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George Washington University

GWU Campus News
Staff Editorial: Make the Marvin Center available for renaming
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 27, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Updated: Jan. 27, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.
This is the first semester that classes will be held in the brand new Science and Engineering Hall, and the last they’ll be held in 2020 K St., that long-maligned cluster of cramped underground classrooms outside of GW’s traditional campus borders.
We’re in a time of much acceleration at this University, and that’s not the only example. In the past five years alone, GW has built a museum, merged with an arts school, opened a gleaming new residence hall on the Mount Vernon Campus and constructed the District’s only public health school.
To help pay for these developments, the University is in the middle of a campaign to raise $1 billion. That sum will also go toward executing the 10-year strategic plan and refocusing GW on academics and research. We recently rebranded across the University, altering our messaging to the outside world.
GW’s on an exciting track, despite the fact that this growth may come at some cost in the immediate future.
And we have the perfect opportunity to continue on this path forward: Make the Marvin Center available for a new naming opportunity.
To put it plainly, the Marvin Center is the type of building a donor would want to put his or her name on. As our campus hub, all students must go there at significant points in their GW careers: to get their GWorld cards as brand new students, buy textbooks each semester, attend student organization meetings every week and, eventually, pick up their caps and gowns.
But many would agree there’s a far more compelling reason to rename the Marvin Center. Former University President Cloyd Heck Marvin, who served from 1927 to 1959, was a strong supporter of keeping GW segregated, arguing that students learned better in homogenized environments. He also ruled the school with what some called an "iron fist," severely curbing academic freedom and openly criticizing student leaders.
Media Credit: Sophie McTear | Design Editor
Students protested when the building was dedicated to him in 1971 – two years after Marvin died – only to be told the man "combined vision with will, patience with tenacity" by then-President Lloyd Elliott. Though we’ve raised concerns ever since, University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt declined to comment on why the name remains the same.
As our longest-serving University president, Marvin tripled the size of the faculty, doubled enrollment and oversaw an eightfold increase in the endowment. But it’s possible to appreciate and be grateful for the positive impact he made on this school without having the name of a controversial leader emblazoned on the side of one of our most prominent buildings.
At Clemson University, students and faculty alike are calling this semester for the renaming of Tillman Hall. It bears the name of former member of the Confederate Army and “lynch law” advocate Benjamin Ryan Tillman, one of Clemson’s founders. Even one hundred years after Tillman’s death, students are actively protesting the name of this central campus building.
Similarly, it’s time that Marvin’s name is taken from its place of prominence and replaced with one that represents progress, not views that were anachronistic even in Marvin’s own time. That means a donor who is committed to GW’s success, whose contribution will directly help fund the very things that will push this University into the future: innovative research and top-ranked academics.
For example, when Ivory Tower was renamed Shenkman Hall last year, Mark and Rosalind Shenkman earmarked their $5 million donation for career services. Fundraisers could start pitching the Marvin Center to donors, luring them with the attractive possibility of having the campus hub – and starting place for prospective student tour groups – named after one of them.
It’s reasonable to wonder why this should be done now. After all, the building’s name has existed for close to half a century at this point, with just a few blips of protest along the way. It’s not offensive on its face, and Marvin’s misdeeds don’t compare to Tillman’s, for example.
And we’re not advocating for reverting the building to unnamed status – like when it was known simply as the University Center after its opening. We also understand the pitfalls of being overly politically correct. We'd never want to see every ounce of historical context erased from our 194-year-old school. But in this case, the name should be replaced with one that doesn’t pigeonhole GW into its past, but rather advances it as an institution.
There’s even precedent at the University to do this very thing: Lafayette Hall was previously called Calhoun Hall, after John C. Calhoun, a lifelong politician and vice president under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. But students during the civil rights movement called attention to the fact that Calhoun himself was a massive pro-slavery advocate for much of his career, and the name was subsequently changed.
We have a history of activism on this campus, and that’s laudable. Although there’s no current movement to change the name of the Marvin Center, we have to respect the students who came before us who wanted it changed, the people Marvin discriminated against during his time here and any students who continue to be offended by GW’s adulation of the former president.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, sports editor Nora Princiotti, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and senior designer Anna McGarrigle.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported in the timeline that Cloyd Heck Marvin had served as University president from 1927 to 1939. He served as president from 1927 to 1959. We regret this error.”

The Jorgensen dichotomy
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 26, 2015
“Media Credit: Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
Freshman Paul Jorgensen has emerged as GW's seventh man and scored a career-high 13 points against Duquesne on Saturday.
It was May 2013, and a lesser-known high school junior with shaggy blond hair and devastating dribbling was taking his skills to a group of New York City’s finest high school ballers on a court at 145th Street and Lenox Avenue.
He was Paul Jorgensen, a product of Don Bosco Preparatory High School, scoring seven baskets in a row to earn the nicknames “The Prince Harry of Harlem” and “White Jesus” for his moves playing one-on-one street ball on the courts of New York City, where legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving honed their skills.
“I’d go down there with me and my dad, my best friend, my brother and the park would be packed,” Jorgensen said. “I’d walk in and no one would really know who I would be, so I eventually started, over time, making a name for myself and all these nicknames just started coming at me, all these crazy names.”
Head coach Mike Lonergan had previously coached another point guard from Don Bosco and he kept in touch with Jorgensen’s coach, who reached out to say that he thought his star was flying under the radar, mostly getting notice from Catholic League schools. The heads up and some help from two former players – brothers from Jorgensen’s hometown of New City, N.Y. – gave Lonergan an in.
