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George Washington University

GWU Campus News

Importance
1
Next University president tasked with innovative fundraising
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 27, 2016
“Media Credit: Madeline Cook | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Trustees Nelson Carbonell and Madeline Jacobs take questions at a town hall meeting about the search for GW's next president. Students and faculty said the new president should focus on fundraising to reduce the University's reliance on tuition.
Groups from across GW want the next University president to strengthen existing fundraising strategies and identify new ones.
Students and faculty said in interviews and at presidential search town halls this month that the next president should amp up philanthropy strategies to reduce GW’s reliance on tuition. Although officials have built up fundraising attempts in recent years, faculty and students said administrators should identify untapped approaches.
University President Steven Knapp focused on the University’s fundraising targets over his near-decade as president: He restructured GW’s development office, secured record-size gifts, led GW to $882 million in donations for the $1 billion campaign, expanded fundraising responsibilities for deans and promoted financial aid and philanthropy.
Students and faculty said that the next president needs to build on Knapp’s foundation and continue to find new ways to fundraise.
Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, said in an interview earlier this month that he and others conducting the search were looking for an innovative leader in all areas, including philanthropy.
When participants at the town halls asked Carbonell what strategies he hoped GW would use, he said the next University president would have to decide.
“If I could give you an example, we’d be already doing it,” he said in the interview. “We shouldn’t sit on good ideas. I think that the next president — they ultimately need to demonstrate that they can tackle tough problems, that they can innovate and bring people with them."
Participants in the presidential search town halls repeatedly brought up weak spots in existing philanthropy work, like the low number of alumni donations . They cited the 10 percent giving rate as evidence that officials must improve the strategy for alumni fundraising.
“There are institutions that have a 20, 30, 50 percent rate,” Carbonell said at one town hall. “There’s something that we need to do differently, and we need leadership that can help us figure it out.”
Eric Johnson, the senior vice president for advancement at Tufts University and a 1981 GW alumnus, said universities across the country are identifying alternative revenue streams and emphasizing alumni donations.
“GW, like Tufts and other institutions like us, faces the challenge of finding the right ways to gain the attention and support of our alumni,” Johnson said in an email. “We are all constantly looking for ways to approach people with differing interests and experiences to tie them back to their university.”
Trustee Madeleine Jacobs, the chair of the presidential search committee, said in an email that Knapp, who will step down at the end of this academic year, has been “instrumental” in bringing in large donations and raising money for student scholarships.
Members of the presidential search committee will think about fundraising when they consider candidates, she added.
“We will be looking for inspirational candidates who have strong fundraising skills and a proven track record in philanthropy, as well as a passion for high quality education and research,” Jacobs said.
Annamarie M. Bezzerides, the associate vice president of advancement at Georgetown University, said universities like Georgetown and GW need philanthropic contributions to fund students who cannot pay full tuition. This year’s financial aid budget reached more than $275 million.
Donations can fund financial aid and help the University work towards combatting tuition reliance, Bezzerides said.
“You have to look at the size of the endowment, how many students are on financial aid and how much of that financial aid is being provided as a result of philanthropy,” she said.
The credit rating agency Moody’s reported that GW relied on tuition and related fees for 62 percent of its operating revenue in fiscal year 2016 — a rate the University has used since 2013. Knapp said in a memo two years ago that the University is roughly 75 percent reliant on tuition.
Besides enlarging the financial aid pool by 5.6 percent this year, administrators sold the provost’s former residence on the Mount Vernon Campus to raise funds for financial aid for students affiliated with programs on that campus and expanded the career and internship fund. Student-led efforts like the Senior Class Gift campaign are dedicated to increasing aid.
Charles Garris, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor who has taught at GW for more than 40 years, said Knapp’s fundraising is different than past presidents’ strategies because he has prioritized individual schools and programs over the University as a whole. Knapp's strategy could be appealing to donors who want to see their money fund specific purposes.
“Fundraisers have to say ‘We have students who are making progress in research, helping the human condition, doing wonderful things for the world — they’re making history,’” Garris said. “That’s something that people are willing to give their money, and that’s why fundraising has become much more successful under Knapp than it ever was before.”
Garris said GW's scarcity of endowed faculty positions and other small programs demonstrates room for a more focused approach in fundraising, though. In 2014, about 13 percent of the University's endowment funded professorships.
