hosting a campus party on All Souls Day. “A Johns Hopkins University fraternity that sponsored a Halloween party publicized with an invitation appealing to racial stereotypes has been found guilty of breaking university rules and was placed Monday on social probation until January 2008, according to a statement from the school,” WBAL Radio reported on November 20. “The Sigma Chi chapter is barred from hosting parties and holding other social activities during its probation.”

“ Sigma Chi has also has been ordered to recruit four adult advisers, two alumni and two non-alumni, and to incorporate a diversity component into its new members program, including four on-campus cultural events and four off-campus cultural events.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.