“They kind of played for me, probably told him good and bad things, and how demanding I am and everything,” Lonergan said, chuckling. “I think they really helped me recruit him.”
So Jorgensen traded high school stardom in New Jersey and street-ball fame in New York for the DMV, sausage-egg-and-cheese GW Deli sandwiches (on plain bagels, Jorgensen said), and the discipline and patience of a competitive program in a college-hoops hotbed.
“I want to leave all that stuff in New York City," the freshman said. "I want to try to hopefully make a name for myself in D.C. and keep this program on the rise."
Though he’s looking forward, Jorgensen took a visit back to the Empire State on Thursday, when the Colonials took on Fordham in the Bronx. Jorgensen played 13 minutes, scoring four points and adding two rebounds and two assists.
In his return to D.C. on Saturday, Jorgensen tallied a career-high 13 points in GW’s win over Duquesne, sinking two threes and hitting a handful of acrobatic layups.
His playing time has grown since back in November, when he rarely saw the court. Jorgensen has earned his way into the rotation as the “seventh man,” Lonergan said, with his exceptional dribbling skills and active defense.
“What I like about Paul is he’s going to make something happen,” Lonergan said. “He’s always going to make something happen. He’s not just going to come in and play tentative.”
Jorgensen wouldn’t mind the spotlight that comes with a larger role. He’s a basketball maniac who gets frustrated by time off and is at his best when taking on bigger, supposedly better players on a big stage.
His favorite moment as a Colonial, he said, was beating No. 11 Wichita State to win the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.
“I love those kind of situations. I love when people are watching and when we’re playing the better teams,” Jorgensen said.
People are certainly watching, and Jorgensen could be forced into a greater role with classmates Yuta Watanabe and Darian Bryant suffering injuries – an ankle sprain for Watanabe and a concussion for Bryant.
Jorgensen's success will likely depend on how he makes decisions on the court and Lonergan’s ability to break him in to get the most out of the freshman's energy.
“Sometimes his confidence is really a positive. Sometimes when you’re playing point guard, you’ve really got to stay within the system, and we settle him down a little bit,” Lonergan said. “But I like that he’s confident and he’s got a little bit of swagger about him, and that’s why I know he’s not going to be afraid of big moments.”
Media Credit: Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
The tenacious point guard is looking to make a name for himself in D.C. after a standout career at Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, N.J.
Jorgensen has been shuffled around the court a bit, playing some minutes at shooting guard, but he’s mostly been tagged as the backup to junior point guard Joe McDonald, another player who is known for coming through when under pressure.
Jorgensen and McDonald are different players: McDonald is stockier, bullish and a plotting rebounder, while Jorgensen is an in-your-face, quick-off-the-dribble, whirling dervish on the court.
“He’s different,” Lonergan said. “He’s cocky, which I like. At that position, you want to have confidence. He’s kind of a character, but in a good way. Guys really like him and he’s fun. He’s fun to be around. I don’t have to worry about motivating him.”
But there’s also a zen aspect to the feisty guard. Jorgensen’s favorite class is peace studies, he loves to walk around the monuments to “regroup” and he’s an avid yogi.
“I like – it’s called warrior, warrior pose. It really stretches out my hips, but it’s really comfortable,” Jorgensen said. “Yoga’s peaceful. It’s in the peace mode. I’m just relaxing.”
Of course, the rookie’s peaceful state of mind has its lapses. Jorgensen can be impulsive on the court: He committed four turnovers in the last five minutes of the Duquesne game. He also admitted that he’s likely to be found in the steam showers after a junk food binge, sweating it out.
In other words, he’s still a college freshman. Jorgensen said he wants students to know that he’s “just an approachable guy,” but Lonergan said he sees more significance in the boisterous personality.
“I could see Paul someday being a captain because he’s more vocal,” Lonergan said. “I think Paul is the one guy out of that group who has a chance to be a captain because guys like to be around him and they’re going to follow him, and I think he can be a leader in a positive way.””

A maverick bunch of runners, on a mission to build a track program
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 22, 2015
“Media Credit: Josh Solomon | Hatchet Staff Photographer
GW Track Team freshman Carter Day runs a 4:24 mile, finishing sixth of 26 in the men's mile at the Maryland Invitational.
GW has a track team.
Ask members of the small squad sporting new swag on campus and they might roll their eyes at you, give a whole-hearted chuckle and then explain, yes, GW reinstated track after 86 years.
But where's the track?
"Probably the most common question I get it is, ‘Oh, are we building a track?’ And the answer is 'no, we are not,'” sophomore Seamus Roddy said.
That doesn’t bother Roddy, though. Rather, it’s been a rallying point for a team that’s been extinct longer than GW football. The last time the Colonials rounded circles competitively was 1929.
Now, in their first year as a team, the upstart group has found a home at the Georgetown community track, a couple miles north of Foggy Bottom. The track is a humble 300 meters, and from the fourth and final lane, it still doesn't gear up to the standard quarter mile. It’s overshadowed on the north side by Georgetown row houses and littered with orange cones knocked on their sides. A long jump pit is the host of dead grass and muddy winter dirt.
"It’s like a chip on our shoulder, kind of like an underdog story," freshman Charles Arnold said. “Because we’re out here training in like 20-degree weather on the Georgetown public track that’s not even 400 or 200 meters.”
