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University President Steven Knapp sent a memo to the University community Monday addressing the cause behind the 5 percent budget cuts faced by nearly all of GW's divisions. Hatchet file photo.

University President Steven Knapp sent a memo to the University community Monday addressing the cause behind the 5 percent budget cuts faced by nearly all of GW’s divisions. Hatchet file photo.

University President Steven Knapp sent a memo to GW community members on Monday, explaining that 5 percent budget cuts across campus stem from a decrease in graduate enrollment.

Knapp wrote that tuition revenue makes up nearly 75 percent of the University’s total revenue, and that graduate and professional enrollment have dropped by about 1,200 students. To make up for those drops, faculty and staff are planning new academic programs and cutting costs in divisions across the University.

The memo echoes a Hatchet report published early Monday morning. Knapp’s statement is one of the first and clearest examples of him addressing the University-wide budget crunch.

“But such efforts take time to achieve their intended results. We will need to continue reducing expenditures until enrollments are restored at least to the level we enjoyed just a few years ago,” Knapp wrote.

Knapp’s memo was sent after Provost Steven Lerman said Friday during an interview with the Hatchet that the budget crunch has delayed the implementation of some areas laid out in the University’s strategic plan. While net graduate enrollment decreased by five students this year, the total credit hours that graduate students are enrolled in increased by 344 hours, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Planning.

Graduate students pay tuition by credit hour in most of the University’s graduate programs.

Lerman said last week that divisions have cut back on travel and training costs. Knapp said in the memo that divisions could have to cut staff positions to reduce their budgets by 5 percent next year.

“We will not be cutting undergraduate student aid, abandoning our fixed tuition policy or backing away from our commitment to expand student health and career services,” he said.

This is the second year that officials have asked departments to cut back on costs, after graduate enrollments first began declining last year. During the last fiscal year, the University missed its revenue projections by about $10 million, and also had about $10 million more in expenses than planned.

Knapp added that deans and directors of schools and colleges will need to preserve or rebuild “the reserves they need to invest in their strategic priorities.”

“It is critically important that we not allow our current budgetary problem to prevent us from continuing to fulfill our mission or from realizing the aspirations embodied in our strategic plan,” he said.

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The Graduate School of Education and Human Development received more than $1 million to start a program to train students to become science, technology, engineering and math teachers.

The National Math and Science Initiative gave GW $1.45 million to implement the program, which three of GW’s top academic leaders will launch at an event Tuesday. The program, called GWTeach, is based on the institute’s UTeach program, which offers students majoring in STEM fields the chance to also receive a certification in teaching.

Provost Steven Lerman, Ben Vinson, dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and Michael Feuer, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, will attend the kick-off event Tuesday.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that D.C. offers over 45,000 listings for STEM jobs, more than any other major U.S. city.

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A 20-year-old male student was arrested after police found LSD, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his International House room. File Photo by Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

A male student was arrested in International House last month after campus and city police found lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, in his room.

Metropolitan Police Department officers were dispatched to the residence hall on Feb. 4 after the University Police Department was called to the seventh-floor room and found LSD and 2.67 ounces of marijuana, according to an MPD incident report and GW’s crime log.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar confirmed that the man who was arrested was a student.

Officers also found a scale with green “weed-like residue” and “CVS pill pouch bags,” according to the police report.

The student, a 20-year-old white man with blonde hair and a “slight beard,” was arrested for possession of LSD, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was brought to the Second District police station for processing.

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Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 10:53 p.m.

Swastikas reportedly drawn in International House

University police are investigating a report of three swastikas drawn on walls in International House last week.

Darrell Darnell, GW’s senior associate vice president for safety and security, said in a statement that the walls on the first floor of the residence hall have been repainted since UPD received the report Saturday.

Members of several fraternities and sororities are housed in the residence hall at 2201 Virginia Ave.

The University held a meeting with International House residents Wednesday to “discuss this disturbing incident.”

“The University does not tolerate actions that make any member of the GW community feel unsafe,” Darnell said. “The University offers clear mechanisms for reporting such behavior through GWPD and has policies in place to support a safe campus for all.”

Darnell added that staff members have spoken with students and parents about the incident to show GW’s “comprehensive response.”

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SPEAK GW hosted its fifth event for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week on Wednesday: A discussion with Brian Cuban, the author of “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder.”

Cuban spoke about his personal struggle living with and recovering from eating disorders, drug addiction and body dysmorphic disorder.

“A lot more articles and statistics and research is coming out about how many males are affected with eating disorders,” said Rachel Onefater, the vice president of SPEAK GW. “I think that that’s just really important for us to be talking about because it doesn’t just apply to one gender.”

Video by Anna Sumi.

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Apple’s chief executive officer will give the keynote address at Commencement this May, the University announced Wednesday.

Tim Cook, who succeeded Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in August 2011, is the first openly gay CEO on the Fortune 500 list. The 54-year-old came out publicly in a Bloomberg piece in October.

“I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” he wrote then.

Cook gave the commencement speech at Auburn University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, in 2010. He was chief operating officer of Apple at the time.

University-wide Commencement will take place May 17 on the National Mall.

