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Stephen Colbert interviewed President Barack Obama in Lisner Auditorium on Monday afternoon for the special episode, “Stephen Colbert Presents: Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington D.C. Ya Later, Legislator: Partisan is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Colbert Victory Lap, ‘014.” Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Stephen Colbert interviewed President Barack Obama in Lisner Auditorium on Monday for a special episode, “Stephen Colbert Presents: Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington D.C. Ya Later, Legislator: Partisan is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Colbert Victory Lap, ‘014.” Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

When President Barack Obama sat down with Stephen Colbert for an interview at Lisner Auditorium on Monday, Colbert took no time to grill him on key political issues – immigration, the midterm elections and why Obama chose to “burn the Constitution.”

At the taping of one of the final episodes of “The Colbert Report,” Obama held his own against a bevy of pointed questions from Colbert, whose character is a self-proclaimed conservative “pundit.”

The political satirist opened the show poking fun at GW, claiming it was named after the first U.S. president, “George University.” He also did a special take on one of his most famous segments, “Better Know a District,” this time called “Better Know a America.”

“When visiting America, don’t miss out on its signature dish, food,” Colbert said.

Obama appeared on stage in the middle of Colbert’s opening and, greeted by a standing ovation, told Colbert that he could take over for the rest of the segment. He then talked about the Affordable Care Act, this time in character as Colbert.

“This guy is so arrogant, I bet he talks about himself in the third person,” Obama said, referring to himself.

Obama used the segment to talk about enrollment numbers for health coverage while poking fun at congressional Republicans, who have tried to repeal the law multiple times since it passed in 2010.

He also talked about the ways his office has looked to get “young people” to sign up for health care.

“Young people don’t watch real news shows like this one,” Obama said.

President Barack Obama talked immigration and the midterm elections with Stephen Colbert during one of the final tapings of the Colbert Report,, held in Lisner Auditorium, on November 8, 2014. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

President Barack Obama talked immigration and the midterm elections with Stephen Colbert during one of the final tapings of the Colbert Report,, held in Lisner Auditorium, on November 8, 2014. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Students stood in line outside for hours before the doors opened at 1:30 p.m., braving low temperatures and wind before passing through tight security. Once inside, students took selfies with the Lisner stage in the background as they waited for the show to start.

Colbert filmed the episode, “Stephen Colbert Presents: Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington D.C. Ya Later, Legislator: Partisan is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Colbert Victory Lap, ‘014,” with an audience of nearly 1,500. While most regular episodes of “The Colbert Report” include segments with other correspondents or musical performances, Obama was Colbert’s only guest for this special.

During the interview, Colbert pushed Obama on the midterm elections, after Democrats lost 12 seats in the House of Representatives and their majority in the Senate.

“The election didn’t go as I would have liked,” Obama said.

Colbert then brought up the latest employment report, which found that over 320,000 jobs had been created in the past month.

“Why didn’t you fix the economy before the midterms?” Colbert asked.

Obama responded that even though there have been 57 months of job growth in a row, individual wages haven’t kept pace with the uptick in jobs. That meant the evidence that the economy was growing didn’t come until after Election Day, he said.

As photographers swarmed the stage during a break in the interview, Colbert and Obama spoke “pleasantly,” according to White House reporter Chris Johnson, and students took out their cellphones to snap pictures of the two. Before the show, the stage manager said the use of cell phones was prohibited, and students were frequently told by Secret Service agents to put away their phones.

Colbert also used his interview with the president to poke fun at the recent executive action Obama took on immigration.

“You realize you’re an emperor now,” Colbert said. “Why did you burn the Constitution?”

Obama said the executive action, which stops more than 4 million immigrants from facing deportation, came because Congress had passed laws on immigration but “left out things the president” wanted.

“Let’s focus on deporting felons and strengthening the border,” Obama said.

Obama and Colbert weren’t the only big names on Foggy Bottom on Monday. Prince William gave a speech at the World Bank condemning wildlife trafficking, after meeting with the president at the White House earlier in the day.

