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GWU Campus News

Fourth-year law student died of natural causes in November
by The GW Hatchet
Jul 30, 2015
“Fourth-year-law student died of natural causes in November. Since his death, long-time friends have helped take care of his family, his mother said. Courtesy of Lee Lowder
Fourth-year law student Mark Lee died of natural causes in November, the Chief Medical Examiner said.
His cause of death was an abnormal heart rhythm known as a cardiac arrhythmia, which can occur when electrical impulses coordinating heartbeats don’t work properly, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The arrhythmia was due to hyponatremic dehydration, the medical examiner said. Hyponatremia occurs when there are abnormally low sodium levels in the blood, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Lee was 35 years old and had been taking courses part time at GW when he was found dead in his off-campus apartment on Nov. 30.
Lee had been sick with flu-like symptoms for several days before his death but seemed to be improving, his mother, Susan West, said this week.
West said that in the time since her son’s death, friends have been memorializing him by naming their children and pets after him, and have helped take care of West and her husband by including them in family activities. After a large snowfall, a friend of Lee’s came by to shovel their sidewalk, West said.
“They have been so incredibly kind,” she said. “They gave us a reason to get up.”
She also said Lee’s best friend since middle school was planning to launch a clothing line in Lee’s memory and the proceeds would be put towards a scholarship for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, Lee’s favorite basketball team.
Plans for a memorial at GW are also in the works, she said.
“We always thought our son was amazing – just so smart and funny and thoughtful and loving,” she said. “He meant so much to us.”
A native of Newport News, Va., Lee was pursuing a career in business and contract law, and had worked at the global medical device company K2M Group Holdings Inc. in Leesburg, Va. since 2010.
He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2002 with a degree in communications and a minor in political science. He also took classes at the University of South Carolina and worked as a paralegal before deciding to go to law school.
Lee is the 10th student to die over the last 18 months. His death was the second in the law school last academic year, after a second-year student died by suicide in November.”

Recent alumnus remembered as compassionate, loyal and 'whip smart'
by The GW Hatchet
Jul 14, 2015
“Friends and neighbors started a memorial for Keaton Marek at the 2400 M Apartments. The recent alumnus was found dead on the sidewalk at 24th and M streets last Wednesday. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
Keaton Marek, who graduated last month, could often be found debating seemingly “silly” topics, like the loyalty of characters in “The Lord of the Rings.”
Still, Marek always remained kind, said long-time friend and alumnus Oskar Sharman. Marek, 22, was found dead last Wednesday on a sidewalk at 24th and M streets.
“He got along with everybody,” Sharman said. “He attracted all the right people.”
Sharman said Marek was always there to complement Sharman’s slightly introverted personality. Roommates their freshman and sophomore years, the pair “did everything together,” he said.
“Keaton was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known,” Sharman, who is a former Hatchet reporter, said. “I was calling him my best friend two weeks into being at college. It’s fairly rare for a friendship to last that long in college. But he was one of the most likeable people I’ve ever met.”
Marek “came off” the roof of the 2400 M Apartments last week, his mother said. His official cause of death has not yet been released because a report by the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is not yet complete. Metropolitan Police Department officers had responded to a radio call for a “man down,” where Marek was found unconscious and not breathing on a sidewalk. He had suffered severe head trauma, according to police records.
His mother, Cynthia Marek, said about 30 students from GW were coming to his memorial services in New York this week.
She said her son loved to debate, and took classes on topics he cared about instead of courses to boost his GPA. He loved watching sports and would meet up with his younger sister, Kelly, who is a senior at GW, for the occasional brunch or lunch.
“He was one of those people, and I know there are probably a lot of people at GW like this, who wanted to improve the world,” she said.
Keaton Marek was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity since his freshman year and was a leader among the organization’s members, said Charlie Temkin, the chapter’s president. Since Marek joined the fraternity, he had an “immeasurable impact” on the members, Temkin said in an email.
“Keaton was widely regarded as one of the funniest members of our chapter and was always there to put a smile on anyone's face no matter where or when,” Temkin said. “Despite his passing, Keaton will live on in through the many fond memories everyone has with him.”
Marek interned with his representative in Congress, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., in both his Buffalo and D.C. offices from June 2013 to May 2014.
“He was a hardworking and bright addition to our team who was well liked by all,” Higgins’ office said in a statement. “Our hearts break for the Marek family as well as his friends at home and in Washington.”
