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A panel of banking and economic experts discussed development economics in the Jack Morton Auditorium Friday, including well-known U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

A panel of banking and economic experts discussed development economics in the Jack Morton Auditorium Friday, including well-known U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Wanyan Xu.

An International Monetary Fund meeting Friday united six panelists to set goals on how to finance international campaigns for the economy and the environment.

The panel laid out steps to reach 17 targets that will improve daily life without exploiting the Earth’s resources. All the goals can be completed by the end of the year, panelists said.

Here are the panelists’ conclusions:

1. Specificity is key

The panelists said the 17 goals have been divided into six categories: dignity, people, planet, prosperity, justice and partnership.

Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute, which deals with issues related to challenges the Earth faces, said he’s concerned about the broadness of the initiatives. He added that the goals need to be fleshed out more and the focus should be on coming up with a much more specific framework for the goals.

“We cannot just say how beautiful the new proposal of [sustainable development goals] is,” Sachs said. “What’s new and what’s real are what’s more important.”

Wu Hongbo, United Nations under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, spoke on a panel discussion about sustainable development goals as part of the International Monetary Fund spring meetings. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Wu Hongbo, United Nations under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, spoke on a panel discussion about sustainable development goals as part of the International Monetary Fund spring meetings. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

2. Evening the playing field

Wu Hongbo, the United Nations’ under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, said a closer relationship with financial institutions will help the goals come to fruition more effectively.

Sachs said he’s worried that the public sector isn’t doing enough to finance the development goals. He said many government leaders know it’s important to help finance countries that are in need of help, but most haven’t taken action.

“The only country seriously financing development in other countries is China,” Sachs said.

He called for both developing and developed countries to put money on the table to finance the goals.

3. Incorporating the private sector

Sachs said there are more than 1,800 billionaires in the world with $7.1 trillion, and if those billionaires would endow the the goals with just 5 percent of their wealth, they would be investing more than $365 billion into the initiatives.

Min Zhu, the deputy managing director of the IMF and a former deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said economic leaders should shift their focus to providing more resources for those trying to reach the goals.

“We should move away from focus on [Official Development Assistance] to mobilizing domestic and private resources for development,” Zhu said.

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Global economic experts discussed infrastructure investment at Jack Morton Auditorium on Friday. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Global economic experts discussed infrastructure investment at Jack Morton Auditorium on Friday. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Hanna Willwerth.

Representatives from five countries analyzed the best way to close the gap for funding infrastructure projects at an International Monetary Fund meeting Friday.

The gap is projected to reach between $20 and $25 trillion by 2030. Facilitator and Al Jazeera America news anchor Ali Velshi asked panelists why there has not been more investment in infrastructure.

Participants’s answers focused on the potential of greater collaboration between the private and public sectors, the importance of strengthening state mechanisms, and the need to convince the public of the “usefulness and necessity” of infrastructure.

While you were in class, this is what the IMF was talking about:

1. Efficiency in infrastructure

All five speakers agreed on the importance of efficiency for both securing the success of infrastructure projects and the support of the civilian population.

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, the new deputy director of the IMF and the former Japan vice finance minister, said that poor leadership can lead to inefficiency in large-scale projects, causing investors and civilians to see those projects as “wasteful.” He said this leads to a loss of trust and accumulating debt.

Rajiv Lall, the managing director of Infrastructure Development Finance Company, said that for example, efficiency in India has greatly improved since the country’s government cracked down on corruption.

2. Public and private

Lall also said cash-strapped nations should see potential in combinations of public and private businesses when overcoming investment challenges.

“We should reimagine the relationship between the private and public sector. We have the public sector take on more risk of construction initially. Let them build electrical lines and plants and once operational, sell them down to private interests who assume risk of maintenance and can release coupon bonds based on a predictable cash flow,” Lall said.

Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said a collaborative relationship between the public sector and capital markets can develop infrastructures and promote domestic growth by placing profitable projects to the private sector. He said this allows government agencies to focus on services such as education and health care.

3. Soft institutional infrastructure

All of the participants said a robust, transparent and reliable institutional framework was the foundation for improved investment in infrastructure.

Without the proper government institutions in place, panelists said no amount of funding would be able to overcome the infrastructure gap.

“[In India] the tendency of the government is to wash its hands of conflicts because it doesn’t want to get stoned, so they leave it to the courts which are already overwhelmed. This undermines confidence as bankers aren’t paid and projects languish and take forever,” Lall said.

