News and Analysis


Marvin Center Governing Board

University President Steven Knapp and Student Association President Ashwin Narla get ready to cut a red ribbon on, officially opening the Marvin Center’s fourth floor after a $250,000 construction project. Jordan Leon | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Chris Hebdon.

University President Steven Knapp cut the ribbon to the Marvin Center fourth floor’s refurbished study space Thursday, officially opening the administration’s largest commitment to student space in the past two years.

The event to mark the communal study space, which has been open for student use since February, saw a crowd of about 40 students. Knapp, who spoke for several minutes, called the space a result of “a great partnership” with the Student Association.

“Student space has been the forefront every year,” Knapp said. “I am quite impressed by the space. I hadn’t been here to physically see this. I had seen pictures of it but they don’t tell the story of how useful and substantial the space is.”

The $250,000 renovations, which former Student Association President John Richardson and former Marvin Center Governing Board Chair Dylan Pyne vigorously lobbied for last spring, also added storage for student organizations and will eventually offer a  wireless printer. The project also renovated former administrative offices into a centralized location for the SA, Class Council, Marvin Center Governing Board, Residence Hall Association and Program Board.

The project marked the first victory for student space since the closing of campus hubs like the Hippodrome and the Fishbowl. SA President Ashwin Narla, whose student space campaign this year saw little gains, said the location must serve as a model for future changes.

“Student space is extremely important now and for the future. This space serves as a great example of what student space can look like in the future,” Narla said.

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Sen. Scott Backer, CCAS-U, votes in favor of the bill he sponsored, urging the University to renovate the Marvin Center's fourth floor. Francis Rivera | Assistant Photo Editor

Sen. Scott Backer, CCAS-U, left, votes in favor of a bill urging the University to renovate the Marvin Center's fourth floor. Backer sponsored the resolution. Francis Rivera | Assistant Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Kaya Yurieff

The Student Association Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday calling for University funds to redesign the Marvin Center fourth floor.

The SA and the Marvin Center Governing Board have strongly criticized the University’s decision not to relocate the fourth floor’s 57 student organization offices to the fifth floor, which will be massively redesigned this summer, and GW’s resistance in providing money or space for a student hub.

“We’re making sure this is a focus of the University because we have lost such an amount of space and how important this is for the future of the school,” Sen. Scott Backer, CCAS-U, said.

The non-binding resolution carries no weight administratively, but serves as a lobbying tool for student leaders. The bill does not include specifics about what type of renovations are needed to change the space, nor does it include how much the student leaders would like as allocations.

The University has no plans to renovate the fourth floor in the near future, and plans to move offices like Career Services and the Center for Student Engagement to the space previously occupied by the Hippodrome and Wow Wingery.

SA President John Richardson who has brought up the issue with top administrators and the Board of Trustees said he hopes the University will funnel the savings from the fifth floor project – including moving departments off leased space such as the International Services Office – to the fourth floor.

“Money needs to be reinvested towards students. We want it to be directed toward student space,” Richardson said. He hopes to see more collaborative group space on the fourth floor.

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SA, Postering, Marvin Center 2010

Candidates and their campaign teams race to hang election posters on coveted Marvin Center wall space, an annual tradition that will take place on Feb. 15 this year. | Hatchet File Photo

More than 70 candidates filed for positions in the Student Association, Marvin Center Governing Board and Class Council elections, the Joint Elections Committee announced Friday.

Eight candidates declared bids for the top two SA spots this year, compared to last year’s crowded 12-person race for president and executive vice president.

Fewer undergraduates made bids for SA Senate seats this election season with 22 students vying for spots, down from 29 last year. JEC Chair Phil Gardner said the decline may be because of more stringent signature requirements on petitions for SA offices.

Candidates were required to collect 125 signatures for the U-At Large seats, 100 for the Colombian College of Arts and Sciences seats, 50 for the Elliott School of International Affairs seats and 50 for the School of Business seats – a change from signatures of 1 percent of constituents last year.

The number of graduate students running for SA Senate positions went from 10 candidates last year to 18 this year. Gardner said the JEC worked with the Center for Student Engagement to encourage election participation among graduate students.

All candidacies are unofficial until candidates’ petitions and academic and disciplinary records are verified by the JEC this weekend. Voting will take place Feb. 22 and 23.

The full list of candidates is below.