Marek was also a campus security aide and a member of the GW College Democrats. He graduated from Kenmore West High School in Tonawanda, N.Y. and was a recipient of a Board of Trustees scholarship at GW, which is given to undergraduates to help with tuition expenses.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and minored in philosophy, a subject his professors said was his passion.
In one of her classes this past spring, assistant philosophy professor and Director of Graduate Studies Laura Papish said Marek stood out because of his “laser-like focus on what really mattered in a philosophical debate.”
“One of the first things I can say is that I thought Keaton was awesome — just a cool person with great ideas and one of the people I really hoped to keep in touch with after graduation,” Papish said in an email.
She said he also came up with his own philosophical scenarios, to which they referred as “Keaton cases,” and classmates would use them to relate to other topics they were studying.
“He was whip smart, fiercely skeptical and very kind,” Papish said.
Jason Fisette, an adjunct professor, taught Keaton Marek in a class on the history of modern philosophy two years ago. He said Keaton Marek dove into difficult topics with a sense of optimism, and was cheerful and kind during class discussions.
“Keaton showed his qualities with his careful and patient questioning of initially bewildering theories, and my ruling memory of him is as happily engaged in a congenial exchange of ideas with his peers,” Fisette said in an email. “The loss of this friend of philosophy is a great one.”
This week, a neighbor started a memorial on a wall outside of the 2400 M Apartments. Friends and strangers have pencilled notes on pieces of paper and taped them to a window. Sunflowers, lilies and candles line a windowsill. A memorial service will be held in the lobby on Thursday night.
“Keaton, we will celebrate your life and not your death, for you will always be alive in our hearts, forever,” one message read.”

The Closer: Muhl finds his place at the back of the pen
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 26, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
Sophomore Eddie Muhl pitches to a Georgetown hitter in a game this past season. Muhl made a seamless transition into his first season as a full-time closer, racking up 17 saves.
A treasured tradition at Tucker Field lies a stone’s throw past the bullpen in left field.
One of the best closers in GW baseball history, sophomore Eddie Muhl, would sneak off from the team’s warmups with fellow standout reliever Craig LeJeune, his graduate student mentor. They would head down to the creek that runs through Barcroft Park to sit together and clear their minds.
They were the Bullpen Bash Brothers. But unlike the bash bros in The Mighty Ducks, this duo never suffered from fiery tempers. Over the course of GW’s most successful campaign in a decade, Muhl saved an unprecedented 17 games, cooler in the clutch than the ice in a hockey rink. Muhl led the nation in saves for much of his first year as a full-time closer with an unflappable serenity on the mound that LeJeune helped him refine.
“Obviously this year presented its challenges, but I think this year really showed me that you don’t really think when you’re out there on the mound,” Muhl said. “You just get to a level of competing where you go out there and do your best, win or lose.”
Muhl’s 17 saves set single-season records both at GW and in the Atlantic 10, carrying on a family tradition. The 6-foot-4-inch, 210-pound California native’s aunt, Kas Allen, is in the GW Athletic Hall of Fame as an all-time women’s basketball player.
“It takes a special guy to understand when he gets in there, that he’s got to have that true confidence and belief every time he throws the ball,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “That’s a huge growth for him and that’s a fantastic moment for a guy who’s just a sophomore.”
At the end of the season, Muhl co-leads the nation in saves. He was tied only with Radford’s Ryan Meisinger, who appeared in seven more games than the Colonials’ closer. Despite the distinction, Muhl was left off the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year finalist list. He was at the top of the list all season long.
“Eddie would always joke that when people would ask what position me and Eddie were, he would say, ‘We’re the closer,’” LeJeune said. “That was pretty cool of him to say that. He would acknowledge that because he still thinks I’m the closer, but I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m not the one leading the country in saves right now.’”
Muhl would end the season — which he started as a bullpen guy and eventually assumed the role of closer when LeJeune was still not fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery in the spring of his final year of eligibility — with 17 saves and two blown opportunities. He finished with a 2.13 ERA, 20 strikeouts in 25.1 innings, six walks and four extra-base hits allowed.
Still, he never really focused on his numbers.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Muhl only had two blown save opportunities this season.
“Craig and I would sometimes play a game every time after Luke Olson pitched, called, ‘What’s Luke’s ERA?’” Muhl said, referring to the seventh-inning man. “Every time we played that, I would definitely see my numbers. But I’m definitely not somebody that just goes on after every game and checks it out. I’m just more focused on the process rather than the result.”
