“Democracy is messy, and it’s hard. It’s never easy”
I am not quite sure who first spoke these words – my quick google search suggest Robert Kennedy, Jr. at one time uttered them. But truer words were never spoken, in my view. While I love the position that GW Law occupies – at the center of our nation’s capital as our messy democracy unfolds – I also know that the election adds yet another layer of uncertainty on you as the fall semester comes to a close, and that cannot be easy. I sincerely hope that some of the announcements from the Dean’s Office will relieve at least some of the uncertainty you have borne over the past weeks and months. I will also plan to write or speak to you weekly here, or by video.
For the past two weeks I have poured over the responses to the SBA’s survey. The deans, staff, and faculty have done so as well. The outcome, as you know by now, has resulted in increased library access during exam period, an extended deadline for students to elect CR/NC grading for a non- required course under the rules; a new technology equity fund to help students who lack adequate printing or internet services; and a list of in-person activities planned by the Dean of Students, including, I am told, a chance for me to do my morning 2-mile run with some of you!
I have accepted the SBA’s invitation to attend the upcoming Town Hall this Friday, November 13 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. I will come prepared to listen, as you share your voices and stories. In the meantime, we will continue to respond to the “voices” we heard in the survey data. For example, we are working on plans for more in-person activities in the spring, and we are exploring options for commencement that could include small, safe gatherings as DC regulations and the University rules will allow. When I have details, I will share them with you.
Until then, please take good care of you – which in the midst of a global pandemic, like democracy is also hard, but totally worth it!
Dayna Bowen Matthew
Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law