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Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde spoke in Lisner Auditorium Thursday as a part of the IMF's spring meetings about the world economy and the state of countries such as Greece and Iran. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde spoke in Lisner Auditorium Thursday as a part of the IMF’s spring meetings about the world economy and the state of countries such as Greece and Iran. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor


This post was written by Hatchet reporter Regina Park.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde kicked off the IMF flagship seminars for the 2015 spring meetings with a conversation on global economy at the Lisner Auditorium Thursday.

Lagarde discussed the patterns of the global economy, hitting on both the Western and Eastern hemispheres in her explanation of worldwide trends.

Wish you could mingle with global economic leaders? Here’s what Lagarde had to share:

1. A change in the status quo

For years, experts believed that countries with developing economies will see the most growth, but new data shows that this might not stand the test of time. Older and more advanced economies like those in the United States and the United Kingdom are seeing fast recovery and growth, while China’s newer economy is experiencing a slowdown, Lagarde said.

However, Lagarde says countries shouldn’t count China out quite yet.

“China’s impact on the global economy is still phenomenal,” Lagarde said.

2. Reforms, not loans

Lagarde repeated several times Greece should focus on loans to solve its current economic crisis.

She called for an in-depth reform of the country’s pension and tax systems, the independence of tax authorities and tax collections.

“Our objective at the moment is to restore stability from a financial and economic point of view so Greece can go back to the financial markets, go back to creating jobs, and how that is achieved is exactly what needs to be discussed,” Lagarde said.

Lagarde said the IMF is currently not discussing loans to Greece but reminded her audience that the money being loaned to Greece was the international community’s money and should not be carelessly given out without the implementation of core institutional reforms in the country.

3. Welcome China into the fold

Lagarde said that while the U.S. has been an admirable supporter of the IMF for 70 years, the world has changed since then. Countries like China must be properly represented on the global scale, and other options such as loans from the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank should not be rebuffed.

“China’s AIIB is the new kid around the block, but it’s the new kid around the block that actually responds to the massive need of infrastructure financing,” Lagarde said. “So if that institution is there to finance vital needs that will push growth, that is excellent news.”

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Members of the GWU Progressive Student Union gather outside Rice Hall to deliver a petition to President Steven Knapp demanding affordable and sustainable dining options for students. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Members of the GWU Progressive Student Union gather outside Rice Hall to deliver a petition to President Steven Knapp demanding affordable and sustainable dining options for students. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Laura Whaling.

Sixteen members of the Progressive Student Union marched to Rice Hall Thursday afternoon to deliver a petition demanding changes to GW’s current campus dining plan.

The petition, which had 600 signatures, included demands for an increase in student involvement in the decision-making process behind campus dining choices, more sustainable food and maintaining current employee contracts. Both students and J Street employees signed the petition.

GW’s contract with Sodexo, who provides dining services like J Street to the University, will expire at the end of the year.

Ross Berry, the president of PSU, said the group was going to ask the desk receptionist in Rice Hall – where most administrator offices are housed – to speak to Senior Associate Vice President of Operations Alicia Knight, but said it was unlikely they would meet with her.

Two weeks ago, PSU started the petition asking the University for more input on campus dining options, a daily swipe-system and more sustainable food options. The petition also asked GW to keep all current workers and increase workers’ rights after Sodexo said it would fire two workers in the winter.

Before entering the building, the group posed for a photo, and on Berry’s order of “fists to the sky,” they raised their arms.

Berry said that after being told that the students would not be able to meet with Knight or University President Steven Knapp, Berry handed the petition to the receptionist and said the PSU will give officials one week to respond to their demands.

Berry addressed the students after dropping off the petition, telling them their involvement was helpful in the “year-long process” of changing campus dining.

“We can’t emphasize enough that students and workers be heard in this process,” Berry said.

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Members of the ANC like Peter Sacco discussed the Corcoran School of Art and Design at Wednesday night's meeting. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Members of the ANC like Peter Sacco discussed the Corcoran School of Art and Design at Wednesday night’s meeting. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporters Robin Eberhardt and Ben Marchiony

A top GW official appealed to a local governing board Wednesday night, laying out plans to adapt the University’s campus plan to include arts students from the recently acquired Corcoran College of Arts and Design.

Senior Associate Vice President for Operations Alicia Knight announced a plan at an Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting on Wednesday that would formally recognize Corcoran students living and taking classes on the Foggy Bottom campus. Officials are looking to get the update approved due to the D.C.-imposed limit on how many students the University can legally have on campus.