Last year, Muhl was still finding his footing. He had lost the feel for his old pitching style, throwing from a three-quarter arm slot instead of the sidearm-like style he used back in high school, where he went from starting pitcher to closer in the final months of his career. He started to develop a two-seam-styled change-up.
In a low-pressure, non-conference game against Coppin State during Muhl’s freshman year, he threw the final three innings with a six-run lead. To his surprise, LeJeune, the grizzled veteran with the fourth-most saves in program history, came up to him after the game to congratulate his first save.
“Craig came over to me and said, ‘Hey, congrats on the save!” I thought he just meant that I pitched well and it wasn’t an actual save,” Muhl said. “Honestly, he’s probably the biggest contributor to where I’m at right now.”
This offseason Muhl will head off to Anchorage, Alaska to play for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and continue sharpening his game to keep the saves coming next season.
“It is about Eddie repeating what he did, being confident in what he did, believe what he did was reality and not some once-in-a-lifetime thing, but you just did that and your goal now is to just be consistent,” Ritchie said.
One hurdle will be the departure of LeJeune. Olson could be the new setup man, but he might be too valuable to lose as the go-to middle reliever to save the back end guys. Ritchie said it could be rising sophomore Robbie Metz, the man who picked up the hold in Muhl’s final save. Metz had a strong year as a starter, but Ritchie said he could see moving him to the eighth-inning slot.
Regardless of Ritchie’s consistency mantra, the closer in Muhl still strives for perfection.
“If I had just come out and had a perfect 19-for-19 year, I don’t think I would be as motivated to get better and to keep a foot on the gas,” Muhl said. “That’s the biggest motivator, knowing I had a good season, but there’s definitely room for improvement. I think there’s still a better version of me. I think I’m still trying to figure it out.””

Q&A: Lonergan talks offseason workouts, big games and the transfer wire
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 09, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
Men's basketball head coach Mike Lonergan works from the sidelines during a conference game against Duquesne last season. Lonergan soon begins his quest to return to the NCAA Tournament when the team gets back on campus for offseason training on July 5.
With the end of the NBA Finals, a dark period that is the void of basketball begins for men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan. But the pressure is on for the 2015–2016 season — the last chance for seniors Joe McDonald, Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen to get back to the NCAA Tournament — and a busy offseason is well underway. We caught up with Lonergan in his office to talk about the news from the team this summer, and what to expect in the fall. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Three players transferred out at the end of the season, and you added two. Do you think you may add a third?
Mike Lonergan: We would love to get a post player. And a graduate student like [shooting guard] Alex [Mitola] that wants to go to a very good school and pursue a master's but those guys are being pursued by everyone in the country. So there are some transfers that people put in articles in ESPN that say we were interested, and we weren't, and there are others that we were and they chose other schools. So could something still happen? Yeah. There's nothing going on right now but [Wake Forest transfer] Tyler [Cavanaugh] decided in late June to come here and Isaiah [Armwood] was in August. So we'll see, but we're not just going to take someone to take someone. We've got very good chemistry. We've got a great group of guys. It would have to be the right fit.
You signed a lot of home-and-home agreements that began on the road last year, but are coming back to the Smith Center this fall. Are you excited for the team to have home court in big games and for the fans to get to see them in person?
ML: There's no guarantee you win at home, but if I'm buying season tickets at GW, I've got Rutgers, Penn State, Seton Hall and Virginia. That's pretty good. Not to mention VCU and whoever else that's coming in. And it's hard. It's really hard to get those games. [Athletic director] Patrick Nero and I both believe in scheduling and the fan experience and the student athlete experience, so I am happy about that. So now we're trying to get those games for upcoming years which has become even harder, to be honest with you, because we've done well the last two years and it's hard. A lot of the coaches, they want to just get wins.
What are your offseason priorities?
ML: We're trying to work on ball handling because we're going to have a pretty tall lineup. Patricio and Yuta [Watanabe] give us a lot of length and height at the wings but we're really trying to do a lot of ball-handling drills with them because a lot of times they're going to have guys, especially Yuta, guarding them that are shorter players, and it's a long way for that ball coming up. So that's probably one of the points of emphasis with our individual workouts, and stuff is to get better at ball handling.
Do you do anything fun with the team during the offseason?
