Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Study spots are nearly impossible to find during Midterms / Finals season

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: GW generally does have a lot going on all the time so you can always find something to do. The facilities are okay, but they are often too crowded. They need to be more accommodating to the large student body and GW just doesn't have the space for that.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Quality: Some great buildings, some bad ones

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: GW has an amazing International Affairs Program and the campus is directly in DC so it is definitely a city school. However, its science department is lacking. The social scene is pretty good, sometimes it feels like the greek life is too much though.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The school spirit isn't that high probably because sports aren't a huge thing there. Our basketball team is pretty good, but the school spirit is nothing like some state schools.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 Corcoran Hall, home to the Science Departments and laboratories, has outdated and inadequate laboratories and equipment, and University officials have said they would like to renovate the building.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

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 36 responses

  • 28% Late-night trips to the monuments
  • 18% Commencement on the National Mall
  • 12% Spring Break
  • 8% Midnight Breakfast
  • 7% Spring Fling
  • 5% Colonial Inauguration
  • 5% George Washington's Birthday celebration
  • 4% Holi on the Yard
  • 3% Fall fest
  • 2% MSSC Graduation
  • 1% Martha's Marathon
  • 1% MAGFest
  • 1% Six Flags
  • 1% Popcorn nights at Eckles
  • 1% Soul Revue
  • 1% Club fair
  • 1% Target Takeover

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 113 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 things to do around campus?    Based on 43 responses

  • 30% See the sites, museums, parks, theater, etc
  • 20% Wander around DC
  • 11% Hang out with friends
  • 9% Go for a run
  • 9% Visit coffee shops
  • 8% Lay on the Mall lawn
  • 6% Happy Hour
  • 4% Play frisbee/football, go out to eat with friends
  • 3% Enjoy the Dining Experiences

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 45 responses

  • 27% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 51% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 20% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 2% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 115 responses

  • 17% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 60% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 13% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 10% I hate my school and have no school spirit.



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