“If you go next door to me, there’s a faculty who has a sign on his door saying ‘Karlgaard Chair.’ At GW, that’s very rare,” Garris said. “But if you go to other universities like Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, any big university, and you walk down the corridors, you’ll see every door has that kind of sign. In other words, almost every professor has support from an endowment."
Heather Joslyn, the assistant managing editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, said universities are more often running capital campaigns, and universities want presidents with the skills to lead them. GW’s next president will be tasked with completing the $1 billion campaign by June 2018.
“A lot of universities are seeking someone who can talk to big donors and get them engaged,” Joslyn said. “Someone who can be fundraiser-in-chief.””

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Importance
1
Staff Editorial: UPD can do more to make crime log transparent
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 27, 2016
“GW has often struggled with being transparent enough for students. Thankfully, it seems that officials are trying to reverse that trend by adding information to the crime log.
The University Police Department crime log was recently updated to differentiate reported sexually violent crimes. This change separates sexual abuse reports from sexual assault reports. The crime log now reports whether crimes were referred to other GW offices, like the Division of Student Affairs or the Title IX office. University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said the department changed the crime log in the spring to show the public how domestic violence and sexual assault complaints are shared with the Title IX office.
UPD is clearly trying to be more transparent about crimes on campus, which is a start. But many community members still may not know how to access the crime log, so it's doubtful that these updates are informing the community well.
Right now, anyone can contact UPD with a case number from the crime log, which can be found on UPD’s website, and request a full description of the crime. But it’s unrealistic to assume that average community members will take the time out of their days to ask UPD these questions.
UPD could and should provide us with more up-front information within the crime log and publicize the log via social media. The crime log is an important tool to help keep people safe on campus. We should be able to make use of the information the log contains.
The crime log is updated daily online, and each month the crime log updates to include the list of crimes that have occurred within the past year. The current crime log shows all crimes from Sept. 2015 through Sept. 2016. The log reports about a sentence on each crime: the date the crime occurred, the time it occurred, the location, where it was referred to and a short description of the crime. Those are helpful details, but they don’t give community members quite enough information. If the crime log provided more details on the types of crimes happening on campus, students and other GW community members would have more knowledge about campus safety. People probably don’t read the crime log too frequently to begin with, so even fewer community members are likely to read it with minimal descriptions.
Other universities' crime logs include slightly fuller descriptions of crimes that occur on or near campus. Peer institutions the University of Southern California and Washington University give sentence-long descriptions of the crimes, which would be beneficial on GW's log.
If officials want to prove how transparent the crime log is, UPD should also consider publicizing the crime log. When the log is updated each month, there’s no reason that UPD shouldn’t tweet out a link to the report. Students are already on Twitter, and UPD uses a Twitter account for breaking news and safety tips, so it would be easy to tweet out the crime log and help students use it.
UPD wants the GW community to learn about our safety on campus. Csellar said the department hosts outreach and education activities. For students to be active in safety efforts, we need information about crime in an accessible format.
Some students who don’t currently use the crime log might if they could access it via social media and if it had more comprehensive descriptions. With easy, publicized access to this information, students can choose whether or not to utilize it, without needing to go through the trouble of seeking out the resource. And by removing an obstacle of finding this information, more community members will probably be finding themselves checking the crime log at least once a month.
GW is making headway with their recent changes to the crime log. It’s a step in the right direction that shows more transparency, but there’s more that can be done. Now that the crime log is more transparent, GW should take additional steps to make it even more useful.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Melissa Holzberg and contributing opinions editor Irene Ly, based on discussions with managing director Eva Palmer, homepage editor Tyler Loveless, contributing sports editor Matt Cullen and copy editor Melissa Schapiro.”

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Importance
1
DiBiasio leads women's cross country by example
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 22, 2016
“Media Credit: Alyssa Bogosian | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Miranda Diabiasio, a junior, hopes to lead the women's cross country team by example this season. She came in first in the Salty Dog Invitational in Annapolis, Md. earlier this month.
It was easy to tell Miranda DiBiasio apart from the pack during the Salty Dog Invitational in Annapolis, Md. earlier this month.
The junior cross country runner ran a 22:42.04 on the 6,000-meter course – good for a first-place finish a full 11 seconds ahead of the race’s second-place finisher.
“Miranda ran fantastic,” head coach Terry Weir said after the meet. “She was a lot more controlled and this longer, a little more hillier race is her kind of course. She ran really really well.”
The win, her second in a row at the Salty Dog, is just one of the many ways DiBiasio — arguably the best runner on GW’s squad — has lead her team by example, something she hopes to do to help her team reach its goals this season.