This past Saturday, GW competed in its second track meet of the season, following a pre-winter break meet at Navy. It was the first meet for the women, out at the Prince George Sports Complex next to FedEx Field. The six of them, five men and one woman, spent the day running one race apiece, split between the mile and the 3,000-meter run.
One of the five men had a top-eight finish, the minimum result to get points in a scoring meet, with freshman Connor Day coming in sixth out of 26 runners in the mile. Graduate student Hannah Rowe came in second out of 29 in her 3,000-meter run.
It was a groundbreaking of sorts for the team. While cross country has been around for a while at GW, the program has struggled to develop a running culture for athletes who want to run all year round.
But the new program has already been a draw. Freshman Luke Dublirer was tempted to go to school in a warm climate, perhaps in California or Miami at schools that had year-round programs, but chose GW when he heard about the reinstatement.
Arnold, from Melrose, Mass., had never run cross country. He chose to come to GW independent of the sport, as just a university in a city he enjoyed, and headed down to D.C. with his mother for one last revisit to confirm his choice.
When Arnold approached head coach Terry Weir to ask if he could try his luck on the cross country trails, Weir had a welcome surprise for him.
“It was exciting when I heard there was a track program because this is what I’m used to,” Arnold said.
Weir then offered him a spot as a walk-on. On Saturday, Arnold competed in the mile – his first race since high school, since he, like many of the other freshmen, declared a redshirt for the cross country season.
Arnold didn’t finish with the front pack of the race, clocking in 16th out of 23 runners, but still ran a time close to his best from high school. It was the first race since break, and the first overall for some of the athletes, which assistant coach Chelsea France said made it a “rust-buster.”
She’s in her first year too. Though a strong cross country runner in her days at Virginia, France also knows her track. She was manager and volunteer assistant at South Carolina last year while completing her graduate degree. But after finishing up at the SEC track heavyweight, France is helping Weir build a program from the ground up.
Right now, there are almost exclusively mid-to-long distance runners on the track team, which Arnold described as “very literally, it’s our cross country team plus a few other guys.”
France said they are currently looking to compete in the 400-meter race and up, including a 1,600-meter relay and 60-meter high hurdles, but said the goal down the road is to have a full track and field team with sprinters, throwers and jumpers to complement the distance runners.
“The whole point of adding indoor and outdoor track was to develop the entire program,” she said. “We just don’t want to focus on distance and mid-distance. We want to give everybody an opportunity and see that our program develops so that we can win an Atlantic 10 conference championship.”
It will be tough to transform the current hodgepodge of athletes, a rogue band competing without a real practice facility, into the type of program that could win a conference championship, especially with the current number of eight scholarships among the 33 roster members of men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
France said the team still has the same number of scholarships as it did prior to adding track and field, though she also raved about the initial investment in rekindling the program, and an athletic department spokesman said in an email that additional scholarships would be considered on a “case-by-case basis”.
“We’re trying to be patient,” France said.
For now, the Colonials face a two-mile warm-up to practice on a 300-meter community track in the heart of Georgetown. It’s an uphill run to the four-lane circuit, but none of them seem to mind.
“When we look back on this in two years, we’re going to say this really shaped us, being kind of a fledgling team that was trying to get better. That shapes us,” Roddy said.”

Colonial Army doubles enlistment in two years, with one key addition on the court
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 21, 2015
“Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor
Junior Ian Mellul was walking back to campus from work last year when he had the idea to get men's basketball swingman Patricio Garino involved in the Colonial Army as a member of the organization's executive board.
When Patricio Garino and Ian Mellul were freshmen, the Colonial Army listed 1,500 members in its ranks.
The organization now boasts more than 3,500 students who attend both varsity and club sporting events, but are best known for flocking to the Smith Center, cardboard fatheads of players' faces in tow, for basketball games.
Garino, a junior starter on the men’s basketball team, and Mellul, a junior political science major who is co-president of the Colonial Army, are something of an odd couple. But the two have developed what Mellul called a “close” friendship, working together to pull the GW faithful out of the woodwork as both basketball programs have grown more popular in recent years.
“We take our role seriously,” Mellul said. “It sounds kind of silly taking the role of fandom seriously, but for example, the Richmond game is huge, and I think that’s a different game away than at home.”
Over the weekend, more than 2,000 students attended GW's games against Richmond and George Mason, the first two home games of conference play to take place while school was in session.
More than 1,100 students attended the “Buff Out” game against Richmond , where visitors got free T-shirts, and almost 1,000 showed up on Saturday to watch the Colonials take on George Mason .
Men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan said that as the Richmond game went to double overtime, the crowd was “as loud as I’ve heard the crowd here in a couple of years.”
While Mellul attributes the Colonial Army’s growth to the men’s and women’s teams’ successes over the last two seasons, Garino said the group has helped push the teams.
“Having all the students at your back is something very essential to the game,” Garino said. “The Colonial Army is something that we really need, especially in games like [the one against Richmond]. They give us that extra push to keep going.”
Though the crowd sent chills down Garino’s spine during his first game in the Smith Center, his involvement with the Colonial Army didn’t begin until last year, when Mellul asked him to join the organization's executive board.
The Argentine sport, event and hospitality management major seemed like the ideal choice to join the nine-person board because he “understands the importance of the crowd and student athlete-fan relations,” Mellul said.
“[Garino] would always text me before [or] after games telling me what cheers the team liked best, what he thought we could try different,” Mellul said. “So he was always very active.”