ML: When they run, they run down to the Vietnam Memorial and to the wall and they have to remember a name. And they have to remember it the whole time they come back and they've got to look up a name on the computer, or I don't know if they look it up or one of the graduate assistants [looks it up]. But I was in the weight room yesterday and they print basically the biography of the person who died in the war, so in the weight room there are all these names. So I was like, “Oh, that's awesome." It's just something so that when they run down there, they have to remember the name. And if they forget the name, I think they have to do like 100 pushups or something. So it's also a thing to try to remember.
One of the big stories this time last year was Cavanaugh’s transfer. After having a year to watch him in practice, what are your expectations for him in his first year being able to play in games for GW?
ML: I'm hoping Tyler is a double-digit scorer. I don't know whether that's 10 or 14. I mean he was averaging 8.8 a game in arguably the hardest conference in the country, so I think he's now a year older, knows our system, so I think he can really take some pressure off Kevin [Larsen] because of his size. And he'll draw a lot of attention because he can shoot threes and he can score inside. I think he's going to be really good for us. I just don't know what that means statistically.
You’ve added a lot of shooters to the team. How will that impact how you use the roster?
ML: My hope is we'll be more difficult to guard. And even Alex Mitola, you can't forget about him. He's a great shooter. When we sub we probably are going to be small later. Davidson did a great job of playing a lot of shooters and guards, and it didn't hurt them too much. We're going to have to hide our lack of size defensively when we get into our bench but the shorter shot clock and different things, we might even tweak our 1-3-1 and do some things to keep teams from getting the ball inside and taking advantage of us."
You’ve added pieces that stood out in Division III and in weaker conferences like the Ivy League. How can you know if their skills will transfer against bigger, more physical players?
ML: [Junior guard] Matt Hart, he's got to prove it in the game. As a D-III player [at Hamilton], it's definitely a big difference. I think he's done everything right. He's got the ability to be in the rotation based on his shooting ability alone. The other things we will see. But Mitola was in the Ivy League [at Dartmouth]. It's definitely a lower-level conference but it's a lot different than D-III. Mitola went to Harvard last year and they beat Harvard, and he was the leading scorer in that game. So he's done it. He's proven to me that he's a Division I player. Not at this level, but he's a three-year starter, second in the league in free-throw shooting in the league that's probably the best free-throw shooting league in the country. So there's some areas where he can help us, whether he's the sixth man or 10th man, that's going to be up to him.
Have you heard about the D.C. Council proposal for a local college basketball tournament?
ML: If D.C. or somebody else can make the games happen, I think it would be great, not as the coach of GW but just as a fan. Maryland is playing Georgetown but that's not because Maryland and Georgetown agreed to play, that's because those conferences are forcing it. But I think that's great if those teams play for whatever reason because I think that's good for the area, and this is a great area for high school basketball, college basketball. I don't really know what's going to happen with that, but it's kind of nice that somebody's trying to make something happen. Hey, we'd love to play Maryland or Georgetown. I have no problem saying that but that's it. I don't have that power to make it happen.
Have you seen any of the NBA playoffs?
ML: I'm all excited about them but — it's not because I'm asleep when they're on — but there's just always something going on. We had some visits. And then the Wizards: I finally got to watch some. It would always be the fourth quarter when my kids are in bed I'd watch. I just can't get over, the play I can't get over — and I like Nene, he didn't box out well and the guy laid in the ball ... I thought that turned the series around. But I'm excited because I'm not a hockey guy at all, but just being from the area. For me, when sports are good, it helps all of us. The Nats are hot, but having the Wizards and Capitals, and I like their owner. I don't know him but I like their organization. Having them be good now, I think, is exciting for the area.”

Ditch the District for a day
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 09, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Tired of the city? Unwind for a day in Old Town Alexandria – just 20 minutes away on the Blue Line.
Even if you’re excited to leave your hometown for the nation's capital, you’ll be itching to see more of the DMV (that’s the District, Maryland and Virginia) soon.
With scenic hiking trails, historic neighborhoods and other fun cities at your fingertips, you should be reserving some Saturday afternoons for exploring before the breezy D.C. autumn turns to winter.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Salt marshes, a pine forest and beaches aren’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of D.C. But just three hours east on Route 50 is Assateague Island , a national park where you can kayak, hike and swim.
Oh, and about 200 feral horses call the island home.
Nobody is sure how the horses came to occupy the 37-mile island, but a Spanish shipwreck discovered in 1997 has led to the theory that after the cargo ship sank, horses on board swam to shore.
The entrance fee is $15 with a vehicle. You can even camp on the island if you don’t mind falling asleep to horses’ neighs.
