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George Washington University

GWU Campus News
Persons on par for record-setting season
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 17, 2014
“Media Credit: Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
Senior Jack Persons is on track to having the best season scoring average in program history after posting the worst numbers of his career during the 2013-2014 season.
Like the courses he’s played on the last three years, senior Jack Person’s career has had its fair share of peaks and valleys.
Persons set school 36-hole and 54-hole records as a freshman, and helped his team win the Atlantic 10 championship. The following year, he posted the eighth-best season scoring average in program history at 75.3.
But then as a junior, Persons endured the worst statistical year of his career. He finished five events on par compared to seven-par and six-par finishes in his first two seasons, respectively, and his stroke average of 76.16 was the highest of his career.
Now in his final year on the team, Persons is on track to have his best season yet as a Colonial. Through 12 rounds of play this season, the San Francisco native is in position to post the best season scoring average in program history.
“I haven’t yet played to what I think my ability is,” Persons said. “I’m still waiting for my breakout round.”
After posting just one top-10 finish in both his sophomore and junior seasons, Persons has a top-five finish and two top-10 finishes through just four events this year.
Persons placed fifth out of 104 players at George Mason’s Patriot Intercollegiate last week, carding an even par total of 213 (72-71-70) and helping the team to its eighth-lowest 54-hole team total (876) in program history. Persons’ 213 was also the seventh-best 54-hole total in program history, and seven shots off his freshman record of 206.
He followed that performance with a 54-hole total of 223 (73-78-72) at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, good enough for a tie for 36th in the 93-player field. And Tuesday, he finished tied for ninth at the Terrapin Invitational out of a 75-player field.
Persons credits his strong performances this season to a mental switch, and head coach Chuck Scheinost said he’s seen Persons show increased resilience during tricky rounds, when in past years he might not have scored well.
“In other years his ‘bad’ round may have been an 80 or an 82, but now he’s getting to the point where it’s a 76 or 78 because he’s really sticking with each round for the team’s sake,” said Scheinost, now in his second year as coach. “He’s also showing that ability to put together a ‘bounce back’ round.”
As the lone senior on this year’s roster, Persons is not only tasked with getting back to form but with leading GW in the huddle.
The soft-spoken Persons prefers to lead with his golf clubs rather than his voice. While he said he has tried to become more expressive with his teammates, his actions on the course are what junior Steve Piela said younger players notice most.
“He is always the first one to arrive at practice and stays late,” Piela said. “He’s very approachable, so I think that makes it easier for the younger guys to settle in, and for all of us to come together to achieve the same goal.”
Persons called this year’s team the most talented and dedicated group of players he’s played with – a team capable of reaching even greater heights than the 2011-12 breakout club.
“These guys really want it,” Persons said. “I’d like to qualify for regionals as a team, and I think we’re going to have to win the A-10 in order to do that, but we are fully equipped to do just that.”
And his high hopes have rubbed off on the rest of his teammates.
“The mindset is definitely different this year, and I think Jack is a big part of that,” Piela said. “We understand that we have the capability to achieve what we want to achieve, we just need to keep putting that work in.””

City Hall residents complain of loud construction, disruptive workers
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 17, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Students living in the City Hall have complained about ongoing construction in the bulding, saying that it is disruptive and they were not informed about it before the housing cancellation date.
A sign hanging off the balcony of an eighth-floor City Hall room reads, "No construction without compensation."
Students in the residence hall have complained about construction on the building’s facade, with several residents calling the work intrusive and saying GW should have told them more about the renovation plans before the housing cancellation date last year. The University leases the building, and is renovating before it has to return the residence hall to its owner in 2016.
Since the work began a few weeks ago, dozens of students have reported loud drilling noises that have woken them up early in the morning and even construction workers entering their rooms unannounced.
Complaints have mounted as the noises reportedly became louder, Residence Hall Association President Ari Massefski said. He said he is working with GW departments to see if they can push the construction back to the summer.
