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Debate Night Pits Judgment Against Experience
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News
Feb 12, 2016
“12:06 AM Link Who would have expected that the most hotly contested figure in a Democratic presidential debate in 2016 would be Henry Kissinger? The nonagenarian foreign-policy eminence was the subject of the biggest fireworks of Thursday night’s debate in Milwaukee, which came after some 75 minutes of a mostly earnest, dry debate. As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tangled over whether experience (she) or judgment (he, in not voting for the Iraq war) mattered more for a commander-in-chief, Sanders delivered a zinger. “I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend,” Sanders declared, referring to Clinton’s praise for the former secretary of state during the last debate. Suddenly, all hell broke loose. In a surreal spectacle, Clinton—a child of the 1960s campus left and a leader of the nation’s liberal party—defended Kissinger, once a bogeyman to the Democratic Party. She tried to turn the argument back on Sanders, noting that he hadn’t managed to name who his own foreign-policy advisers are. He was ready: “It ain’t Henry Kissinger,” he replied. In a moment of peak Sanders, he then attacked Kissinger for—of all things—backing free-trade agreements. (Alex Pareene wrote eloquently last week about why Kissinger is such a problem for Clinton.) It wasn’t the only attack Sanders leveled at Clinton on foreign policy. “You’ve got a bit of experience,” he said. “But judgment matters as well.” As usual, he invoked his vote against the war in Iraq, but Sanders also criticized Clinton’s leadership on U.S. intervention in Libya. His critique was very similar to Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s objection to the Libyan war: It’s all well and good to oppose dictators, but you shouldn’t back regime change if you don’t know what will come afterward. Those were doozies, blows that strike right at the heart of Clinton’s experience—her major qualification. But Clinton had tricks up her sleeve, too. For the final question, the candidates were asked what foreign-policy leaders they most respected. Sanders named Franklin Roosevelt, while hardly mentioning his global record, and Winston Churchill, whose morality was hardly more defensible than Kissinger’s. Clinton, going second, spotted a moment to pillory Sanders. She named Barack Obama, and blasted Sanders for his criticisms of the president, especially a call for a primary challenger to Obama in 2012. Sanders was livid and red-faced. “Madam Secretary, that is a low blow,” he said. “Have you ever disagreed with a president? I suspect you may have.” He added: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.” While she has brought these differences up before, it was perhaps Clinton’s most effective jab at Sanders yet, and he seemed genuinely rattled. It was especially striking because it came during a debate in which Clinton mostly hugged Sanders close. Throughout the campaign, she has tried to align herself with Obama, portraying herself as the guardian of his legacy. But after Sanders’s blowout win in the New Hampshire primary this week, Clinton is trying to adopt chunks of his platform. After Sanders’s conventional opening about how the economy is rigged, Clinton readily agreed: “Yes, the economy ​is​ rigged for those at the top.” Things went that way for most of the night. Thursday’s debate was wonkish, if you’re charitable—or dull, if you’re not. Just a few weeks ago, everyone was clamoring for more Democratic debates, but after watching this one, it’s a little tough to recall why. Clinton and Sanders’s electoral battle is hotter than ever, but their debates have mostly settled into a comfortable pattern and set of topics. They tend to delve deeply into issues, but if you’re looking for sharp contrasts, debates might not be the best place to find them. The candidates worked hard to differentiate themselves, but they agree on many things: universal health care, ending mass incarceration, abortion rights, helping working-class white communities, taxing the rich. Both candidates want to raise taxes, although Clinton is careful to say she would only do that for the wealthy, while Sanders would raise middle-class taxes while also providing more benefits, he says. Asked what part of the government they would cut, both resorted to promising to slash waste and fraud—an essentially meaningless answer. One notable exception to the comity came on immigration, where Clinton struck Sanders for not voting for the comprehensive immigration-reform bill in 2007. The night also featured a short discussion of women’s reproductive health, a topic that advocates had been complaining was absent from prior debates. But since the two candidates mostly agree, they moved on quickly. “I am not a single-issue candidate, and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country.”Deprived of major differences, the candidates retreated to familiar mantras. For Sanders, that’s the belief that the entire economy is rigged and that the ultimate solution is political revolution. As usual, he boasted that, unlike Clinton, he has no super PAC and relies on small donors, but he did not take the chance to reprise his very effective attack about her speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton missed a softball pitch from Judy Woodruff, who asked how wealthy donors to her campaign were different from wealthy donors to Republicans—didn’t they all want a quid pro quo? Rather than take the easy answer—that her policies would boost the middle class and hurt those donors—she tried instead to brag about her small-dollar donors, a metric