Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life


Priya Anand

was The Hatchet's editor in chief from its 109th volume. Priya began working for the news section her freshman year and covered academics, crime, politics and the Foggy Bottom community as the assistant and then metro news editor. She drinks more coffee than diners serve daily and puts chili flakes on everything. · @priyasideas

Gelman Library. Hatchet File Photo

Do you spit your gum onto the ground near Gelman Library?

If the answer is yes, last week your dirty habit put a chunk of change in the pockets of Duane M. Cummins – the owner of Gum Busters D.C. who spent last week scraping chewing gum off the sidewalk near Gelman, who was featured in the The Washington Post.

“When I first did this place years ago, oh my God, it was a mess,” the 49-year-old told The Post. “There was a lot of gum to tackle.”

Next time you want to swap your Trident for coffee before hitting the stacks, remember that the three-part process to remove the sticky substance from sidewalks takes a solution from Georgia, Cummins’ steaming “gum cart” and a power generator.

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The fast food chain Chick-Fil-A is famous for its waffle fries. Photo by J. Reed used under Creative Commons License.

Students who miss J Street’s Chick-Fil-A can get their fast food fix when the chain’s new food truck hits D.C.’s streets this April.

The eatery known for its waffle fries and chicken sandwiches will begin rolling through the District April 9, NBC Washington reported Monday.

In August, the University swapped Chick-Fil-A for Thyme – which offered home-style foods – as part of a broad J Street overhaul that followed years of student complaints about expensive, unhealthy and limited options . But that venue was nixed this spring to add Indian cuisine from Aroma Restaurant to the dining hub.

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The National Cherry Blossom Festival, typically a two-week celebration, will last one month this year to honor the 100-year anniversary of Japan's gift to the District. Hatchet File Photo

National Park Service horticulturalists predicted that the city’s cherry blossom trees will hit peak bloom a week after students return from spring break.

This year’s bloom schedule outlines March 24 to 31 as the peak period – when 70 percent or more of the flowers are open – for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, celebrating its centennial with a five-week lineup of events.

Japan gifted the blooming trees, planted along the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial, to the District in 1912. The festival has in other years been a two-week affair.

Mayor Vincent Gray expects the month-long festival to draw in $200 million for the District next year, according to the Washington Business Journal. This is higher than the average $126 million the activities usually garner.

An opening ceremony to kick off the festival’s centennial is scheduled for March 25. The second annual Blossom Kite Festival will take place March 31 and the annual parade of floats, balloons and marching bands will progress April 14 down Constitution Avenue.

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Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 8:08 p.m.

Fur Nightclub to close its doors


Fur Nightclub

Club-goers enjoy a performance by house D.J. Benny Benassi at Fur Nightclub in 2010. Photo courtesy of Panorama Productions.

A multinational construction group has purchased Fur Nightclub, a student hot spot, and plans to turn the site into a 300-plus apartment building, according to The Washington Post.

Skanska bought the property in early 2011, according to The Post, and hopes to fit 300 to 340 units in the building and adjacent area where a parking lot currently sits. The building would likely be named 22 M Street.

The group also plans to build two office buildings to replace parking lots down the street from Fur.

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Updated Oct. 6, 2011, 12:35 p.m.

Riders at the Foggy Bottom Metro were welcomed to their commute by “escalator 101” signs this morning, warning escalefters to pick up the pace.

“If you choose to use the left side of the escalator you had better be able to make it to the top because nobody wants to wait for you,” the signs read. DCist first reported a photo of the signs at about 10:05 a.m. By 10:45 a.m., the signs disappeared.

Metro did not post or remove the signs and the transit agency does not know how they appeared, spokesman Dan Stessel said at about 12:15 p.m.

The signs also told riders to use elevators if they have heavy objects or strollers and to continue walking once they get off the escalator at the top.

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Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 5:51 p.m.

E-mail chain sparks aggravation, laughs

A Division of Information Technology e-mail sent across multiple listservs Thursday afternoon triggered a massive e-mail “reply-all” thread among hundreds of students and alumni, with some irritated recipients asking to be removed from the chain while others sent out facetious responses to perpetuate the conversation.

The initial message, sent out at about 3 p.m., instructed students on how to convert their GWMail accounts into full Google accounts. University spokeswoman Jill Sankey said the e-mail was not a phishing attempt but did not have further details on which listservs received the message.

By about 5:45 p.m., the e-mail chain reached about 220 messages. Some poked fun at reported incidents of feces being found on the floors of Gelman Library, posting, “”Hey I’m in the bathroom at gelman does anyone have toilet paper it’s an emergency. Sos.”

Here are some of  our favorite e-mail replies.

“I like turtles”

“Step 1: tell the previous responded how you feel about their email.

Step 2: hit reply all, BUT also add three other friends to the chain!”

“Save a tree! Please only print this e-mail if necessary.”

One responder offered a solution for individuals on the chain who do not want to receive further messages.

“Personally I’m enjoying this, but if anyone wants a decent way to stop having your blackberry go off of this follow these steps:
1) Go into “Settings” in the top right corner.
2) Click “Filter”
3) Add Filter
4) Put in the “To” field.
5) Click “Test Search” and make sure this message comes up.
6) Click “Next” and click “Mark as Read”  AND “Delete it”

This should at least remove it from you inbox and put it in your trash.”

