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George Washington University

GWU Campus News

Importance
1
Officials, students celebrate Knapp's legacy at farewell event
by The GW Hatchet
May 08, 2017
“Students, faculty and staff paid tribute to outgoing University President Steven Knapp and celebrated his legacy at a ceremony in the Smith Center Saturday afternoon.
In his farewell address, Knapp, who is set to step down as president this summer, thanked faculty and members of the Board of Trustees for their support and spoke of his pride in watching GW’s growth and development during his decade-long tenure as University president.
“It has been an honor for Diane and me to serve this University and see it continue on to even greater heights,” he said, referring his wife Diane Knapp. “We’ll be watching that progress with great interest and we will always regard this university as our cultural and intellectual home at the heart of our nation’s capital.”
At the event, guests snacked on hors d’ oeuvres and listened to a performance by the GW Jazz All Stars, a band made up of both students and faculty. Knapp, who told the Washington Business Journal last year that he originally aspired to be a jazz drummer, took to the drums for part of the performance.
Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor Student leaders pet Knapp’s dog Ruffles at the event held in the Smith Center Saturday.
Speakers cited Knapp’s efforts to improve the University’s research reputation, expand its fundraising capacity and build relationships with the D.C. community as examples of the legacy he will leave at GW.
“President Knapp has unequivocally surpassed our expectations in all three areas,” Board Chairman Nelson Carbonell said. “Countless generations of students will benefit from his legacy for many years to come.”
Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans thanked Knapp for the University’s role in creating job opportunities around the city and for helping people in need. To honor Knapp’s tenure he presented the outgoing president with a ceremonial resolution declaring May 6 a D.C. holiday in Knapp’s honor.
“We’ve seen the University expand and it has just made such a difference to this community and to the city as a whole,” he said.
Alumni Association President Jeremy Gosbee recognized Knapp’s international outreach and focus on keeping alumni engaged in University news and events. Knapp has traveled extensively throughout his presidency to expand GW’s global footprint and court donors.
“He’s traveled countless times all around the world to connect with our alumni and he’s our strongest ambassador when he encourages us to get involved on campus,” he said.
Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor Knapp poses with former Student Association President Erika Feinman and Executive Vice President Thomas Falcigno.
Speakers also recognized Diane Knapp, who has focused on developing sustainable food options during her time on campus. Diane Knapp leads GW’s Urban Food Task Force, which hosts events and provides students, faculty and staff with information about healthy food, and works with the campus GroW Garden.
Former Student Association President Erika Feinman and former Executive Vice President Thomas Falcigno concluded the program by presenting the Knapp family with an orchid, meant to symbolize their commitment to growing the University.
“Many of our projects would not have been possible without their support,” Feinman said. “Thank you so much for your service.””

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Importance
1
Student arrested for drug possession in District House
by The GW Hatchet
May 05, 2017
“The University Police Department arrested a student last week after finding marijuana and cocaine in his room in District House, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.
Kaigen Jones-Talerico, 22, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance, according to an MPD Second District arrest report.
He pled not guilty to the charges and will appear in D.C. Superior Court on May 30, according to court documents.
UPD officers seized five storage bags containing leafy green substance, 29 vaping vials, a container with white powdery substance, another container with a white powdery residue, four blue pills, two scales and a bag with empty colored pill bottles and capsules, according to the report.
On April 28, UPD officers were sent to District House for a residence hall room search. At about 12:15 p.m., the two officers and area coordinator Ana Leskanich contacted Jones-Talerico and his roommate and asked they leave the room, the report states.
Jones-Talerico allegedly told police that he had drugs in the room and was distributing them. He showed the officers where the substances were located, according to the document.
An officer then tested the substances and found that they were marijuana and cocaine, according to the report,
At 1:15 p.m., MPD was notified, and when an MPD officer arrived, the student said he was feeling ill. The MPD officer requested an EMeRG at 1:48 p.m., but EMeRG decided it was not necessary to provide the student with medical treatment, the report states.
Shortly after 2 p.m., an MPD transport vehicle arrived and police took Jones-Talerico to the MPD Second District station for processing. Leskanich recovered the evidence and photos were taken of the seized items, according to the report.”