“This year we’ve really committed to making sure we’re all doing the extra stuff that might take a little bit of time but is really going to make a difference — stretching, flexibility work, strengthening exercises, those kinds of things,” DiBiasio said. “Since I spend a lot of time doing that stuff, I’m just hoping that the younger girls will see that and be like ‘Hey maybe this is what it takes.’”
The Berea, Ohio native had a breakout campaign last fall as a sophomore, earning second-place finishes or better in the team’s first three meets and a 14th-place finish in the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championship, helping GW finish 5th out of 14 teams.
The two-time A-10 Performer of the Week also holds program record-times in two outdoor track events: the Penn Relays 5000m (16:56.02) and the A-10 Championship 10000m (35:07.64).
The Colonials’ 2015 cross country season ended at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional last November, where they finished 16th out of 30-team field — one spot shy of nabbing All-Region honors.
“That was really upsetting for us because we had hit all of our other goals last year except for that one,” DiBiasio said.
This year, their goals are more even more ambitious: a top-three A-10 finish with a 5K team-average time of under 18 minutes, along with NCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region nod.
Over the past few years, the running programs at GW have transformed. Five years ago, during Weir’s first season helming both the men’s and women’s squads, just nine runners made up the entire women’s roster.
The team has been growing ever since, and with the addition of a track program in 2014-2015, GW has been able to recruit stronger runners.
DiBiasio, whose older sister ran cross country and track at American University, said she chose GW because she loved the school and D.C., but the opportunity to be part of a program on the rise didn’t hurt.
“The fact that the track program was going to be brand-new my freshman year was kind of intriguing to me,” DiBiasio said. “No matter what I knew I was going to be a part of something that was a growing and developing program. Maybe it wasn’t in it’s prime yet, but I knew that if I was on this team I would have a part and a place in making this program bigger and better.”
Two years later, DiBiasio said the current 25-woman roster made up of seven freshmen and nine sophomores is one of the deepest, most competitive groups she’s ever raced with.
“[The transformation] has been tremendous, Not necessarily from when I was here but just seeing it from when the girls that I was on the team with who were seniors when I was a freshmen, and we would look at back at pictures from the beginning of their time here, and there were literally like five girls on the team,” DiBiasio said. “I see it in my time here from the fact that we’ve gained so much depth. There’s more of us, and we’re all more competitive now, and we’re actually contenders for the conference and the region which is really exciting.”
DiBiasio said she tries her hardest to get her teammates to follow their 2016 motto: “train smarter.”
“I try and lead by example by doing what’s right with my body and try to encourage the other girls to do the same,” she said.
Although not a captain, the 20-year-old said plenty of teammates come to her asking for advice — something she describes as a tough job with added pressure, but rewarding all the same.
“It’s [a role] I didn’t think I’d ever really have,” DiBiasio said. “I just hope that I’m giving my teammates a good idea of what it means to be a student athlete.”
DiBiasio’s personal goal is to reach the NCAA National Championship on Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind., something only one Colonial before her — Megan Hogan in 2009 and 2010 — has ever done.
Women’s cross country is back in action on Oct. 1 at the George Mason Invitational.”

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Importance
1
University rises 10 spots in national 'green' rankings
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 22, 2016
“Media Credit: Max Wang | Hatchet Photographer
GW's GroW Garden is part of the University's recent focus on sustainability. The University rose by 10 spots this year in a ranking of sustainable universities.
GW rose 10 spots this year in a ranking of eco-friendly universities.
The University placed No. 22 out of 201 institutions in the Sierra Club’s “Cool School” rankings released earlier this month — up from the No. 32 spot last year. GW's sustainability leaders said the high scores in categories like planning and innovation reflect recent developments on campus that prioritize the environment.
Meghan Chapple, the director of sustainability, said she connects the higher ranking to the new sustainability projects outlined in the University's zero-waste plan, which was released this semester. The plan emphasizes the use of solar compactors and an expansion of recycling and composting systems.
“The University continues to work toward the goal of carbon neutrality by 2040 through renewable energy and conservation projects, transportation reduction initiatives and sustainable procurement practices,” Chapple said in an email.
The rankings are determined by the quality and extensiveness of an institution's environmentally sustainable projects, according to the Sierra Club’s website . Universities are scored on a 1,000-point assessment in categories like transportation, campus energy use and divestment from fossil fuels.