“Our priority needs to be people living in the building, so they not only get their money's worth but enjoy their time living in the building,” Massefski said.
Senior Associate Vice President for Operations Alicia Knight said in an email that construction has been temporarily postponed from Tuesday to Thursday. She said GW is "working with the building's owner to come to an agreement that will limit work on the building during the academic year."
RHA hall council President Joong Lee said the council distributed a form to residents to formally submit their complaints last week. So far, they have received 24 responses, but Lee said the group is also receiving individual emails detailing additional complaints.
The Division of Operations has set up a table in the lobby for the rest of the week from 8 to 11 a.m. for students to directly speak to GW representatives about their concerns.
City Hall residents said they did not receive an email with details about the construction work until August. Students have five days to cancel their housing after they receive an assignment in May.
Several students reported that workers surprised them by entering their rooms to remove screens from the windows while they were sleeping or in the shower. Nichole Cubbage, the vice president of the City Hall council, said many female students have reported construction workers "catcalling and leering" at them while sharing elevators or walking outside the building where they work.
“It’s not just a little bit of construction. This is something that is going to be taking place for the rest of the year unless it is stopped,” Cubbage said.
Taylor Soja, who lives on the eighth floor, said she has not been able to open her curtains because construction workers are suspended outside her window. She tried to cancel her housing once the construction became “horrible,” saying she would’ve chosen somewhere else to live had she known the work would continue into the school year.
“They really just kinda brushed [my cancellation request] off, like no sorry, the deadline is passed. I just felt like they should’ve been doing everything to accommodate,” Soja said.
Resident Michael Simon said he was frustrated the University listed amenities like balconies on the housing website when they had to be closed off for construction. A City Hall double without a balcony costs $12,760, while rooms with a balcony cost $13,950.
“We’re paying $1,200 more for a balcony, and now it’s like, OK, we’re going to pay for this, but now we can’t use it,” Simon said.”

With rising faculty demand, Gelman looks for new ways to engage classes
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 17, 2014
“Media Credit: Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer
University Librarian Geneva Henry said requests for librarian assistance have expanded beyond University Writing courses to more writing intensive classes and courses that want to work with the library's special collections.
Professors are facing competition for time with GW’s librarians, as more of their colleagues ask their students to learn about the research tools the University offers.
University Librarian Geneva Henry said demand for help from librarians has expanded beyond University Writing classes. GW has seen more requests from faculty who teach writing-intensive courses and want students to work with primary sources in Gelman Library’s special collections, like the Washingtoniana and Edward Kiev Judaica collections.
Last year, GW’s library assistants and specialists worked with more than 7,300 students in 772 sessions.
Henry said librarians want to work with as many classes as they can, but time restraints have forced them to consider new ways to engage with faculty and students throughout the week.
“They are now starting to think about new ways that they can reach out with that kind of information. Are there remote sessions they could do? Are there alternative ways they can present the research or research instruction to the students, maybe with multiple courses?” Henry said.
To increase their reach, librarians could create online modules or work with several classes at once, she said.
Librarians have typically worked with freshmen in University Writing classes to introduce new students to GW’s libraries system. Henry said other writing teachers are looking to replicate those experiences in their own classes, so students can continue learning about the resources to which they have access.
Each University Writing professor is partnered with a research librarian. The librarian typically visits the classroom to talk with students about the various resources that GW Libraries offer. The librarians also make themselves available to the students during the research process.
Cayo Gamber, an assistant professor in the University Writing program, said the librarian who works with her class is “essential to the success of my course.”
“Not only has [the librarian] stepped in to save vital components of the course, but he and I have collaborated on an essay about our and our students' work on this project. Our essay has been accepted for publication once the book finds a publishing home,” she said.
Daina Eglitis, an associate professor of sociology, said she often teaches courses that require students to access databases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics or Centers for Disease Control. Eglitis has worked with research librarians to assist her students in navigating the databases efficiently.