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Importance
1
This week in music: Mellow hits to relax and ease into summer
by The GW Hatchet
Jan 01, 2017
“Settle down after your finals and coast into summer with some warm female vocalists and cool waves of synth.
Sylvan Esso – “Just Dancing”
Sylvan Esso, an indie-folk duo made up of singer Amelia Meath and her producer Nick Sanborn, has been a staple on festival lineups since their first album was released in 2013. In their new album, titled “What Now,” the group proves their staying power with smartly constructed synth pop that delves into topics plaguing their audience.
Meath told NPR that this song is about the fleeting romances found on Tinder, characterized in lyrics including, “You never can seem to remember my name / But when we’re dancing I am in love again.” Sylvan Esso paints the dating scene as a tango with a revolving door of dance partners – which hits close to home for college students – and four-on-the-floor beats make the song too inviting to leave.
The band tackles what could be a cliché subject matter from a new perspective that is smartly doomed but lighthearted. Although the song’s limp chorus doesn’t immediately stick compared to the band’s earlier singles, the bridge surely makes up for it, as Meath repeats a foreboding yet enticing wish: “Come on baby / Let’s never stop starting.”
Sylvan Esso will play at the 9:30 Club May 27 and 28. Tickets are $25. “What Now” was released April 28.
Feist – “Baby Be Simple”
Leslie Feist gained fame for her song “1234” when it was featured in an iPod Nano commercial. After her quick rise, she could have easily continued in the indie-pop waters. But Feist opted to trade catchy melodies for more drawn out folk rock tunes that have become part of her signature style.
Her folk sound is most evident on her track, “Baby Be Simple,” a six-minute slow burner off her latest album “Pleasure.” Although other tracks on the record have Feist showing off her fiery personality – this song acts as a heartrending and ultimately hopeful ballad. Opening with a lone acoustic guitar, Feist’s voice creaks in, sounding like she was recorded through a tin-can. Feist stretches her phrases to the point of croaking on her words, which only becomes more heartbreaking as she stretches into her higher register.
Feist’s vocals overlay on one another to gain composure, and the song flourishes with woodwinds and strings. Add Feist’s whispered la-la’s into the mix, and the track swells with a subtle, uncomplicated romance. Feist continues to prove that she still has songwriting treasures to offer, and she implores the listener to stick around.
Feist will play at Lincoln Theater June 7. Tickets are $45. “Pleasure” was released April 28.
Gorillaz – “Submission feat. Danny Brown & Kelela”
Gorillaz, the popular cartoon band created by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, hadn’t released an album since “The Fall” in 2011. So “Humanz,” their latest album released last month, was highly-anticipated. This new collection features a diverse pool of guest vocalists, including Grace Jones, D.R.A.M. and Pusha T. Despite this eclectic roster, the record’s sound features a similar compilation of electronic tunes.
The pleasantly slinking track “Submission” is structured on monotonous synth grooves, but is saved by glowing features from alternative R&B singer Kelela and a guest verse from rap star Danny Brown. Kelela’s vocal nuances carry the tune, and her breathy falsettos fog up against the icy beats.
Danny Brown arrives with a characteristically energetic verse just when you were hoping the track would dramatically shift in sound. Opposite of the unpredictable nature of his own releases, Brown is boxed in by linear beats on this track. He still manages to provide some humanizing bars like, “’Cause I lost my patience yesterday / If you could see inside of me / There’d be no heart on my X-ray.”
Gorillaz will play at Merriweather Post Pavilion July 17. Tickets are $62 – $199. Humanz was released April 28.”