In recent years, the Colonial Army has created more incentives to enlist, like free road trips, T-shirts and admission for joining. The executive board brainstorms ideas for promotions, merchandise and fan activities with help from the athletic department’s sports marketing office and the Center for Student Engagement.
And while Mellul focuses on the impact fan atmosphere has for the GW community, Garino brings the perspective of a player in his fixation on the sections impact on opposing teams.
“I wouldn’t want to be a visiting player in Smith,” Garino said.
Garino, Mellul and the other board members start planning as soon as schedules are released, and in the week before each home game, a group of about 100 Colonial Army members promote it through social media and dorm storming, often with the athletes.
The organization has also been involved with philanthropy, teaming up with Garino and the rest of the men’s basketball team for December’s Toys for Tots Foundation campaign. They raised $500 in student donations in 48 hours and bought 200 toys for U.S. Marines to hand out at the game against DePaul .
Although the organization started out sitting in the student section for only men’s and women’s basketball games, today it attends games for all 24 varsity sports as well as for a few club teams, and Mellul said he wants to increase attendance at non-basketball games.
“For the teams that aren’t the hot-ticket teams, when you show up to a regatta or invitational, the athletes are excited, and that supportive role is huge," Mellul said.
But the Smith Center, where GW has racked up 23 wins over the last two seasons and only one loss, against Massachusetts last February, is still the Colonial Army's bread and butter.
“I want people to remember what playing in the Smith Center is like,” Mellul said.”

Women's basketball making case for first NCAA tournament appearance in seven years
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 21, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Jonathan Tsipis has been to ten NCAA Tournaments so far in his career as a basketball coach, and the third-year skipper of GW's women's team has the Colonials playing like they will get him his 11th trip to the big dance this March.
Women's basketball head coach Jonathan Tsipis is known for setting precise goals. He gives players statistical benchmarks to reach in games, during individual periods and even against specific opposing players.
One by one, the Colonials have met them, and as all the pieces fit together, the picture is looking a lot like a trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years.
Coming off four straight wins by a double-digit margin and riding a 14-game winning streak, this year’s team looks like a contender for a conference championship, which yields an automatic bid, or an at-large selection from the tournament committee come March.
Tsipis has drawn a blueprint for success, which has been critical in sustaining the team's win streak and getting closer to meeting his targets.
“We understand who we are,” Tsipis said after GW's victory over Rhode Island. “We like to work from the inside out and our guards put themselves in positions knowing that Jonquel [Jones] and Caira [Washington] and even Kelli [Prange] are going to see a lot of bodies around themselves.”
The Colonials are 14th in the NCAA in RPI. They are tied for first in the nation with a +14.6 rebounding margin. They have an in-season tournament championship on their resume and are currently sitting atop the Atlantic 10 with a perfect 5-0 start to conference play and an overall 16-2 record, which matches the best 18-game start in program history. The numbers are telling, but Tsipis said there's leadership and chemistry on the team as well.
“I love the fact that we’re a team that’s very unselfish. We’ll give up a good shot to get a great one,” Tsipis said. “I think our kids have a lot of pride.”
Coming into the season, Tsipis emphasized playing a tough schedule to impress the selection committee. As of Jan. 19, GW has five wins over teams that made the NCAA tournament last year, and it still has games remaining against Dayton and Fordham.
The Colonials received 12 votes in Monday’s Associated Press poll, the eighth most of any school not ranked in the top 25. If that effectively puts them within the top-40 teams in the nation, they’d have some wiggle room in the field of 64. And Tsipis said the strength of the A-10 this season gives the Colonials a competitive edge because they have to fight through every game. Ten of the 14 teams in the league have winning records, and no team is without a conference win.
“The league is much better if you look at the non-conference records and you look at what the teams that have struggled for the last couple of years have done already in conference play,” Tsipis said.
Junior Jonquel Jones has also established herself individually as one of the nation’s best. The junior Naismith Trophy candidate is the only player in the conference averaging a double-double, and she leads the Colonials with 15.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.
Her play prompted Richmond head coach Michael Shafer to compare her to the reigning National Player of the Year.
“Who matches up with her? Breanna Stewart from Connecticut, maybe?” Shafer said after the Colonials topped the Spiders 77-67 on Jan. 10. “The rest of the country doesn’t have that.”
Along with Jones in its arsenal, Tsipis has said that the team’s biggest advantage is it knows just the kind of game it should play. GW has only been out-rebounded one time, which has helped put the team first in the conference in scoring margin at +14.7 (Fordham is second at +7.1).
But even with the success so far, Tsipis still finds areas where the team can improve, setting goals as always.
“I think we did a good job the past couple games on transition decision making, but there were some problems in the second half,” Tsipis said after the win over UMass. “I think we need to keep working on that so we can put Caira and Jonquel in positions to be successful.”
Tsipis is still finding ways the team can get even better, but it might be time for the players to think about dusting off their dancing shoes.”

Staff Editorial: GW's information lockdown presents disturbing trend, limits progress
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 21, 2015
“The Hatchet's editorial board loves to ask for transparency from the University.
We’d appreciate more details about what happens at Board of Trustees meetings. When GW's police force wanted to expand its jurisdiction off campus, we asked that the department make its crime records public. We wanted transparency when the University rebranded itself, after the now-infamous U.S. News & World Report rankings scandal and, most recently, we called for it when GW’s plan for disciplining groups seemed lackluster.