Billy Goat Trail
The 4.7-mile hike takes you on a journey between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal – which was used to transport coal from the Allegheny Mountains – and the Potomac River. The easiest way to get to the Billy Goat Trail is by renting a Zipcar and driving west on the Clara Barton Parkway.
You’ll come across the Purple Horse Beach on the east side of Bear Island. The name is a little misleading because there isn’t anything purple about the sandy bank, nor are there horses. But it is home to climbing crags that will amp up your heart rate and make sure you earn that packed lunch.
You should also wear sneakers and be prepared to hop up and down rock faces, but light blue trail markers make it easy to stick to the path.
Old Town, Alexandria
Head to the Commonwealth of Virginia for thrift shopping, book browsing and a little history after a 20-minute ride on the Blue line. Off the main drag, King Street, the roads are lined with pretty brick townhouses, some covered with ivy, and gems like Misha’s Coffeehouse and Roaster.
The food isn’t much different than what you’ll find in D.C. unless you head to King Street Blues, a small bar with Southern offerings like $5 hush puppies, buttermilk biscuits served with remoulade, and a $5 cup of corn chili.
The Freedom House Museum on Duke Street is also worth a visit. The building used to be a holding cell for slaves, including the man on which “12 Years a Slave” is based, Solomon Northup.
Maryland’s largest city is a 40-minute MARC train ride away, which costs just a few bucks, depending on the time and day.
Visit poet Edgar Allan Poe’s grave in the Westminster Cemetery or check out The Book Thing in the Waverly part of town, where from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends, the organization gives out free books. On the south side, there’s Federal Hill Park, which offers panoramic views of the city.
For lunch, go to Beefalo Bob’s (8015 Ft. Smallwood Road), a barbecue place and sports bar that specializes in a Baltimore novelty called “pit beef" — smoked, thinly sliced beef on a Kaiser roll with raw onion. Or head to Faidley Seafood (203 N Paca St.) for jumbo lump-crab cakes and tartar sauce made in house.”

Staff Editorial: An introduction to the editorial board
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 09, 2015
“During your time at GW, there will be things you wish were different.
You might wish the Student Association focused more on issues that are important to you. You might wish University administrators would notice that there are problems with certain departments and offices. You might wish officials were more open about how they’re spending money.
Our editorial board wishes some things were different, too.
The goals of The Hatchet’s weekly staff editorial are simple: Make our voices heard and affect real, tangible change. This piece is placed in the opinions section, and becomes the official opinion of the paper.
Sometimes, we focus on very specific issues: Last year we suggested ways to improve the student organization sanctions website, proposed a plan for what GW should do when the J Street contract ends and endorsed SA candidates for upper-level positions.
But much of the time, we aim to tackle bigger patterns and trends: the University’s lack of transparency , the best strategies for student advocacy and how GW has cautiously moved forward on the issue of sexual assault prevention.
Over the next year, you can expect us to cover topics ranging from GW’s fundraising campaign to the new chief of the University Police Department. And already, we’ve made a list of ongoing storylines that are sure to affect the entire GW community, including the University-wide budget cuts and the SA’s complicated relationship with student organizations.
Our editorial board is comprised of editors from varying sections and positions, including opinions editor Sarah Blugis, contributing opinions editor Melissa Holzberg, managing director Rachel Smilan-Goldstein, design assistant Samantha LaFrance, sports editor Nora Princiotti, copy editor Brandon Lee and assistant sports editor Mark Eisenhauer.
We represent different parts of the GW community, as well. Some of our editorial board members are involved in Greek life, come from both ends of the political spectrum, have different majors and represent the Class of 2016 through the Class of 2018.
Most importantly, though, we represent as much of The Hatchet as possible — and operate separately from the news section. To make sure that our news editors stay objective, they cannot take part in writing or shaping any content from the opinions section, including the staff editorial. Plus, any member of the editorial board who has a conflict of interest will recuse himself or herself from the editorial meeting that week.
And to further separate ourselves from our news team, the editorial board does all of its own reporting, too. We do research, call experts and get comments from student leaders, professors and administrators.
Common questions we ask our sources include how policies from higher up affect professors, what problems impact students or why officials make certain decisions. We also look at studies or recently released reports, and regularly follow broader national and higher education news. Each member contributes to the research, and we discuss our findings and ideas in an email thread before we meet.
But our opinion, of course, isn’t the only one — and it shouldn’t be. The point of the staff editorial is to generate feedback, conversation and even criticism. We put our opinion out there so we can hear yours.