Kathleen Merrigan, the executive director of sustainability, credited the higher ranking to a focus on sustainability in academics, like the launch of three new core sustainability courses.
"The undergraduate sustainability minor continues to grow," Merrigan said in an email. "We encourage students to become sustainability minors and will continue to work with faculty to build sustainability content into their courses."
GW received a score of zero in only one category — investments. The University did not provide responses to questions about what types of energy they invest in. Out of the 201 universities that participated in the survey, 109 did not answer questions about investment, according to the Sierra Club's website.
Last March, officials said the University would not divest from its holdings in fossil fuels and declined to provide more information on the University’s investment portfolio.
Corey Hawkey, the sustainability program manager at Arizona State University — ranked sixth on the list — said more universities are creating zero-waste plans like GW's.
“I would say that moving towards zero-waste is something that a lot of institutions are starting to make a little bit more mainstream," Hawkey said. "And I think you see that originate out of athletic venues and start to permeate across campuses."
Jason Mark, the editor of Sierra magazine, said he has noticed more eco-friendly universities implementing projects focused on using sustainable energy.
GW signed an agreement with American University and GW Hospital in 2014 to obtain more than 50 percent of its energy from solar power.
“I would say it’s clean power purchasing and/or renewable energy construction. We see in some schools not only deciding who and how they're buying electricity energy from, but doing real retrofits,” Mark said.
He added that these rankings hold universities accountable to their commitments to sustainability projects.
“I would like to think that it creates a sort of virtuous cycle of competitiveness," Mark said. "Schools wanting to do better — to score higher and perform better — sort of a race to the top. So that's our hope."”

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Importance
1
Families sue GW over body donor program mismanagement
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 21, 2016
“Three families are suing GW for “gross mismanagement” of their family members’ remains that were donated to the medical school for study, claiming that the University then attempted to conceal the incident.
The family members — Eileen Kostaris, Alex Naar and Mary Louise Powell — filed the class action suit in D.C. Superior Court last week on behalf of themselves and other families who donated their relatives’ remains to the cadaver program. The families are suing for general negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention — asking for each family to receive $10 million in damages.
The ten million dollars will cover loss of wages while they collected evidence that could have potentially helped to identify the bodies and to cover emotional anguish, which “is so severe as to manifest itself as physical injury as well,” according to the complaint.
The complaint demands that the court order GW to identify and return bodies to families and “establish lasting policies and procedures to ensure this never happens again.”
Earlier this year, the University revealed that the School of Medicine and Health Sciences had mismanaged more than 50 bodies in the body donor program and couldn’t identify the remains to send back to families, but the lawsuit alleges that wrongly identified remains had been improperly returned to families for years. The medical school shut down the program, and the University announced at the time that the person who oversaw the program no longer works at GW.
The affected families are filing the suit as a class action lawsuit that would affect three groups. The first group consists of about 50 people whose family members’ remains have not been returned and who the University has not positively identified. The second group is made up of family members whose loved ones have not yet been positively identified and returned but will, while the third group contains between 210 and 280 people whose family members' remains have been returned but could have been misidentified and wrongly returned.
University spokeswoman Candace Smith said in an email that the University will address the lawsuit in an “appropriate legal forum,” and declined to comment further on the suit.
“There has been no intent on the part of the University to mislead affected families,” she said.
The plaintiffs' lawyers, Cary Hansel and Annie Hirsch, did not return requests for comment.
The lawsuit alleges that the University had been aware of the issue since September 2015 but did not notify families until late January. During this time, GW allegedly continued to cremate bodies, knowing that they were not identified, according to the complaint.
The bodies were also cremated in Maryland, where state law bans the cremation of unidentified bodies and requires that anyone seeking cremation of a body provide the crematorium with identifying information for each body. GW refused to provide the “cremation authorization” forms required in Maryland, according to the complaint.
As the bodies were cremated, SMHS staff did not collect tissue samples to identify DNA, according to the complaint.
“Both the rushed and unlawful cremation of unidentified bodies, and the saving of genetic material, were done without first obtaining consent or even notifying the affected families,” according to the complaint.
Some family members were asked to provide photographs or identifying information about the bodies so they could be identified, but the bodies had already been cremated, according to the complaint.
The last person to serve as the “anatomical curator” in the program was a licensed funeral director tasked with tracking the bodies' identities. Each body was assigned an identification number and a tag with the number, according to the lawsuit. But as far back as seven years ago, the tags were not kept with the bodies, which led to some being misidentified, according to the complaint.
