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Student Association President Andie Dowd said at a neighborhood meeting Wednesday night that she remains neutral on  a D.C. Council bill that could send University Police Department officers on patrols off campus.  Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Student Association President Andie Dowd said at a neighborhood meeting Wednesday night that she remains neutral on a D.C. Council bill that could send University Police Department officers on patrols off campus. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Joseph Konig.

Students and neighbors met Wednesday night to hash out details of a D.C. Council bill that would would allow University Police Department officers to patrol off campus.

The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the neighborhood group that held the meeting, will formally suggest changes to the bill based on the discussion. During the nearly two-hour-long meeting, students and neighbors asked for more specifics in the bill, which they said was vague and hard to understand.

The bill is the most formal effort to send UPD officers off campus in recent years, and would impact all campus police officers in D.C. Officers would also be able to assist at other institutions in the event of an emergency, an effort that Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier would oversee.

Attendees asked for definitions about what the Council considers on- or off-campus locations, whether satellite campuses like the Mount Vernon Campus would be counted in the legislation and how crime data would be tracked.

ANC Commissioner Florence Harmon said the bill is “elitist” and “offensive” because it allows university students living off campus to avoid dealing with the Metropolitan Police Department when breaking city laws.

“I’m a little bit worried that we’re granting kids who come from privileged backgrounds a pass, versus the teenager in southeast who’s partying and doing the same thing,” Harmon said.

Eve Zhurbinskiy, an ANC commissioner and a sophomore, said at the meeting she is concerned that the official D.C. Council hearing for the bill will be on March 17, when many students will be away from GW for spring break and unable to testify in person.

“I think that kind of takes away our student’s voice from on the bill,” Zhurbinskiy said.

The commissioners agreed to ask the Council to postpone the hearing date, so that more university students could attend.

The Student Association opposed the bill last month, saying it would threaten the safety of students on campus. Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie had introduced the bill in December. GW has yet to take a public stance on proposal, but did seek to empower UPD off campus in 2013.

Student Association President Andie Dowd spoke at the beginning of the meeting and said she remains neutral on the bill. She said she knows student leaders from other institutions in D.C. are concerned that the police jurisdiction could be controlled by one person. She said she plans to meet with McDuffie’s office to discuss the bill further.

“I look forward to meeting with them and hopefully coming up with a more concrete decision on what the student body is feeling,” Dowd said.

Marina Streznewski, the president of the Foggy Bottom Association and a long-time neighbor, said the FBA will hold trainings to teach community members and students to about how to effectively testify in front of the Council.

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Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 9:05 p.m.

Gelbucks to give 24/7 operation another shot

Hold onto your lattes kids – Gelbucks is going back to 24/7.

Gelbucks will test-drive staying open overnight later this month, according to its Twitter account. The popular Starbucks said in a Twitter exchange with Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski that it would track student turnout on Feb. 22 and 23.

The store currently closes at 1 a.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends, but it seems like visiting Gelbucks before dawn on Feb. 23 will pay off for students who hope to throw back an espresso shot at 3 a.m. when midterms roll around.

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Graduate School of Political Management Director Mark Kennedy said the global advocacy program will give the college another niche. Hatchet File Photo

Graduate School of Political Management Director Mark Kennedy is in the running to become president of the University of North Dakota. Hatchet File Photo

Mark Kennedy, the director of the Graduate School for Political Management, is one of the top seven candidates in the running to be the next president of the University of North Dakota, the Washington Times reported Wednesday.

A committee had narrowed the candidates from a list of 41 and interviewed 16 people in Minneapolis on Monday and Tuesday, according to the Times.

Kennedy has led GSPM since 2012. Before coming to GW, Kennedy represented Minnesota’s second and sixth districts in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Washington Times reported that candidates will be brought to UND’s campus between Feb. 11 and March 3 before final interviews later in March. UND’s president retired last month after almost seven years at the institution.

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Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife have a son with autism. They donated $2.5 million to fund the director position. Hatchet file photo.

Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife have a son with autism. They donated $2.5 million to fund the director position. Hatchet file photo.

A researcher with 15 years of experience will lead GW’s autism institute, the University announced today.

Kevin Pelphrey was named the inaugural director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, according to a press release. Pelphrey, who specializes in cognitive neuroscience and developmental disorders, will start at GW April 1.

The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute was created in 2010 and is one of five new research institutes that have launched since 2009. The institute will be housed on GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus.