The head count, known as GW’s “enrollment cap,” will still not change from the 20,000 that was approved in 2007, which was the last time the University’s campus plan went through zoning regulations.

“The University is not proposing an increase in any enrollment caps,” Knight said. “There’s no proposed change related to that.”

A notice from the Zoning Commission emphasized that “No modification of the student caps is sought, nor does the University seek to change any other conditions of the Campus Plan.”

University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said that GW is “voluntarily offering the modification to provide clarity and transparency.” GW announced the acquisition of the 135,000 square-foot building and arts school last February, and the details of the merger were officially finalized last semester.

The maximum cap for full-time students is 16,553 students, according to the 2007 Campus Plan.

GW created the 2007 Campus Plan so that it “concentrates height and density within the central campus core, away from historically sensitive areas of campus and nearby residential neighborhoods,” according to zoning application documents. Major construction projects laid out in the 2007 campus plan include building South Hall and District House.

Peter Sacco, an ANC commissioner and GW senior, said in an interview that including the adjustment of campus zones is a “necessary step” to to fully including Corcoran students on campus.

“It’s a conversation we have to have, and it’s not an easy one to have,” Sacco said. “As you can see, we’re still going forward with that.”

GW’s tangled history with local political bodies has come to a head during zoning issues in the past. As campus grew to attract more students and as more construction projects began, neighbors have typically been wary over how to contain GW’s reach in Foggy Bottom.

The Foggy Bottom Association, a neighborhood coalition, opposed GW’s application to change campus zoning agreements in 2006, saying that GW had “‘more students, fewer beds and more faculty than allowed,” according to zoning document. They appealed the zoning regulations approved in 2007, and were overruled by the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Community members voiced their opinions on the proposed Campus Plan update at the meeting. Barbara Kahlow, who lives in the neighborhood, pointed out that the 2007 campus plan wanted to “build up, not out,” and said.

She said that adding the Corcoran students does not follow the original guidelines, and also said that she found issues with GW adding a section into the library just for Corcoran students.

“The whole student cap issue has been an issue in the community,” Kahlow said. “Because they are using Foggy Bottom.”

Corcoran students have already begun the integration process on campus by living in GW residence halls this academic year, with around 35 Corcoran students in Mitchell Hall. Freshmen Corcoran students will be able to live in a “Creative and Performing Arts Community” floor in Thurston Hall. The Corcoran school is also featured on GW’s virtual tour.

Starting with the class of 2019, Corcoran students will be required to live on campus until their junior year, under the same housing regulations as undergraduate students in other schools within the University, according to Hiatt.

The University will officially propose an edited campus plan to the zoning commission on May 4.

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GW gave out 29 awards recognizing students on Wednesday night at the Excellence in Student Life awards. Olivia Harding | Hatchet Staff Photographer

GW gave out more than 20 awards recognizing students on Wednesday night at the Excellence in Student Life awards. Olivia Harding | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Andrew Goudsward.

The 30th annual Excellence in Student Life Awards were held Wednesday night at Lisner Auditorium honoring students, student organizations, faculty and staff for extracurricular achievements at the University.

Twenty-two awards were handed out at the ceremony, and the winners for each award were determined by a committee comprised of students, faculty and staff. Stephen Nelson, a senior and one of the night’s emcees, told the crowd the night was a “very special occasion.”

“Each year, the GW community comes together to celebrate the ones who are really making a difference on campus – you,” Nelson said.

Allied in Pride, Students Against Sexual Assault and the Residence Hall Association were awarded the Pyramid Award for Student Organization of the Year. Anne Graham, a representative from the Center for Student Engagement, presented the groups with the awards.

“Each of these groups shows us on a daily basis what excellence is by organizing and motivating students to participate in student life,” Graham said.

The night also featured performances by student performance groups like the Sons of Pitch, GW Pitches and The GW Law Revue, who donned matching Jurassic Park T-shirts and took home the award for Performance Group of the Year following a text-in vote from the audience.

Six more faces will be added to the GW Wall of Fame on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center as Dr. Melinda Whitlow, Dr. Tara Radin, Brian Doyle, Ian Mellul, Lauren Davis and Jovanni Mahonez were honored with a spots.

Ashley Trick was awarded Resident Adviser of the Year for outstanding commitment to her residents and the Center for Student Engagement.

“Your RA’s aren’t just about baked goods and bulletin boards, they’re the big brothers and sisters on this campus that keep the community together,” emcee Niki Nourmohammadi said.