Last year, the University chose celebrity chef José Andrés to headline Commencement. The previous year, actress Kerry Washington sent off the graduating class.

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SA President Nick Gumas thanks senators for passing a bill that will allow students to vote on mandatory sexual violence education sessions at CI. The bill was one of two referendums approved by the SA Senate Monday night. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

Student Association President Nick Gumas thanks senators for passing a bill that will allow students to vote on mandatory sexual violence education sessions at Colonial Inauguration. The bill was one of two related to referendums that the SA Senate approved on Monday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

Students will vote on fossil fuel divestment and sexual assault education during student body elections next month.

The Student Association Senate passed two bills Monday night that will place the questions on the ballot in March. One will ask whether the Board of Trustees should disclose GW’s investments in fossil fuel companies and divest. The other will gauge student opinion on whether mandatory sexual violence education should occur during Colonial Inauguration.

SA President Nick Gumas said at a meeting last month that adding mandatory sexual assault education to CI would be his priority this semester, and he encouraged senators to vote for the bill at the beginning of the meeting Monday.

He said it was important to educate students before they come to campus so they’re familiar with University policies as soon as the semester begins.

“We want to make sure students are prepared on day one,” Gumas said.

He later added that he viewed the passing of the bill as the next phase of the “It’s On Us” campaign, which the White House launched this fall.

“This is the follow up in terms of actually tangible policy changes,” he said.

About 40 members of Fossil Free GW attended the meeting to support the bill for a divestment referendum. The bill had narrowly failed at the last SA senate session.

Kyla Lang, the group’s president, said passing the bill would give GW students an opportunity to participate in a debate to which other college campuses across the country had already contributed.

“Voting for this does not mean you support divestment,” she said. “It means you’re giving the right to your college to vote on it.”

The senate also passed a bill that added line-item transfers to the finance committee bylaws. Finance committee chair Ben Pryde, U-At-Large, said it was a practice the committee had always had, but the bill would make the action official.

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Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman, left, and other top University administrators listened to Corcoran students discuss their schools merger with GW at a town hall meeting Monday afternoon. Sara Gleysteen | Hatchet Photographer

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman, left, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Teresa Murphy and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski listened to Corcoran students discuss their schools merger with GW at a town hall meeting Monday afternoon. Sara Gleysteen | Hatchet Photographer

Updated: Feb. 24, 2015 at 10:05 a.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Noah Olsen.

About 60 students from the Corcoran College met with top GW administrators in a town hall Monday to air concerns about their experience in the merger process.

Top officials including Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman and Vice Provost for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell attended the meeting.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

1. Corcoran Students said they felt ignored and neglected

Several Corcoran students spoke up during the town hall to say they felt GW ignored them in the merger process.

“I came to Corcoran because it was a small school. to see this building sad and pale is terrible. What is the thought process behind having all student services on GW’s Foggy Bottom campus?” one student said. The students did not give their names during the session.

Director of GW Housing Programs Seth Weinshel said at the forum that some students applied to live in an arts affinity next year to help keep a sense of community on GW’s campus.

2. Corcoran graduate programs to be housed on Mount Vernon Campus

Because GW is in the process of selling the Corcoran’s Georgetown building and renovating its 17th street building, the Corcoran’s graduate programs will move to the Mount Vernon campus next fall, said Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Teresa Murphy.

One graduate student raised a concern, however, that parking on the Mount Vernon campus will cost about $700 per semester to park overnight, compared to lower costs at the Fillmore building in Georgetown.

TRR Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent for the Fillmore building, which went on the market for $14 million last month.

3. Students want 24/7 access to studio space

Students said during the town hall that their main concern is not getting access to their studio spaces after the Corcoran’s buildings close at night.

Darnell said that within the next month he hopes to have GWorld readers installed in the Corcoran’s 17th street building so students can get into the studio spaces they need.

“Right now if you are in the building at closing you are allowed to stay,” Darnell said. “GW has a lot of new buildings that need security this year, we’re struggling to expand to meet all this year’s new security requirements.”

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Associate Dean of Students Tim Miller said GW will create an arts affinity for Corcoran students to live in next fall. Miller did not speak during the program. Seth Weinshel, who runs GW’s housing office, said students applied to live in an arts affinity next fall. We regret this error.

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Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 8:49 p.m.

Fire breaks out at Potomac Plaza Terraces

Firefighters exit Potomac Plaza Terraces, after residents were evacuated Sunday night due to an oven fire on the sixth floor. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor

Firefighters exit Potomac Plaza Terraces after residents were evacuated Sunday night due to an oven fire on the sixth floor. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor

Residents were evacuated after a fire broke out at the Potomac Plaza Terraces on Sunday night, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Tim Wilson said.

At least 10 police and fire vehicles arrived on the 700 block of 24th Street at about 6:45 p.m. after residents said a kitchen fire broke out on the sixth floor of the apartment complex.

Rebekah Genauer, who lives in the building, said an oven fire started in the kitchen of a sixth-floor apartment, which then spread to the panelling of the room. She added that the firefighters were using water on the sixth and seventh floors.

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