Pelphrey was the founding director of Yale University’s Center for Translational Developmental Neuroscience. He will bring $20 million in seven active grants that he currently holds with the National Institutes of Health and the Simons Foundation according to the release.

The institute will work with the Children’s National Medical Center and focus on adults with autism.

“Autism is a lifelong diagnosis but is so rarely researched past childhood,” Pelphrey said in the release. “The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute provides the opportunity for us to take a lifespan perspective and consider the disorder from molecules to minds, looking at everything from the chemical makeup of the disorder to how it manifests in people’s behaviors.”

GW is investing more than $5 million to establish the institute as a leader in autism research. Pelphrey will soon be tasked with hiring five new faculty members and administrative staff, according to the release.

The institute began their search for a director in 2014. Leo Chalupa, the vice president for research, said they were looking for a candidate who is a leader in the field and would bring established research funding.

“Dr. Pelphrey’s experience as a psychologist, neuroscientist and parent of a child with autism makes him the ideal person to lead the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute,” Chalupa said in the release. “I am confident that he will build the institute into a top-tier resource for individuals with autism and their families.”

Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife have a son with autism and donated $2.5 million to help fund the director’s position. He said that they hope expanded research at GW will help the cause.

“Dr. Pelphrey will be a catalyst to bring in more resources to help autistic children and adults,” Carbonell said in the release. “Right now, there aren’t enough programs, policies or strategies for adults and teens with autism transitioning to adulthood, but the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, under the leadership of Dr. Pelphrey, has the real potential to change that.”

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Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 11:06 a.m.

GW ranks No. 1 for student internships

The Center for Career Services advises students searching for jobs and internships. GW was ranked the No. 1 college or university for internships. Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

The Center for Career Services advises students searching for jobs and internships. GW was ranked the No. 1 college or university for internships. Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Janna Paramore.

GW maintained its status as the No. 1 college in the nation for internship opportunities for the second year in a row.

The Princeton Review ranked 2,000 public and private institutions in a variety of categories to determine the “colleges that pay you back.” While GW didn’t rank high in other categories like graduation rates or alumni salaries, the University has gotten high marks from the organization on city location, politically active students, residence hall quality and study abroad programs.

About two-thirds of GW undergraduate students complete internships, according to a University website.

GW slashed tuition fees for students who needed to receive academic credit for internships after former Student Association President Nick Gumas pushed for the change. Students now pay $50 per one credit to receive academic credit for internships, a dramatic drop from the $1,300 students were paying each semester.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Liz Provencher.

Metropolitan Police Department Police Chief Cathy Lanier said she would shut down a local bar, Barcode, for 96 hours for police to investigate a double stabbing that occurred there on Sunday night, according to The Washington Post.

Robinson Pal, 29, was at the bar on 17th and L streets Sunday night around 11:30 p.m. when a large fight broke out, Borderstan, a community news site that focuses on Northwest D.C., reported Tuesday. Pal and another man, whom police did not identify, were both stabbed during the altercation.

Pal died shortly after the assault and the other man was treated at GW Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, the news site reported.

An “unruly and aggressive crowd” were gathered at Barcode that night, according to authorities. Police arrived on the scene in an attempt to restore order and found a bloody knife and broken glass scattered on the bar, Borderstan reported.

MPD also requested to revoke Barcode’s liquor license following the homicide, the news organization reported. MPD posted a letter from Lanier to D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration requesting the license’s revocation on the bar’s door.

“This homicide can be connected directly to the operations of ‘Bar-Code’ and it is clear from from the violent outcome that the safety of residents and visitors to the city was severely endangered,” Lanier said in the letter.

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Keith Harper, the U.S. ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, spoke at the Elliott School this week. Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Keith Harper, the U.S. ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, spoke at the Elliott School of International Affairs Monday. Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer


This post was written by Hatchet reporter Tanvi Banerjee.

Keith Harper, the U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, spoke to dozens of attendees in the Elliott School of International Affair’s City View room Monday evening on global human rights and how the council has changed since he joined the group in 2014.

He encouraged every U.S. citizen to be more actively involved in human rights issues globally.

“Engagement is always better than non-engagement,” Harper said. “Whether you are on the council or not on the council, the important thing is not the council, but your engagement.”

He said the U.S. has worked to promote human rights already in countries like Iran and North Korea, but those efforts should continue.

“We are in the enviable position to starkly contrast what the record looks like,” he said.

Harper, who is the first Native American to ever earn the rank of ambassador, added that before the U.S. joined the Human Rights Council under the leadership of President of Barack Obama, the council had a “hyperfocus” on Israel.

