The Independent explains how to be a freshman at a make-believe university

How did The Independent, which actually trumpets its objectivity in its name, become the blindest Georgetown booster this side of GAAP weekend? I don’t know how the eventual popular history book about Georgetown newspapers will answer that question, but I can predict that book’s Appendix A: An Insider’s Guide to Life at Georgetown.

Writer Jenna Weiner spends most of the piece straining to remember her last campus tour, then typing it. Presented without comment, the four parts of the article most likely to be included in Blue & Gray:

  • Over 300 words on how to use Rate My Professor
  • “It is your four years, it is your Georgetown. Make it unforgettable.”
  • Jenna advises using the laundry room if you’re worried about laundry.
  • “You will come to love the dining hall”

There’s no mention of actually useful things to know about, like outrageous GOCard replacement fees, the worst stir fry cook, or Georgetown Day’s open container amnesty.

To Jenna’s credit, she never uses “Joe and Jane Hoya”, and The Independent’s guide to protesting is good. Still, freshmen and those who want them can expect better new student information soon from this very blog.

8 Comments on “The Independent explains how to be a freshman at a make-believe university

  1. Where are the shopping tips for selecting your keggerator?

  2. I’ve been long scratching my head seeing why the Independent still gets funding. The Voice and the Hoya have done some great investigative pieces recently, in addition to being topical and timely enough for reporting news and campus flavor. The Indy is generally poorly-written re-hash of the other newspapers; in my time at Georgetown, I can’t recall any good investigative piece or late-breaking story they’ve covered. Why they continue to eat up funds better used for more equipment, paying news staff, etc. is beyond me.

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  4. Will, apparently you never really read past the first article on the website. I would say that our arts and entertainment guide (written long before the cover story of the first print issue of the Voice this year, which focuses on basically the same stuff) is more comprehensive and detailed than your offerings in that regard. We also have a longer news feature piece on farmers markets in DC, as well as (my) internship article. We have confidence that freshmen are going to figure out quickly enough the downsides to Georgetown. I think that telling them about the positives is more productive in the end.

    Further, we definitely have done investigative pieces. For example, our May 2008 cover story was a researched piece on gambling at Georgetown. In the same semester, we also had a cover feature on the increased housing squeeze, which also required a lot of research, surveying, and other “real” work.

    And, finally, I would say that our paper (which isn’t even really a “newspaper”–it’s more akin to a newsmagazine, which has been our brand for several years now) has made huge strides as we enter our thirteenth year of existence. This is my seventh semester with the Independent, and it has undergone a massive transformation in that time. It’s a labor of love; none of us get paid, and we’ve had huge technological issues that have prevented us from doing a lot of things. (Our office computers were just replaced last semester–they were running Windows 98. So, I’d say we’re not exactly taking a lot of money from the university there.)

    As part of our rebranding and general improvement of things, including our, uh, aesthetically challenged website, we will be starting a blog, which will allow us to comment on campus news as it occurs. As far as our policies regarding content for that go, I can tell you one thing: we definitely will be more professional than your publication when it comes to writing about other campus publications. This post was totally unneccessary and extremely disrespectful.

    (Also, this is not intended to be an official editorial board response to your post, though I am the managing editor of the Indy. This is my personal opinion, though I would bet most of our other hard-working staff members and editors would agree.)

  5. I’m excited about the blog!

    Also, the gambling story is weaksauce because it’s based around only two anonymous Georgetown students, one of whom has never bet more than $25.

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