News and Analysis

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Benjamin Kershner.

A male student was arrested Friday for allegedly spitting on a University Police Department officer near the corner of 23 and H streets.

UPD officers witnessed a confrontation between the student and a cab driver after the student refused to pay his cab fare, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said. Csellar said the student, who “seemed intoxicated,” then spit on an officer trying to assess his condition.

Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested the student, who was first taken to GW Hospital for treatment, according to police documents.

The incident marks the second assault on officers this month. A student scratched officers in front of Thurston Hall on April 4 after he tried to run away without paying his cab fare.

Sixteen UPD officers have been assaulted on or near campus over the last two years.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Zaid Shoorbajee.

Updated: Monday, April 14 at 6:35 p.m.

The student who was hit by a van on the corner of 21 and F Streets Thursday has been released from GW Hospital, a University spokeswoman said Monday.

The female student had been transported to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, the city’s police department said last week. She has since been released, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said.

Freshman Renee Underhill, who called 911 after she saw the student struck by the car, said an ambulance arrived within about five minutes. Officers from the University Police Department and Metropolitan Police Departments also responded on the scene.

“The driver was coming pretty quickly around the turn,” Underhill said. “She motioned ‘Don’t hit me’ but the driver kept going.”

The University launched a pedestrian safety campaign last fall following lobbying from the Student Association after two students were hit by cars in April 2011.

A total of 848 pedestrian crashes were reported in 2012. The number of serious incidents increased about 20 percent between 2010 to 2012, rising to 362, according to data from the District Department of Transportation.

Colleen Murphy contributed reporting

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For the second week in a row, maintenance work on water lines on campus will shut off water to Gelman library and several other campus buildings.

D.C. Water will shut off water to Gelman Library and Staughton Hall as well as Madison, JBKO and Munson residence halls to complete its work on the Science and Engineering Hall, University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said.

The shut off will occur from 8 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. The Starbucks in Gelman library will also be closed because health codes require the availability of hot water. Students in the hall should not use their bathrooms, sinks or washing machines during the outage, Hiatt said.

The water was also turned off in those buildings last week as D.C. Water completed preliminary tests for the service work.

This post was updated Thursday, April 10 at 4:21 p.m. to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the buildings were shut down last week. While the water was turned off, the buildings remained open. We regret this error.

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will speak to students at the School of Media and Public Affairs next Thursday. Official White House photo by Pete Souza

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will speak to students at the School of Media and Public Affairs next Thursday. Official White House photo by Pete Souza

White House press secretary Jay Carney will speak at the School of Media and Public Affairs on April 17 at 10 a.m.

Carney will take the stage for an interview with CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett, who is one of this year’s SMPA distinguished fellows.

SMPA students can claim free pre-sale tickets Wednesday at 5 p.m. for 24 hours before they are released to other students and faculty across the University.

Carney, who serves as the chief spokesperson for President Barack Obama, took the role in 2011, after serving as Vice President Joe Biden’s director of communications. Before working in the public sector, he was the Washington bureau chief for Time magazine.

Students will also get a chance to ask Carney questions in a Q&A session. Just don’t ask questions like this Daily Caller intern:

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Hatchet File Photo

Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Zaid Shoorbajee.

Several GW police officers were scratched after trying to restrain an intoxicated student outside of Thurston Hall last week.

Officers chased the male student down the street after he failed to pay his cab fare and attempted to flee at about 1 a.m. on Friday. The student “became disorderly” as officers tried to restrain him, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said.

The student’s friend paid the fare, and the student was referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for disciplinary action.

The incident was listed as an assault of a police officer, a theft and a liquor law violation in the University’s crime log.

Sixteen University Police Department officers have been attacked in the last two years, and about half of those cases involved intoxicated individuals, UPD Chief Kevin Hay said last month.

Incidents can range from yelling, spitting or shoving to more severe attacks, including one that required 21 stitches to an officer’s head after he was thrown into a metal pipe.

