News and Analysis

Jay Carney gave students a glimpse into the White House’s decision-making process Thursday.

Journalism and political communication students packed Jack Morton Auditorium on Thursday, listening to the former reporter and current White House press secretary detail the differences between both fields.

Formerly the Washington bureau chief at Time Magazine, Carney said he had never imagined himself on the other side of the interview. But since becoming the face of the administration’s line on the National Security Agency leaks, the Affordable Care Act and the Ukrainian conflict, he said he believes the new media landscape has increased sensationalism in the news.

The temptation is greater than ever for journalists to focus on smaller incidents, calling them scandals.

“I can’t tell you how many times the presidency has been at stake since I’ve been press secretary,” Carney joked.

Katie Causey | Hatchet Photographer

Katie Causey | Hatchet Photographer

Carney called the White House under Barack Obama one of the most transparent administrations in recent history, pointing to open communication during the botched rollout and the announcement of CIA Director John Brennan’s recent visit to Ukraine.

Even as press secretary, Carney said he’s not always informed about major decisions and that sometimes when a top official says they do not have the answer to a reporter’s question, they actually do not.

“I’m not always going to know everything,” he said.

Speaking to students about to graduate, Carney recalled his own uncertainty making a career move, but that he learned to trust his instincts.

“I woke up every morning for probably six months wondering if what I was doing was cut out for the job,” Carney said.

SMPA distinguished fellow and CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett moderated the talk, which lasted for about an hour. The event organizers also had to turn away dozens of student ticket-holders after running out of seats.

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GW students graduated in 2012 with an average debt of $33,399. Hatchet File Photo.

GW students graduated in 2012 with an average debt of $33,399. Hatchet File Photo.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Avery Anapol.

Students who take out federal loans will face even steeper fees next fall as interest rates surpass 5 percent.

Undergraduates will have to pay 30 percent more in interest compared to last year after a new law goes into effect tying interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note, Vox reported Wednesday.

The jump is still far less than the increase that would have gone into effect without last year’s stopgap legislation – though the interest rates will rise past 7 percent over the next four years, according to estimates released this week by the Congressional Budget Office.

This year, interest rates will rise to 5.04 percent from 3.86 percent in the 2013-2014 academic year.

Interest rate increases have faced opposition from Democrats. Led by President Barack Obama, activists and students launched the “Don’t Double My Rate” campaign last year.

At $33,399, the average debt load for GW students is higher than the national average of $29,400. But only 1.5 percent of students default on those loans, which is well below the national average.

The good news: federal student loans are subject to a fixed rate. For students who have already taken out their loans, their interest rate will not increase.

Congress will have the chance to change the law again this year, but its unlikely to lower interest rates as the government is projected to possibly make billions of dollars on student loans over the next decade.

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When prospective students size up colleges by their sticker prices, they’re only getting a sliver of the full picture, a GW researcher wrote this week.

Instead, students and parents should look at a range of metrics – from expected earnings to which kinds of graduates finish with debt – when deciding between colleges, said Sandy Baum, a higher education finance expert.

President Stephen Knapp

University President Steven Knapp has pledged to tackle the rising costs of college attendance.

Students should also factor in a school’s prestige and alumni network for job searches, Baum said.

“If you don’t learn anything no matter how cheap it is, it doesn’t matter,” Baum said Tuesday. “If it doesn’t increase your earnings over time, then it’s not affordable.”

GW ranked No. 207 for its return on investment in a report released last month, falling behind competitor schools such as Duke and New York universities.

Graduates made an average of $370,000 more than a high school graduate 20 years after completing their degree, according to PayScale. But after factoring in GW’s about $230,500 sticker price, that’s just $7,000 a year more.

Baum, who is also a senior fellow in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, is also one of about two dozen members on a task force to improve GW’s affordability for low-income students. The move comes after University President Steven Knapp and about 100 other college presidents met at the White House and pledged to tackle the rising cost of attending college.

While GW’s total price tag will break $60,000 next year, the average net price is less than half – about $24,000 a year.

