News and Analysis

Want the biggest bang for your buck? You might find it at the GW School of Business.

The business school landed the No. 20 spot on a list of 25 business schools with the highest return on investment, published by Fortune Magazine earlier this week. Twenty five business schools across the country made the list, with the University of California, Berkeley, clinching the top spot.

The return on investment was calculated by estimating how much the average graduate would earn over 20 years and subtracting the amount of tuition that student would pay while earning the degree. The magazine estimated that a GW business school graduate student will earn $609,800 more than a high school graduate would over 20 years, but only after paying about $63,000 in tuition every year for four years.

But, GW’s tuition was the fourth-highest on the list. Nine of the universities listed have tuition levels that are about half the amount as GW.

New York University, one of GW’s peer schools, ranked seventh on the list, with a return on investment of $693,700 – an amount nearly $84,000 higher than GW. Other peer schools included Washington University in St. Louis and American University, which landed the 22nd and 24th spots, respectively.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Grace Gannon.

The D.C. Council proposed a bill Tuesday that would require city health care professionals to receive LGBT sensitivity training.

At-Large Council member David Grosso and Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander introduced the bill that would amend current laws and require health care practitioners – including doctors and mental health specialists – to complete training in “attitudes, knowledge, and skills that enable a health care professional to care effectively for patients who identify as LGBTQ”, according to a copy of the bill.

The trainings would also teach health care workers to use appropriate terminology with LGBT patients, understand risk factors for their health, and train support staff to also work with LGBT patients and maintain their confidentiality, according to the bill.

Alexander, who is the chair of the Council’s health and human services committee, said she hopes to hold a hearing on the bill soon. Nine Council members co-signed the bill during the legislative meeting Tuesday, the Washington Blade reported.

Grosso said in an interview that the bill would help eliminate stereotypes about LGBT people and teach health care workers to interact with the patients sensitively. There are 66,000 individuals who identify as LGBT in D.C., Grosso said.

“All we’re saying is that we think they deserve to have medical professionals who are sensitive, too, and knowledgeable about the unique health needs of their community,” Grosso said in a phone interview.

LGBT people who struggle to access resources are at a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, Grosso added.

Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a press release that mandatory training is crucial to reducing disparities in health care for LGBT people.

“LGBT people face substantial systemic discrimination in health care due to a lack of understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by the community,” Warbelow said in the release.

About 56 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and 70 percent of transgender people say they have faced some type of discrimination in health care, causing some to postpone seeking help when they are sick, according to the release.

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Updated: April 15, 2015 at 12:19 a.m.

Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski used Twitter on Tuesday to respond to students’ demands for in-person, mandatory sexual assault prevention training at Colonial Inauguration.

The Twitter conversation came after about 30 students, including members of Students Against Sexual Assault, marched across campus Monday over the issue. The protest and social media blasts followed the announcement that officials would have sexual assault education in an online-only format.

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A national police accrediting agency awarded the University Police Department a stamp of approval for the fourth straight time.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies has reviewed UPD every three years, and grades departments on standards like level of training and use of force. The accreditation also comes several months after the former head of the department, Kevin Hay, retired.

UPD was last accredited in 2012. Gregory Solomon, a special services manager for CALEA, did not immediately return requests for comment.

The department could have a new chief as early as May, several students who have participated in selection panels said.

The new chief will lead a department that has faced at least five lawsuits since 2010 alleging race, age and gender discrimination among officers. Experts said those lawsuits could have affected UPD’s accreditation if CALEA viewed them as examples of larger structural issues within the department.

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A female student was arrested last week for possession of lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.

At about 9:15 p.m. on April 5, a UPD officer received an anonymous phone call “stating that there is an odor of marijuana” coming from a second-floor Munson Hall room, according to the MPD report and the University crime log. The officer began searching the room with permission from the residence director on duty, according to the MPD report.

The room’s resident, 20-year-old Madelyn Roy, told the officer she had two tabs of LSD, one Adderall pill and about three grams of marijuana, according to the MPD report that named Roy.

The officer then found a “small piece of paper located in the second desk drawer from the top right side of [Roy's] desk,” according to the MPD report. City police were notified of the incident and conducted tests that confirmed the tabs were LSD.

Roy was arrested in her room a little after midnight on April 6. She was then transported to the Second District police station for processing.

UPD recorded a total of 11 drug arrests in 2013, according to GW’s annual security report, which is the latest data available. The previous year, campus police recorded 20 arrests.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015 10:39 a.m.