Incoming Student Association President Andie Dowd took home two awards for University pride and individual excellence.

Emcees Nelson, Nourmohammadi and Nejla Day entertained the audience with a game of keep away, a human pyramid, a fake roommate fight, a rap paying homage to the Mount Vernon Campus and even a reference to the infamous “#thedress” Internet debate.

Following the event, more than 200 luminaries lit up Kogan Plaza, one for each of the night’s nominees.

The ceremony ended with the singing of “Happy Birthday,” marking the 30th anniversary of the University’s student awards ceremony.

Tuesday’s other winners included:

Greek life chapters of the Year: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Phi Lambda

Greek Woman of the Year: Katie Takeuchi, Phi Sigma Sigma

Greek Man of the Year: Tim Kenna, Delta Tau Delta

#OnlyatGW Photo Contest: Gianna Gagliardi

Honey Nashman Spark A Life Award for Faculty Member of the Year: Dr. Kelly Sherrill Linkous

Robert A. Chernak Spark A Life Award for Staff Member of the Year: Dean Lisa Schenck

Baer Awards for Individual Excellence: Andie Dowd, Chris Evans, Omeed Firouzi, Ari Massefski, Laura Porter

Class of 2009 University Pride Award: Andie Dowd

Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Scholarship: Veronica Hoyer

Marc A. Zambetti Award: Andrew Avitabile

Outstanding Student Service Awards: GW Alternative Breaks, Gabriella Malek, Aislynn Raymond

Graduate Award for Individual Excellence: Maja Cavlovic

Mount Vernon Award: Kendall Meyer

Learning through Action Award: Lemonade Day DC

Joint Committee of Faculty and Students’ Scholarships for Undergraduate Student Leadership Development
: Michella Sparks, Chris Evans, Evan Nielson, Victoria Goncalves

Menatt-Trachtenberg Prize: Zac Ruckert

Student Employee of the Year: Jessica Stevens (undergraduate) Doyon Won (graduate)

Excellence in Diversity: GW South Asian Society and Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/ Lambda Pi Chi Sorority Inc.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award: Nicholas Gumas, Fizza Shaikh, Farah Albani, Floyd Jones

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University President Steven Knapp welcomed six alumni who were honored for outstanding service to the University. Camille Sheets | Hatchet Staff Photographer

University President Steven Knapp welcomed six alumni who were honored for outstanding service to the University. Camille Sheets | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Six alumni were honored by the GW Alumni Association Wednesday for their efforts to support programming across the University.

University President Steven Knapp welcomed the honorees and their guests, noting that the ceremony honoring their service was in the spirit of the University’s namesake.

“Tonight we’re precisely celebrating our culture of service. I often say what we give to the world, above all, is the body of alumni,” Knapp said. “They carry with them what our namesake spelled out when George Washington called for the creation of a university in the heart of our nation’s capital.”

This year’s recipients of the Alumni Outstanding Service Award have served on various committees, as well as donated time and money to the University. All six recipients delivered short speeches highlighting their experiences as GW students, how the University shaped their careers and why they continue to give back through volunteering and donating.

Kenneth Chaletzky serves on the Dean’s Board of Advisors for the School of Business and on the board of Hatchet Publications Inc. Laura Taddeucci Downs is currently the chair of GW’s Council of Chairs, and also worked at the University and served as president of the Alumni Association.

Allan From, who is now a member of the Board of Trustees, also served on the GW Alumni Association Board of Directors and on the University’s athletic advisory council.

“This school gave me the chance to explore. And with my association with the Board of Trustees I am still able to interact with students and faculty, which makes it like I still go to school here without an exam,” said From, who chairs the student affairs committee of the Board of Trustees.

Howard Tischler has served on the School of Engineering and Applied Science National Advisory Council since 2001. Frank Wong is the chair of the Hong Kong Alumni Club.

Sylven Beck, an alumna and professor in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, received the Jane Lingo Alumni Outstanding Service Award, which honors a faculty or staff member who is also a University alumnus.

Beck, who has worked at the University for more than 30 years, accepted her award from Michael Feuer, the dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She started the Sylven Seid Beck Endowment, which funds scholarships for GSEHD masters students.

“My tapestry is, indeed, rich. My legacy is in tact, and my love for teaching in this place hasn’t diminished one iota,” Beck said of her passion for GW when she accepted her award.