“Had swift measures been taken when this problem first arose, all of the bodies missing their tags could have been fully identified using dental and other medical reports, DNA testing, identification by relatives in some instances and other techniques,” according to the complaint. “In short this was an inconvenient and embarrassing problem with a ready solution.”
The body of Jean Louise Riley, who died at the age of 92 in May 2015, was one of the misidentified bodies. Her granddaughter, Kostaris, is a plaintiff. Kostaris completed a document showing that she was releasing her grandmother’s body to the University for 18 to 24 months, and that the body would then be cremated. She requested for Riley's remains to be returned to her after cremation, according to the complaint.
In February, Kostaris received a phone call from Christina Puchalski, the director of the GW Institute for Spirituality and Health, telling Kostaris that there had been a “mix-up” of some ashes, and some had not been labeled at all, according to the complaint.
Puchalski told Kostaris that the University would eventually contact her with more information, but she never heard from any officials, according to the complaint.
Ruth Kurle, the mother of Naar, another plaintiff, died in October 2013. Naar filled out the same form as Kostaris and requested that his mother’s remains be returned after her body was cremated, according to the lawsuit. He allegedly followed up with the University multiple times to determine the status of her body.
In August 2015, Naar was told that the remains would be available in January 2016. But in January, he heard that the remains could not be identified. He gave a description of his mother’s surgeries to the University and was told that information “might be useful,” but the bodies had already been cremated and no longer identifiable, according to the complaint.
The University allegedly said the remains could be located because an inventory in September 2015 showed that there was a female cadaver without a larynx, fitting Kurle’s description. But that body had been lent to the University in 2015, while Kurle’s remains were donated in 2013, according to the complaint.
“This further ‘mix-up,’ even now, demonstrates either the continued incompetence of the University or another intentional effort to cover its misconduct,” according to the complaint.
The suit also alleges that Kurle’s remains had either been given to the wrong family or had been interred, after Naar had requested the remains.
Powell's mother, Fidelia Ridgeway, died in January 2015. In January 2016, Powell was informed that her mother’s body was being used and would continue to be in the program for another year. But three days later, she was told that the ashes were ready to be picked up, according to the document.
Powell collected the remains in February 2016, but now alleges that those ashes are not her mother’s.
“Having rendered positive identification very likely impossible, the University then distributed the remains to Ms. Powell without ever alerting her to any concerns,” according to the complaint. “The University left Ms. Powell to learn about its negligence by reading the newspaper in the days and weeks after she received what she initially believed to be her mother’s remains.”
James Levinson contributed reporting.”

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Importance
1
Food pantry to open in response to campus dining insecurity
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 19, 2016
“Media Credit: Alyssa Bogesian | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Justin Archangel, a Class Council volunteer coordinator, shelves food at GW's new student-run food pantry, The Store. The pantry will open Oct. 1 in District House.
Updated: Sept. 20, 2016 at 2:20 p.m.
A student-led food pantry will open on campus in a few weeks after months of planning.
On Oct. 1, GW will become one of the more than 300 universities that offer food banks to students. The Store, located in the basement of District House, will give students a chance to anonymously request food donations — a need officials and experts say is necessary on campuses.
Tim Miller, the associate dean of students, said he and others on campus first started discussing opening a food pantry on campus in February, when they noticed other pantries opening on college campuses and began exploring the option at GW.
“The whole thing came as this is the right thing to do for our students, and this is the right way for students helping other students, and that’s why we wanted to do it and why we think it will make a difference,” Miller said.
The pantry will partner with the Capital Area Food Bank to keep shelves stocked. GW will pay 19 cents per pound for the 12,000 pounds of food they receive from the food bank, and The Store will accept donations of grocery bags and lightly used kitchen supplies.
Two anonymous GW parents gave a four-year donation to the University to cover the initial costs of food and food transportation from the Capital Area Food Bank, according to a University release .
Students who want to use the pantry can fill out an online waiver to gain tap access to the area within District House.
The food pantry will be open from 6 a.m. until noon and then reopen at 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. Miller said the hours were set to allow more students to utilize the resources discreetly. Some food pantries at other institutions are maybe open 10 or fewer hours a week, which limits accessibility, he added.
“We want people to come whenever they want,” Miller said. “The focus is on the student and what is best for them, rather than what is most convenient for us.”