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Importance
1
Delavergne twins push each other on and off the track
by The GW Hatchet
Jan 01, 2017
“Track and field is an individual sport – and the biggest competition is against the clock. But for juniors Frank and Ed Delavergne, running has always been a family affair.
After spending two years apart from each other at different colleges, the twin brothers both transferred to GW last fall and found themselves competing with and against each other.
Ed, who transferred from George Mason, wasn’t running competitively when he was a Patriot. But now as a Colonial, he holds two indoor track and field program records for the 300m and 400m dash and was a member of the record-holding distance medley squad that finished in seventh place out of 26 teams at the Penn Relays Friday.
Frank, who spent two years at Northern Virginia Community College, earned his associate’s degree before coming to Foggy Bottom.
For the brothers, running competitively at the collegiate level was always the goal.
“When we were both at different schools, it was a lot of texting each other, making sure you got the workout done, making sure you got a lift done if you need to get a lift done, making sure we got applications in,” Ed said.
When they first arrived at GW, the twins experienced a culture shock, from practicing on a shorter track to running down D.C.’s busy city streets. For Ed, being able to run with a team again was a welcome change after his time at George Mason, he said.
“I was by myself at George Mason, and it’s interesting going between having to do runs by myself every day to then being back on a team where you have people to run with,” Ed said. “I’m really self-motivated anyways, but it’s funny to see how much easier it is with teammates and being now at the same school as my brother.”
Head coach Terry Weir said the twins have taken the changes in stride, and he has seen growth from the brothers, both as runners and students.
“I told them both this is the year to just get your feet on the ground and just kind of get a feel for what GW can be academically and what it’s going to be like balancing athletics with it, too,” Weir said. “When they first got here in the fall to now, it’s been tremendous and both of them run very, very well.”
Weir said the brothers, who are the fourth or fifth set of twins he’s coached, have a competitive nature and drive that pushes the other runners on the team.
“They’re really hard workers, and what I love about them both is they’re super competitive,” Weir said. “It’s infectious with that group and they train and they get after it in practice and it raises the level for the rest of the group when they’re working out.”
The Delavergne twins, from Warrenton, Va., started competitively running their freshman year of high school after spending all of their childhood playing strictly baseball.
“We decided to do indoor track freshman year, and then we actually did do baseball freshman year, and we just loved the indoor season so much,” Frank said. “We were good at it, and just kept going with it.”
Since then it has been “go, go, go” training and practicing, with the goal of competing at the collegiate level.
Having a built-in workout partner doesn’t hurt, either. From something as small as making sure they’re drinking enough water during the day to training together in the offseason, Ed said the brothers always have each other’s back.
“You always have someone there to hold you accountable for every single day, and throughout the season,” he said.
Although running on the same team has its perks, one of the biggest challenges for the twins comes mostly from people constantly pitting the brothers against each other.
“If people see me at a track meet and notice we’re twins, they ask, ‘Which one’s faster?’” Ed said. “You almost feel put up against each other instead of as teammates, in some instances…I don’t love being a twin.”
Still, the brothers acknowledge how lucky they are to have someone they can rely on to push them to do better.
“With sprinting, you can’t really work out on your own, you got to feed off each other,” Frank said. “It just comes together perfectly.”
Since arriving, the duo has found the athletic culture at GW to be tight-knit and welcoming, Ed said.
“I like how close the athletic teams are here, because we all share the same facilities, we’re all in the weight room at the same time,” he said. “We see everybody and I think it’s an interesting dynamic that all the teams seem to be pretty close.”
Weir said that the brothers are integral to building up the track team, which is now in its third full season.
“There’s a great opportunity with them to come to GW and run and for us to build our track program and have them with us,” Weir said. “It’s been great so far coaching them.””

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Importance
1
All resident advisers should vote in favor of unionization
by The GW Hatchet
Jan 01, 2017
“Resident advisors at GW may not be part of a union now, but they have the chance to make history this Wednesday when they vote on whether to become the first unionized undergraduate student group nationwide at a private university.
Two weeks ago, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that GW RAs are employees and can form a union. This decision comes after a local division of the Service Employees International Union  filed a petition with the NLRB on behalf of some RAs last fall, claiming that their contracts and job standards are vague and that it’s unclear what actions can cause them to lose their jobs.
The Hatchet’s editorial board believes that RAs should vote in favor of unionization to receive better guidelines about what their jobs entail and what they can be terminated for, and to improve their relationships with their residents and the University. It is also necessary that all RAs join the union if they vote in favor because even those who don’t join would be subject to the decisions proposed and negotiated by the union.
RAs at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have been unionized since 2002 and serve as an example of how RA unionization should work. Their contracts provide necessary information like binding grievances and arbitration procedures for unfair firings and discrimination, and outline what times they’re expected to be available every day. Meanwhile, RAs at GW have spoken up about various disciplinary actions – like immediate termination – that can be taken against them for not upholding their ambiguous contracts.
Unionization isn’t a cure-all to the problems RAs are currently facing, but it’s a path toward improvement. If RAs vote in favor of unionization, they should approach the negotiation process with caution, while still being realistic and firm in what they want. RAs should come to a consensus on their goals and priorities so they can work toward measures that will bring about real change in their professional lives. A successful RA union would need to focus on asking for tangible and realistic demands to help RAs do their job better. The RAs should first negotiate clear guidelines regarding the grounds on which they can be fired. A lack of clarity about the firing process and what RAs are expected to do for their residents only creates confusion and prevents RAs from fulfilling their duties. Having responsibilities clearly outlined will increase job security.
RAs would also be able to use the union to ask for higher wages, but this shouldn’t be a top priority. With budget cuts across the University – including the decrease  in wages for some summer student employees from the D.C. minimum to the federal minimum – a wage increase isn’t a realistic demand for the near future. If  RAs do attempt to negotiate for a higher wage and are successful, however, then some RAs might not need to find another job to make ends meet and would have more time to devote to their residents.
If the vote passes and the union forms, RAs shouldn’t ask for specific work hours because they don’t work a typical 9-to-5 job. They’re on the job all the time. The role of an RA is always evolving and expanding to include more responsibilities, like training on topics related to sexual assault prevention and Title IX. Being an RA has continued to encompass more and more obligations, and specific work hours don’t fit with the job description. With a constantly evolving position like this, it’s vital that all aspects of the role are clearly defined.
Although some are concerned about the possible effects of unionization on the relationship between residents and RAs, unionization could considerably improve the experience that residents receive. Better outlining an RA’s job duties may require some RAs to hold new events for their residents and be more available to them than they are now. But more importantly, it would provide them with clarity about what is expected of them, ensuring that residents have more present and helpful RAs.
In terms of the effects unionization would have between RAs and the University, the relationship can only get better. The relationship between the two has been rocky, and unionization would hopefully improve communication so that both RAs and administrators have clearer expectations of the other. Of course, the move towards unionization may shift how RAs are seen by University officials, from “student” first to “employee” first. As an employee first, this can change the relationship between the two to become more formal. But that’s OK, since a more formal relationship – if handled well – would reduce ambiguity.
Although we wholly support unionization, we also realize that the union might not bring about immediate changes for RAs because negotiations take time. But if the vote passes, we will hopefully see a marked improvement in communication between GW and RAs within a couple of years. This decision would make way for a clearer hiring and firing process that allows RAs to know the specific job responsibilities they should be fulfilling and the reasons they could be terminated. This will make life better for RAs, residents and the University in the long-term.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Irene Ly and contributing opinions editor Shwetha Srinivasan, based on discussions with managing director Melissa Holzberg, managing editor Tyler Loveless, sports editor Matt Cullen, copy editor Melissa Schapiro and design editor Anna Skillings.
Summer wage cuts were not made with student employees in mind
Budget cuts have affected departments all across GW, but this specific cut will affect some students’ ability to work at GW.
READ MORE”