These are not unreasonable requests. And yet, year after year, we remain frustrated with a lack of communication from the powers that be. (Want regular proof that GW is tight-lipped? Check the top of the opinions page in print to see what the University wouldn’t talk about that week. We haven’t left it blank yet this volume.)
Lately, we’ve seen another version of this trend: On numerous occasions, GW has decided to cut off the flow of information when circumstances took a turn for the worse. While this is an understandable reaction, it is hurting student trust more than maintaining an image, and it reduces everyone’s ability to find joint solutions.
For example, last week, University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said rather than release complete numbers from the Eco-challenge, GW's signature sustainability competition, the University will only name this year's top five most successful halls. Hiatt declined to say if that decision was because most halls last year overwhelmingly increased their energy and water consumption.
That seems like a petty example, but alongside other recent stories, one starts to notice a concerning pattern. Not only did the University decide to stop releasing donation numbers for the Science and Engineering Hall last semester – after which we found out fundraising had plummeted – but in recent years, it also stopped listing the number of campus thefts in its annual crime report following an uptick.
It’s understandable that the University has no interest in publicizing bad news. But attempts to constantly control our school’s image shouldn’t get out of hand. Right now, the University is withholding pieces of innocuous information, and that's unnecessary. That’s probably to avoid a potential public relations headache, but it’s ridiculous to think that a headache could be so terribly painful.
On the contrary, it’s useful for students to have information about issues like sustainability and crime. An increase in campus theft isn’t likely to cause students to leave GW en masse, or deplete future application numbers. Plenty of schools have high crime rates and still maintain good reputations: UCLA, UC Berkeley and Duke University, for example, took the top three spots on Business Insider’s list of the most dangerous colleges in 2012.
Making less-than-flattering information accessible might actually be beneficial to GW in the long run: It would provide an opportunity to turn community-wide problems into partnerships between the University and its students and faculty.
For example, by telling students which dorms performed poorly in the Eco-challenge, GW could incentivize those residents to go green. And it could use complete theft numbers to encourage students to not leave their belongings unattended. These “problems” are a result of student action, or lack thereof, and it only makes sense that students should be called on to implement solutions.
As for professors, they had voiced concerns for years that the administration’s funding plan for the construction of SEH wasn’t going to work. Instead of taking that into account, though, the University barreled ahead, resulting in a legitimate public relations nightmare when officials came up short on fundraising and had to adjust their plans. Like students, professors can be helpful and contribute insight to help solve problems before it's too late. Their voices shouldn’t be silenced because an institution is overly wary of bad press.
Instead of hiding the truth, GW should issue challenges with the hope that both students and professors rise to the occasion.
Transparency must extend to times of reaction
The idea that running a university will always go smoothly is hysterical. It’s a job so complicated that it’s unreasonable for anyone to expect perfection every minute of every day.
So when bad things happen, the University should not pretend like it can hide the cracks – especially when those flaws have already been exposed.
We don’t mean GW should send out a press release every time something goes poorly. That’s unreasonable to ask of any organization. But admitting when something has gone wrong or gotten out of control is an important part of being an open, reliable institution. When students start asking questions, we need to be given straight answers.
For instance, when the University announced that all students would be required to live on campus through their junior years, University President Steven Knapp told The Hatchet in an interview that the decision wasn’t motivated by financial concerns. Simply put, that’s absurd , and came off as an ill-advised dodge of a question.
And when asked why theft numbers would no longer be listed in the annual crime report, former UPD Chief Kevin Hay said, “We're trying to make it more user-friendly, and we thought it was too long before.”
In both of these instances, the response from a high-ranking, publicly visible administrator was disconcerting at best and patronizing at worst.
If this were any other institution, we might be able to shrug off these instances. But this isn’t just a business. It’s our university, to which we’ve pledged four of our formative years, entrusted our educational development and promised our lifelong affiliation. We expect our relationship with this place to involve more than just a monetary transaction.
For that reason, it’s essential there's some semblance of mutual trust and respect between GW and its students. It means an increased willingness to let us in – during the good times and the bad.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, sports editor Nora Princiotti, design editor Sophie McTear, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and senior designer Anna McGarrigle.”

What money can buy: Apartment options for every budget
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 15, 2015
“Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor
If you're looking to spend $2,000 to $2,500 a month, The Elise is a popular off-campus apartment option.
For upperclassmen looking to avoid GW residence halls, hunting for an apartment that won’t break the bank can be daunting, especially in D.C.
Home values in Foggy Bottom have increased about 5 percent in the last year, and the median monthly rent price in the neighborhood is $2,233, according to data from the real estate website Zillow .
The cheapest housing options in Foggy Bottom will likely set you back $1,500 per month. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular apartments in the heart of the neighborhood and a price comparison to what you can get elsewhere in the District.
$1,500 to $2,000
In Foggy Bottom: The Statesman (2020 F St. NW), right across from package services, has studio apartments starting at $1,540. With no utility fee, walk-in closets and hardwood floors, these apartments are a great option when none of the upperclassmen halls fit your budget and you still want to live on F Street.
Right around the corner are the Potomac Park apartments (510 21st St. NW), where you can rent a studio starting at $1,460, utilities included. Potomac Park has options as low as $1,830 for a one-bedroom apartment, though most will be in the $2,000 to $2,500 range.
Both The Statesman and Potomac Park have rooftop lounges and allow cats.
Near the other side of campus, behind GW Hospital, is The Elise (825 New Hampshire Ave. NW), one of the most popular off-campus options in the area. Studios start at $1,575, but only some utilities are included.