Undergraduates who wouldn’t typically use primary sources have worked with with history professor Christopher Klemek in the library’s Washingtoniana collection, Henry said. GW has eight special collections, including ones on American labor history and an Africana research center.
Associate professor of writing Phyllis Ryder said her own research skills have improved since partnering with the librarians.
“Now I know where to turn for what kinds of sources, which databases have access to more recent materials and which are better for historical sources, and so on,” she said.
Muriel Atkin, a professor of history who teaches a Writing in the Disciplines course, said a librarian reached out to her last year and has worked with her classes ever since. The relationship has let her introduce more resource options to her students, she said, and many might not have known about those opportunities before the class.
"To know about the range of materials that the library has, both in hard copy and online, so that when they want to find out more about something, not only just for research projects but in general, they can avail themselves of information," she said.
That engagement has helped to bring more professors into Gelman Library – a goal Henry laid out when she started at GW last year.
She’s also tried to lure professors by highlighting how special collections can supplement their research and teaching.
Bringing professors into the library, which historically serves as the research hub for any university, can help grow interdisciplinary work, a major focus of the University’s strategic plan, Henry said.
“It enables the conversations to happen, and then the conversations take a life on their own where the faculty start to surface these issues, and then realize they have a lot to talk about with each other,” she said.
Mary Ellen McIntire contributed reporting.”

Disabilities studies professor plans course to study Holocaust, travel to Germany
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 17, 2014
“Media Credit: Olivia Harding | Hatchet Photographer
English professor David Mitchell plans to take GW students to Germany this spring to learn about the mistreatment and killing of disabled people during World War II.
After spending years studying the treatment of disabled people in World War II, English professor David Mitchell will take his class to Germany for the first time.
Mitchell, who is disabled, thought of the idea for the course eight years ago, when he gave lectures at the University of Frankfurt about his book on the Holocaust. Along with women’s studies professor Sharon Snyder, Mitchell spent that trip visiting World War II-era psychiatric hospitals, and they now hope to give students a similar experience.
Mitchell and Snyder will take about a dozen students to Germany this spring, making stops at the Berlin Holocaust memorial and a workshop for the disabled where blind people hid during the Holocaust.
The group will also go to Bernburg, Germany to see a psychiatric hospital where Nazis used a gas chamber to kill psychiatric patients during the war. Mitchell spotlighted the hospital in his 2002 film about the killings, called “World Without Bodies,” which also served as the basis for the course.
"I have felt compelled to keep open conversations about the history of eugenics as they serve as the basis of contemporary practices of exclusion," Mitchell said.
Nearly 300,000 people with both physical and mental disabilities were killed during the Holocaust, mostly through a Nazi-run euthanasia program. This September, the German government completed a memorial in Berlin for the victims.
“Germany has been unlike most other countries in that they have been very open about having a public conversation about atrocities in the nations’ past and it’s erected a lot of memorials, museums and ways of commemorating victims of the Holocaust,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he plans to meet with disabled people in Germany so students can hear their stories. So far, about a dozen students have applied for the course, which is one of four Dean’s Scholar in Globalization programs that will take undergraduates abroad this spring.
Students have to complete an application and go through an interview process to be chosen, Mitchell said, and the course will cost about $4,000.
Other Dean’s Scholar courses this year include trips to Turkey and Italy. Mitchell said he hopes to create a presentation of the experience for the dean’s office after the course ends.
Before coming to GW, Mitchell founded the country’s first Ph.D. program in disability studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2001. Mitchell worked at Temple University since 2008, directing the program in disabilities studies.
Professor Robert McRuer, chair of GW’s English department, called Mitchell’s course “a cutting-edge course in disability studies.”
“Hands-on experience means that students get a textured understanding of history and of geography," McRuer said. "They are not simply visiting as tourists, but as scholars wanting a fuller understanding of the lives, histories, oppression and resistance of disabled people."