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Importance
1
Resident adviser forms group to oppose unionization
by The GW Hatchet
Jan 01, 2017
“A resident adviser opposed to unionization launched a new student group Wednesday to counter the effort to organize.
Austin Hansen, a senior and RA in District House, said he created Students for RA Freedom to provide more information to RAs about the effects of unionization – information he said proponents of unionization would not give.
“Students for RA Freedom was launched to better inform our peers on the potential benefits and consequences of unionization,” Hansen said in a release posted by the group Wednesday. “Since no other party can legally offer another perspective, we want to advocate for and empower our fellow RAs to make a fully informed independent decision.”
A labor board ruled last week that GW RAs are University employees and have the right to organize. Last fall, RAs filed a petition to unionize, citing concerns over ambiguous contracts that do not specify what actions warrant review or termination.
RAs will vote next Wednesday to determine whether or not to form a union.
Hansen said he opposes the movement to organize because it would change the way that residents are able to interact with their RAs and prevent the flexibility that he said was necessary to be a successful RA.
Hansen said that the union would likely advocate for a “punch-in-punch-out” contract for RAs, which would limit the hours that RAs are available to students.
“For a campus that has a variety of issues relating to mental health, to sexual assault, we need to provide more opportunities for support, have more RAs, have more opportunities to reach support for students, not less,” he said.
Hansen said RAs were better served by representing themselves and working directly with the Center for Student Engagement. He said he disagrees with the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that RAs should not be considered employees of the University.
“I believe I’m a student first,” he said. “I don’t view myself as an input to this university. This is not my career. Yes, this is a job, but I don’t believe it is fitting to place this status on this role for their purposes.”
Hansen said much of the information the organizers of the unionization movement have been spreading was one-sided and doesn’t address the potential downsides of forming a union.
Organizers of the unionization movement will hold several town halls over the next week to address concerns and provide more information to voters.
Hansen said the new group will also host information sessions next week which he said will provide a fuller picture of the unionization process. He said the date of the sessions hasn’t been determined, but it will not conflict with the organizers’ town halls.
“We believe that you’re not receiving all the information by going to an information session that is organized by the union,” he said. “The union is biased. They want you to unionize. They want your dues. They want to represent you.”
He said the new group distributed a survey on Saturday to all current GW RAs, asking whether they’d support unionization.
The survey received 22 responses and 12 said they would vote against unionization, according to survey results obtained by The Hatchet. The University currently employs 110 RAs, according to the NLRB’s ruling.
He said that as of Wednesday the new group had about 20 RA members who oppose unionization.
Calla Gilson, a former RA in Shenkman and Somers halls and an organizer of RA unionization efforts, said in an email that both groups seem to share a similar goal: educating RAs about unionization.
“We are excited that RAs have the opportunity to vote to decide what is best for them going forward,” she said. “If after considering the implications of unionizing or not, the RAs collectively vote ‘no,’ the organizing committee respects that decision.”
She said the survey the new group sent out wasn’t an accurate representation of RAs’ views on unionization.
“Unfortunately, Austin’s survey was unclear and many RAs responded to it out of belief of obligation to do so,” she said.”