Off Campus: While $1,745 is still on the lower end for studio apartments in Foggy Bottom, it is enough to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Rosslyn. Rosslyn Heights and Rosslyn Vue (1804 North Quinn St., Arlington, Va.) offer one-bedroom apartments complete with balconies, fireplaces, washers and dryers, and granite countertops – much nicer than the dorm-like studios closer to campus.
$2,000 to $2,500
In Foggy Bottom: This price range opens up some one-bedroom apartments that are still located right in Foggy Bottom, perfect for students not interested in a long commute to class or back from Gelman Library at 1 a.m.
At The Statesman, one-bedroom apartments start at $2,141 a month, still with utilities included. Though Potomac Park offers cheaper single bedrooms, the larger options (up to 852 square feet) range from $2,155 to as much as $2,820. For The Elise, you can expect a one-bedroom apartment to be about $2,000 a month.
Off Campus: Instead of settling for the older apartment complexes in Foggy Bottom, consider living a short Metro ride away in NoMa. The new 77H apartment complex (77 H St. NW) is located right near Union Station and directly above a Walmart. With 9-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies and a rooftop swimming pool, it might be worth the commute.
$2,500 to $3,000
In Foggy Bottom: Conveniently right above Whole Foods is the Residences on The Avenue (2221 I St. NW), the priciest of apartments right in Foggy Bottom, but also arguably one of the nicest. Studios start at $2,308, and the rent for a one-bedroom apartment can be as low as $2,660. Utilities are not included. Perks include stainless-steel appliances, balconies, a fitness center and that famed rooftop pool.
Off Campus: If you’re looking to escape the Foggy Bottom bubble, try moving to Dupont Circle. For $2,555, the Gables Dupont Circle (1750 P St. NW) offers one-bedroom apartments in the heart of the neighborhood. The apartment building has its own private courtyard, volleyball court and cafe.
*All rent prices as of Jan. 14, 2015”

Even in off year, Atlantic 10 still a multi-bid league
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 12, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Kevin Larsen dunks during GW's appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Colonials were one of six A-10 teams to recieve a bid to the tournament, tied for second most of any conference.
Coach K said he would get in trouble for saying it. He questioned whether the Atlantic 10 would deserve six teams in the NCAA tournament.
"Come on," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, leading up to the postseason last year. "I mean, they're good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our conference has to go through."
They got all six. GW, VCU, Massachusetts and Saint Joseph’s lost their first games, but Saint Louis got to the round of 32 and Dayton made the Elite Eight.
Did the A-10 peak last year? Now that non-conference play has concluded, the league has laid the groundwork for how conference wins will be perceived nationally. The conference doesn’t look like it will match last season’s strength come March, but it should still hang in there with a handful of bids.
"The A-10 is not the Big 12, ACC or Big 10,” said Charles Bowles, a Mid-Major Madness A-10 writer. “It is a good basketball league on a down year, but the league will likely receive multiple bids for the NCAA Tournament, just not six like last season.”
While that may sound like a middle-of-the-road performance, it's really just the average of an up-and-down performance. The A-10’s roller coaster act this season has baffled analysts who question whether the league is over or undervalued. It has been heralded as the ideal “mid-major” at times and told to leave the work to the big boys at others.
After GW won the Diamond Head Classic over then-No. 11 Wichita State, CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein tweeted that it was a huge win for the A-10, while his colleague Seth Davis tweeted that it was "neither shocking nor upsetting. The Colonials are legit and the Shockers were due."
The A-10 had its fair share of slip ups in the non-conference season, prompting analysts to ask if the league could merit less than three bids for the first time in eight years, even if it could be a one-bid league . Colonials fans fretted over the strength of GW’s conference schedule as A-10 opponents like Saint Louis picked up ugly baggage in losses to Texas A&M Corpus Christi and South Dakota State, but head coach Mike Lonergan said the talk surrounding the league has been overblown.
"It doesn’t matter what the haters say. It matters what the facts are at the end of the year," Lonergan said. "I’m sure the A-10 will be right there with three to six bids again."
The six A-10 teams, including GW and sixth-rated VCU, ranked in the RPI Top-100 give reason to believe in Lonergan’s "shake it off" approach. The Rams had the hardest non-conference slate of games in the nation, according to , and the league has six teams, also including GW, in the top 60.
It’s important for the Colonials that their league opponents be viewed as quality squads. The more NCAA teams a conference wants, the more teams that need to build a NCAA-type resume in the non-conference season. That helps boost their fellow conference teams in the regular season, giving them what ESPN College basketball analyst Joe Lunardi called “scalp wins.”
Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
He said Massachusetts gave the A-10 prime in-conference scalp wins last season after Chaz Williams and the Minutemen went 13-1 in non-conference play, including a win over then-No. 19 New Mexico. Massachusetts’ extremely strong non-conference schedule made GW’s win over the Minutemen in the A-10 quarterfinals look better – and its regular season loss not look as bad.
Given that, how has the A-10 been this year? “The league has been frankly pretty pedestrian,” Lunardi said.
Lunardi released his first over/under values on NCAA bids per conference last week. The A-10 received a number of 2.5, which does not include a team that wins the postseason tournament in Brooklyn to earn an automatic bid.
“If I had to bet a mortgage, I’d bet the under,” Lunardi said.
