News and Analysis

Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 10:15 a.m.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78

Ward 8 D.C. Council member and former Mayor Marion Barry died at the age of 78 early Sunday morning.

Barry died at United Medical Center, less than 24 hours after he was released from a brief stay at Howard University Hospital on Saturday, the Washington Post reported. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray ordered flags be flown at half-mast on Sunday in the District.

Marion Barry

Former D.C. Mayor, Marion Barry, died at the age of 78 early Sunday morning. Photo used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city,” Gray said in a statement. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”

Gray said he would work with the D.C. Council and Barry’s family to “plan official ceremonies worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia.”

Barry served four terms as D.C. mayor, winning election in 1978, 1982, 1986 and again in 1994 after serving six months in prison for drug possession. Barry had been at the center of an FBI investigation in which he was caught on video smoking crack cocaine in a hotel room.

As mayor, he brought a summer jobs programs for young people to the District, funded senior citizen centers and beefed up employment program that benefited the city’s largely African-American population.

Barry was serving his second term as Ward 8 council member since leaving the mayor’s office for the last time in 1999. He planned to hand out turkeys Tuesday to those in need ahead of Thanksgiving, an annual tradition.

Before he became one of D.C.’s most colorful and infamous mayors, Barry came to D.C. in the 1960s at the height of the civil rights movement and became the first chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a role that sparked his political career in the city.

D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser also commemorated Barry, calling him “an example to me and so many others.”

“Mayor Marion Barry gave a voice to those who need it most and lived his life in service to others. I – along with all Washingtonians – am shocked and deeply saddened by his passing,” Bowser said in a statement.

- Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.

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Updated: Nov. 22, 2014 at 1:12 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Brandon Lee.

A traveling nurse from Virginia is facing charges for sexually abusing female patients at hospitals in the D.C. area, including GW Hospital, according to court documents obtained by NBC4 Washington.

Jared Nathan Kline, 37, allegedly abused three women at GW Hospital, United Medical Center and the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. He is also accused of abusive behavior at the Bowie Health Center in Prince George’s County, Md.

All four alleged victims said Kline abused them while they were not fully conscious due to pain or drugs.

One woman who was receiving treatment at United Medical Center in August reported that Kline kissed her while massaging her under her hospital gown.

At GW Hospital in May 2013, Kline allegedly groped a woman’s buttocks and placed her hand on his erect penis while she was being treated for a migraine.

During his interrogation by police, he said that she may have accidentally touched him and “mistakenly believed he was aroused” because he’s a “pretty lucky white guy” who is “well-endowed.”

Hospital officials say they are working closely with D.C. police.

“In matters such as this, our practice is to act swiftly and responsibly in collaboration with law enforcement and regulatory agencies,” a GW Hospital spokeswoman told NBC4 Washington on Wednesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department believes more women may have been victimized by Kline.

“They may not have been aware of it or understood what was going on,” Commander George Kucik, who oversees detective squads, told NBC4 Washington.

Kline was released on bond Wednesday. He is prohibited from going near his alleged victims.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that several victims said that Kline kissed them while massaging them under their hospital gowns. One woman, receiving treatment at United Medical Center, gave that account. We regret this error.

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A female student reported early Saturday morning that she was sexually assaulted by three men in an alleyway on the 900 block of New Hampshire Avenue.

D.C. and campus police were searching for the three men, who reportedly followed her into an alleyway and sexually assaulted her, according to an alert GW released Saturday shortly before 2 a.m. University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar confirmed Saturday that the woman is a GW student.

The three suspects are white men and believed to be between 21 and 25 years old.

One suspect is about 6 feet 1 inch tall and was wearing a dark, short-sleeved shirt. Another suspect is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and has a medium build. The third suspect’s height and additional details were not listed.

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Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama Tina Tchen spoke to students on Friday afternoon about the "It's on US" campaign, a nationwide sexual assault prevention initiative launched by the White House. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama Tina Tchen spoke to students on Friday about the “It’s On Us” campaign, a nationwide sexual assault prevention initiative launched by the White House. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Iliana Hagenah.

Assistant to President Barack Obama and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama Tina Tchen spoke in Funger Hall on Friday about GW’s next steps to advancing a conversation about sexual assault on campus.

Tchen spoke after GW’s final panel event for the “It’s On Us” campaign’s “week of action.” The Student Association and Students Against Sexual Assault planned the series of events, aimed at changing the way students think about and discuss sexual assault, to coincide with programs at 183 other schools across the country.

