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UPD officer and GW graduate student Steve Gallucci told students about his experiences with harassment in D.C. as a gay man. He encouraged students to come forward if they face harassment, whether physical or verbal. Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Esha Narola.

An openly gay campus police officer pushed members of GW’s LGBT community Wednesday to talk openly about hate crimes when he shared his personal experiences of facing harassment.

Since he joined the University Police Department three years ago, officer and GW graduate student Steve Gallucci said he has been harassed four times – though never on the job. Gallucci didn’t report any of the incidents, but said he came to regret those decisions and now shares his story because he wants to encourage others to come forward.

“I realized that by not reporting people like the ones who assaulted me, I was not being fair to you guys because they might do it again. You know, it is important that we all do our part in making D.C. a safer place to live,” Gallucci said to the room of about a dozen students.

The most recent time he said he was harassed, Gallucci was near a popular gay club, Town. He said that some men saw him and his friends walking on a crosswalk, started to yell gay slurs at them then tried to attack them.

He said he hesitated to report such instances because he was never physically harmed, though now he said he thinks that was a mistake.

D.C. has the highest number of hate crimes that are gender-based or sexual-orientation-based in the country, Gallucci said. In 2012, there were 7.3 sexual-orientation-based hate crimes for every 100,000 people, compared to Memphis, the second-highest city, which had 3.2 crimes for every 100,000 people.

Sexual harassment and sexual assaults are some of the most underreported crimes nationwide. Gallucci talked about the legal definition of a hate crime and the different types that exist. He said most sexual-orientation-based crimes are motivated by biases people have against the LGBT community.

He told the audience that hate crimes include verbal harassment, like the kind he experienced. Gallucci encouraged students to report any form of harassment, no matter how small it may appear.

Allied in Pride, the Association of Queer Women and Allies, the GW LGBT Resource Center and GW Students Against Sexual Assault sponsored the event.

“This city is a great place and GW is relatively safe, but it is important that students be reminded of the realities we face and know that we have resources to help each other out,” Allied in Pride President Rob Todaro said.

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Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 12:32 p.m.

Alumnus, trustee to donate $2 million to GW

A member of the GW Board of Trustees has pledged a $2 million gift for academics and athletics, the University announced Thursday.

Avram “Ave” Tucker, who graduated from GW with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1977, will divide his gift among the athletics department, the GW School of Business and the GW Law School, according to a University release.

Tucker will give $750,000 to support faculty research in the business school, and $250,000 will go to the law school’s endowed fund for the government contracts associate dean.

“While at the time I didn’t really understand it, [the School of Business] spent a lot of time teaching us how to think, and be creative and come up with solutions,” he said in the release. “That’s served me very well in my career.”

The other $1 million from the gift will go to the athletics department, with half going to construction of a new clubhouse and the other half to the Buff and Blue Fund, which launched two years ago to increase unrestricted annual giving to GW’s athletics programs.

The Board of Trustees voted last month to name the baseball field at Barcroft Park in Tucker’s honor. The field will be dedicated on Saturday.

Tucker attended GW on a baseball scholarship during his junior and senior years. He is now a forensic accountant and the co-founder and chief executive officer of TM Financial Forensics, LLC. He joined the Board of Trustees in June 2013 after spending 16 years on the business school’s advisory board.

“I am delighted that Ave Tucker has chosen to support the university in such a range of important ways, each of which means so much to him personally,” University President Steven Knapp said in the release.

Tucker’s donation follows Mark Shenkman’s $5 million gift, the largest-ever from a sitting trustee. GW renamed Ivory Tower in Shenkman’s honor.

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Updated: Oct. 17 at 4:54 p.m.

A nurse who was infected with Ebola in Texas will be moved to Bethesda for treatment, CNN reported.

Nina Pham, one of two nurses who contracted the disease in Dallas, could be moved to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda as soon as Thursday, a federal official told NBC News. Bethesda is about a half-hour drive from D.C.and has its own stop on the Red Line.

The NIH is one of four facilities in the country equipped to treat Ebola. Another nurse in Dallas, who was also infected after treating the patient who died last week, was moved to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
Due to an editing error, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that one of the nurses in Dallas had died last week. The patient had died last week. We regret this error.

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Updated: Oct. 15, 2014 at 4:40 p.m

The student recovering from a nine-story fall from Shenkman Hall isn’t suffering from brain trauma and has no internal organ damage, her family told The Hatchet.

Junior Emily Thompson can feel her limbs and “wiggle her toes” even after a fall that broke both her feet, both femurs, her knee cap, right arm and cracked her spine, her older brother Sean Thompson said.

She had jumped from a ninth-floor window of the residence hall last Thursday in an attempted suicide, her brother said.

Her brother said his sister has had a history of depression and that he hopes her story inspires students to “help others that need the help and get help themselves.”

