Washington, DC
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4 College Sophomore

Facilities: All the buildings are pretty nice and the library is spacious! The athletic center new and they have a great cafe inside for healthy snack options.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Since it is a city campus you get to feel like you're living in a huge city but also feel safe because you know exactly where campus starts and stop.s

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Everything is close by and very convenient

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Best kind of city life

4 College Freshman

Facilities: GW's student life is very good - many students are involved in clubs and student organizations, whether it's greek life, a varsity sport, or our people watching club. Our sports may not be D1 sports, but we still have a lot of school spirit and very good facilities for our athletes. The main campus library just got renovated and is extremely useful, there are countless computers and study spaces for the students. In addition, it's connected to the campus Starbucks (open 24/7), which is very useful when one is studying into the wee hours of the night. Furthermore, GW is always planning an event for the students to enjoy - puppies in the park as part of finals relief, hoagies with the Dean, pancakes with the Provost, you name it!

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 284th
    Greenest Campuses
  • 1066th
    Best Student Centers
  • 1260th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 1270th
    Best Performance Venues
  • 1379th
    Best Library

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

David Glidden
Fuquay-Varina, NC
International Affairs (Spanish minor)
View all previous student authors

GW students have always griped that the University spends too much money on facilities and goes overboard when renovating or building new structure, but no one complains when using brand new equipment in these multimillion-dollar structures. In the past decade, GW built homes for the School of Media and Public Affairs and the Elliott School of International Affairs, which cost about $100 million altogether. The campus also built a fantastic gym, the Lerner Health and Wellness Center, dubbed the “Hell Well” by students. It has cardiovascular machines, a weight room, racquetball courts, and a swimming pool. Despite an adequate number of machines, the lines can be quite lengthy during peak times.