SA Senate votes to lower campaign spending limits

Sen. Carlo Wood sponsored a unanimously-passed Student Association Senate bill that slashed campaign spending limits for the next election cycle. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Sen. Carlo Wood sponsored a unanimously-passed Student Association Senate bill that slashed campaign spending limits for the next election cycle. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The Student Association unanimously passed a bill Monday night that will slash the amount of money students can spend during elections.

Students running for SA president, executive vice president, and top positions on Program Board will only be able to spend $750 on their campaigns, a 25 percent drop from the past election. At-Large senators’s spending limits were cut by a third to $500, and the spending cap for students running for all other SA senate and Class Council seats was cut in half to $250.

Sen. Zachary Graybill, SEAS-U, who sponsored the bill with Sen. Carlo Wood, SoB-U, said he determined the spending caps by analyzing how much each candidate spent during the most recent election cycle. Andie Dowd and Casey Syron, who won the two top SA spots, both spent the least out of all candidates running for their positions.

Wood, who lost his bid for executive vice president, spent $200 on his campaign last month. He said lowering the limits can help students who are on federal work study run for positions without worrying if they’ll be outspent by their opponents.

Sen. Victoria Goncalves, CCAS-U, who introduced a similar bill in January that proposed cutting spending caps in half, said the cuts to spending limits didn’t go deep enough.

“I’m offended at the notion that having these cuts is enough to make campaigns affordable,” she said.

The Class Council and Program Board will have to approve the changes before they can be instated.

The senate also unanimously passed a resolution supporting a Faculty Senate resolution that would let current student-employees keep their tuition benefits. The University started to rollback tuition benefits for student employees in September.

Sen. Frank Fritz, CCAS-U, urged senators to “stand together” with the 46 staff members laid off by GW last week.

“At comparable institutions, they currently pay 100 percent benefits to staff,” Fritz said. “When we’re in such a difficult fiscal situation, we have to stand together.”

The senate also passed a bill that changed the criteria student organizations would have to meet to receive funding for events. Student organizations will now receive funding based on how necessary the funding is to hold the event, instead of the prestige of the event.

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Monday, April 13, 2015 11:52 p.m.

D.C. Council members critique mayoral budget

Mayor Muriel Bowser receives feedback from members of the D.C. Council on her proposed fiscal year 2016 budget. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Mayor Muriel Bowser receives feedback from members of the D.C. Council on her proposed fiscal year 2016 budget. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

D.C. Council members had their first opportunity to publicly comment on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed $12.9 billion budget Monday, honing in on her plans to increase funding for homeless shelters and affordable housing.

The Council members centered their feedback on funding that would most impact their own wards and asked specifics on the budget over the course of a three-hour-long meeting. The budget, which covers fiscal year 2016, would include $1.3 billion for upgrades to public schools and $31.4 million to increase enrollment in public and charter schools.

But discussion at the meeting centered on Bowser’s plans to eradicate homelessness and increase affordable housing, which Council members criticized as not solving the root of the problem.

Bowser has stood by her pledge to end family homelessness in the District by 2018 and end homelessness altogether by 2025. In the budget she proposed raising the sales tax to 6 percent, up from the current 5.75 percent. She also allocated $100 million to the Housing Protection Trust Fund and would put $2.4 million toward rental assistance for low-income families and individuals, according to budget documents.

“Too many residents are just one missed payment away from homelessness,” Bowser said.

Bowser also proposed creating a new family shelter to replace emergency shelters like D.C. General, which came under fire last year when 8-year-old Relisha Rudd went missing from the complex. Rudd has still not been found.

Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, who represents Foggy Bottom,  said everyone on the Council wants to eradicate homelessness in the District, but said he would only support spending the funds if it went directly toward services for the homeless.

“What assurances do I have that the money is going to go into affordable housing?” Evans said.

Ward 3 Council member and GW Law professor Mary Cheh called Bowser’s plans “short-sighted” at the meeting.

Cheh said she is also concerned about cutting funds from public schools in her ward and the University of the District of Columbia while also raising taxes.

The University of the District of Columbia, the city’s only public institution, would see a 5 percent or $3.5 million reduction under Bowser’s plan, according to budget documents.

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Updated: April 13, 2015 at 10:26 p.m.

About 30 students, including members of Students Against Sexual Assault, marched across campus Monday, demanding that administrators implement mandatory sexual assault education at Colonial Inauguration.