“You are changing lives, but I will say more broadly, you are changing culture,” said Tchen, who is also the executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

The panel included students, faculty and staff who are part of the newly formed sexual assault response committee, which will advise Provost Steven Lerman on how GW can improve resources and awareness on campus. Students have already suggested making sexual assault prevention training mandatory for members of Greek life and putting resources on course syllabi.

Mark Levine, GW’s senior associate dean of students, said the committee “gives credibility to the topic,” and would carry on the momentum from the week of events.

The panel argued for not only creating conversations about sexual assault prevention through mandatory education, but also training GW staff in how to encourage that dialogue.

In 2013, GW approved a new sexual assault and harassment policy. That policy initially limited the amount of time students had to file a formal complaint against an alleged defender. But the University decided to lift that time limit after student leaders criticized it for possibly deterring students from coming forward.

“What you all should know is that the statute of limitations on different types of sexual assaults is very long, so there really is no need for you to talk to us right away,” Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell said.

More than 700 students have signed the “It’s On Us” pledge, which looks to promote bystander intervention and collective responsibility for ending sexual assault. As they came to and left the event, students took photos with pledge signs.

“You have to keep talking about it and talking about it,” Darnell said. “At Starbucks over coffee or in the study room. Keep, keep, keep talking.”

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Melissa Schapiro.

GW held its first-ever talent competition Thursday night, selecting a senior to be the opening act for Spring Fling.

Taking home first place in the GW’s Got Talent competition was Joe Jean-Mary, an English and criminal justice major. Jean-Mary performed two original raps: first a low-key one and then his crowd pleaser, “Tuesday Night at McFadden’s.”

The talent competition was a joint project by GW Hillel and Program Board. It’s been in the works since last May, in an effort to give students a space to showcase talent even if they’re not involved with campus performance groups.

An initial round of auditions was held in October, with students from the Jewish Student Association as well as Program Board serving as judges. The committee narrowed it down from over 20 acts to the 11 that performed Thursday in front of the judges: GW music professor Robert Baker, Captain Cookie founder Kirk Francis and Student Association Executive Vice President Avra Bossov.

This was the first year of GW’s Got Talent, but Program Board Executive Chair Liz Moses hopes to make it an annual event. Moses said Jean-Mary is slated to be the student opener before another hired opening act, in a setup similar to this year’s Fall Fest, when student band Bencoolen opened for Moses Sumney.

Program board plans to announce the Spring Fling headliner and opener around the time of spring break.

There were no restrictions on the type of material, but all students performed musical acts that ranged from rap to piano performances to contemporary pop. Some students performed original songs.

“I thought long and hard about the songs I wanted to do. I figured I’d give them a side A and a side B,” Jean-Mary said.

The judges said they were drawn to Jean-Mary’s enthusiasm and command of the stage.

“One line you’re rhyming lingerie with chardonnay and the next you’re making a Dragon Ball Z reference,” Francis said with a laugh.

Another performer who won the audience over was senior Lillian Dawit, who tied for second place. Her rendition of “Listen” from “Dreamgirls” was met with loud cheers from the audience every time she belted out a high note, although Dawit admitted she was nervous.

“I was shaking before,” she said. “When I sing, I kind of overcome the nerves, but then immediately after [I finished] I started shaking again.”

Bossov said she thought the talent show was something that had been missing on campus.

“Having a talent show where kids not necessarily involved in a capella groups or theater or anything like that [can perform] can really bring the GW community together,” she said. “There’s so much talent at GW, and I think tonight was a really great way to showcase that.”

As a judge, Bossov said she felt “honored to be on the same level as Captain Cookie.”

The captain himself seemed to have a great time, showering the performers with praise and infusing cookie-related jokes into his commentary.

“I was going to score people based on how many cookies they usually buy,” Francis joked with a contestant, before adding that he’d give her a generous score even if she weren’t a devoted customer.

In addition to performing at Spring Fling, the winner will have the opportunity to perform Saturday at the women’s basketball halftime show. Jean-Mary will have to choose from his current repertoire for that televised performance, but he has bigger plans for Spring Fling.

“I’ll probably make another original piece and try to have it a little bit more specific to GW if I can,” he said. “But it’ll have the same intensity that I did tonight.”

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Members of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission discuss late-night noise patrols at Wednesday's meeting.  Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Members of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission discuss late-night noise patrols at Wednesday’s meeting.
Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Robin Eberhardt.

Foggy Bottom’s local governing body approved a resolution Wednesday that asks GW to begin late-night patrols off campus.