Eight of GW’s 14 peer schools, including Boston, Duke, Emory and Northwestern universities offer courses in disabilities studies.
Michael Schwartz, an associate professor at Syracuse University, teaches in the school’s disabilities studies program – which was the first in the country when it was created in 1994.
Schwartz said he has taken his students on similar trips to Vietnam to learn about how disabled people's experiences there. He called Mitchell a “respected voice” in the field of disabilities studies.
Schwartz said his great grandmother died in Auschwitz, and a visit to the site is on his "bucket list."
“I'm very familiar with the history of the Holocaust, and I think Dr. Mitchell's trip is a wonderful opportunity for the GW students,” Schwartz said.”

Research spending across GW beats expectations
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 16, 2014
“Research expenditures increased more than officials expected this past year, even after last year’s federal budget sequester threatened funding nationwide.
Provost Steven Lerman said the University had expected research expenditures, which covers research projects across GW, to increase by 6 to 9 percent, but it actually grew by about 11 percent.
"The notion of having a double digit increase at a time when the national picture is really going the other way I think is pretty remarkable," Lerman said at the Faculty Assembly last week.
Faculty members have felt more pressure to secure federally funded projects, as well as research sponsored by corporations and foundations, as GW looks to up its research profile while balancing its other financial commitments.
Federally funded research totaled $115 million the year before, which was a $1 million drop from the previous year. Total expenditures on externally funded research at GW in 2012 reached $162.9 million, a 7.2 percent increase from 2011.
Matt Hourihan, director of the Research and Development Budget and Policy Program for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said federal funding nationwide is returning to normal levels after last year’s sequester cuts. Experts had warned that the sequester, which cut funding for major federal research foundations like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, would have a longer-term impact.
“The funding for scientific agencies generally increased,” he said. “I think recovery was inevitable.”
Hourihan said federal funding for research overall has declined for the past few years, and that he does not anticipate research dollars increasing beyond pre-sequester levels.
The sequester had little effect on GW's research projects last year because officials provided "bridging funds" to faculty and staff who would have otherwise lost funding.
The NSF awarded about $14.5 million to researchers at GW during the 2014 fiscal year, an increase of about $6 million from the previous year.
Federal funding for research has become more difficult to secure over the past few years, with the amount of money in the federal budget dedicated to institutions that award grants steadily decreasing since 2009.
Funding to GW from the NIH and the NSF, which both receive money from the federal government, typically fluctuates from year to year, but not by as large of a percentage as seen in overall research funding this year.
“One year, things went down and then bounced back, and maybe for that short time there’s an increase in research and development,” Hourihan said. “I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of additional increased support funding from universities and other parties because we’re back to where we were.”
Charles Garris, the chair of the executive committee of the Faculty Senate, said the addition of newer, younger faculty likely contributed to the increase in funds.
“We have hired a lot of new faculty and these faculty are working hard, writing proposals,” he said. “I believe the research in the University is increasing due to their efforts.”
The School of Engineering and Applied Science, where Garris teaches, has hired about 50 faculty members since 2008, many of whom came from top-tier research institutions like Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Shahram Majidi, who recently came to GW from the University of Minnesota, said the amenities that GW and GW Hospital offer, like access to a diverse range of patients and a robust grant writing staff, can help win over large foundations.
GW's Office of Sponsored Projects Administration assists faculty in submitting grant proposals to federal agencies and other public and private sources of funding.
Majidi added that he moved to GW because of the University’s location – near the NIH and other sources of federal grants.
“Being in the vicinity of the NIH and the diversity of patients and facilities all provide research opportunities to design different studies and successfully manage them,” he said.
This post was updated to reflect the following corrections:
Though Provost Steven Lerman said at the Faculty Assembly meeting that "sponsored research" had increased, research expenditures had actually increased. The Hatchet incorrectly reported that OSPA assists faculty in writing grant proposals. The principal investigator is responsible for writing the proposal. We regret this error.”