Miller said campus groups have already overwhelmingly supported the pantry by offering to voluntarily staff it.
At least 21 students have already said they are in need and want to use the resources, he added.
Responsibility for the pantry will be split among two organizations: GW Class Council will oversee recruiting and managing volunteers, and the Center for Student Engagement will be responsible for logistics and finances.
The idea for a food pantry was first publicly introduced in the spring when Class Council sent out an email survey to students asking about their interest or need for a pantry. Out of 720 responders, 44 percent of them said there was a time when they did not have enough to eat, and half of those students said they experienced that at least four times a semester.
Justin Archangel, the president of Class Council, said the food pantry should also educate other students about food insecurity on campus.
“We’ve had a number of volunteers already signing up to work shifts, and they think it’s a really great opportunity to do something for the students by the students that’s truly impacting the lives of the people on our campus,” Archangel said.
Experts say that GW’s response to food insecurity is echoing an effort on college campuses across the country.
Sara Goldrick-Rab, a GW alumna and a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, said many universities struggle to find programs to make sure students can eat.
"I didn’t expect students to say that there were days that they did not eat because they didn’t have enough money," Goldrick-Rab said of her research about students' affordability issues.
Goldrick-Rab said the high cost of living and eating in D.C. when she was a student forced her to consider universities' responsibilities to their students.
With J Street closed for renovations and District House vendors yet to open, GW is currently without a main campus dining hall.
Goldrick-Rab said although food pantries are a step in the right direction, they are not a permanent solution to food insecurity.
"They will help to the extent to Band-Aids will help,” Goldrick-Rab said.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that The Store will accept food donations. The Store will accept kitchen supply donations. We regret this error.”

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Importance
1
Staff Editorial: Students need updates on shared space projects
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 19, 2016
“Shared student space isn't a new topic of conversation for GW students. And after continued student concerns, University officials have prioritized adding shared student space to District House affinities, the District House basement and the first floor of the Marvin Center.
But unfortunately, officials set expectations too high for getting new student spaces this year. Many students thought they would return to a completed District House basement with new food vendors that were announced earlier this summer. Instead, none of the vendors are open yet, and there’s no exact opening day on the books.
Media Credit: Cartoon by Lauren Roll
Students also thought that the renovations in the Marvin Center, which were a major priority of last year’s Student Association administration, would be complete by now, allowing the converted J Street area to be used as a central meeting space on campus. Instead, students walk through a boarded up walkway to use what used to be J Street as a campus shortcut, not as a place to hang out. There’s no food or coffee in what used to be J Street, either, so there isn’t much of a reason for students to gather in the Marvin Center to socialize.
We know that eventually students will have more spaces to spend time together once these construction projects are over. GW is clearly in the midst of a transitional period, and what’s to come looks promising. Once the vendors in District House have opened and the renovations in Marvin are complete, there shouldn’t be a shortage of student space.
GW isn’t completely at fault for lingering construction. But it’s not ideal for freshmen who need ways to socialize and build communities or for upperclassmen who expected new places to chat with friends over food. To ease students' frustrations and give them something to look forward to, officials should provide us with more information about the projects' progress.
Starting college is an overwhelming experience, even for the most extroverted people. Without a hub on campus for students, especially for freshmen, there’s a chance students will feel less connected to campus. Of course, some freshmen might make a more concerted effort to meet people, but there are many students who might be more inclined to stay in their residence hall rooms.
Regardless of whether upperclassmen liked or hated J Street’s food as freshmen, everyone spent time there to grab a bite between classes or to get out of our residence halls. We were forced to go to J Street through the old meal plan, but it was a quintessential part of the freshman experience.
That’s not to say that there aren’t other spaces for students to get together on campus. But for freshmen who don’t have access to the Thurston Hall basement or don’t live on the Mount Vernon Campus, where residents hang out in Pelham Commons, building a community as a freshman is more difficult. This goes against the recent message GW has tried to send about community-building.
The current junior class was the first junior class mandated to live on campus. Juniors were promised a brand new dorm with dining features and common space that would make living on campus as an upperclassman enjoyable, and right now juniors do not have on-campus perks.
Of course, University officials can’t always control how long it takes vendors to get permits to move into District House or if renovations fall behind schedule. But the University can make the lack of student space and food options better for us this semester.
Until the basement of District House opens, and the Marvin Center’s renovations are complete, officials need to provide students with more information. We need something to look forward to, and if the University gave us an opening date for District House vendors and the Marvin Center's first floor, then maybe students would be less likely to focus on the lack of space now. Telling us that these spaces will be available “in the fall” isn’t enough.