The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission unanimously voted in favor of a resolution asking the University to have staff members patrol the neighborhood on Thursday and weekend nights to break up parties past 10 p.m.

The plan calls for adopt a model similar to one that Georgetown University already uses. The suggested patrol system would not include members of the University Police Department.

Britany Waddell, director of community relations for GW, said at the meeting that the University will consider reevaluating their current system next semester. In August, the University nailed down formal sanctions for students who live off-campus and violate noise and trash codes put in place by the city, and Waddell added at the meeting that the University wanted time for these sanctions to be in place before adding additional changes.

“I can’t make any promises tonight,” Waddell said.

In September, Foggy Bottom neighbors announced their plans of neighborhood patrols, a group of residents who walk through the streets and report noisy townhouse parties.

One commissioner, Asher Corson, said two Foggy Bottom neighbors, who have slammed the University for their enforcement of noise laws off-campus, contacted the Metropolitan Police Department and found that Georgetown’s patrol system was legally within the rights of the university.

Neighbors have said they want the University to officially adopt Georgetown University’s plan for the past year.

“It’s a legal system that we can also implement here in Foggy Bottom,” Corson said.

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A temporary fire station is being built on L Street between 21st and 22nd streets while the West End fire station undergoes renovations. Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer

A temporary fire station is being built on L Street between 21st and 22nd streets while the West End fire station undergoes renovations. Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Brandon Lee.

A temporary fire station built behind the Thaddeus Stevens School will open in December while its original location in the West End neighborhood undergoes large-scale renovations.

The permit to build the temporary station was granted three months ago, and will help a $150 million neighborhood renovation project make progress  four years after its initial approval in 2010. The development will upgrade the West End firehouse and library and add new residential and commercial spaces to the neighborhood.

A groundbreaking at the permanent station will be held on Dec. 15. The D.C. Fire Department’s Engine 1 and Truck 2 will be housed at the school until finishing touches on the new station are completed in late 2016.

The project on the nearly 50-year-old West End fire station, which hasn’t been renovated since being built, is important for responding to nearby emergencies, said Tim Wilson, a spokesperson for D.C. Fire and Emergency Services.

“We’ve outgrown the space we have at the current location,” he said. “Moving to the school was to make sure our service there would still be available in that part of town.”

Once the trucks are moved to the temporary lot by the end of the November, real estate company EastBanc Inc. will then have the go-ahead and break ground on the sites for the brand new library and firehouse.

Patrick Kennedy, chairman of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission, said the site behind the school was chosen because there were few other empty lots elsewhere in the neighborhood.

“There was some community concern that there isn’t any perfect place for the interim location,” he said. “This was one track they had empty land available, and we all wanted an updated fire station for public safety.”

Kennedy added that moving fire engines there hasn’t been without some controversy, because neighbors in the area have voiced concern about increased noise in the area.

“Obviously, everything will be good when everything is completed,” he said. “We’re just going to have to tolerate a little inconvenience in the interim and keep that as short as possible.”

Thaddeus Stevens School, a historically black elementary school, was shut down six years ago by D.C. Public Schools. One company proposed converting it into an apartment building, which faced massive backlash from neighbors who feared it would house rowdy students from GW.

Over the summer, the District approved turning the space into a school under the Ivymount program, which caters specifically to children with autism and works with GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Molly Whalen, director of development at Ivymount, said ANC commissioners have testified in support of the school, which will be the first tenant since 2008 to occupy the faded building.

“It’s a perfect place and a central location for really effective autism education,” she said. “Our neighbors and the ANC have been very excited about seeing the building be used as a school again.”

The current five-decades-old West End Library continues to remain vacated after being closed in June, but a temporary library was established in the Watergate Complex on Virginia Avenue.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Aishvarya Kavi

What are our rights as American citizens in a post 9/11 society?

Amitai Etzioni, a professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, and Susan Herman, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, went head-to-head Wednesday night to debate that very issue.

Here are four of the biggest takeaways from the discussion.

1. The Patriot Act

Herman opened up the debate by saying laws like the Patriot Act that were passed after 9/11 allowed the government to wield too much secrecy and expected the American people to trust them blindly.

“The statute does not distinguish between teaching a terrorist to use a bomb or teaching a terrorist to use a harmonica or trying to teach a terrorist not to be a terrorist,” Herman said.

She added that laws which allow searches without a warrant undermined equality in the U.S.

“Minorities pay the price,” she said.

2. Security vs. equality

Etzioni countered by arguing that sacrifices are need for the security.