by The GW Hatchet

Oct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer
Alayna Santiago, Sheryl Santiago and Chlone Gould (left to right) drink apple cider at Taste of DC, a festival that hosts a variety of attractions, vendors and food trucks.”

Crash courses: How to win a Nobel Prize, network and make sense of Supreme Court cases
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Professor Anthony Yezer will hold a course over parents weekend called “Why Do Education Levels Rise With City Size and Gay Men Live in San Francisco?" The class will explore regional economics' one factor that explains differences in city distributions.
Class is in session this weekend, but don’t worry – this isn’t on the midterm. Leave your notebook at home for these 50-minute crash courses, all taught by GW professors for students and their families.
From a discussion of Jackie Robinson as a catalyst for civil rights to a class on social networking tips, there's a topic to pique the interest of every family member.
“Why Do Education Levels Rise With City Size and Gay Men Live in San Francisco?” | Anthony Yezer
Saturday Oct. 18, Marvin Center Room 308, 4 p.m.
If you’ve ever wondered why gay men are concentrated in San Francisco, whether you can predict which town Taylor Swift is most likely to move to or the truth behind D.C.’s restrictions on building heights, economics professor Anthony Yezer is your man. Yezer, who compares regional economics to “detective work,” will reveal the single factor that explains these odd differences in city distributions – and you’ll never guess what it is.
“I work on a lot of topics, but [regional economics] is the most fun," Yezer said. "We love to kind of solve puzzles."
“Teaching Students Nobel Prize-Winning Innovation: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)” | Jason Zara
Saturday Oct. 18, Marvin Center Room 309, 4 p.m.
Stop by this event and you’ll win a Nobel Prize. Well, kind of. Jason Zara, an associate professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, invites visitors to try to “invent” the Nobel Prize-winning MRI by coming up with the key innovations behind it, an exercise he uses with his biomedical engineering students. Zara aims to teach visitors how to “think like engineers” when solving problems.
“Engineers see problems that need solving, carefully consider what they know about the problem and then come up with a plan to attack the part of the solution they don't already know,” he said. “We try to teach students these problem-solving techniques from a very early stage.”
“Social Networks, Leadership and Organizations” | Andrew Cohen
Friday Oct. 17, Marvin Center Room 307, 5 p.m.
*Good for older siblings
The hours you spend crafting the perfect Twitter bio, editing your LinkedIn page and chatting up old friends aren’t a waste of time, and assistant professor of management Andrew Cohen is here to explain why.
Cohen, who teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership and human resource management, will explore how students can use social networking to their advantage in pursuing a career or leading an organization. He’ll touch on how institutions like schools, businesses and nonprofits use networks to achieve goals, and what leaders of those organizations can do to help.
“The notion of how networks, the web of interpersonal relationships among members of an organization, might shape and be shaped by the leadership of the organization is particularly important,” he said.
“Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Look at Some of the Big Cases in the Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 Term” | Jill Kasle
Saturday, Oct. 18, Marvin Center Continental Ballroom, 3 p.m.
Jill Kasle, an associate professor of public policy and administration who describes law as “the only club I ever wanted to belong to,” said she decided to become a lawyer at age 9 after a visit to the Supreme Court building.
With a lifetime of experience, Kasle will now share her knowledge of the biggest upcoming Supreme Court cases on topics ranging from gay marriage to the Affordable Care Act. Whether you’re a law student or more closely resemble a pre-Harvard Elle Woods, don’t miss this refresher.
“Celebrating the Impact and Legacy of Jackie Robinson” | Richard Zamoff
Friday, Oct. 17, Marvin Center Room 308, 5 p.m.
*Good for the whole family
Richard Zamoff, a professorial lecturer in the sociology department, is the biggest Jackie Robinson fan around – but not just in terms of baseball.