As freshmen in the Class of 2019, it might be easy to think that your opinion doesn’t matter. You’re new to GW, you aren’t involved in the community yet and you might not have a sense of the way the University works. But your voices are just as important as everyone else’s.
If you read a staff editorial — or any opinions piece — that makes you feel angry, excited or anything in between, we want to hear from you. We read the comments, share emails we receive and notice when people talk about our editorials on Facebook or Twitter.
And we can also publish your opinion right here in The Hatchet. At the bottom of every opinions piece, you’ll find a link where you can submit an op-ed or letter to the editor. If you’d just like to tell us what you think, you can email us at Better yet, consider joining the opinions section.
At any university, students might easily feel helpless. The administration and student leaders are powerful, though sometimes it may feel like they aren’t listening to students’ concerns or suggestions.
But each week, the staff editorial is for you. We do our best to represent student interests. And if we don’t get it right, let us know.
Welcome to GW, Class of 2019. We look forward to hearing from you.
Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.”

Op-ed: The Student Association president's tips for a successful experience at GW
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 09, 2015
“Over the past three years, the Student Association has created a home for me at GW. The SA's main goal is to advocate for students and ensure that your GW experience is the best it can be. As president, it’s my honor to have the opportunity to serve this school’s incredible students each and every day.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned during the past three years at GW is how to appreciate and listen to others. And so, in preparing this op-ed, I turned to a range of student leaders in the GW community who have changed my life for the better, seeking their thoughts on what they would advise new students. I used their advice to put together these tips.
Tip No. 1: Don’t overload yourself. Always make sure that you have enough time to dedicate yourself to each of your endeavors.
With the immense range of wonderful opportunities that our University offers, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. My advice to incoming students is to get involved in our community by joining student organizations. For me, these student activities have included Greek Life, GW Catholics and the GW Equestrian Team. While it's easy to join the many student organizations that spark your interest, remember that personal health comes above all and keeping track of your individual passions is equally important.
Tip No. 2: Step outside of your comfort zone. Don’t do things just because it’s the norm or what everyone else is doing. Try new things. Get outside of the Foggy Bottom bubble.
GW and D.C. are going to present you with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities during your four years of college. Whether it’s watching the presidential inauguration, seeing amazing speakers like Apple CEO Tim Cook or actress and transgender rights activist Laverne Cox, or going on a run from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, your time at GW is going to be monumental (pun intended). Do what makes you happy and stay true to who you are.
Tip No. 3: Take responsibility for your life. Things don’t just get handed to you, so don’t expect them to. If you want something, make it happen.
Four years ago when I graduated from high school, I never would have imagined my life as it is today. However, I’m incredibly thankful life has taken me on this path. It’s easy to doubt yourself, but don’t make excuses for not doing something. Step out of your comfort zone, set goals and live the adventure.
Tip No. 4: Do service at GW. You get to meet wonderful people while getting to know a different part of the DC community.
Dedication to service is part of the backbone of our community. Our University is well-known for the number of students who graduate and pursue work in the nonprofit world or serve with programs like the Peace Corps or Teach for America. Getting involved in service at GW was instrumental to my own experiences. Whether you volunteer at Miriam’s Kitchen, take a service-learning class or join the Alternative Breaks Program, do service.
Tip No. 5: Surround yourself with positive people, friends that care for you and take care of yourself. Stay humble, optimistic and thankful.
As I sit in a coffee shop one block from the White House, I can’t help but smile about my time at GW. People are going to tell you over and over again that college is going to fly by, and looking back on my past three years, I can confirm that this is exactly what happens. While GW might speed by, the opportunities do not. So take advantage of these opportunities, be optimistic about your next four years at this incredible institution, savor the experience and get excited for a wonderful adventure. Welcome to GW, Class of 2019. Raise high!
Andie Dowd, a senior majoring in international affairs, is president of the Student Association. Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.”

Campus dictionary
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 09, 2015
“Before you hit the books during your first semester at GW, study up on some campus vocabulary.
FoBoGro (proper noun): Shortened from Foggy Bottom Grocery, this convenient store located on F Street has everything from chips to cleaning supplies, and there’s even a sandwich shop on the ground floor.