President – 1

  1. John Bennett
  2. Benjamin Pincus
  3. Jeremy Iloulian
  4. Will Thompson
  5. Ashwin Narla

Executive Vice President – 1

  1. Ben Leighton
  2. Austin Brewster
  3. Abby Bergren

Undergraduate At-Large – 2

  1. Justin Pennish
  2. Elizabeth Kennedy
  3. Hugo Scheckter

Graduate At-Large – 2

  1. Jacob Wilson
  2. James Bonneau
  3. Jake Chervinsky

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate senator – 6

  1. Daniel Egel-Weiss
  2. Markus Batchelor
  3. Nick Gumas
  4. Omeed Firouzi
  5. Yusuf Yilmaz
  6. Anthony Bucci
  7. Ian Shetron

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences graduate senator – 1

  1. Amanda Castroverde
Elliott School of International Affairs undergraduate senator – 3
  1. Alicia Rose
  2. Ross Rattanasena
  3. William Castagna
  4. Michael Morgan
  5. Peter Starkey
  6. Sabrina Chugani
Elliott School of International Affairs graduate senator – 1
  1. Jonathan Kirk
  2. Patrick Rizk
GW School of Business undergraduate senator – 2
  1. Ryan Counihan
  2. Evan Kline
  3. Tobey Wood
GW School of Business graduate senator – 2
  1. Gregory Viola
  2. Kevin Curley
  3. Shashwat Gautam
  4. Sheldon Tomlinson
  5. Omar Khan
School of Engineering and Applied Science undergraduate senator – 1
  1. Neil Forquer
  2. Buddy Bernhard
School of Engineering and Applied Science graduate senator – 2
  1. Will Rone
Graduate School of Education and Human Development senator – 2
  1. Michael Amesquita
GW Law School senator – 3
  1. Elizabeth Barnes
  2. Meredith Dempsey
  3. Jay Yarbough

School of Medicine and Health Sciences undergraduate senator – 1


School of Medicine and Health Sciences graduate senator – 2
  1. Robert Kickish
  2. Jordan Werner
School of Public Health and Health Services undergraduate senator – 1
  1. Alexander Mizenko

School of Nursing senator – 1


College of Professional Studies undergraduate senator – 1


College of Professional Studies graduate senator – 1


Program Board Executive Chair – 1
  1. Lauren Shenfeld
Program Board Vice Chair -1
  1. Bogdan Trach
Marvin Center Governing Board undergraduate – 4
  1. Jordan Hill
  2. John Paul Koenigs
  3. Uchenna Nwokike
  4. Ian Ceccarelli
  5. John Richardson
  6. Galen Petruso
Marvin Center Governing Board graduate – 1
  1. Gary Wong
  2. Jason Weissler
Class Council Senior
  1. Izack Nacheman
  2. Brittany Lee Garcia
  3. Aglaia Alexandrovna
Class Council Junior
  1. Loren Chen
  2. Kristin Kelleher
  3. Dana Honor
  4. Kayley Sullivan
Class Council Sophomore
  1. Tessa Bay
  2. Lee Seitz
  3. Kirsten Fischl
  4. Jacquelyn Cory
  5. Nick Shah
  6. Aamir Husain


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Marvin Center, Hippodrome, 5th floor

File photo

The Marvin Center Governing Board hosted three town halls this week to solicit student feedback about the proposed changes to the fifth floor office space.

Representatives from about 60 student groups showed up to discuss the University’s plan to scrap individual student offices on the fourth floor and create an open space for all student groups in place of the Hippodrome.

Fifty-seven out of more than 400 student organizations currently have office space on the fourth floor.

The meetings were held in conjunction with the semesterly tenant meetings required for each student group with an office.

“This place will be ripe for new student org alliances,” Dylan Pyne, chair of the governing board, told the three dozen students at the Wednesday meeting.

Pyne said student groups were largely receptive to the idea of a collaborative area. For many, this meeting marked the first time they had heard about the new community space.

Vidya Iyer, a senior and co-president of Hindu awareness organization Satyam, said she was glad student groups were invited to give their feedback.

Iyer said she supports the new model because “it seems to be beneficial for everyone.”

Sophomore Jasmine Stovall, director of community service for the Black Student Union, said she liked the idea of having centralized services like printing and copying for all groups.

She also said the collaborative environment will allow groups to “see each other on a more regular basis” and will improve communication between student organizations.

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The Joint Elections Committee released the full list of Student Association, Program Board, Marvin Center Governing Board and Class Council winners after Thursday’s elections.

Runoff elections for SA president and executive vice president will be held March 23 and 24.