Obama last came to GW three years ago. In April 2011, he gave a speech on campus about the deficit and he returned in the fall for a World AIDS Day event. Colbert last spoke at the University in 2007 to talk about his book, “I Am America (And So Can You!),” in an interview with Tim Russert.

Colbert closed the interview, which was filmed in two segments and lasted about 20 minutes, by asking Obama to analyze his own time in office.

“Barack Obama: great president or greatest president?” Colbert said.

Obama said he’d leave judgment to the historians.

“I think I’m going to let someone else decide. Not you, but someone else,” Obama said.

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Stephen Colbert interviewed President Barack Obama in Lisner Auditorium on Monday afternoon for the special episode, “Stephen Colbert Presents: Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington D.C. Ya Later, Legislator: Partisan is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Colbert Victory Lap, ‘014.” Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Stephen Colbert interviewed President Barack Obama in Lisner Auditorium on Monday afternoon for the special episode, “Stephen Colbert Presents: Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington D.C. Ya Later, Legislator: Partisan is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Colbert Victory Lap, ‘014.” Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

President Barack Obama visited Lisner Auditorium on Monday for a sit-down interview with Stephen Colbert during a special taping of his show.

The motorcade arrived on campus at 3:06 p.m., according to a White House pool report.

Colbert announced last week that he would tape the final D.C. show of “The Colbert Report” – called “Stephen Colbert Presents: Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington D.C. Ya Later, Legislator: Partisan is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Colbert Victory Lap, ‘014″ – at GW.

Obama and Colbert spoke “pleasantly, but were inaudible amid cheers from the audience and loud music overhead,” White House reporter Chris Johnson wrote. About 1,500 people were in the audience.

“The actual content of the show is embargoed until 11:30 pm ET, but take it from me: Funny,” Johnson wrote.

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President Barack Obama will visit campus Monday to appear for an interview with Stephen Colbert, who will tape a special episode of "The Colbert Report" in Lisner Auditorium. File Photo by Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

President Barack Obama will visit campus Monday to appear for an interview with Stephen Colbert, who will tape a special episode of “The Colbert Report” in Lisner Auditorium. File Photo by Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Stephen Colbert announced that he will interview President Barack Obama during a taping of his show in Lisner Auditorium on Monday.

Only GW students could enter a lottery to win free tickets, which closed Thursday at 10 a.m. Students will be notified if they have won tickets before Monday, according to a University release.

Obama came to campus in fall 2011 for a World AIDS Day event in the Jack Morton Auditorium. He also gave a speech there about the deficit and fiscal policy in April 2011, held a town hall in the Marvin Center the year before and visited Lisner for Attorney General Eric Holder’s installation ceremony in 2009.

Also in 2009, the Obama family attended a GW men’s basketball game in the Smith Center.

Colbert had said on “The Colbert Report” Tuesday night that he would return to D.C. to tape an episode of the show at GW. The special episode is called “Stephen Colbert Presents: Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington D.C. Ya Later, Legislator: Partisan is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Colbert Victory Lap, ‘014.”

The host of the award-winning satirical news show spoke on campus in 2007 with NBC’s Tim Russert.

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The D.C. Council approved $18 million in renovations to the historic Stevens School on Tuesday. Hatchet File Photo

The D.C. Council approved $18 million in renovations to the historic Stevens School on Tuesday. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Brandon Lee.

The D.C. Council approved major renovations to the Thaddeus Stevens School on Tuesday, preparing it to house a program for autistic students.

Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Council member and mayor-elect, proposed the emergency legislation for up to $18 million in renovations for the school, and to build a 10-story office building in the adjacent lot. Ivymount, an autism education program, will move into the 21st Street building once construction is complete, and will be the first occupant of the historically black charter school since it was shut down by D.C. Public Schools in 2008.

“We didn’t have any specific desire to move into the District, but when the opportunity came up, we knew it was a great location because it’s very close to GW,” Ivymount’s director of development, Molly Whalen, said.

Headquartered in Rockville, Md., Ivymount has worked closely with GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development to complete projects on autism spectrum and developmental research. The city will also use the school as a training ground for future public school teachers.