Although GW’s loan-default rate is relatively low at 1.5 percent, the average debt load for graduates was $33,399 in 2012, according to the most recent data.

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Watertown, Mass. native Adam McCready will run the Boston Marathon for the fourth time next week, but said it will be his most meaningful race yet. Photo Courtesy of Adam McCready

Adam McCready, an MIT administrator, will run the Boston Marathon next week. Photo Courtesy of Adam McCready

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Nicole Dunsmore

When alumnus Adam McCready returned to his home in Watertown, Mass. four days after the Boston Marathon last April, a SWAT team greeted him in his front yard.

During next 24 hours, his neighborhood was shut down as police searched for the two bombers who had planted explosives at the finish line days before.

“I got in a cab and got home only to find the suspects literally in my backyard,” McCready said.

He, his wife and their one-year-old child were on lockdown when officers exchanged fire in a nearly 12 minute shootout with the suspects, who had camped out in a boat owned by a nearby resident. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died during that firefight.

McCready, the assistant director of fraternities, sororities and independent living groups at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was also in his office just half a block away when the suspects shut down the campus and fatally shot an officer named Sean Collier. He had been serving as the on-call dean that night, and was one of the early mobilizers charged with securing the school.

McCready will join 39 other runners next week in the Boston Marathon group called MIT Strong, which will run in Collier’s honor. The three dozen-member team was selected out of hundreds of students and staff members who applied.

Each team member was impacted by the bombing last year in a different way – some were at the finish line close to where the explosion occurred, while others were police officers. Others, like McCready, also live in Watertown where the Tsarnaev brothers were found.

“We have a lot of different experiences, but we’ve been brought together because of this opportunity that benefits the community and allows us all to heal,” McCready said.

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the marathon.

McCready said he trained for 12 weeks, overcoming a pelvis injury to prepare himself for the race on April 21. It will be the third time running the Boston marathon and his seventh overall, but he said this year’s will be the most meaningful.

“I think it has become a very positive rallying point for the community in trying to do something productive to move past some really challenging emotional experience,” McCready said.

Before graduating from GW in 2002, he was a member of the varsity cross country team, Theta Delta Chi fraternity and the ultimate frisbee team. Many of his close friends at GW helped him raise money for the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund, which will establish a medal given to a member of MIT’s community every year.

McCready said he wants to raise $17,900 in memory of Collier’s badge number: 179. As of April 14, he has raised $4,237.20.

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Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

The chief executive officer of an auditing, consulting and financial advisory company will keynote the GW School of Business’ graduation ceremony next month.

Barry Salzberg, the CEO of Deloitte Global, is the first business school speaker in four years to not have earned a degree from GW. He will speak about “leadership, career development and the value of education” on May 16, interim dean Christopher Kayes said in a statement Monday.

Salzberg said Deloitte, a partner of the school’s corporate governance project, employs many GW business school alumni.

“We look forward to further strengthening our ties to GWSB with each graduating class,” he said in the statement.

As global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Salzberg leads a network of 47 firms in more than 150 countries. He joined the Deloitte organization in 1977, and has served as global CEO for the past three years.

Gil Yancy, executive director of the business school’s F. David Fowler Career Center, said Salzberg was “uniquely positioned to speak to our students about the challenges of a global environment and their responsibilities to society.”

A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Salzberg received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Brooklyn College, his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and his master of laws from the New York University School of Law. He spoke at the graduation ceremony for Georgetown University’s business school two years ago.

He is chairman of the board of College Summit, a nonprofit that works to help low-income high school students attend college. Salzberg is also chairman of United Way Worldwide’s board of trustees and chair emeritus of the YMCA of Greater New York.

Past speakers at the business school’s graduation ceremony include senior vice president at RBC Wealth Management Steve Ross, founder and chief executive officer of Rand Construction Corporation Linda Rabbitt and Goldman Sachs managing director Lou Rosenfeld.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:37 a.m.