Zamoff has dedicated much of his career to the study of Robinson as an “informal civil rights leader,” whose courage and commitment to social change outweighed any achievements on the playing field. Take the course for a new perspective on sports, and learn how Robinson was a catalyst for changes like Brown v. Board of Education and President Harry Truman’s desegregation of the military.
“Most students only knew him as baseball, and I thought that was a terrible and significant omission in education," Zamoff said. "He was an important civil rights person. I wanted to fill in those blanks."”

In conference play, men's soccer looks to piece itself back together
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer
Without men's soccer leading scorer Jonny Forrest in the lineup, players like sophomore Garrett Heine will need to step up offensively for the Colonials.
Men’s soccer is in a state of emergency.
After losing five of the last six games, the Colonials must turn the corner in conference play, and quickly, if they hope to reach the Atlantic 10 Championships. Last season, they missed the postseason by a single win.
But struggles continued for GW on Saturday in the team’s conference opener against Rhode Island. The Colonials, outshot 18-5 by the Rams, fell to URI 2-1.
GW has played without two key players in recent games. Senior Andri Alexandersson has missed the past three games with an injury, and after playing limited minutes against Saint Peter’s and Longwood, junior Jonny Forrest has also been out with an injury for the past two games against Robert Morris and Rhode Island.
Forrest leads the team with three goals, while Alexandersson leads with eight shots on goal and a .727 shots on goal percentage. Out of GW’s four wins in the season, both Forrest and Alexandersson have each netted a game-winning goal – with Forrest’s game winner coming against Harvard on Sept. 7, and Alexandersson’s coming against then-No. 22 Navy.
The loss of Forrest and team captain Alexandersson are crucial for a squad that has been unable to generate offense in its last six games and has been outscored by opponents 15-5. While nine different Colonials have combined to score the team’s 13 goals through 10 games this season, GW has been unable to produce consistent offense and was shutout in four of its six losses.
The Colonials’ recent skid comes after the team showed promise, starting the season 3-1 and outscoring the opposition 8-5.
“We just want to get everybody fit and know that we have the full squad to pick from if we can,” head coach Craig Jones said Saturday after the team’s loss to Rhode Island.
On the other side of the field, junior goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe has struggled in front of the net after performing solidly in the season’s early going. While he ranks fourth in the conference in saves, averaging 4.7 per game, he does not rank in the top 10 in save percentage or goals against average.
In recent weeks, van der Merwe has struggled defending against forwards in the open field, often coming off his line and leaving the net vulnerable when he is unable to get back.
While Jones said van der Merwe’s performance against the Rams was an improvement from last week, he is unsure if van der Merwe will play or sit in place of junior Jack Lopez or senior Luke Farrell.
“I guess we’ll see what happens this week at practice and see if his confidence is high or if we think he needs a break,” Jones said. “Probably right now if you ask me, it would probably be him, but again with a full week of practice and two home games, we’ll see what happens.”
Jones said the tools GW needs to succeed are present, but oftentimes either the offense is unable to keep up with the defense, or vice versa.
“The pieces are there, its just putting them together and getting our defensive and offensive units on the same page and both producing, not one or the other,” Jones said.
But with just seven games left in the regular season for the team to click as a unit on the field, the Colonials may find themselves in a similar situation – fighting to grab the eighth and final spot in the postseason.
To do so, GW doesn’t have to knock off the top teams in the conference, but they must capitalize on the winnable games against weaker conference teams to steal wins from top A-10 teams.
Here is a look at which squads GW will need to beat to make a run at postseason play.
Saint Joseph’s (6-3-3, 1-1)
GW fell behind 3-0 last season against Saint Joseph’s before then-junior Farhan Khan scored with 86 seconds remaining in the game, bringing the score to 3-1 and preventing a shutout.