“I want people to be helped by this and not scared or hurt or worried. I want whatever good that can come from it to come from it,” Sean Thompson said. “Talk to your roommates and talk to your friends. Call home and talk to your mom even. Use this as a reminder that everyone has everyone’s back.”

Emily Thompson has now undergone three surgeries at GW Hospital, and is set to have another at the end of the week, her brother said.

He launched a gofundme campaign Tuesday with a $10,000 goal to help cover the costs of medical care, rehabilitation and therapy. In 22 hours, the page drew more than $5,800 in donations.

“The big thing is she survived. The cash part is so secondary to that,” Sean Thompson said.

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Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 1:54 p.m.

Building bridges from diasporas to homelands

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Regina Park.

Diaspora organizations met Tuesday at the Elliott School of International Affairs to discuss the challenges and positive developments for people who live outside their homeland at the Global Diaspora Media Forum

The International Diaspora Engagement Alliance, a non-profit organization that helps diaspora communities give back to their homelands, sponsored the day-long forum in partnership with GW’s Center for International Business Education and Research and AudioNow, a “call-to-listen” platform.

The forum focused on the disconnect between diaspora communities and their homeland and bridging that disconnect.

Here are the top three takeaways from the event:

1. Leveraging the media

First Secretary and Consul Elmer Cato of the Philippine Embassy diaspora is a challenge by the very nature that people can be dispersed around the globe and there isn’t a central physical area to target those populations.

But that gap can be closed through media outlets and technologies to connect members of a diaspora, said Anne Bennett, the executive director of Hirondelle USA, a group that tries to facilitate peaceful democratization.

“There is an enormous potential for greater partners and investment in independent broadcasting.” Bennett said.

2. Investing at home

Some government programs help members of a country’s diaspora more effectively help their original communities.

The Mexican government’s 3×1 program, for example, match funds raised independently to help expatriates invest in their home communities, Deputy Press Secretary at the Mexican Embassy Vanessa Calva said.

“Help from the government really brings the community together and organizes them,” Calva said.

3. Progress in the future

Diasporas have existed for centuries, but new technologies and organizations are transforming the way diasporas stay connected to their homeland.

Part of that innovation lies in startups, from new, targeted media outlets to programs that connect people across a diaspora, Bennett said.

“These are vibrants startups that have huge followings.” Bennett said. “We really are just at the beginning of that.”

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Dave Lawlor, chair of the Innovation Task Force, will begin a new position at UC Davis in November. Hatchet File Photo.

Dave Lawlor, the chair of the Innovation Task Force, will take a new position at UC Davis in November. Hatchet File Photo.

One of the University’s top finance officials is leaving Foggy Bottom for a position on the West Coast.

Dave Lawlor, the senior associate vice president for finance, will serve as chief financial officer and vice chancellor of finance and resource management at the University of California, Davis, the institution’s chancellor Linda Katehi announced Tuesday. He will begin his new position Nov. 3.

“I feel very fortunate to move from one world-class institution to another,” Lawlor said in a UC Davis press release. “The financial challenges, opportunities for growth in research and fundraising, globalization factors, and new modes of instruction present similar business decision points.”

Lawlor leaves GW after seven years, during which he also served as chair of the Innovation Task Force, University President Steven Knapp’s signature program to cut costs and create revenue-generating initiatives. Knapp asked the group to find $60 million in savings annually, a goal the ITF has faced setbacks in reaching.

Knapp praised the departing administrator in the UC Davis release, saying “his dedication and his collaborative style enabled the ITF to identify savings and new revenue sources that are having a transformational impact on our university.”

Before coming to GW, Lawlor was chief financial and chief operating officer at PCTEL Maryland, Inc. and also served as vice president of strategy and business development at the Chicago branch of PCTEL, Inc.

With Lawlor’s departure, the University will have to fill the vacancies of three senior administrator who chose to step down this month.

Elliott School of International Affairs Dean Michael Brown will step down at the end of the academic year, and Mike Morsberger, vice president for development and alumni relations, announced last week he will leave at the end of the month.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Lawlor was the third senior administrator to announce his departure from the University this month, following Dean Michael Brown and Mike Morsberger. Though he is stepping down from his position as dean, Brown will continue to work at GW as a professor. We regret this error.

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Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spoke in the Jack Morton Auditorium Tuesday afternoon to discuss his recently published memoir and thoughts on national security challenges. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spoke in the Jack Morton Auditorium on Tuesday about his recently published memoir and national security challenges. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Pim Anukularmphai.

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta reflected on his time in President Barack Obama’s cabinet Tuesday at the Jack Morton Auditorium, joining a lineup of former department heads to speak on campus this year.

Leon Panetta, also a former director of the CIA, came to GW to talk about his memoir, “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace,” which was published last week. This past summer, former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton visited campus to discuss their respective memoirs.

School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno moderated the conversation Tuesday, which also focused on national security and foreign policy and was part of an SMPA series.