SA Senate delays allocations vote

Student Association Finance Committee chair Ryan Counihan pushed back a vote to approve allocations during Monday's meeting. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

Student Association Finance Committee chair Ryan Counihan pushed back a vote to approve allocations during Monday’s meeting. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

The Student Association Senate pushed back a vote to decide $940,000 worth of budget allocations Monday night, giving senators another week to vet the nearly 300 groups’ budgets.

Each senator will receive a roughly 300-page packet that details each organization’s approved budget before a special meeting next Wednesday. That process will allow the SA Finance Committee to be more transparent during the first allocations process with line-item requests, chair Ryan Counihan said.

The committee did not finalize budgets until Sunday evening, Counihan said, after nearly a weekend of meetings. He said the group did not have enough time to prepare the packets before Monday night’s meeting.

“We thought it wasn’t fair for people not to know what they were voting on,” Counihan said.

Over the past two weeks, the Senate Finance Committee has spent more than 30 hours poring over hundreds of requests. The Senate Finance and Leadership committees also spent several hours vetting the nearly 50 groups that appealed their initial allocation Sunday. A total of 36 groups had appealed their funding decisions last year.

At the SA Senate meeting Monday, members of the finance committee urged senators to review the budgets when they receive them later this week – no matter how long it takes.

“I know a lot of you don’t fancy yourselves as into finance, or consider that your strong suit, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to look through them,” Ben Pryde, the finance committee’s vice chair, said. “It’s one of your major responsibilities as a senator.”

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The University Police Department logged eight liquor law violations in University Yard during Spring Fling on Saturday, four fewer than last year.

Fourteen students across campus were charged with liquor law violations between 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday, compared to 19 students who were charged with liquor law violations on the night of last year’s concert.

About a hundred students turned out Saturday to see rapper Jay Sean, compared to the several hundred students who packed the yard for hip-hop artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

That show also turned rowdy, with officers arresting a student for assaulting two UPD officers who denied him access to the concert.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Benjamin Kershner.

A male student was arrested Friday for allegedly spitting on a University Police Department officer near the corner of 23 and H streets.

UPD officers witnessed a confrontation between the student and a cab driver after the student refused to pay his cab fare, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said. Csellar said the student, who “seemed intoxicated,” then spit on an officer trying to assess his condition.

Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested the student, who was first taken to GW Hospital for treatment, according to police documents.

The incident marks the second assault on officers this month. A student scratched officers in front of Thurston Hall on April 4 after he tried to run away without paying his cab fare.

Sixteen UPD officers have been assaulted on or near campus over the last two years.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Zaid Shoorbajee.

Updated: Monday, April 14 at 6:35 p.m.

The student who was hit by a van on the corner of 21 and F Streets Thursday has been released from GW Hospital, a University spokeswoman said Monday.

The female student had been transported to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, the city’s police department said last week. She has since been released, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said.

Freshman Renee Underhill, who called 911 after she saw the student struck by the car, said an ambulance arrived within about five minutes. Officers from the University Police Department and Metropolitan Police Departments also responded on the scene.

“The driver was coming pretty quickly around the turn,” Underhill said. “She motioned ‘Don’t hit me’ but the driver kept going.”

The University launched a pedestrian safety campaign last fall following lobbying from the Student Association after two students were hit by cars in April 2011.

A total of 848 pedestrian crashes were reported in 2012. The number of serious incidents increased about 20 percent between 2010 to 2012, rising to 362, according to data from the District Department of Transportation.

Colleen Murphy contributed reporting

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For the second week in a row, maintenance work on water lines on campus will shut off water to Gelman library and several other campus buildings.

D.C. Water will shut off water to Gelman Library and Staughton Hall as well as Madison, JBKO and Munson residence halls to complete its work on the Science and Engineering Hall, University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said.

The shut off will occur from 8 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. The Starbucks in Gelman library will also be closed because health codes require the availability of hot water. Students in the hall should not use their bathrooms, sinks or washing machines during the outage, Hiatt said.

The water was also turned off in those buildings last week as D.C. Water completed preliminary tests for the service work.

This post was updated Thursday, April 10 at 4:21 p.m. to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the buildings were shut down last week. While the water was turned off, the buildings remained open. We regret this error.

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