The protest followed the announcement that officials would have sexual assault education in an online-only format.

The protest began in Kogan Plaza, and students walked through campus to Rice Hall, where University President Steven Knapp’s and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski’s offices are located.

Students carried mattresses and chanted phrases like “This is what democracy looks like” and “”GW stop stalling, rape culture is appalling.” Some students also fastened red tape over their mouths.

Last month, 92 percent of students voted in favor of having a mandatory sexual violence education session at CI.

SASA Co-Presidents Ariella Neckritz and Kirsten Dimovitz and Vice President Laura Zillman met with Knapp’s chief of staff in the building while other students stood outside.

“Thank you for coming out today in solidarity and support for survivors and saying this is an issue you care about,” Neckritz said to the crowd of students.

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A statue of George Washington was vandalized Sunday. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

A statue of George Washington was vandalized this weekend. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The University has launched an investigation after a statue of George Washington in University Yard was vandalized.

The bricks in front of the statue were spray-painted in black with the words “GW owned 318 slaves,” followed by a phrase that included an expletive. The base of the statue was spray-painted with an anarchist symbol.

The vandalism was reported to the University Police Department on Sunday, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said. She said a request for removing the spray paint has been submitted, but did not have information about when the statue was vandalized.

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Updated: April 13, 2015 at 1:06 a.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Melissa Schapiro.

Student leaders across campus have criticized a sexual assault prevention workshop with Greek life chapters, saying it used problematic language and did not go far enough to teach the audience about the dangers of sexual assault.

Sigma Chi hosted a presentation in Lisner Auditorium on Thursday to educate about 300 members of Greek life, the first time such a large portion of the community has gathered to talk about sexual violence prevention.

But after the event’s keynote speaker made insensitive comments about sexual assault and members of the audience also made inappropriate comments, student leaders said the event missed the mark.

“We’re embarrassed,” said Neil Rosacker, the president of GW’s chapter of Sigma Chi, adding that he takes responsibility for the event.

Mark Howard was the event’s keynote speaker, and began by asking nearly a dozen audience members how often they think about sex. He then asked students to anonymously text words that they associate with having sex, which resulted in inappropriate messages being displayed on the projection screen.

When Howard discussed Title IX and the Clery Act, two landmark pieces of federal legislation meant in part to shape universities’ response to sexual assault and harassment, he apologized for the “boring” information.

Howard told audience members to think about sexual assault as if a female member of their family had been attacked. But several members of the audience later criticized him for implying that sexual assault is only a problem once it becomes personal.

Sigma Chi members began planning the event early in the fall alongside their international organization, and leaders of the chapter said then they hoped it would become an opportunity for Greek life members and all student leaders to talk about sexual assault, how to prevent it and how alcohol factors into decision making.

The Interfraternity Council’s vice president of public relations, Bo Erickson, said the presentation is typically given to individual Sigma Chi chapters, and Thursday was the first time that it has been shown to hundreds of students in an auditorium.

He said the program is in “flux” and that changes need to be made to accommodate a more diverse audience.

“I hope the program will keep growing and keep fostering conversations,” he said.

GW’s chapter of Sigma Chi released a statement Friday saying that the workshop wasn’t what the chapter expected and that it was below the standard for which the GW community strives. The statement also said chapter members did not want Thursday’s event to be the end of the conversation about sexual assault.

“Our chapter is committed to working with our Sigma Chi National Headquarters to improve their sexual misconduct program,” the statement read. “We look forward to working with other student organizations to improve the community and prevent sexual misconduct at GW.”

Panhellenic Association President Mollie Bowman said the program, which was optional for all members of Greek life, was a “wake-up call” and displayed a disconnect between what national chapters think are the reasons for sexual assault and what the solutions are.

She also said the language used during the presentation was insensitive to the possibility that audience members could have been sexual assault survivors themselves.

“This showed me how much more work there is to be done, and next time someone says we’re not the problem, I can say we have a lot longer to go before we’re really a solution,” she said.

Laura Zillman, the vice president of Students Against Sexual Assault, called the presentation “alarming” in an email to the international president of Sigma Chi that was obtained by the Hatchet.

“I know many students besides myself were extremely disappointed, embarrassed, and even angry that this presentation was allowed at GW and hailed as a watershed moment for our Greek community,” she wrote in the email.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Mark Howard is the former president of Sigma Chi’s international organization. We regret this error.

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