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Junior Joe Holleran, right, and second-year law student Alex Schneider, middle,  discussed their award-winning ideas for the Innovation Task Force with the head of that effort, Dave Lawlor. Photo courtesy of GW Media Relations.

Junior Joe Holleran, right, and second-year law student Alex Schneider, middle, discussed their award-winning ideas for the Innovation Task Force with the head of that effort, Dave Lawlor. Photo courtesy of GW Media Relations.

Two students each won a year of free tuition this week after pitching plans to shut off GW’s energy-consuming technology at night and ditch the company making its international payments – ideas that are both worth $1 million in savings.

Junior finance major Joe Holleran and second-year law student Alex Schneider each earned $50,000 scholarships after beating out 47 other ideas for projects to help GW reach its goal of finding $60 million a year in cost-saving or revenue-producing programs.

After interning at an international processing company, Holleran realized that the University and students could save money if GW switched contractors and used foreign exchange strategies on international wire transfers.

Holleran, an international student from England, said a small firm GW contracts with currently charges fees up to 5 percent of the total payment, but larger companies like Western Union or World First, where he worked, charge at most 1 percent.

GW could also save money by negotiating flat rates on international wire transfers, which are used to pay for study abroad program fees and other dealings abroad, Holleran said.

Schneider, who is also a Hatchet columnist, found that by using Energy Star’s electricity settings, the University would be able to turn off computers and other technology systems that consume large amounts of energy at nights, dramatically cutting GW’s energy bill.

“It’s nothing new,” he said, pointing to similar conservation plans that have been adopted at schools nationwide. “I think the simplicity of it is something they really liked.”

University President Steven Knapp formed the Innovation Task Force in 2009 after the financial crisis forced GW to be more cost-conscious. He charged the group with finding $60 million in cost-savings or revenue-producing programs a year – essentially doubling the annual payoff from GW’s endowment.

Dave Lawlor, chair of ITF, said students brought “momentum” and fresh ideas to the group, which has already gone through five rounds of pitching projects across the University. Staffers in GW’s finance department will start working on implementing the students’ ideas this year, he added.

“We desired to tap this very knowledgeable and thoughtful base and wanted to recognize that participation in a meaningful way,” Lawlor said in an email. “I love the creativity and professionalism the students brought to this competition.”

The committee had planned to pick one winner, but decided that both ideas stood out as unique and possible innovations, Lawlor added.

This post was updated April 9, 2014 to clarify how GW could save money with international payment strategies.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Rachael Gerendasy.

Ward 3 Council member and GW Law School professor Mary Cheh proposed sweeping legislation Tuesday to overhaul the District’s transportation system.

The bill would abolish the D.C. Taxicab Commission and take responsibility for public transit, bicycles and the upcoming H Street streetcar line away from the D.C. Department of Transportation.

The measure would create two new offices: the Department of Parking Management and the District Transit Authority.

“We need a government operation that conforms to the way real people live,” Cheh, the chair of the Council’s transportation committee, told WAMU. “We haven’t had the benefit of an agency looking comprehensively and coherently at all of these different modes of transit, and now we will separate that out and do that.”

She said the move comes after frequent mistakes and communication breakdowns across the agencies. Cheh has slammed the mayor’s office for lagging in its $800 million expansion of the city’s light-rail lines, the Washington Post reported.

The proposal could take about a year for the city to implement if it gets approval from the Council and the mayor.

The Taxicab Commission came under fire last spring after officials mandated that all taxis accept credit cards, which prompted the Teamsters taxicab union to file a lawsuit.

Last summer, Cheh co-sponsored a bill with Foggy Bottom’s Council member Jack Evans to keep app-based car services like UberX, Lyft and SideCar in the District and free from city regulations.

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The threeway deal between GW, Corcoran College and the National Gallery of Art will add a school of more than 500 students to the University’s own shrinking art department, where just 15 students earned a bachelor of fine arts degree last year.

Administrators are taking longer than expected to hammer out the final details of a deal to acquire the Corcoran Gallery of Art, a University spokeswoman said Sunday.