He said the council has now turned the conversation to focus on issues in North Korea, a region they believe has widespread and systematic human rights violations.

“There has been a fundamental shift in the conversation,” Harper said. “We are now not talking about whether they have problems, but how to address these problems.”

Harper added that while the U.N. Human Rights Council has member countries like Burundi and Saudi Arabia, which have questionable records of human rights violations, the problems in those nations are improving but remain a challenge.

“What is important is what we are able to achieve despite having such members on the council,” he said.

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 Gelman Library will be closed Saturday Jan. 30 from 1 to 9 a.m. for construction. Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Gelman Library will be closed Saturday Jan. 30 from 1 to 9 a.m. for construction. Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor


This post was written by Hatchet reporter Crystel Sylvester.

Students planning on pulling an all-nighter will have to find a spot other than Gelman Library this weekend.

Gelman Library will be closed Saturday, Jan. 30 between 1 a.m. and 9 a.m. to “safely complete necessary construction activities” on the National Churchill Library and Center on the first floor, according to an infomail sent to students Friday.

“This building closure is being done at night to minimize disruption to our library users,” the email reads.

Construction started on the first floor of Gelman Dec. 21 to house the National Churchill Library and Center, which is set to open later this year.

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Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 3:19 p.m.

GW selects broker to potentially sell HOVA

The University selected CBRE Group, Inc. to represent GW in looking for buyers for the Hall on Virginia Avenue Thursday. Hatchet File Photo

The University selected CBRE Group, Inc. to represent GW in looking for buyers for the Hall on Virginia Avenue Thursday. Hatchet File Photo

GW chose a commercial real estate and investment firm to help find potential buyers for Hall on Virginia Avenue, the University announced Thursday.

The firm, CBRE Group, Inc., will represent the University as they look into selling the former graduate residence hall that closed for renovations two years ago. The University suggested those interested in the building to direct their inquiries to the brokerage team for the firm, Peter Larkin, Andy Wimsatt and Bobby Meehling.

GW announced that they would seek a broker in November. Alicia Knight, GW’s senior associate vice president of operations, said in the announcement that the University expects to make a decision on selling the property this summer.

“The university has received significant interest from the real estate community regarding HOVA and we look forward to receiving proposals for a potential sale of the property,” Knight said.

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Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 11:38 p.m.

SA Senate rejects EVP candidate

The SA's vice president for judicial and legislative affairs, Zack Speck, will not serve as EVP, a position SA President nominated him for. Olivia Harding | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The SA’s vice president for judicial and legislative affairs, Zack Speck, will not serve as EVP, a position SA President Andie Dowd nominated him for. Olivia Harding | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Student Association Senate still does not have a permanent executive vice president.

The senate declined to nominate senior Zack Speck to serve as executive vice president for the remainder of the academic year. Interim Executive Vice President Thomas Falcigno will continue to serve in that position after senior Casey Syron resigned earlier this month, citing personal and health reasons.

SA President Andie Dowd, who nominated Speck, sat in on a 20-minute closed executive session during the senate meeting to answer questions about her nominee. Speck needed a simple majority to win, but lost by two votes.

Dowd said in her opening statement that she hoped the senate would nominate Speck because he has three years of experience in the executive branch of the senate. He is currently serving as vice president of judicial and legislative affairs.

“He’s served tirelessly in his role very well. He has the respect to work with the administration,” she said.

Some senators questioned Speck’s ability to help them set up meetings with top officials – meetings that can be key to getting senate resolutions passed.

Sen. Brady Forrest, CCAS-G, said Speck may not have the connections with top officials or the time to prioritize individual senators’ goals in just three months as executive vice president.

“With Casey, we lose a valuable asset and we’re looking for someone who can help us,” he said.

Forrest added that Speck might have an ethical conflict with the executive vice president position because Speck was president of the Joint Election Committee during last year’s SA elections, a claim which Speck rejected because he said the group only enforced the rules of the election and did not choose the winners themselves.

The senate also passed a resolution with a host of new rules for its upcoming election in March. The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Sean Kumnick, U-at-Large, reduces campaign spending and changes the number of signatures potential candidates must submit to the Joint Elections Committee before declaring candidacy.

Sen. Eric Beeler, ESIA-U, thanked Kumnick for his work on the 33-page resolution.

“I’d just like to commend Sean for putting all this work into the bill,” he said.

Sen. Rayhaan Merani, who joined the senate in October, presented an official proposal for a revamped model for funding student organizations, as well as new rules for the finance committee to follow during the spring allocations process and throughout the year.

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