The full list of winners is below:

Student Association President

  1. Chris Clark – 1,107 votes – 26.53 percent
  2. John Richardson – 1,044 votes – 25.02 percent (will proceed to runoff)
  3. Kwasi Agyeman – 695 votes – 16.65 percent
  4. Caleb Raymond – 472 votes – 11.32 percent
  5. Phil Gardner – 304 votes – 7.28 percent
  6. Jason Kaplan – 301 votes – 7.21 percent
  7. Joshua Benjamin – 250 votes – 5.99 percent

Student Association Executive Vice President

  1. Ted Costigan – 1,317 votes – 32.53 percent
  2. Amanda Galonek – 1,074 votes – 26.53 percent (will proceed to runoff)
  3. Samantha Free – 757 votes -18.70 percent
  4. Aria Varasteh – 642 votes – 15.86 percent
  5. Zahin Hasan – 254 votes – 6.40 percent

Student Association Undergraduate-At Large Senator – two seats

  1. John Bennett – 1,535 votes
  2. Cory Grever – 1,485 votes
  3. Keaghan Ames – 1,370 votes
  4. Zach Kahn – 809 votes

Student Association CCAS Undergraduate Senator – six seats

  1. Josh Goldstein – 861 votes
  2. Samuel Sherman – 780 votes
  3. Scott Backer – 773 votes
  4. Kaitlin Gaughran – 766 votes
  5. Danica Brown – 730 votes
  6. Eric Arpert – 693 votes
  7. Daniel Bassali – 630 votes
  8. Jonathan Carfagno – 626 votes
  9. Gordon Pera – 567 votes
  10. Daniel Ceisler – 543 votes

Student Association ESIA Undergraduate Senator – three seats

  1. Elizabeth Kennedy – 332 votes
  2. Elena Gillis – 321 votes
  3. Manuel Iglesias – 249 votes
  4. Nathaniel Austin – 230 votes
  5. Garrett Graham – 173 votes
  6. Mateo Garcia – 164 votes
  7. Jason Gamache – 161 votes
  8. Patrick Cero – 111 votes

Student Association SEAS Undergraduate Senator – one seat

  1. Dan Gil – 122 votes
  2. Amitava Paul – 66 votes

Student Association SOB Undergraduate Senator – two seats

  1. Nick Koeniger – 213 votes
  2. Russell Feldman – 205 votes
  3. Michael Buss – 197 votes
  4. Hugo Scheckter – 163 votes

Student Association SMHS Undergraduate Senator – one write-in

  1. Sahand Yaqoub Moradi

Student Association CPS Undergraduate Senator – one write-in

  1. vacant

Student Association SPHHS Undergraduate Senator – one seat

  1. Alexander Mizenko

Student Association Graduate-At Large Senator – two seats

  1. James Bonneau
  2. Liz Barnes – write-in

Student Association CCAS Graduate Senator – three seats

  1. Bradley Dlatt
  2. Gary Wong – write-in
  3. Three-way tie between Brian CahillJoshua PatchusMatthew Gripp – write-in

Student Association ESIA Graduate Senator – one seat

  1. Patrick Hanley

Student Association Law School Senator – three seats

  1. Jake Chervinsky
  2. Meredith Dempsey
  3. Katie Ondeck – write-in

Student Association SMHS Graduate Senator – two seats

  1. Robert Kickish
  2. Jordan Werner – write-in

Student Association SEAS Graduate Senator – two seats

  1. William Rone
  2. Three-way tie between Gabriel YessinSteve HoltJ.P. Blackford – write in

Student Association SOB Graduate Senator – two seats

  1. Jason Platzman
  2. Kendra Singh

Student Association CPS Graduate Senator – one write-in

  1. Brian Hawthorne

Student Association School of Nursing Senator – one write-in seat

  1. vacant

Program Board Executive Chair

  1. Connor Currier

Program Board Executive Vice Chair

  1. Megan Davidson

Marvin Center Governing Board – Undergraduate – four seats

  1. Jordan Hill
  2. Dylan Pyne
  3. Edwin Wharton
  4. Joong Hyup Lee

Marvin Center Governing Board – Graduate – one write-in

  1. Gary Wong

Class Council – sophomore – seven seats

  1. Mary Devlin
  2. Khadija Lalani
  3. Five appointed seats

Class Council – junior – seven seats

  1. Arsalan Ahmad
  2. Brett Rudman
  3. Five appointed seats

Class Council – senior – seven seats

  1. Estee Gabel
  2. Christopher Stevenson
  3. Five appointed seats
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011 10:27 a.m.

JEC announces location for election results

The Joint Elections Committee will announce the results of the Student Association, Marvin Center Governing Board, Class Council and Program Board elections in the Marvin Center Continental Ballroom Thursday.

In previous years, the JEC made these announcements in the Marvin Center’s Columbian Square.

Polls are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

If no candidate receives more than 40 percent of the vote for a specific seat, runoff elections will be held March 23 and 24.

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Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 9:08 a.m.

JEC approves final candidate list

The governing board that oversees the upcoming Student Association, Program Board, Class Council, and Marvin Center Governing Board elections approved Sunday the list of official candidates for the upcoming student elections.

After determining the legitimacy of the signatures that candidates had to submit from their constituencies, the JEC approved 51 candidates for the SA – 39 for senator positions, seven for president and five for executive vice president–  two for PB, four for MGCB and six for CC. Seven candidates’ petitions were determined invalid and not placed on the ballot.