The plan has been well-received by neighbors, who had expressed concern several years ago when one group floated turning the Stevens school into an apartment building. Community leaders feared it would house rowdy GW students.

Part of the renovation plan, which was brought to the D.C. government in September, mandates site developer Akridge to erect a statue of Thaddeus Stevens, an abolitionist congressman during the Civil War, the Washington Business Journal reported.

The current site also temporarily houses a D.C. fire engine and firetruck while their original home at the West End fire station undergoes its own large-scale renovations next month.

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Sen. Thomas Falcigno, CCAS-U, and freshman Sen. Alyssa Weakley brought forward the “Give Me a [Fall] Break Act,” which the Student Association passed unanimously Monday.  Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Sen. Thomas Falcigno, CCAS-U, and freshman Sen. Alyssa Weakley introduced the “Give Me a [Fall] Break Act,” which the Student Association passed unanimously Monday. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

A fall break is definitely on the table, but may not happen until fall 2016 at the earliest, the University confirmed Wednesday.

University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said a committee, including students, will meet in the spring “to discuss the 2016-17 to 2021-22 academic calendars.”

The news comes after the Student Association Senate passed a bill in support of a fall break Monday night, claiming it could potentially be implemented by as early as next fall. Sen. Thomas Falcigno, CCAS-U, and freshman Sen. Alyssa Weakley, who both introduced the bill, said they believe a break would help alleviate stress for students and improve mental health across campus.

By not offering a fall break, the University is an outlier among its peer schools: The senators found that 13 out of 15 competitor schools offer an average of two days off close to Columbus Day for students and faculty. The GW Law School offers a two-day fall break for its first-year students.

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Students residing in City Hall found themselves without access to Wi-Fi, starting Tuesday evening. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Students living in City Hall found themselves without access to Wi-Fi starting Tuesday evening. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Updated: Dec. 3, 2014 at 10:35 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet assistant news editors Eva Palmer and Jacqueline Thomsen.

Want to study for finals from the comfort of your bed? If your bed is in City Hall, that’s not an option.

The Division of Information Technology tweeted Wednesday morning that it would take at least another 36 hours before wireless Internet would be restored in the building. It had been down since Tuesday.

The office tweeted Tuesday that Internet services had been “degraded” because of “faulty hardware,” and that the Internet would be restored by Wednesday morning at the earliest.

Peter Konwerski, vice provost and dean of student affairs, tweeted an apology to City Hall residents Tuesday night.

The power in the building was turned off for eight hours starting Monday night for a required test of the main switch gear, according to a notice sent to residents by Paris Rossiter, the property manager for the residence hall.

GW launched a new wireless network, “GWireless,” at the beginning of the semester.

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Updated: Dec. 3, 2014 at 12:40 p.m.

Photo by Anders Krusberg via the Peabody Awards used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Photo by Anders Krusberg via the Peabody Awards used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

If you’re looking for a study break, look no further than Lisner Auditorium.

Stephen Colbert will film an episode of “The Colbert Report” in the auditorium on Monday. Students can enter an online lottery to win free tickets.

“Washington has been the Report’s second home, and I will be returning on Monday to show it the same affection the British did in 1812,” Colbert said on his show Tuesday.

Students can only enter the lottery once and must complete the form by 10 a.m. on Thursday. Those attending must be in line by 1 p.m. on Monday, and the taping will end at about 5 p.m.

Colbert, who hosts the award-winning, nightly satirical news show, last spoke on campus in 2007 with NBC’s Tim Russert.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Andrew Goudsward.

About 30 protesters lay silently on the Kogan Plaza pavement Tuesday, staging a “die-in” protest against the grand jury decision to not indict the white police officer who killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. this summer.

Protesters held signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “We mourn Mike Brown” for the event, which lasted four and a half hours to mark the amount of time Brown’s body had lain in the street after he was killed. 

The demonstration, organized by more than 20 left-leaning student organizations, came more than a week after the grand jury decision, which set off riots in Ferguson and protests on campuses and in cities across the country.