Vex (proper noun): The bus that departs from 23 and G streets outside Funger Hall, as well as 20th and E Street, transports Vernies (students who live on the Mount Vernon Campus) to Foggy Bottom and hauls Foggy Bottom dwellers to the Vern for University Writing classes. They say it’s a 10 to 15-minute ride, but students have sometimes spent more than an hour on it, so be prepared. And don’t accidentally get on the wrong shuttle — one mistake could land you on a one-hour journey to Virginia.
Vexiled (nonfinite verb): You might become familiar with this phrase your freshman year. If your roommate requests a little space for a romantic evening, you could be stuck riding the Vex until its safe to return to your room.
HellWell (proper noun): A quick, cheeky way to refer to the Lerner Health and Wellness Center, the on-campus gym complete with exercise machines, pool, basketball courts and yoga classes to help students avoid the freshman 15. But no worries — you can gain back all of the calories you worked off with a froyo from Campus Fresh, just a floor up from the main lobby.
Square 80 (proper noun): Tucked away on the block between 21 and H streets, this park gives students a space for stereotypical college activities like throwing a Frisbee and reading books on benches. Expect sorority and fraternity events to happen here, too. And the warmer the weather, the more likely you’ll find free food.
SARC Team (proper noun): An acronym for Sexual Assault Response Consultative Team, this group trained of staff members are there to assist sexual assault survivors in finding appropriate resources to meet their medical, counseling and academic needs. Call 202-994-7222 for help, 24 hours a day.
Darty (noun): An event where it's acceptable to drink too much before 1 p.m., often followed by a long nap.
Fratio (noun): The outdoor patio adjacent to a fraternity house, where members grill and blast country music seemingly nonstop in the warmer months.
4-RIDE (proper noun): A taxi-esque service that will pick up and drop off GW students anywhere on and up to a mile away from the Foggy Bottom Campus between 7 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Officials added 15-passenger vans to the fleet about a year ago to pick up large groups of students.
Carvings (proper noun): Where you can gain the freshman 15, often late on weekend nights after familiarizing yourself with the haunts on F Street. Grab the fries or mozzarella sticks for a classic greasy snack. Don’t make the rookie mistake of calling it “Cravings,” even though that may be more logical.
#OnlyAtGW (adjective): A hashtag used sincerely by freshmen during Welcome Week, it soon turns into a well-used piece of sarcasm. Used in a sentence: “#OnlyAtGW would someone throw up on the Thurston stairs.”
Going to Town (verb): If you grew up in the suburbs this might have meant going to the nearest major city, but here it’s about going to the gay club Town Danceboutique, located on U Street. Fair warning: The club only admits those 18 and older on Fridays, so take advantage of your opportunity.
Peter K (proper noun): As dean of student affairs, Peter Konwerski deals with students’ concerns, often via Twitter on his account @GWPeterK. He uses Twitter for University updates, so tweet at him yourself with complaints, concerns and questions, and he'll be sure to give you an answer. You may see some pictures of his Portuguese Water Dogs, too.
Andie Dowd (proper noun): As president of the Student Association, she will represent the entire student body at GW's events this year. Dowd says she will focus her administration on health and wellness resources and improving 4-RIDE.
Ruffles (proper noun): The small fluffy dog belonging to University President Steven Knapp. Knapp occasionally brings Ruffles to campus events, and legend has it he walks the fluffy creature through University Yard late at the night.”

Freshmen dorms: The 'Zoo,' the Vern and everything in between
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 09, 2015
“Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
Thurston Hall houses more than 1,000 freshmen on the Foggy Bottom Campus.
No two residence halls at GW are the same. Whether you’re moving into a room at the heart of the legendary freshman “Zoo” or you’re on a hillside far removed from Foggy Bottom, here’s what you’ll love — and what will take some getting used to — at your first-year home.
Potomac House 2021 F St. NW
Though the two-person spaces in Potomac can be tight, sophomore Mackenzie Fusco, who lived in Potomac her freshman year, said that the modern residence hall is cleaner and less worn than other freshman residence halls.
“It’s probably the nicest freshman dorm, the one in the best condition,” she said.
Fusco added that her room in Potomac was a quiet space where she could sleep undisturbed after a night out. It’s within walking distance of the Thurston party scene and located right next to Carvings, a late-night deli where students can pick up some greasy snacks before stumbling back to their rooms.
But Fusco said that building a community within the 379-student building can be a hit-or-miss situation, depending on residents’ neighbors and resident advisors.
“It really varies from floor to floor,” she said. “On the floor above me, everyone knew each other and went out together all the time whereas on my floor, I saw people on move-out day that I had never seen before.”