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Virginia resident Ivan Olaciregui accepts a street harassment awareness bracelet from a University Police Department officer as part of an outreach event during Sexual Assault Awareness month. Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Virginia resident Ivan Olaciregui accepts a street harassment awareness bracelet from a University Police Department officer as part of an outreach event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Updated: April 15, 2015 at 11:51 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Melissa Schapiro.

Metro Transit Police want you to know harassment is not OK.

Metro Transit Police organized a weeklong anti-street harassment campaign along with two harassment prevention advocacy groups as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As part of the campaign, a University Police Department officer and advocates from Stop Street Harassment and Collective Action for Safe Spaces passed out pamphlets and bracelets promoting harassment prevention outside the Foggy Bottom Metro station Wednesday.

Officers from Metro Transit Police visited four other Metro stations Wednesday, including Silver Spring and Metro Center, according to a release.

Passersby could also get teal anti-street harassment T-shirts if they posed for a photo wearing the shirt. Officers at each Metro station passed out brochures with information about resources specific to that area, and the brochures were printed in English and Spanish. The UPD officer at Foggy Bottom distributed a pamphlet that outlined the University’s Title IX resources.

The UPD officer declined to comment on the event because officers are not allowed to speak with the media.

A key component of the campaign was to make sure Metro passengers know their options for reporting harassment, which include emails, a phone hotline, a text messaging system and an online reporting form. The online reporting form also allows passengers to upload a photo or video of the perpetrator. Passengers can also report incidents of harassment to Metro Transit Police in stations.

Metro has also posted anti-harassment posters in stations. The posters, which were a collaboration between Metro Transit Police, Stop Street Harassment and Collective Action for Safe Spaces, included the slogan, “If It’s Unwanted, It’s Harassment.” The posters will appear in stations for the next three months.

Holly Kearl, the founder of Stop Street Harassment, said the response to the posters has been positive.

“People are grateful that Metro is paying attention to this issue and taking it seriously,” she said at Wednesday’s event.

She said social media has helped residents may more attention to issues like street harassment.

“Social media is enabling us to mobilize people to collect stories and really show that [street harassment] is a problem,” she said.

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Want the biggest bang for your buck? You might find it at the GW School of Business.

The business school landed the No. 20 spot on a list of 25 business schools with the highest return on investment, published by Fortune Magazine earlier this week. Twenty five business schools across the country made the list, with the University of California, Berkeley, clinching the top spot.

The return on investment was calculated by estimating how much the average graduate would earn over 20 years and subtracting the amount of tuition that student would pay while earning the degree. The magazine estimated that a GW business school graduate student will earn $609,800 more than a high school graduate would over 20 years, but only after paying about $63,000 in tuition every year for four years.

But, GW’s tuition was the fourth-highest on the list. Nine of the universities listed have tuition levels that are about half the amount as GW.

New York University, one of GW’s peer schools, ranked seventh on the list, with a return on investment of $693,700 – an amount nearly $84,000 higher than GW. Other peer schools included Washington University in St. Louis and American University, which landed the 22nd and 24th spots, respectively.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Grace Gannon.

The D.C. Council proposed a bill Tuesday that would require city health care professionals to receive LGBT sensitivity training.

At-Large Council member David Grosso and Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander introduced the bill that would amend current laws and require health care practitioners – including doctors and mental health specialists – to complete training in “attitudes, knowledge, and skills that enable a health care professional to care effectively for patients who identify as LGBTQ”, according to a copy of the bill.

The trainings would also teach health care workers to use appropriate terminology with LGBT patients, understand risk factors for their health, and train support staff to also work with LGBT patients and maintain their confidentiality, according to the bill.

Alexander, who is the chair of the Council’s health and human services committee, said she hopes to hold a hearing on the bill soon. Nine Council members co-signed the bill during the legislative meeting Tuesday, the Washington Blade reported.

Grosso said in an interview that the bill would help eliminate stereotypes about LGBT people and teach health care workers to interact with the patients sensitively. There are 66,000 individuals who identify as LGBT in D.C., Grosso said.

“All we’re saying is that we think they deserve to have medical professionals who are sensitive, too, and knowledgeable about the unique health needs of their community,” Grosso said in a phone interview.

LGBT people who struggle to access resources are at a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, Grosso added.

Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a press release that mandatory training is crucial to reducing disparities in health care for LGBT people.

“LGBT people face substantial systemic discrimination in health care due to a lack of understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by the community,” Warbelow said in the release.

About 56 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and 70 percent of transgender people say they have faced some type of discrimination in health care, causing some to postpone seeking help when they are sick, according to the release.

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