1. Criticism of Congress, Obama

Panetta, who served as secretary of defense from 2011 to 2013, said Congress “discouraged” the president’s ability to make change.

He also said Obama’s key weakness was his reluctance to offend members of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

“[Obama] is fully capable of getting in the ring and challenging the process,” he said.

Panetta argued that in a democracy, an effective president either accomplishes tasks through leadership or crisis.

2. Russia as threat to U.S. interests

Panetta called Russia’s intervention in Ukraine “a warm-up act.” He said President Vladimir Putin is interested in reasserting authority over the former Soviet Union, and that Russia will attempt to gain influence over its former republics.

He recommended that the United States work closely with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to enforce economic sanctions against Russia.

3. The fight against extremism, terrorism

When the conversation turned to the Middle East, Panetta said putting “boots on the ground” in neighboring countries would prevent the Islamic State from expanding.

He also said maintaining a military presence in Middle Eastern countries would prevent the Taliban from reversing democratization efforts.

Panetta said having troops in Afghanistan was “not a wasted effort,” claiming it taught Afghani citizens how to recognize illegitimate leaders.

“We’ve given them the right start, we’ve given them a chance,” he said.

The Progressive Student Union, led by Cavan Kharrazian, a student at GWU, and CODEPINK held a protest outside the SMPA building against Leon Panetta and the U.S.' use of drones in warfare. Lydia Francis | Hatchet Photographer

Cavan Kharrazian, a member of the Progressive Student Union, other members of the organization and CODEPINK held a protest outside the SMPA building against Leon Panetta and the use of drones in war. Lydia Francis | Hatchet Photographer

4. Students protest

Outside of the auditorium, members of the Progressive Student Union demonstrated against the event, accusing Panetta of violating the Geneva Conventions by authorizing drone attacks and causing the deaths of American citizens.

“GW students will not stand for our University supporting and publicizing a war criminal,” said PSU member Cavan Kharrazian.

While Panetta was speaking about his opposition to budget sequesters in Jack Morton, an attendee stood up and began yelling that “we need that money for education.” She was then escorted from the auditorium.

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Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 5:57 p.m.

D.C. tops list of most expensive cities

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Christina Carpenter.

Turns out it’s more expensive to live in D.C. than in New York, according to a government study.

D.C. is the most expensive U.S. city to live in, according to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tallied Americans’ average expenditures on housing, utilities, furniture and housekeeping costs in various U.S. cities.

After the District, San Francisco came in a close second, and New York City claimed the No. 3 spot.

The average Washingtonian spends $28,416 on housing costs, while the average American spends $16,887 on housing annually, according to the report.

The report looked at costs from 2012, but a report released in August showed that housing costs have grown less rapidly in D.C. than in other cities since 2013.

And the high cost of living in D.C. could be tied to the city’s allure for young professionals.

A study by the Urban Institute released last week concluded that residents between 18 and 34 are driving up demand and kicking up the cost of real estate in D.C.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Foggy Bottom is the most expensive in the city at $2,662, according to an Apartments.com list.

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Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 6:44 p.m.

Knapp: Afraid of Ebola? Get a flu shot

University President Steven Knapp offered up his plan on Friday to quell fears of an Ebola outbreak: get a flu shot.

Knapp said the University is taking the opportunity to encourage students and faculty to get a flu vaccine since the symptoms of the seasonal illness are similar to those of Ebola. His remarks came after doctors at GW Hospital evaluated a patient for Ebola last week and determined he had the flu, according to a statement from the hospital.

“The symptoms of Ebola and the flu are initially indistinguishable,” Knapp told members of the Faculty Senate. “Obviously the outcomes are quite a bit worse.”

Knapp added that the University and GW Hospital are “developing all the necessary protocols” after a man in Texas died of Ebola and a patient at Howard University Hospital last week showed Ebola symptoms, but ultimately tested negative.

GW Hospital spokeswoman Wendy Adkins did not return multiple requests for comment about the hospital’s preparations to respond to Ebola.

More than 4,000 people have died in the latest outbreak of the virus in West Africa, the World Health Organization announced today.

But Knapp said chances of the disease spreading are rare, and slammed media coverage of the potential for outbreak.

“It’s a mixed bag when CNN does this. They want to reassure and terrify you – it’s how they keep the ratings going,” Knapp said.

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Police respond to a report of an unattended package near Thurston Hall on Friday. Garrett Mils | Hatchet Photographer

Police respond to a report of an unattended package near Thurston Hall on Friday. Garrett Mills | Hatchet Photographer

Emergency officials responded to a report of an unattended package in the 1800 block of F Street on Friday, shutting down the surrounding streets for about an hour and a half.

D.C. fire officials, the Hazmat team, Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department responded to the scene, which was cleared at about 12:50 p.m., said Nicole Mainor, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service.

F Street from 18th to 20th streets and 19th Street from G to E streets were closed during the incident, which included the street in front of Thurston Hall.

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