Granted, he is still cautious about the legitimacy of conference newcomer Davidson (11-3, 2-1). The Wildcats dropped a game at VCU by six points against head coach Shaka Smart’s stymying havoc defense before pummeling Saint Louis 89-54. Lunardi said he was on the fence about the offensive juggernaut Davidson, this prior to the games against the Rams and Billikens.
The problem with Dayton is health and depth, but the team continues to play well, winning its first three conference games to move to 13-2.
If the conference does get a few teams, which will they be? Lunardi has VCU and GW in. Dayton is hanging around despite the injuries. Davidson has emerged as a dark horse after a preseason pick of 12 out of 14 and kept up nicely with VCU in a six-point road loss.
Rhode Island was picked fifth and looks a bit like GW last year – a supposedly rebuilding team with a core group of sophomores making the leap a year early. The Rams are now 3-0 in conference play, with wins at Saint Louis, against Fordham and at Duquesne. They lost to then-No. 11 Kansas and beat then-No. 21 Nebraska in the non-conference season.
“[GW is] the second-best team in the league,” Lunardi said. “I think VCU is a little overrated. But I think they’re very good. Overrated in the sense that people were talking Final Four before the season – I didn’t see that.”
For the most part, A-10 men’s basketball coaches are still sticking up for the conference. They praise GW’s win at the Diamond Classic in Hawaii, and say they have something to prove to the rest of the country.
“It’s obviously critically important the amount of bids we got last year, the way our teams in our league have pushed themselves in the non-conference,” Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley said. “Some of the great wins that we got this year. The whole reputation of the league continues to grow.”
Dayton’s run to the Elite Eight last year was huge for the conference. Newcomers VCU, George Mason and Davidson have all based their national brands on deep “Cinderella” runs, though those runs were as members of conferences with heavier emphasis on the “mid” in “mid-major.”
But last year was last year. A constellation of stars have departed. Last season’s leading scorer for Saint Joe’s, Langston Galloway, debuted with the New York Knicks on Wednesday. And coaches can admit some shortcomings this season. George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt said his team might have took on too tough of a schedule in parts.
Massachusetts head coach Derek Kellogg agreed that creating the ideal schedule is a difficult art.
“It’s something that every year you got to look in a mirror and decide what’s best for your team and what’s best for the conference,” Kellogg said. “We’ll continue to try to play well and carry the A-10 flag wherever we go.”
Scheduling is tricky in part because perceptions of teams change throughout the season. When GW lost to Penn State and Seton Hall early in the season, Lonergan said he was worried, thinking his Colonials had to at least split them. Now with Seton Hall’s emergence (the No. 19 Pirates have beaten Saint John’s and Villanova) and the lore the Nittany Lions carry as a Big 10 team, Lonergan thinks his team has had no bad losses yet.
“The thing now is we don’t have 16 league games, we have 18,” Lonergan said. “So we have to keep winning and we got to try to get better because we’re so far from thinking NCAA tournament right now.”
No stranger to the Big Dance, Smart admitted that his team had a few tough games early on. He sees it as a dose of humility from which a team can always benefit.
Smart would not put an early number prediction on conference bids, but he knows there is depth and said young teams are starting to find a rhythm. Teams like GW, with what he called the best non-conference win for the A-10 against Wichita State, have already shown it, and teams like Davidson look primed to prove themselves in the future. Still, Smart said, it’s worth acknowledging that things probably couldn’t have gone better in the recent past.
“It remains to be seen [number of bids],” Smart said. “It all depends on how the conference standings shake out. The last couple years things have fallen almost perfect in terms of our league maximizing its number of bids in the NCAA tournament.””

Student's death, ruled accidental, was caused by mix of drugs and alcohol
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 12, 2015
“Media Credit: Photo Courtesy of William Gwathmey's Family
Twenty-year-old junior William Gwathmey died from the “combined toxic effects” of cocaine, oxycodone and alcohol. His death is the third related to drugs at GW in as many years.
The 20-year-old junior pronounced dead at GW Hospital in September died from a lethal mix of cocaine, oxycodone and alcohol, according to a recently filed report from D.C.’s medical examiner.
William Gwathmey, who died on Sept. 19, is the third GW student in as many years to die from a mix of drugs. Since 2011, two other students have died after using substances such as oxycodone, heroin, Adderall and alcohol.
GW’s top student life official, Peter Konwerski, said he has “not seen a trend in regard to drugs on campus,” though he and other administrators "continually review and discuss with students our alcohol and other drug-related outreach programs and policies."
“Nothing is more tragic than the loss of a student's life, and we are deeply concerned about the health and safety of our students and hope they utilize the array of resources in Colonial Health Center and other parts of campus to support healthy decision-making,” he added.
Benjamin Gupta , a graduate student, died in his D.C. home from a mix of oxycodone and alcohol in late 2011. A year later, law student John Hroncich died at his home in New Jersey from an accidental overdose of heroin and Adderall.
A former student, 20-year-old Dean Smith, died in the District in January 2013 from an overdose of heroin, diazepam and cocaine. He was not attending GW at the time of his death.
Gwathmey’s death resulted from the “combined toxic effects” of the drugs and alcohol, said Beverly Fields, chief of staff for the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
While cocaine is a stimulant drug, which makes the heart beat faster and blood pressure rise, alcohol has sedative effects that cause respiratory rate to slow down, said Cathleen Clancy, a doctor with expertise in toxicology and the associate medical director at the National Capital Poison Center.
“You have both things acting together,” Clancy said. “If cocaine is getting you too amped up, you might drink alcohol to amp you down, or vice versa.”