“People don’t have, first of all, their most basic right protected – the right to be alive,” he said.

Etzioni said his opinions were shared by the majority of Americans following 9/11 and it was worth giving up certain rights to be safe.

“70 percent of the American public said,’Forget the Constitution, give me security,’” he said.

3. Unfair targeting of Muslims

Etzioni said that the majority of Muslims, who were targeted after 9/11, followed the Quran nonviolently. Only a minority did not.

“All of the public opinions that have been written in English from all of the Muslim nations, they show very, very clearly that an overwhelming majority of Muslims abhor violence,” he said. “It’s a minority of Muslims who endorse and embrace that particular interpretation of the Quran.”

Etzioni said only about 1,000 Muslims actually wanted to cause harm to Western populations, as opposed to numbers that are often greatly exaggerated by the media.

4. Online privacy concerns

During a question and answer session, an audience member said younger generations are giving away private information to operations like Facebook and Google, which then process the information secretly. Herman disagreed.

“I think most young people have given up the control of their own data,” Herman said. “I think that most young people…understand that if they post a picture on Facebook…that that can get around but what they don’t want to see happen is that happen without their willing participation.”

She added that there was a large difference between the data collected by governments and the data gathered by companies.

“Last time I checked, Amazon couldn’t arrest anyone,” she said.

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University President Steven Knapp awarded alumnus Simon Lee the President's Medal Wednesday night. Lee, who graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 2005, has donated millions of dollars to the University, including funds for exchange programs at SEAS. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

University President Steven Knapp awarded alumnus Simon Lee the President’s Medal Wednesday night. Lee, who graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 2005, has donated millions of dollars to the University, including funds for exchange programs at SEAS. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Julia Arciga

University President Steven Knapp awarded alumnus Simon Lee the President’s Medal in a ceremony held in the Jack Morton Auditorium on Wednesday.

Lee, who graduated with an advanced degree from School of Engineering and Applied Science, is the first Korean-American to receive the honor. The President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have exhibited courage, character and leadership in their chosen fields and is among the highest honors GW can give an alumnus.

Here are three things you need to know about Lee:

1. Korean-Born success story

Lee was born in rural Korea in 1949. Lee’s brother sold the family’s cattle and land to be able to afford to put Lee through high school before going onto Korea University to study industrial engineering.

“Without my brother, I would not be where I am today or who I am today,” Lee said.

He emigrated to Washington, D.C. in 1979 and worked for several technology companies. He started STG, Inc. in 1986, which has risen through the ranks to become a prominent federal contractor in information technology.

2. A family affair

Lee arrived in the U.S. with a goal of earning a degree from GW. After 25 years of balancing studying and his responsibilities as CEO of STG, he graduated with a masters in systems engineering from SEAS in 2005. He participated then in GW’s commencement ceremony alongside three of his children, who were also graduating.

“GW is truly a home for the Lee family, and it will be for many years to come, since I am already preparing my young grandchildrens’ applications,” Lee said.

Lee was inducted into the SEAS Hall of Fame in 2010 and received a GW Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2012. He is a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council and participated in the GW Global Forum in Seoul, a conference where hundreds of other GW alumni and industry leaders discussed global growth and innovation.

3. Higher education beyond himself

Lee was key in establishing the Korea University undergraduate exchange program for SEAS students through his $1 million dollar endowment to the program in 2010. He donated another $1 million to expand the exchange program for graduate students and professors.

“Lee is a truly tireless spokesperson for the power of education to transform lives.” said SEAS dean David Dolling. “Nobody is a more effective ambassador for GW, building programs and developing relationships that benefit our students and our faculty.”

His own pursuits towards higher education and his passion to pay it forward have been a large part of his philanthropic efforts, Knapp said.

“[His] devotion to the future of engineering and our society is boundless,” Knapp said. “[He] never gave up on [his] goal to attend GW, and [his] commitment to higher education has given our students and so many others across the world the opportunity to realize their dreams.”

Lee  said he hopes to aid the growth and expansion of unique programs at GW and other universities to give students more opportunities.

“This is my mission, my passion, and my civic duty,” Lee said. “This medal, this call to action, is heard loud and clear. This exciting journey has just begun.”

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Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 4:57 p.m.

Sexual abuse reported in Amsterdam Hall

A female student reported Monday she was sexually abused by another student, according to the University crime log.

The student told the University Police Department that a male student had “taken advantage of her” in Amsterdam Hall the night of Nov. 8, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said.

The student first reported the incident to a University employee and later reported the abuse to UPD.

The case was referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, according to the crime log.

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