on which she’ll never beat Sanders. Clinton’s mantra is execution. She repeatedly argued that Sanders owed voters a fuller explanation of how he’d get things done. She landed a direct blow on Sanders’s plan for free college tuition, which relies on states to cover one-third of the cost of tuition. Pointing to Wisconsin’s conservative Republican Governor Scott Walker, she said the plan was unrealistic: If red states wouldn’t accept Medicaid expansion that was 100 percent paid for, why would any GOP governors help Sanders out? She closed strong, saying, “I am not a single-issue candidate, and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country.” Neither politician had a dominant night, and each had his or her stumbles. It was Sanders’s strongest performance so far on foreign policy, typically his Achilles’ heel, and his well-rehearsed message on the rigged economy resonates with Democrats. Clinton was even better, though. After Sanders debated well last Thursday and then trounced her in New Hampshire, Clinton badly needed a strong performance tonight, and she got it. Clinton was competent, wonky, and pounced on Sanders’s weaknesses. But is this debate enough to stall Sanders’s momentum and help her to regain her footing, or is it just a brief respite for her? —David A. Graham”
Alabama, Clemson win big, will meet in college football title game
by - Top Stories
Jan 01, 2016
“So much for drama. Alabama and Clemson rolled over their opponents in the second half Thursday and barreled their way into college football's national title game.”
The BC$
by The Profile
Jan 01, 2016
“Each year, the BCS system of college football takes from us time and money, and delivers, in return, a playoff system so warped and inefficient that the governing body of college football, the NCAA, refuses to even recognize the winner of this game as a legitimate champion.”
Band director remembered for sense of humor, positive personality
by The GW Hatchet
Feb 08, 2016
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Benno Fritz, the creator and director of the University’s band program and an assistant professor of music, died last week at the age of 54.
Updated: Feb. 8, 2016 at 10:40 p.m.
Benno Fritz was a unwavering source of positivity and humor for those around him, students and faculty said.
Fritz, the creator and director of the University’s band program and an associate professor of music, died on Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at age 54, according to a University release . He is survived by his wife, Alice Mikolajewski, who is a former GW music faculty member, and his son, Harrison.
Fritz directed the symphonic band, orchestra, wind ensemble and Colonial Brass, which plays at GW basketball games. Faculty said he worked closely with the athletics department and Division of Student Affairs to coordinate music for GW events.
During Fritz's 25-year career at GW, the band grew from a small organization to include more than 100 members, according to the release.
He came to GW as an associate professor of music in 1990 after teaching high school music in Michigan, California and Virginia. Fritz also served as a faculty guide and had an office in Thurston Hall, planning events and serving as a mentor for residents.
Robert Baker, an assistant professor of music, said Fritz would be one of the first to arrive on the National Mall early in the morning on the day of Commencement to prepare for the ceremony and to direct students through the performance.
“He did it professionally. He did it with joy. And every year it was a pleasure to show up and know that Ben would make it great,” Baker said.
Baker said Fritz was “always positive,” and the loss of that energy would be difficult to replace in the music department.
“There are good musicians and there are good teachers, but Ben’s positive force about students, music and about the University is unmatched,” Baker said.
Baker added that Fritz and his wife first met while working together in the department, and that he traveled back and forth from D.C. and Florida to be with her once she took a job in Daytona Beach.
"I think they were very discreet but they started their relationship and had a long-distance relationship," he said. "That is a tragedy for them, that Ben has passed away and they did not have the future they deserved."
Baker added that the Colonial Brass will have a moment of silence Wednesday night for Fritz and other memorials will be planned in the coming days. A service is planned in Florida for Monday morning.
A crowdfunding campaign has been started to support GW's music department and the Basilica of St. Paul in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Gisele Becker, an adjunct music faculty member and the director of the choral music program, called Fritz the “perfect colleague.”
“Always willing to help, whether it be providing an understanding and sympathetic ear, flashing his ever-present, yet genuine smile or sharing his ability to seem absolutely unflappable,” Becker said in an email. “Appreciate all he did for me and will carry that memory always.”
Fritz earned his bachelor's degree in music from Michigan State University, and also pursued master's and doctoral degrees in education at George Mason University, according to his faculty page . He was also the state chair for the National Band Association and a member of groups like the Conductor's Guild and the World Association of Symphonic Bands.
Pri Koti, a sophomore and a member of the symphonic band and wind ensemble that Fritz directed, said band members cherished his initiation for them to the band when he would take “newbies” to the Kennedy Center and out for cookies at Captain Cookie. She said he was "unlike any director I’ve ever known."