Keith Osentoski, Pierre Doriscat Jr, Reem Ghoneim, Alexander Bradley Canales, James Reed, Katrina Valdes and Shawn Kelly were disqualified from their respective races.

Candidates were determined invalid if they turned their registration in past Monday at noon or after the extended registration period on Friday at 5 p.m.

“JEC is glad to announce the amount of people who have registered this year,” JEC treasurer Ari Kasper said. “We’re excited about the increase in candidates for major positions.”

Students will be able to write-in candidates for seats that have no registered candidates – College of Professional Studies, undergraduate and graduate, School of Medicine and Health Sciences undergraduate, School of Nursing, Marvin Center Governing Board graduate and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Elections will be held on March 9 and 10.

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Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 12:55 p.m.

JEC extends registration for student elections

The Joint Elections Committee – the body that oversees Student Association, Program Board, Class Council and Marvin Center Governing Board elections – has extended registration for the nine seats that saw no candidates register for them.

Registration for these seats will end at 5 p.m. on Friday.  All other registrations ended Monday.

A list of the available seats is below:


College of Professional Studies – U

College of Professional Studies – G

School of Public Health and Health Services – U

School of Medicine and Health Sciences – U

School of Medicine and Health Sciences – G

Graduate School of Education and Human Development – G

School of Nursing – G



Class Council



Elections will be held March 9 and 10.

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The Joint Elections Committee released an unverified list of candidates for the Student Association, Program Board, Marvin Center Governing Board and Class Council elections Monday afternoon.

The JEC still has to verify that the candidates are eligible to run by examining their academic and disciplinary records and examining the signatures each candidate submitted.

The race for president and executive vice president is larger than in recent years, with 12 people vying for the Student Association’s two top spots. Three SA outsiders – John Richardson, Joshua Benjamin and Kwasi Agyeman – are in the running for president, joined by three current or former senators – Jason Kaplan, Caleb Raymond and Chris Clark – and a former JEC member and SA senator – Phil Gardner.

Eight students are running in uncontested races and another eight races – mostly graduate seats – have no students running.

The full list is below:


  1. Jason Kaplan
  2. Caleb Raymond
  3. Phil Gardner
  4. Chris Clark
  5. Kwasi Agyeman
  6. Joshua Benjamin
  7. John Richardson


  1. Amanda Galonek
  2. Ted Costigan
  3. Aria Varasteh
  4. Samantha Free
  5. Zahin Hasan

U At Large-2

  1. Keaghan Ames
  2. Zach Kahn
  3. John Bennett
  4. Cory Grever

CCAS Undergrad-6

  1. Keith Osentoski
  2. Kaitlin Gaughran
  3. Scott Backer
  4. Daniel Ceisler
  5. Jonathan Carfagno
  6. Josh Goldstein
  7. Danica Brown
  8. Samuel Sherman
  9. Gordon Pera
  10. Daniel Bassali
  11. Eric Arpert

ESIA Undergrad-3

  1. Elizabeth Kennedy
  2. Mateo Garcia
  3. Elena Gillis
  4. Garrett Graham
  5. Patrick Cero
  6. Manuel Iglesias
  7. Nathaniel Austin
  8. Jason Gamache

SOB Undergrad-2

  1. Nick Koeniger
  2. Russell Feldman
  3. Michael Buss
  4. Hugo Scheckter

Law School Grad-2

  1. Jake Chervinsky
  2. Meredith Dempsey

SPHHS Grad-1

  1. Menolly Hart

CCAS Grad-3

  1. Bradley Dlatt


  1. Patrick Hanley


PB Exec Chair-1

  1. Connor Currier

PB Exec Vice Chair-1

  1. Megan Davison

MCGB Undergrad-4

  1. Edwin Wharton
  2. Kat Valdes
  3. Shawn Kelly
  4. Jordan Hill
  5. Dylan Pyne
  6. James Reed
  7. Joong Hyup Lee

Grad at Large Senator-2

  1. James Bonneau

SOB  Grad Senator-2

  1. Jason Platzman
  2. Kendra Singh

CPS Undergrad Senator-1



CPS Grad Senator-1



SEAS Undergrad Senator-1

  1. Dan Gil
  2. Amitava Paul

SEAS Grad Senator-2

1. William Rone


SPHHS Undergrad Senator-1



SMHS Undergrad Senator-1



SMHS Grad Senator-2



GSEHD Senator-2


SON Senator-1


MCGB Graduate-1


Class Council Senior

1. Estee Gabel

Class Council Junior

1. Arsalan Ahmad

Class Council Sophomore

  1. Khadija Lalani
  2. Mary Devlin
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