Through its first 11 games of the season, Saint Joseph’s has been able to convert on goal scoring opportunities, outscoring opponents by a margin of 15-10. The Hawks have three players – junior Emmanuel Temeh, seniors Jake Nelson and Mike Glazer – who are tied with Forrest with three goals scored this season.
Duquesne (6-3-2, 1-0)
This season, the Dukes are the top-scoring team in the conference, as they lead the A-10 in scoring at 1.90 goals per game and in shots averaging 16.30 shots per game. But on the defensive end, Duquesne ranks ninth in the conference in goals allowed, averaging 1.40 goals allowed per game.
Individually, the Dukes are led by sophomore Kadeem Pantophlet and freshman Fredrik Borenstein, who have each scored four goals.
The Colonials will face a tough matchup on the road Oct. 26, against a Duquesne team that is undefeated (5-0) at home.
La Salle (4-6-1, 0-1-0)
Last fall, the Colonials saw their season end with a loss to La Salle that kept them out of the playoffs. This year, GW takes on La Salle early under pressure to pick up points on the front end of conference play on Friday.
La Salle is a team that creates opportunities, taking 12.82 shots per game to GW’s 11.40, but the Colonials have the edge in accuracy with 1.30 goals per game to La Salle’s 0.91.
The Explorers have been slightly tougher on defense than the Colonials, averaging 1.41 goals per game to the Colonials’ 1.95. This is a beatable team for GW, but the Colonials will have to exorcise some of the demons of the past to do so.
VCU (4-7-2, 1-0-1)
This season, the Colonials’ matchup against the Rams is the last major test they will have. GW last played VCU in 2012, losing 3-1 after giving up three goals early.
The Rams are 1-0-1 in conference play after defeating then-No. 20 George Mason and tieing Massachusetts.
Despite a losing record, the Rams have played five top-25 teams this season, defeating Mason and No. 5 Georgetown. VCU lost to then No. 1 Notre Dame and then No. 15 Virginia by just a single goal.
Rams redshirt junior goalkeeper Garrett Cyprus has a save percentage of 0.771, allowing 11 goals through 12 games.
Mark Eisenhauer contributed reporting.”

Reports of on-campus fires decline 60 percent
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Emergency personnel responded to a fire in The Dakota in 2012. Fires on campus have decreased 60 percent in the last year.
The number of fires reported on campus decreased 60 percent last year to just seven incidents, according to the annual security report that the University released earlier this month.
GW counted seven fires on campus last year, compared to 18 in 2012. The Office of Health and Safety uses fire safety education and random room inspections for dangerous items like candles to reduce the overall number of fires on campus, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said.
“The decrease in fire related incidents is the result of students, faculty and staff working together and engaging in safe practices that reduce the possibility of fires,” Csellar said, adding that GW also offers fire extinguisher training classes and conducts evacuation drills.
Last year, two-thirds of all reported incidents came from grease and oven fires. In 2012, eight fires were started by either cooking with a stove or an oven.
Two years ago, two separate on-campus fires injured one student at each event. One came from a dryer catching fire in The Dakota that September, and another occurred after a dumpster caught on fire in the garage of City Hall, according to the annual report. Last year, no on-campus fires resulted in injuries.
In 2011, a fire broke out at the Zeta Beta Tau townhouse, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
Robert Rowe, a certified fire inspector and deputy fire marshal from Los Angeles, said schools can prevent fires on campus by removing items such as hot plates and candles from student’s rooms, like the University does.
“Seven fires is better than 18 fires, but as a fire expert and as someone who sees the aftermath of fires, whether that be injury or death, one fire is too many,” Rowe said.
Brian Spiegel, a certified structural fire and smoke damage expert, said most residence hall fires start from too many household appliances overloading a circuit, as well as everyday cooking, lighting candles and burning incense.
Experts say sprinkler systems are the best way to prevent fires in residence halls because they soak the entire area to insure the fire does not spread.