“You could tell he cared about the music and what it sounded like, but he also really cared about the students themselves,” Koti said.
She added that Fritz started every rehearsal with a funny story, and she cannot remember a rehearsal when band members did not “laugh out loud physically.”
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Benno Fritz was an assistant professor of music. He was an associate professor of music. We regret this error.”

Staff Editorial: Adding a J-term would give students more opportunities
by The GW Hatchet
Feb 07, 2016
“Media Credit: Illustration by Lauren Roll
Imagine if last week had been the first week of classes after winter break. Right now, students and professors alike would just be settling back into campus after a two-month-long break – and that paper or group project wouldn’t be due for another couple weeks.
For as far-fetched as this might seem, it isn’t completely out of reach. Plenty of schools, including three of GW’s peers, have a January Term, or a J-term – a winter break that extends through the end of January. Not only does a J-term give students a little bit of extra time to relax, it also gives them more time to be productive. GW should seriously consider adding one to its future academic schedules.
After lobbying from the Student Association, GW announced last semester that it will add a fall break in 2016. That shows the University’s willingness to adjust its schedule if students push for the change.
"Currently we are not exploring options for an extended winter break," University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said in an email. But the University is always open to recommendations and feedback about the academic year, she said.
Changing the academic schedule to add a J-term makes a lot of logistical sense. The dates of students’ December finals determine when their winter break begins, meaning some start up to a week earlier than others. Adding extra time to the break would give those students with late finals more time at home. It would also help to ease the pain of travel expenses: Spending two months at home, instead of as few as three weeks, would likely make students feel better about spending the money to get there.
The biggest benefit of a J-term, though, is the time it gives students. While there’s a chance some students may waste those two months, most of them would have the opportunity to be productive . Two months is a lot of time to waste.
Students could get ahead on course requirements over a J-term, too. Since many students have plans to graduate early or spend an entire semester abroad, taking courses during a J-term could be a cure-all. If GW were to offer accelerated in-person courses in January, students could opt to return to campus and get ahead on their credits – or catch up.
Southern Methodist University, a peer school, has a J-term and a May term to give students extra time for accelerated courses. These “mini-terms” let students complete three credit hours in eight days. And students there took advantage of the chance to get ahead: This past January, more than 500 students were enrolled in 39 courses, according to SMU’s website .
Having a break in January means more opportunities for study abroad and community service. Some Alternative Breaks, for example, could be extended, or the program could add more options later in January. At New York University, a peer school, students can enroll in a short-term study abroad program in January, which means they can travel to places like Shanghai and Abu Dhabi over break. While GW does offer short-term abroad programs over winter break, students would have more time to explore if they could spend an entire J-term in another country.
Perhaps most appealing to students would be the ability to pick up an internship during a J-term. For the second year in a row, GW was ranked as the best college in the nation for internships – and giving students the chance to intern during January would give the University even more bragging rights. GW would be the only private institution in D.C. to have a J-term, giving students a competitive edge to landing short-term internships in D.C. during this time period. Students would likely jump at the opportunity to add yet another line to their resumes, and maybe even pick up a couple new references.
And for those students who have part-time jobs, especially back home, a J-term is a great opportunity to earn a little extra money. It’s unlikely anyone would hire students just for winter break, but if they were home for two months, it's certainly a possibility. There are also some seasonal positions out there, and even just a few extra weeks of babysitting could bring in a lot of cash.
There are also mental health benefits to giving students time off in January. There’s no relief until spring break, usually scheduled for mid-March. Almost two full months of school can be overwhelming, and exams and papers start very quickly once students get back to campus. When the SA pushed for a fall break, it cited mental health as a reason why some students would benefit from the time off – having a J-term would be just as effective.
A J-term isn’t just helpful for students either. Departments at GW receive grants and can receive government subsidies when their professors do research. If faculty had extra time in January to do research – and maybe even hire students to help them – they could spend more time focused on students and themselves during the semester.
Of course, there are drawbacks. Extra time off could shift Commencement further into May, and midterms might fall into place later, even after spring break. But those small changes would be worth it if students used their J-terms well.
Having January off doesn’t mean students would spend two or three weeks watching Netflix. At a school like GW, when everyone feels constant pressure to improve and do more, a J-term would be a welcome opportunity.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Sarah Blugis and contributing opinions editor Melissa Holzberg, based on discussions design editor Samantha LaFrance, copy editor Brandon Lee, assistant sports editor Mark Eisenhauer and managing director Eva Palmer.
Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.”

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