September 6, 2007

Dorms like Palaces

The Washington City Paper has a pretty good story about the various extravagences of George Washington University, where tuition (including accommodation) just passed the $50,000 mark, although the school's U.S News ranking has been on the decline. The extravagences include:

* Engraved chocolates deposited on the pillows of incoming freshmen at inauguration.
* "GW ranks well on at least one list—Princeton Review’s “Dorms Like Palaces.”
* "A lighted model of the Washington Monument... soars from the basement through an atrium. (The actual monument is a short walk away.)... Changes have also come to Duques Hall, GW’s new business school building, which now features a classroom built to resemble a stock exchange, with a multitude of screens on which students can play stockbroker."

The piece also contains one of the least comprehensible responses to a journalist that I have ever read; to wit:
“But you see, all our students aren’t identical. And so what we try to do is treat each student as justly and as equitably as we can. And so it’s a little like a Procrustean bed. You know you have a 6-foot person, and you have a 4-foot bed. The choices, it seems to me, are extend the bed by 2 feet or cut 2 feet off the person...Well, what we try to extend the bed. And so we have some students who are paying—what you would call if you’re buying a car—the list price. And we have other students who are getting the car for free. And most students are in between A and Z, between Alpha and Omega.”