“We’re frustrated. We’re angry. We want to show that Mike Brown’s death wasn’t in vain,” said protester Jade Graver, who read aloud a list of names of black Americans killed by police.

During the demonstration, organizers also read aloud a list of demands, such as creating a resource for students to report instances of racial bias or discrimination and allowing student to be involved in the selection of the next chief of the University Police Department. They also called for mandatory anti-bias training for all UPD officers.

UPD’s interim chief, Frank Demes, visited the protest and asked to set up a meeting between the department and student organizations to discuss policies going forward.

Allied in Pride, Fossil Free GW, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, the Black Student Union and the College Democrats, among others, co-sponsored the event.

Brady Forrest, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine and an SA senator, said it was important to show solidarity with Americans who struggle with injustice.

“I will never be left on a street for four and half hours, but I think its important to show support for the folks that are experiencing this,” he said.

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Fourth-year law student Mark Lee was found dead Sunday in his off-campus apartment, Dean Blake D. Morant told the law school community Tuesday.

D.C. police are investigating the death of the 35-year-old, who was in the school’s part-time degree program. Morant said in his message that there is “no indication that the incident was the result of a criminal act.”

“Members of the university staff have spoken with Mark’s family and have offered our deepest sympathies and our desire to provide whatever support is necessary,” Morant wrote.

The death is the second tragedy within the law school this semester, after second-year law student Gregory Levine was found dead in his Jefferson House apartment last month. The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet released the official cause of Levine’s death.

Members of the GW Law School community are invited to gather in the school’s Faculty Conference Center on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. to remember Lee.

Counselors will be at the law school Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m. in Stuart Hall, room 210. Students can also contact the University Counseling Center at 202-994-5300.

“We recognize that this is an extremely difficult time for our students, and we will continue to provide support for one another,” Morant wrote in his message. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark’s family, his loved ones, and friends.”

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Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Sen. Thomas Falcigno, CCAS-U, and freshman Sen. Alyssa Weakley brought forward the “Give Me a [Fall] Break Act,” which the Student Association passed unanimously Monday. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Updated: Dec. 2, 2014 at 4:18 p.m.

GW is one step closer to taking a few days of classes off its academic calendar.

The Student Association unanimously passed a bill Monday that calls for a fall break, which could be added to the calendar as early as next year.

The “Give Me a [Fall] Break Act,” introduced by Sen. Thomas Falcigno, CCAS-U, and freshman Sen. Alyssa Weakley, has already earned support from Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman.

Falcigno said Maltzman was receptive to the idea when the senator brought it up during their monthly meeting, and that Matlzman said it was possible. Maltzman also plans to work with a committee in the spring that would look at how the break could fit into GW’s academic calendar, Falcigno said.

“It’s pretty feasible based on what we’ve seen,” Falcigno said.

Weakley was interested in the idea of a fall break as a way to address the growing attention to mental health at the University, in the wake of three student suicides in the spring and another suicide attempt this fall. 

She said an October break, right around the time of midterms, would help alleviate some built-up tension so students can “gather their thoughts.”

“It’s a stressful time period. You’ve got midterms, you’ve been gone from home a long time and Thanksgiving break is awhile to go,” Weakley said. “It’s important to have some kind of break. Even if it’s just a day or two, it still helps.”

A break has been suggested in previous years, Falcigno said, but has never gained much traction. Falcigno and Weakley will meet with the Center of Student Engagement’s director, Tim Miller, on Wednesday. Miller has already worked on similar proposals.

Compared to peer schools, GW is an outlier in not offering a fall break. Falcigno and Weakley found that 13 of the 15 schools GW considers its peers have a break. Those schools, including Duke and American universities, give students an average of two days off sometime close to Columbus Day weekend.

There’s also some precedent at GW for a fall break: The GW Law School offers a “Fall Recess” for first-year students for two days in October.

“I’d love to say it’s definitely going to happen. I think eventually it will happen. It’s kind of ‘when’ and ‘how’ we’re going to do it, and the logistics of it,” Falcigno said.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled the last name of Alyssa Weakley. It is Weakley, not Weekly. We regret this error.

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