Just 22 of the 32 residence halls on Foggy Bottom have full fire sprinkler systems, according to the report. Only half of the residence halls on the Mount Vernon Campus have full sprinkler systems.
“I am an advocate for fire sprinklers, either retrofit old buildings or include them with new construction, but all educational institutions and dormitories should have them,” Rowe said.
All residence halls at GW have fire extinguishers, according to the report. In 2011, the University was in violation of the International Fire Code after it failed to service expired fire extinguishers in Corcoran Hall.
Spiegel also said fire escapes are a necessary part of keeping safe students who live in urban residence halls. GW's report does not list which residence halls on campus have fire escapes.
Marc H. Richman, a forensic expert who specializes in fire safety, said fires at universities are also often caused by students who smoke marijuana or cigarettes in their rooms.
“What you have to realize is that with how the dorms are set up today, it only takes one fire in a high-rise to be catastrophic,” Richman said.”

Lunch With Strangers looks to enrich the campus social scene
by The GW Hatchet

Oct 13, 2014
“Media Credit: Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Senior Eliza Miller helped bring Lunch With Strangers, an experimental meet-up website, to campus. The site randomly matches students based on location preference and availability.
As a transfer student from New College of Florida, senior Eliza Miller said she saw room for improvement in GW's social scene. So when meet-up website Lunch With Strangers made its way to D.C. this summer, she jumped at the opportunity to bring it to campus.
Founded by Yale University junior Sam Sussman last spring, Lunch with Strangers randomly matches students interested in meeting new people on campus, based on availability and location preference. GW is only the second school in the nation to test the program, and about 100 students have tried it so far.
“There’s no student space, and it’s very hard to meet people,” Miller said, adding that at her old school, "I would sit outside with my homework and people would come up and talk to me. That doesn’t happen here.”
After she tried Lunch With Strangers while interning in the city, Miller contacted Sussman and asked him to launch it at GW. Sussman, who was also a summer intern in D.C., said he recognized an opportunity for the site to grow.
Kevin Jiang, the website’s developer and a junior at Yale, said the campus dining scene also grabbed their attention.
“What I found very interesting, very different about GW was that you guys don’t have a specific dining hall. So going out to eat is very different, and I imagine that makes it harder to meet people,” Jiang said.
Jiang and Sussman said they thought the Foggy Bottom Campus lacked a structured way to meet new people and make friends, and called the University's iteration of Lunch With Strangers a social experiment.
One of the students who has tried the experiment, junior Zach Komes, said of the six people he was paired with, he was only able to meet with two. (The other four either ignored contact completely or canceled the lunch date.) But he said the two lunches were successful.
His first lunch was with none other than Miller herself, a fellow economics major.
“They somehow find a way to find people who are interested in similar topics. I got paired with two people that I really have common interests with,” Komes said. “So it’s really not a short-term lunch, it’s building long-term friendships.”
While it isn’t the first program that matches students randomly for a lunch date – GW Meets matched about 300 students in 2013, but disbanded after only a few months – Lunch with Strangers is the first to provide users with anonymity when they sign up for a match.
When Sussman founded the program last spring, it began with just a Google Doc, where he matched participants at random.
On the full website, users with a GW email address check off the boxes for the time slots available – half hour increments from noon to 3 p.m. – and choose where they’d like to eat. Meet-up locations include campus options like J Street and 2000 Pennsylvania Ave.
“GW students are so focused on their school work and so over-involved, I wanted to find a way for people to meet in a very casual setting, not have any commitments beyond that one meeting,” Miller said.
Several schools, including Columbia University, have contacted Sussman and Jiang with interest in hosting Lunch With Strangers. And while Jiang and Sussman are mulling over expanding to more schools, Miller has more of a vision for growing GW’s Lunch With Strangers program.
“I hope it will become a campus institution,” she said. “Like when you’re a freshman, someone tells you to sign up for Lunch With Strangers so you can meet really cool people that way.””

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