Overall, students are pleased with GW’s facilities. The only facilities on campus in poor condition are certain classrooms. Rooms in the Academic Center, where several classes are held, are rather rundown with small desks and wobbly chairs. Corcoran Hall, home to the Science Departments and laboratories, has outdated and inadequate laboratories and equipment, and University officials have said they would like to renovate the building. The newer buildings, however, are gorgeous. Each time the University builds a new facility, it’s top-of-the-line and pleasing to the eye.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
43 acres
Student Centers
The Marvin Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
2 undergraduate libraries
Popular Places to Chill
  • The Fishbowl student lounge
  • The Hippodrome
  • In front of the Marvin Center
  • J Street
  • Kogan Plaza
  • University Yard
Bar on Campus
  • Lindy's Red Lion next to the 2000 Penn complex
  • Tonic at Quigley's at G and 21st Streets.
  • WOW Wingery on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center also serves alcohol.
Bowling on Campus
Tthe Hippodrome on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center
Coffeehouse on Campus
Starbucks in the Gelman Library and in the 1959 E St. residence hall
Movie Theater on Campus
No, but the Program Board often sponsors free, recently released movies on University Yard or in the Marvin Center.
School Slang
  • 2000 Penn: GW's closest thing to a mall, located at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
  • 4-RIDE: The University Police Department on-campus safety shuttle service that runs at night
  • ABP: Au Bon Pain, the French bakery/cafe in 2000 Penn.
  • Big George/George: GW's two Colonial mascots
  • CCAS: Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
  • CDs and CRs: The College Democrats and College Republicans student organizations
  • CI: Colonial Inauguration, GW's freshman orientation program.
  • Club G: The Gelman Library during finals-everyone who is anyone is there.
  • Colonial Cash: GW's meal plan.
  • CRN: Course Registration Number, the five-digit number that identifies a course, used when you register.
  • EMeRG: Emergency Medical Response Group, a 24-hour, student-employed medical service.
  • ESIA: Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Fall Fest and Spring Fling: Outdoor concerts/festivals sponsored by the student-run Program Board.
  • GCRs: General Curriculum Requirements, the required lower-level introductory classes
  • The GW Hatchet: The independent student newspaper.
  • GWID: The student identification number
  • GWireless: Wireless Internet system found throughout campus
  • GWorld: GW's ID card.
  • Hell Well: The Lerner Health and Wellness Center, the GW gym
  • Hippo: GW's unofficial mascot.
  • Hippodrome: Fifth floor of the Marvin Center, with bowling, billiards, and Big Burger.
  • House Proctors, House Scholars, and House Mentors: Older in-dorm student advisers for freshmen, sophomores, and upperclassmen, respectively, similar to a Resident Adviser at other college campuses.
  • HOVA: Hall on Virginia Avenue.
  • J Street: GW's food court on the first floor of the Marvin Center.
  • Kogan Plaza: The outdoor area in the center of campus.
  • Manouch: GW's favorite hot dog vendor, comes out late on weekend nights next to the Marvin Center
  • Metro: The DC subway system
  • MPD: Metropolitan Police Department.
  • PB: Program Board, GW's student programming organization.
  • Pizza I: Pizza Italia, the pizza restaurant across from Thurston Hall
  • ResNet: Internet connection service in the dorms
  • SA: The Student Association, GW's student government.
  • SEAS: School of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • Sexiled: Getting kicked out of your room when your roommate is gettin' busy.
  • SJS: Student Judicial Services.
  • SMPA: School of Media and Public Affairs.
  • STAR: Student Admissions Representative, a campus tour guide.
  • UPD: University Police Department.
  • U-Yard: University Yard, the biggest patch of grass on campus and frequent hang-out spot during nice weather
  • The Vern: The Mount Vernon Campus
  • Commencement on the National Mall: Unless there are severe weather conditions, GW students graduate on the National Mall in front of the Washington Monument every year. Ending your four years at GW at this prestigious spot is beautiful and memorable.
  • Late-night trips to the monuments: When it's a quiet, warm night, students love hanging out at the monuments. Whether with a date (it's a really romantic spot) or a group of friends, nothing compares to staring at the reflecting pool from the top steps of the Lincoln Memorial at 2 a.m.
  • Martha's Marathon: Every February since 1966 the Residence Hall Association has raffled and auctioned off the best rooms on campus to raise money for the University scholarship fund.
  • Midnight Breakfast: Each fall and spring during finals, the University hosts a midnight breakfast at the Marvin Center. Students race to get in line for eggs, tater tots, muffins, and fruit. There are also games and activities throughout the Marvin Center to help students de-stress.
  • Spring Break: Whether partying on the beaches of Cancun or Mexico or backpacking around Europe, most GW students take advantage of spring break to get out of DC with their GW friends. There are several special student deals to places in and out of the country. The most popular spots are the Bahamas, Florida, Jamaica, and Mexico. Get ready for a week of drunken madness.
Urban Legends
  • Students cannot access the roof of Thurston Hall because Secret Service does not allow it, given its close proximity to the White House.
  • The construction of Funger Hall was funded by the Shah of Iran."
  • Thurston Hall is said to be one of the most sexually active dorms in the country.
  • Touching the Hippo in front of Lisner Auditorium will apparantly¬†bring you good luck.
Favorite Things To Do
Although GW is located directly in the heart of Washington, on-campus activities add to the feeling of campus unity and college lifestyle. The majority of the events on campus are organized by student organizations. Students can enjoy free movie screenings, plays, and musical performances. In addition, the College Republicans or College Democrats often invite well-known political figures to give lectures on campus, at which there is usually standing room only. Between classes, most students hang out in Kogan Plaza or University Yard, two of the few semi-grassy areas on campus, or in J Street, the student center's dining and seating area. There are also GW basketball games, comedy shows, cultural festivals and celebrations, and countless other activities every week on campus. In the warmer months, Fall Fest and Spring Fling are student favorites. Put on by the student-run Program Board, the two events are a day's worth of concerts, games, and free food. In the past few years, OK Go, Ben Folds, and Jason Mraz have all performed either in University Yard or in the Smith Center, where GW basketball games are played, at the invitation of the Program Board. Up-and-coming acts often play in the Marvin Center or Lisner Auditorium. Kogan Plaza is often host to various outdoor activities all year long.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The GW Hatchet
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
Since organizations are constantly re-registering their statuses with GW, the most up-to-date information can be found online in the "Directory of Student Orgs."
Student Activities Offered
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: No

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 73 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 5 responses

  • 44% Late-night trips to the monuments
  • 22% Commencement on the National Mall
  • 11% Holi on the Yard
  • 11% Spring Break
  • 11% Midnight Breakfast
  • 0% Martha's Marathon

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 81 responses

  • 2% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 37% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 42% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 19% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 78 responses

  • 8% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 14% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 60% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 18% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.



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