Are you receiving the e-mail chain? Post your favorite responses in the comments.

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Members of Pi Kappa Phi celebrate after completiting a cross-country bike ride for Push America. Gabriella Demczuk | Staff Photographer

Six Pi Kappa Phi brothers pedaled to the steps of the Capitol building Saturday to put a two-month cross-country charity bike ride to a close.

After traveling across 32 states and a total of over 12,000 miles, 97 fraternity brothers from across the nation concluded their Journey of Hope – a program organized to aid individuals with physical and mental disabilities – on Saturday. Push America, the group sponsoring the ride, was founded by a Pi Kapp brother in 1977.

Junior Adam Cella said fraternity brothers who participated in the event last year inspired him to join the cause. This year’s batch of bikers raised a total of $570,000.

“I had fraternity brothers that had done it who are role models for me,” Cella said. “It ended up being the best thing I’ve ever done.”

The brothers began the bike ride – the 24th in Journey of Hope history – in San Francisco and Seattle on June 12 and biked an average of 75 miles daily. Bikers split into three teams – north, south and trans-America, and stopped to spend afternoons with disabled people during various activities and events.

Dylan Wong, a sophomore, said he was inspired by previous program participants while he was rushing Pi Kapp.

“It was definitely one of my most memorable experiences,” Wong said. “One of the best parts was I met a kid, Ta, with muscular dystrophy and we went bowling.”

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Photo courtesy of Stephanie Williams

Miss District of Columbia Stefanie Williams did not clinch the title of Miss America Saturday night, losing to 17-year-old Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan.

Williams, a GW medical student, will receive a scholarship from the Miss American organizations though she did not make it to the semifinals of the annual competition.

She won the title of Miss D.C. in June on a platform of preventative care, saying she was inspired by a medical mission trip to India the previous summer. On her trip, she witnessed disease-stricken people whose government had no funds to treat them. The sight propelled Williams to push preventative health measures in the U.S.

After slipping on her crown last June, Williams said she would take the fall off from school to fulfill her duties as Miss D.C.

Scanlan is the youngest Miss America to be crowned since 1921, when the pageant crowned the 15-year-old Miss D.C. Margaret Gorman.

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The LGBT Resource Center has launched two new programs this fall – a mentoring program to connect students with LGBT guides and a speakers bureau.

The new mentoring program offers students a confidential, one-on-one relationship with a guide, aiming to soften the challenges of coming out, community-building and self-acceptance. LGBT members of GW faculty, staff and the administration serve as mentors.

Jessie Kelly, assistant programming coordinator at the University’s LGBT Resource Center, will serve as a mentor. Ashley-Lynn Goldstein | Hatchet photographer

Jessie Kelly, assistant programming coordinator at the University’s LGBT Resource Cente, said in light of recent LGBT hate crimes and tragedies, the tone of National Coming Out Week will focus on showing even more support for LGBT students at GW.

“There’s been a lot of media attention [on the tragedies] but the sad thing is, suicides among LGBTs is unfortunately not anything new,” Kelly said, referencing the suicide of a Rutgers University student, who was outed by his roommate through an unknown video of his sexual encounters with another male. “Hopefully with the new media attention people will start to act more.”

Allied in Pride – an LGBT student organization – joined the LGBT Resource Center this week to commemorate National Coming Out Week, a  nationwide effort to spread awareness, education and support for individuals who come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The weeklong series of events at GW, lasting from Oct. 11 to Oct. 15, includes speakers, seminars on coming out, “Will and Grace” screenings and a trip to the popular gay dance club Town.

Allied in Pride President Michael Komo said National Coming Out Week represents an occasion to celebrate diversity.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to take a public stand to support LGBT youth, because of the recent tragedies, to show that they are valued and they are cared about,” Komo said.

Kicking off the weeklong series of events, keynote speaker Cheryl Jacques – a former president of the Human Rights Campaign and Massachusetts’s first openly gay state senator – told students they are not facing a unique challenge.

“We’re writing another chapter in the book of civil rights,” Jacques said. “We’ve been here before in this country.”

Jacques said there is a “pattern of animosity this country has perpetually had toward people who are new or different,” discussing the women’s rights movement and telling stories about discrimination toward the Irish.

“Equality for gay Americans will be achieved,” Jacques said. “It’s not a question of if, it’s only a question of when.”

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This fall, a classic movie theater with a luxury screening room, outfitted with plush leather seats and new bathrooms and drapes, is scheduled to open in the West End, just outside Foggy Bottom.

Located at 2301 M Street NW and currently known as the Inner Circle, the theater has three auditoriums and the capacity to seat almost 230 people in total. Josh Levin, leaser of the kitchen-less property, plans to serve sandwiches, salads and traditional movie snacks to customers, as well as wine and beer if approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

Once open, the refurbished theater will showcase “first-run independent films, art house, documentary, and classic films,” Levin told The West End Flyer.

A name has not yet been chosen for the new theater.

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