Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life


Chloe Sorvino

is the campus news editor for The GW Hatchet. As a rising junior and native of New Jersey, Chloe will report on student life and finance. Chloe takes grammar rules very seriously and will continue to educate on the correct use of the semicolon during her time as an editor.
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 3:32 p.m.

Lisner Auditorium offers shutdown deals

Poet Toni Asante Lightfoot performed at Lisner Auditorium this August. Hatchet File Photo.

Poet Toni Asante Lightfoot performed at Lisner Auditorium this August. Hatchet File Photo.

Lisner Auditorium has jumped into the shutdown deal craze that’s spreading across the District.

The ticket office is offering discounts and buy-one, get-one deals until Oct. 10 – or whenever government operations resume.

Tickets are $5 off for bigger acts, including ELizabeth Smart, who will speak about her childhood abduction, or Herald Muñoz, the United Nations assistant secretary general, who will speak about Pakistani politics.

Buy a ticket to see performers such as a troupe of Argentinian dancers, and you’ll get one free with codes like “SHUTDOWN” or “FURLOUGH.”

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Shutdown. Gridlock. Furloughs.

There are plenty of serious consequences to the federal shutdown, but there’s also a minor one felt across GW’s campus: Interrupted internships and work-study jobs.

Unpaid interns on Capitol Hill will still go into work and they expect to answer the brunt of the angry calls in their representative’s congressional districts.

But others, some on federal work-study jobs in places like the Peace Corps and interns at agencies and federal departments, will be sent home for at most 27 days.

Here’s a snapshot of students during the shutdown.

Connor Schmidt: Intern, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Schmidt was sent home from his for-credit internship at the White House on Monday with the rest of the about 100 staffers in his office, without knowing when he would return.

He had to put his research on hold, but the sophomore majoring in political science said he is pleased that, unlike some students with internships at other executive departments, he won’t lose days of his internship. They will tack on however many days he missed to the end of his program.

“It’s disappointing that it’s so childish,” Schmidt said. “But I’d be a lot more upset if it wasn’t getting added on at the end. There are a lot of people out there who are losing that time.”

Alex Miller: Federal Work-Study Student, Smithsonian Institution

Miller will miss out on his paycheck until the government starts back up. And while he said that as a citizen the shutdown was “disappointing,” he’s optimistic that he’ll be back to work soon.

He said that he wants to work for the government one day, and that although this is a blip, it does not discourage his federal employment aspirations.

A biological anthropology major, Miller works in the Museum Support Center for the Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology.

Marie Paoli: Student Program Analyst, U.S. Department of State

Paoli, who will continue her paid internship, said she is one of the lucky ones. She received notice that, for now, she’s “essential” to her department, which is using its contingency fund to continue paying workers.

But she said there is a “culture of uncertainty” because there will be a new plan every week the shutdown continues.

“No one really has much of a sense of how long this is going to last. I could go into work tomorrow and it could be a totally different thing,” she said.

Raksha Kalyanaraman: Intern, House of Representatives

Kalyanaraman said she is actually “really excited” about the government shutdown to take a part in history. Interns on the Hill, she said, are continuing to go in because they are unpaid and because most office staffers are still working through the shutdown as well.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience. The government hasn’t shut down in 17 years. This is really unusual and I’m going to gain more experience going to work in the shutdown than I would in the average day,” she said.

On Monday, she manned the phones as her Connecticut congressman was flooded with calls from constituents concerned about the Affordable Care Act and the potential shutdown. And as the chaos continues, she expects to be busier than usual.

“The outrage from the public will be so much more now that it has shut down,” Kalyanaraman said.

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks at the GW Hillel in 2012. Hatchet File Photo.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks at the GW Hillel in 2012. Hatchet File Photo.

The government shutdown is here, partially because a pair of GW alumni couldn’t find common ground to lead their delegations and stop it.

GW’s two most powerful political alumni – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. – have remained at odds this week as a partisan stalemate forced the government to a halt.

“We will do everything we can to protect Americans against the harmful effects of Obamacare. This bill does that. We’re united in the House as Republicans,” Cantor said Saturday night, according to the Washington Post. “Now it’s up to the Senate Democrats to answer.”

But Reid fired back, calling Cantor’s proposal “pointless” even before the House had a chance to vote on it.

“As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill,” Reid said in a statement. “After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuted the House's amendments to a spending bill that would have amended the Affordable Care Act but saved the federal government from shutdown. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Senate.

Cantor, who graduated GW in 1985, has been active on campus since he was elected in 2001. He has spoken at GW several times, most recently at GW Hillel in 2012, which he was a member of during his undergraduate years.

But Reid, who graduated from the GW Law School in 1964, has been public about his resentment towards GW.

In his recent memoir, Reid said he nearly dropped out after he was declined financial aid. Reid said he refused to donate to GW after graduating, and did not return until he gave the school’s commencement address in 2005.

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Stumped on what to wear to GW’s Inaugural Ball? Check out tips from the University’s new Pinterest page.

The University Events page has four boards – wardrobe, hair and make-up, accessories and shoe ideas – with a total of 61 pins.

The “Inaugural Ball apparel” board features celebrities and stylish politicos, like alumna and former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis in her 1961 inaugural getup.

The page also advises students to select outfits, accents and makeup with a buff-and-blue theme to show “Colonial spirit.”

Tickets for the Jan. 21 ball, which will cost $100, go on sale Election Day.

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Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 9:44 a.m.

Auntie Anne’s opens with pretzel sampling

Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop opens Friday after about a month of preparation to its J Street space.

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is handing out free samples on its opening day Friday.

Samplers can stop by the new J Street venue between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to taste the original and cinnamon pretzels.

The University announced this fall that Auntie Anne’s would replace Freshens, which sold frozen yogurt and smoothies.

It is the first chain restaurant added to J Street since Campus Dining scrapped the Wendy’s and Chik-Fil-A in August 2011.

Director of Campus Support Services Nancy Haaga said she hoped Auntie Anne’s will  excite more students about J Street, which has swapped out several vendors and overhauled its marketing in the last few years to attract diners.

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The Fojol Brothers of Merilindia food truck employees serve Indian food while donning turbans and playing Punjabi music. Photo courtesy of Dave Kleinschmidt under Creative Commons License

The Fojol Brothers food truck that brings turbaned employees and Punjabi music to H Street to serve up Thai, Ethiopian and Indian specialties is being called out for “brazenly insulting of others’ cultures.” posted a petition Tuesday that garnered more than 400 signatures as of 3:42 p.m. to tell the food truck’s owner to “stop the brownface minstrel act,” citing employees’ stage names like “Dingo” and “Ababa Du.”

The petition follows “An Open Letter to the ‘Fojol’ Bro-dawgs” posted Friday on Facebook, blasting the truck for “brazenly insulting of others’ cultures.”

Drew Franklin, the author of the post, called the owners “a bunch of callous opportunists banking off the ever profitable enterprise that is Western Orientalism.”

One of the truck’s owners, Justin Vitarello, told The Huffington Post that Fojol Brothers will not change anything about their costumes or “Merlindian” personas.

“We’re not going to stop doing that, is what it comes down to,” Vitarello said. “The people and the market will tell whether they like this or not.”

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