And nice gestures don’t hurt. Until these community spaces are open, University officials should consider extending the hours the Science and Engineering Hall is open and making the Marvin Center homier by setting up coffee in what used to be J Street. Until we can enjoy the comfort that these additional spaces will eventually add to the University, the little space we do have could feel a lot more homey.
University officials need to understand students' frustrations with the lack of student space on campus. Until areas under renovation are in full working order, officials should provide students with more information on the renovation process and add some perks along the way.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Melissa Holzberg and contributing opinions editor Irene Ly, based on discussions with managing director Eva Palmer, homepage editor Tyler Loveless, contributing sports editor Matt Cullen and copy editor Melissa Schapiro.”

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Importance
1
Crime log
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 18, 2016
“Harassment: (Email and electronic media)
Academic Center
9/7/16
Case closed
A female faculty member reported to the University Police Department that she had been receiving harassing emails and phone calls from her ex-husband.
- Referred to other agency.
Stalking
Potomac House
9/8/16
Case closed
A stalking situation was reported Sept. 8 around Potomac House. There is limited information on the incident.
- No further action.
Theft
Rice Hall
9/8/16 - 8 a.m. – 3:25 p.m.
Open case
A staff member reported to UPD that her wallet was missing from her bag that she left unattended. Her financial institution advised her that there were fraudulent charges on her credit card that occurred at different locations off campus.
-Open case.
Liquor Law Violation/Simple Assault/Disorderly Conduct
600 Block of 23rd Street NW
9/9/16 – 3:26 a.m.
Case closed
While on routine patrol, a UPD officer observed an intoxicated student. The female student, along with another person, became very combative with UPD and the EMeRG crew that responded to the scene. UPD observed several bruises along her arm and neck. The student said she received the bruises while being escorted out of an off-campus nightclub. The Metropolitan Police Department responded and took a report.
- Referred to DSA.
Drug Law Violation
Thurston Hall
9/11/16 – 4:59 p.m.
Case close
UPD responded to a call to open a safe, which the officers opened as requested. The officers observed in plain view a green leafy substance and drug paraphernalia. An administrative search yielded drugs, cash and pills. The student was arrested by UPD and transported to MPD.
- Closed by arrest.
Sexual Assault
Thurston Hall
9/12/2016 - Unknown time
No details.
Sexual Assault
Off campus
9/12/2016 - Unknown time
No details.
Harassment (Verbal or Written)
Public Property on Campus (600 Block of 23rd Street N.W.)
9/12/16 – 9:02 p.m.
Case closed
A student reported to UPD that she was verbally harassed by an individual as she walked down 23rd Street. UPD responded to the area but did not locate a suspect.
- No identifiable suspects.
- Compiled by James Levinson.”

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Importance
1
Students concerned over proposed early Metro closures
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 14, 2016
“Media Credit: Keegan Mullen | Hatchet Photographer
WMATA officials are considering permanently shutting down the Metro after midnight. Students and staff who do not live near Foggy Bottom said this would create headaches for commuting.
A proposed Metro schedule could shut down the trains at midnight daily — a transition that would impact students who use public transportation to commute to campus.
Metro officials considered three options for cutting the transportation system's hours at their Board of Directors meeting Friday. The plan would give workers additional time to perform maintenance on the 40-year-old system, but students who rely on the system to get to campus said an early closing time would pose issues for them.
Paul Wiedefeld, the Metro’s general manager, proposed the closing times to give workers a chance to perform basic safety inspections and maintenance, according to WJLA .
One potential scenario under consideration would end service at midnight Monday through Saturday and at 10 p.m. on Sunday. The system currently closes at midnight every night under the temporary SafeTrack maintenance program that began in June. Other proposed plans would close the Metro as early as 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and leave the train closed until 8 a.m. Sunday. Metro currently opens at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends.
For the permanent time changes to go through, WMATA must hold a period of public comment, which will last through Oct. 24. Metro board members will give their final recommendations for approval in December and if passed, the plans will go into effect July 2017.
Some students say these proposals could have a major impact on the times they spend on campus.
Ho-Jin Yeo, a junior majoring in chemistry who lives in Centreville, Va., travels 25 minutes by car to the Vienna Metro station each day and spends another 25 minutes on the Metro to get to campus.