The Corcoran, GW and the National Gallery of Art – which will store the Corcoran’s 17,000 pieces of art – have been in talks since February about how to preserve the pieces of one of the country’s oldest art institutions and spokeswoman Candace Smith said the groups will need more time than the original April 7 date to finalize the details.

“Given the complexities involved in coordinating resolution of all issues among three institutions, it is likely that the parties will continue their work beyond April 7,” Smith said. She added that the three groups are still committed to completing the process but did not give a new deadline for the negotiations.

The takeover of Corcoran College, which has about 500 students, has excited administrators with possibilities of attracting more arts students, fundraising and partnerships across the country.

Administrators have spent the last six weeks answering big questions like how to integrate the small community of Corcoran students into GW’s liberal arts college, which has an even smaller group of fine arts students.

Since the merger was announced, some Corcoran students have voiced concerns about how their community would mesh with students at GW and said last month they hoped classes could remain small.

University President Steven Knapp said in February that he hopes that bringing Corcoran’s esteemed name to GW’s programs will help create an arts and culture hub in Foggy Bottom, but said he knew it would be a slow process to make the big decisions.

“In terms of the college becoming part of the George Washington University, it’s going to take a while to figure out exactly what the programs will be and how we will use the space,” University President Steven Knapp said in February.

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Duques Hall, School of Business

The School of Business was ranked No. 59 among top undergraduate programs in the U.S. on Friday. Hatchet File Photo

The GW School of Business jumped a dozen spots in Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of top undergraduate programs Friday, its first gain in three years.

The school rose to No. 59 this year after three years of slipping in rankings, which are based on factors such as student and employee feedback as well as the average starting salary.

About 81 percent of GW’s business school graduates earned job offers, with an average salary of about $52,000. With a program cost of $47,290, it’s also the most expensive out of the 132 schools.

Businessweek also considers data such as students’ average SAT scores, the student-to-faculty ratio and the percentage of students with business-related internships.

The school’s spokesman did not return a request for comment by publication time.

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business nabbed the No. 1 spot for the fifth straight year. Six of the universities that GW considers its peers landed in the top 25 spots, including Washington University of St. Louis and New York, Georgetown, Emory, Southern Methodist and Boston universities.

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Katie Causey | Hatchet Photographer

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for the next generation of educators to ignore their own backgrounds and come together to solve the nation’s education shortcomings. Katie Causey | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Rachael Gerendasy.

The nation’s top education leader urged teachers across the country to embrace the growth of alternative training programs like Teach for America and strive toward a common strategy of high-quality instruction.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Monday in the Marvin Center that graduate degree-holding educators must abandon an “us vs. them” mentality to focus on preparing a generation of students that can compete in a global workforce.

“We have one common enemy, and it is academic failure,” Duncan said. “Not everyone may agree, but I am for different routes into teaching, whether it be traditional schools of education like GW or alternative routes that bring great talent in from other walks of life.”

The secretary, speaking with Graduate School of Education and Human Development Dean Michael Feuer and other experts, has made similar appeals at GW in the past.

Duncan and the other members of the panel aimed to recruit students for teaching jobs as part of a nationwide Department of Education campaign, which will visit 21 college campuses to encourage high-achieving students to become educators after graduation.

Duncan said public education was the only way to shrink the nation’s income gap, calling the system an instrument of “social justice.”

“Right now, we are dealing with very significant, sad bit of data that we have allowed income inequality in this country to go way out of control,” he said. “Education is one of the areas that is suffering the most from this, and also the area where we have the best chance of trying to address it and maybe even reverse it.”

GW sent the fifth-most graduates to Teach For America out of any medium-sized school this year. More than 300 graduates have entered the program over the last two decades.

Education reformers have criticized the program for sending 20-somethings with five weeks of training into the classroom. But Duncan said hard work and effective teaching outweigh a teacher’s background.

He called on GW students to give back to communities by becoming teachers.

“If you want to strengthen families and communities, if you want to transform the lives of children, there is no place better to do that than in our nation’s classrooms,” Duncan said.

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