But sophomore Supriya Mazumdar said that she met most of her freshman year friends on her floor in Potomac because residents would leave their doors open and spend time in common areas outside the elevators.
“We could go in and out of rooms and we had a Secret Santa on the top floor,” she said. “By the end of the year I knew everyone.”
Madison Hall 736 22nd St. NW
One of the smaller dorms, Madison’s low-key vibe is what made it stand out for incoming freshman Theresa Ranni.
“I’m kind of a quieter person and I wasn’t looking for that stereotypical college experience,” Ranni said. “I wasn’t looking for that party scene. I was looking for a place where I could actually study and sleep and think.”
And though it’s farther removed from the action at the other freshman dorms, Ranni, who has already spoken to some of her future neighbors, said she is anticipating that Madison will still be a social dorm.
“I’m expecting sort of like a family feel from the hallway,” she said. “I’m on the Facebook page and everyone’s posting on it like, ‘Let’s get to know each other.’ I love the sense of camaraderie I’m getting.”
Madison was built in 1945 and some of its features are worn — like an elevator that’s prone to breakdowns — but its older feel is what appealed to incoming freshman Maura Fallon.
“It was just kind of like a welcoming, homey atmosphere,” she said. “I know a lot of people really like modern and clean, but [Madison is] lived-in. It’s real. It’s been there for a while.”
Madison makes up for its dated decor and appliances with spacious rooms, which Fallon said was important for her. Each two or four-person room has its own bathroom and even in a quad, you won’t feel suffocated by your roommates.
Thurston Hall 1900 F St. NW
When upperclassmen look back on their year-long stint in Thurston, it’s probably with an air of nostalgia and nausea.
Thurston, which houses more than 1,000 freshmen on the corner of 19th and F streets, is notorious because there’s a rumor Playboy called it the country’s most sexually active dorm (the publication never actually ran the piece).
But after new residents settle in, it may grow on you. Keep an open-door policy and you’re guaranteed a visitor, whether it’s your neighbor asking to borrow your GWorld or a new friend wondering if you’d like anything from 7/11 — which is around the corner and open 24 hours a day.
Even if you’re hesitant about living somewhere nicknamed “The Zoo,” you’ll soon find friends within Thurston’s (very thin) walls, between cramming for midterms in the basement or waiting for your Domino’s order in the lobby.
Embrace the chaos with a sense of humor and a good pair of headphones, and by May, you’ll be sad to see how quickly the year goes by.
Mitchell Hall 514 19th St. NW
The move to exclusively house freshmen in Mitchell Hall means that even if you aren't thrilled about living in a single, there are 350 fresh faces just an open door away.
While the chance to live with one to five strangers may seem like a loss for someone itching to make friends fast, the perks to living alone are aplenty: Mitchell residents don't have to deal with "lights out" rules or conversations about hook-ups in close quarters, and they can decorate their space (and keep it as clean) as they want.
Mitchell is around the corner from The Elliott School, and there's a convenient hallway to the ground floor's 24-hour 7-Eleven.
The Mount Vernon Campus
For Sarah Chase, a junior who lived in West Hall her freshman year, the common areas on the Mount Vernon Campus — from the dorm kitchens and Pelham Commons dining hall to the outdoor pool and soccer fields — are where she met her closest friends.
“I actually think because you are isolated on this island, you can have a really, really strong community,” she said. “You’ll probably spend a lot more time on the Vern so having a community who is on the Vern, who you can have movie nights with, is important.”
But she said that the added privacy of dorms like West Hall, which allows students to live in singles joined by a common area, can also make socializing more difficult for some students.
“It can be challenging. It’s hard if you’re an introvert,” she said, but added that “if you put yourself out there, you’re going to be absolutely fine.”
Junior Kelsey Magill, who was originally placed in Merriweather Hall her freshman year, said that the 43-person hillside dorm felt small, but also allowed its residents to form close bonds.
“You get to know the people you’re living with very well,” she said. “A lot of people coming into Merriweather, it wasn’t their first choice by any means. Give it a chance and get to know the people in your hall because they’re all kind of in the same situation.
Magill later switched into Somers Hall, where she preferred the bigger renovated rooms and proximity to the Vern Express stop — although she said the inconvenient Vex commute meant that the Vern could be pretty quiet on a Saturday night.
“There aren’t a lot of cons, except for your typical Vern cons of being on the satellite campus and not being where your classes are,” Magill said.”

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