Yeo said the SafeTrack changes, which shortened the hours the system was open, have already affected him. He has had to reduce the hours he studies at Gelman Library, he said.
“If they lessen the amount of time from midnight to 11:30 p.m., I would be very mad about it,” he said.
Kassandra Glück, a senior and environmental studies major, said she travels about 30 minutes to get to campus from Silver Spring. She said with SafeTrack in effect this semester, she has been forced to use Uber because the Metro closes before she can make it to a station.
“It would be nice if GW offered some kind of student discount pass,” she said. “I’m not saying it should be free, but GW should pay X amount of dollars for students to receive unlimited Metro passes.”
Student leaders have pushed for a discounted Metro plan for students in the past, and 74 percent of students voted in March's Student Association election for a measure that would have created such a plan. Officials said in April that they are working with WMATA to offer an affordable option for students who regularly use Metro.
Chenfeng Xiong, a research scientist at the National Transportation Center at the University of Maryland, said the time limitations may be necessary to improve the Metro's safety.
Xiong said he and his coworkers are conducting surveys as a part of a SafeTrack impact study funded by the National Science Foundation to find out which Metro users have been impacted most by the SafeTrack program. The data from those surveys should show who will be most impacted by permanent early closures.
D.C. doesn’t have the same magnitude of late-night ridership as New York or Singapore, which both offer 24-hour service.
“In my opinion, this decision might help WMATA sustain and reduce operating cost, since D.C. does not have as significant late-night travel demand as NYC or Singapore,” he said. “But of course, D.C.-ers need some time to adapt to this change.””

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Importance
1
University Instagram gains popularity during summer months
by The GW Hatchet
Sep 12, 2016
“Media Credit: Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor
GW's Instagram account got more likes than usual over the summer – a time when universities' social media interactions usually decrease.
More people than usual were double-tapping GW’s Instagram feed this summer.
Jon Hussey, the head of GW's digital marketing, said interactions on the GW Instagram, including comments and likes, jumped by more than 10 percent between May and August — an increase he said came from posting on the account more often, interacting with students and sharing students' photos.
Hussey first shared this data on Twitter using analytics from TrackMaven, a content analysis platform developed by a GW alumnus.
“We aspire to have an audience that is engaging with our content through likes, comments and shares,” Hussey said in an email. “We love to see shares or people tagging their friends on Instagram so they’ll see the photo. That shows us that we have content they want others to see.”
The official GW Instagram account currently has nearly 16,000 followers. GW’s social media team has posted 495 photos since creating the account in 2013 and 51 times since Commencement. The channel has gotten more popular over time: The University’s first Instagram post in 2013 received 40 likes, and its most recent post received nearly 2,400 likes.
Hussey said the digital marketing team posted more frequently this summer, usually three or more times per week. The team was inspired by the Instagram account at New York University, which frequently features images of the city surrounding campus, not just student activities, Hussey said.
He said that GW’s team took ideas from NYU but focused more on the people that make up the University community by sharing students’ photos and interacting with followers by responding to comments.
“We’ve found that despite the fact that most students are not here during the summer, seeing beautiful photos of our campus and the city has made our community wish they were back here on campus,” Hussey said.
GW’s Office of Marketing and Creative Services, which oversees GW’s social media accounts, won two Emmys last year for its video and marketing campaigns and for maintaining consistently active Snapchat and Periscope accounts.
The high number of summer posts resonated with students who found themselves or their photos featured on the feed. Chandler Metcalf, a sophomore and a Colonial Inauguration leader, was featured in a photo posted on the feed this summer.
“It was very cool to see myself on an official GW social media channel,” Metcalf said. “I don’t think there are too many students who are able to say they were on their school’s Instagram account.”
The TrackMaven data compared the University to 21 other colleges, including 11 of GW’s peer institutions. Aside from Emory University, which slightly increased its interaction rate over the same period of time, each of the universities had fewer interactions over the summer months.
Experts agreed that maintaining high levels of Instagram engagement during the summer is a difficult feat.
“The main thing that changes about using social media in the summer is that you lose your captive audience, meaning you lose your source of user-generated content,” Nikki Sunstrum, the director of social media for the University of Michigan, said. “This makes it more difficult to achieve direct interaction with students.”
Instagram remains a relatively weak social media platform for universities, she added.
“Instagram is one of hardest platforms for universities to effectively strategize around,” Sunstrum said. “If you don’t have access to incredible landscapes, it makes Instagram very difficult to use.””

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