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What you said about what we said in our “Encyclopedia of D.C.”
December crested with the arrival of our exhaustive “Encyclopedia of D.C.,” and readers were very ready to relive the year that’s about to end. “Totally forgot that ‘cunt punt’ happened in 2013,” tweeted Matthew Martin, referring to Jenny Rogers’ entry on a University of Maryland student’s profanity-laced, instantly classic epistle to her sorority sisters. “2013, you weren’t SO bad, after all. Thanks for the reminder @wcp!”
The issue contained 87 of our picks for the year’s most important personalities, controversies, debates, and trends. The most contentious (at least judging by the number of comments)? The entry on George Washington University, whose 2013 cemented the school’s reputation as a nest of privilege (and whose “need-aware” admissions policies, apparently, ensured it). Reader GWClassof2014 dissented: “As a graduating senior, I can say that this is anything but true. So untrue, in fact, that it’s honestly offensive to all of the students at GW who are receiving aid from the university, myself included. I would not have been able to go to GW without the scholarships I’ve received, and that’s true of most of my friends here as well. Sure, there are some people who are exorbitantly wealthy, but it is far from the majority.”
Reader sbc wasn’t hearing it. ”Just because a student knows lots of people on financial aid doesn’t mean there aren’t also a ton of rich people. 52.9 percent of GW undergrads get no need-based aid—no loans for students or parents, no grants, no work-study, etc. In other words, most undergrads have families that can pay over $47,000 a year in tuition plus room and board out of pocket. Considering that the median household income in the U.S. is about $51,000, it’s pretty crazy that most GW students’ families have that much spare change just lying around. U.S. News says on average GW only meets 86 percent of their students’ financial need. They offer financial aid packages that mean many admitted students are unable to attend, and they prioritize rich waitlisted students over poor ones. And only 14 percent of undergrads are eligible for Pell Grants. No one is saying that everyone at GW is rich, just that a very high percentage are very rich.”
Also a testy topic? The city-assembled deal to build a D.C. United Stadium in Southwest. While in our pages, Aaron Wiener called it “a deal so complicated no one knows whether to hate it,” reader Tom M seemed to question our premise. “I just hope the ‘deal’ falls through,” he wrote. “Let the billionaire pay for his own ‘ground costs.’ Let’s stop subsidizing this kind of b*llsh*t.”
According to reader Darth, though, “The city would pay the same costs for any major infrastructure project, whether or not it’s a stadium. This isn’t the Nationals Park screwjob. No one is subsidizing anything.” Tom M? “You are just wrong,” he wrote. “The taxpayers of the District of Columbia are giving up the value of the Reeves Center land and also paying for another parcel or two of land. If there was a private developer, the taxpayers would not be losing this value. You are right that it isn’t as bad a screwing as for the billionaire Lerner family and the Nationals Park. But we are getting screwed to benefit another billionaire who owns the soccer team. I say let them find another place or pay for this place themselves. We have other PUBLIC priorities!”
The most confounding item? Try Jessica Sidman’s entry on “artisanal ice.” “Excuse me, can I please get the organic ice that has a lower pitch when I clink the cubes?” tweeted @dennisthecynic, to which @HousingWatchMD responded: “You don’t want the ice made from the tears of Nepalese monks? Seriously? Sigh…and here I thought you were a foodie.”