Using oxycodone, an opiate drug prescribed for pain relief, can lead to a drop in blood pressure, sleepiness and slowness of breath. Clancy said it can be difficult to predict when all three drugs – oxycodone, alcohol and cocaine – will peak in their effects.
“People use these drugs and they don’t really understand the time of onset,” she said, adding that how much of a drug is taken and the way the drug is taken can also be factors. “All can play a big role in how sick someone gets.”
Police said Gwathmey had gone to several nightclubs the night of his death and then returned to an apartment at The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton on 23rd Street. He was later found unconscious on a couch, according to a police report.
His death was ruled an accident. His parents, Gaines Gwathmey and Rose Harvey, did not wish to comment.
The economics and finance major was remembered as close to his family and constantly surrounded by friends, hoping to one day work on Wall Street. Family and several members of his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, started a foundation in Gwathmey’s honor for low-income D.C. students to learn basketball skills.
Konwerski, GW's dean of student affairs, said Health Promotion and Prevention Services, formerly the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education (CADE), offers a workshop with information about combining alcohol with other drugs. It also explains how alcohol can affect the body and what students can do in an emergency.
“The University is committed to promoting the health and safety of GW students and offers many services and resources to educate and support healthy lifestyles and responsible decision-making about alcohol and drugs,” Konwerski said.
Nationwide, drug overdose death rates have more than doubled between 1999 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2012, nearly 80 percent of drug overdose deaths were unintentional.
That same year, more than 70 percent of deaths related to pharmaceutical overdose involved prescription painkillers.
Colleen Murphy contributed reporting.”

Staff Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down
by The GW Hatchet

Jan 12, 2015
“Cut to strategic plan funding: Thumbs down
Lately, it feels like GW’s financial woes have come one after another: Low graduate enrollment contributed to a $20 million budget shortfall in the fall, and the University is now cutting $8.2 million from its ambitious strategic plan .
Provost Steven Lerman has not yet said which programs that fall under the strategic plan will take that $8.2 million hit, and the amount accounts for only 3 percent of the plan’s total cost. Lerman expects the money will be restored eventually, but it can’t happen until the University makes up for the shortfall from last year – a mishap still clouded by a lack of transparency .
It’s a tangled financial web, and caught in the middle is a growing concern: fundraising. We’re left wondering, as experts have pointed out, if this hit to the strategic plan – which could get donors excited about giving to the University – will impact gifts to GW.
This latest cut is a scary one. By crafting the strategic plan, the University has shown forward-thinking priorities as well as its focus on academic development. But now the plan has seen its first real threat, and it’s unfortunate that GW is starting this semester with financial troubles.
City Hall reparations: Thumbs up
When GW announced in December that residents of City Hall would receive a partial refund of $400, the reaction was mixed: Some students were left wondering if it was too good to be true, while others were dissatisfied.
When the University admits fault and hands out money as a result, students are bound to take pause. But after months of complaints about construction and an extensive WiFi outage during finals week, there was finally a tangible resolution.
Overall, the refund was a smart move on GW’s part. Individual administrators – namely Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski and Senior Associate Vice President for Operations Alicia Knight – jumped on the problem, issuing a heartfelt apology along with the promise of cash. Admitting they made a mistake was a huge step: It humanized the administration, and in the future might encourage students to speak up again.
With this apology, officials have set a good precedent. Of course, a $400 refund doesn’t eliminate the inconveniences residents had to endure. But at the very least, our administrators seem to be listening when it comes to housing, and it’s encouraging that they recognize the massive impact that living conditions have on our time here.
Benefits task force: Thumbs up
You know the old joke: A camel is a horse made by a committee – a simple task can quickly be made unnecessarily complicated. That may often be the case, but at GW, it certainly seems that committees and task forces are the primary way to get things done. We’ve seen it time and again, including when University President Steven Knapp vowed to find a way to centralize student health and, more recently, when students and administrators came together with the newly hired Title IX coordinator to discuss ways to prevent sexual assault on campus.
Given this predisposition of the University, we’re glad to see the same method has been applied to the problem of faculty discontent. After a rocky semester, which saw faculty battle it out over tuition benefits and health care costs, Knapp announced the creation of a task force to help determine how to best allocate money in professors' benefits packages. As Knapp noted at the announcement, the issue deserves a look by a neutral party with a wide lens. Hopefully, we’ll finally see some resolution for our professors.
Health center opens: Thumbs up
Last week, the new Colonial Health Center officially opened in the Marvin Center. It marks the final chapter in the student health saga, which began in 2013 when the Student Association began working toward the health center’s relocation.
It’s reassuring that GW jumped at the opportunity to fulfill the student body’s request: We know when we speak up, the University listens. And the administration was careful to prioritize privacy concerns when designing the new center. With its opening, GW has officially done its job. But as students, now it’s time for us to do ours.
For years, students complained that Student Health Service was too far away, and that became the perfect reason to avoid going to the doctor. Now, though, when your mother calls you to nag about getting something checked out, you almost have to listen. We have no excuses anymore, especially since we asked for this change.
The same exact thing applies to mental health. GW has provided us with accessible resources by including the University Counseling Center in the new health hub. While some of the onus is on the University to make students aware of mental health services and work at removing the stigma surrounding treatment, it isn’t GW’s job to make sure we actually head to the Marvin Center. That’s up to us.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, sports editor Nora Princiotti, design editor Sophie McTear, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and senior designer Anna McGarrigle.”

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