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Importance
1
Rand Paul to teach CCAS course next fall
by The GW Hatchet
Jan 01, 2017
“Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, will teach a course on “dystopian visions” next fall in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the school’s dean confirmed Thursday.
CCAS Dean Ben Vinson said the course will focus on the history of dystopian attitudes and how they relate to current events and political debates.
“When Senator Paul’s office approached us about coming to campus to teach this course, we agreed that his unique voice as a sitting senator would provide an engaging backdrop for our students,” he said in an email.
Vinson said the course is not connected to a department or program and will be offered as an elective. The class is only open to CCAS students and registration is closed, according to the course schedule .
Elected to the senate in 2010, Paul was an ophthalmologist before entering politics. He ran for president in the Republican primary in 2016.
“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to join the faculty and students at the George Washington University for the upcoming fall semester,” Paul said through a University spokesman. “The George Washington University is one of our nation’s leading higher education institutions and I look forward to my time in Foggy Bottom.”
Paul has expressed interest in teaching a class on dystopian novels before. In 2013, he told Vice the novels reflect current politics and show the dangers of the government gaining too much power.”

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Importance
1
Man arrested after attempting to enter Amsterdam Hall rooms
by The GW Hatchet
Jan 01, 2017
“A man was arrested after he attempted to enter rooms in Amsterdam Hall Tuesday afternoon, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.
Donz Kim, 59, was arrested and charged with attempted second degree theft and unlawful entry, according to court documents.
Kim was allegedly caught on a surveillance camera trying to enter multiple rooms on the fourth floor of Amsterdam Hall.
University Police Department officer Dario Daniel was told Kim entered the residence hall and contacted him at about 3:50 p.m. Kim told officers on the scene that he went into the building to find food and water, according to the report.
Kim had previously trespassed on University property, the report states.
He will appear in D.C. Superior Court for a hearing June 6.”

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Importance
1
Former press secretary and homeland security secretary talk compromise
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 25, 2017
“Democrat and former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest squared off with Tom Ridge, a republican and the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, at the annual Only at GW debate Sunday.
The debate was moderated by CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent and GW alumna Dana Bash. Earnest and Ridge debated on Obamacare, the proposed border wall and the complicated process for compromise between parties.
Here are some highlights from the event.
1. Working towards compromise
The debate began with the two speakers discussing how the major political parties could work together.
“I don’t think ‘compromise’ should be an attack word,” Ridge said. “The Constitution is a series of compromises and those who put their arms in a warm embrace around the Constitution ‘ought to read it.”
Both Earnest and Ridge went on to discuss how the current political climate came to be. Earnest said he believed it became most noticeable after Obama’s election in 2008.
“We saw Congressional Republicans engage in a specific strategy to put opposition to Barack Obama above all else,” he said.
Ridge, on the other hand, said that the disagreement was the result of concerns over the effectiveness of policies like the stimulus program.
“There was legitimate debate about whether paying people to install windows and weatherization was really the kind of stimulus you needed,” he said.
2. Debating the border wall
The debate then moved to President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and the threat by the administration to cause a partial shutdown of the government if Congress fails to fund the wall in the next spending bill. Ridge said Trump’s advisers should redirect their focus to other issues of concern more relevant to the average American.
“Mr. President, you want to do Obamacare this week, you want to do taxes this week,” Ridge said. “Let’s not get it all torn asunder by focusing one this one small item, important to you, but not so much for the average American and for the government to keep functioning.”
Earnest said the fact that Trump demanded the federal government help fund the wall hurt his argument.
“I feel like I would be particularly challenged to make an argument that made sense to shut down the government over funding for a wall that I had spent the last two years saying that somebody else was going to pay for,” Earnest said.
3. Defending Obamacare
The conversation then moved to Obamacare and the political figures discussed its effectiveness. Although Ridge said that Republican leadership failed to provide an alternative to the bill, Earnest defended it.
Earnest said that Obamacare reflected the free market ethos that Republicans value.
“Obamacare is actually centered on a Republican idea,” Earnest said. “This idea of free markets, competition and fostering that kind of competition to drive down prices to benefit the consumer.”
Freshman Emma Young said that the debate was a good break from the combative discourse of the past few months.
“It was certainly a relief to not see them arguing the whole time,” she said.”

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