A suggestion to GW from the English Department Chair

This morning I sent the following email to Helen Cannaday-Saulny, GW’s Assistant Vice President for Student Academic Support Services. I don’t understand why every college campus in the United States but ours (oh and possibly Bob Jones University) is fringed by funky noncorporate coffee houses where students and faculty hang out together, go to poetry readings, hang out together … Am I alone in thinking this?

Dear Helen Cannaday-Saulny,

I know from my own students that the new lounge at 2145 G Street is a cause for happiness: students have never had a very good place to hang out. I know the space is rather small, but a suggestion I’d make to consider in the future is that unlike most college campuses in the US, GW does not have a good independent coffee house with an arts vibe. Considering our student population, this is very odd indeed. Starbucks, popular as it is in Gelman, can’t fulfill such a need.

It would be worth your while to check out Busboys and Poets. It’s bigger, I know, than the G St space, but it has been so successful on V St that it now has two branches (NE and Arlington). Many of our students make the trek to 14th and V St to hang out there, and English Department faculty have been involved in some events there as well … but it would be great to have such a place nearer to campus, something that brings some life and art to a coffeehouse culture close by.

Just a thought.

Jeffrey Cohen
Chair, Department of English

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