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Director of GW Housing Programs Seth Weinshel told a group of SA senators Monday that District House was designed to meet student needs. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Director of GW Housing Programs Seth Weinshel told a group of SA senators Monday that District House was designed to meet student needs. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Natalie Maher.

With three semesters left until the opening of GW’s newest residence hall, details on how District House’s interior will look have started to come together.

Director of GW Housing Programs Seth Weinshel told students at Monday night’s Student Association Senate meeting that the newly built affinity units will have suite-style rooms and “significantly sized” dining and living spaces, which were designed to be large enough to host student organization meetings and free up student space across campus.

“Groups will no longer need to reserve space in Marvin. They now have space in their own home,” Weinshel said.

There will be seven units for registered student groups of 16 members and seven units for groups with 20 members. Rooms within the affinity spaces will also have their own free washer and dryer units.

Applications for affinity housing space in the building will open up within the next year, Weinshel said.

District House will be the second-largest residence hall on campus. The building, which will house about 850 sophomores and juniors, is set to open in fall 2016.

Rooms were designed to include splashes of color throughout – a decision Weinshel said was made after meetings with senators and other student leaders, who noted that dorms have a tendency to be “colorless and boring.”

Depending on an affinity’s floor, the rooms will have an orange, yellow, green or blue color scheme. Doors will be painted with the floor’s respective color, and there will be smaller color accents throughout, like in a room’s kitchen backsplash or living room rug, Weinshel said.

There will be five dining venues in the dorm’s basement, similar to the setup in Shenkman Hall. Weinshel said GW will not know which vendors will move into the space until about six months before the building’s opening.

In addition to the affinity spaces, the building will also have apartment-style rooms with two bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room, which will cost $14,240, Weinshel said. That number is based on the current cost for Shenkman doubles, he said.

There will also be “efficiency-style” rooms in the building that will look similar to doubles in Munson Hall, which have a kitchenette and bathroom.

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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 12:23 a.m.

Student reports sexual abuse in Thurston Hall

A female student reported to the University Police Department that she had been sexually abused in Thurston Hall early Saturday morning.

UPD responded to reports of a disturbance at 1 a.m., and the female student told them she felt “like she was taken advantage of sexually” by a man who was not affiliated with GW, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said.

No charges have been filed at this time, Csellar said. The man was barred from campus, according to the University crime log.

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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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Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 11:52 a.m.

How residence halls got their names

Thurston Hall, which houses the most freshmen of any residence hall, was name after GW's first female student. Hatchet File Photo by Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

Thurston Hall, which houses the most freshmen of any residence hall, was named after GW’s first female student. Hatchet File Photo by Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nicole Dunsmore.

The University launched a contest last week to name the campus’ newest residence hall. But how did other GW dorms get their names? Here’s a look back:

Strong Hall: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it stands proud as the first residence hall the University built on the Foggy Bottom Campus. Hattie M. Strong, a Board of Trustees member, donated $200,000 for the construction of a women’s residence hall – $3.5 million in today’s dollars. Members of the sororities Pi Beta Phi and Chi Omega occupy Strong Hall today.

Hall on Virginia Avenue: Originally a hotel, room 723 was used as the lookout spot in the Watergate break-in. HOVA is now a residence hall for graduate students.

Ivory Tower: The phrase “ivory tower” comes from the Song of Solomon and represents noble purity in religious tradition. Former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg picked the name for the residence hall, prompting criticism from faculty.

Potomac House: Built in 2006, the hall was named after Native Americans of the D.C. area, specifically the Potomac tribe, who lived on the river in Virginia.

Thurston Hall: Named after GW’s first female undergraduate student Mabel Nelson Thurston. She enrolled in the school, but the University prohibited her from attending classes, which forced her to individually seek out professors.

Philip Amsterdam Hall: Built in 1997, the residence hall stood new and, lacking a donor, unnamed. The building acquired the title New Hall, which stuck for 12 years, until trustee and donor Philip Amsterdam passed away.

Lafayette Hall: Originally named John C. Calhoun Hall after the congressman and vice president, GW later decided the building should honor President John Quincy Adams. The title switched to John Quincy Adams Hall until the University changed its mind again, choosing to celebrate Marquis de Lafayette, a friend of George Washington, who attended the Columbian College’s first commencement in 1824.

City Hall: Previously a luxury hotel called The St. James Suites, the building started holding students in 2001 when the University signed a 15-year lease. The hotel became known as City Hall, possibly because of its position on the edge of campus.

International House: Formerly called Riverside Towers, the building took on a new name in 2001 to recognize the growing international student population on campus, regardless of the fact that international students do not necessarily live there.

Mitchell Hall: Named after Gen. Billy Mitchell, renowned for his work in the U.S. Army and military aviation. Mitchell studied at the Columbian College but dropped out to serve in the Spanish-American War. He finished his degree 20 years later, after fighting in World War I.

Fulbright Hall: The building served as the Everglades Apartment for Nurses before transforming into a residence hall in 1981. The name honors Sen. William J. Fulbright, who earned a law degree from GW in 1934.

Guthridge Hall: Named after Guthridge Apartments, the former name of the building before GW purchased it.

Munson Hall: Formerly known as Munson Hall Apartments, before GW converted it to a dorm in 1981.

South Hall: Named simply for its location on the south side of campus.

This post was updated Thursday, Feb. 13 at 4:16 p.m. to reflect the following corrections:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Strong Hall was the first residence hall GW ever built. It was the first hall the University built on the Foggy Bottom Campus. The Hatchet also reported that the hotel building that became the Hall on Virginia Avenue was located inside the Watergate complex. It is located across the street. It was reported that Marquis de Lafayette attended the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ first commencement. He attended the the first commencement of the Columbian College, the institution’s original name.

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Classes were canceled, snow (sort of) piled on the D.C. streets – so that meant it was time to let the snow balls fly.

Crowds gathered in Dupont Circle at about 6:30. The federal government and most D.C. public schools and universities were closed Tuesday. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

Crowds gathered in Dupont Circle at about 6:30. The federal government and most D.C. public schools and universities were closed Tuesday. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

The event – advertised on Facebook and by media outlets across the city didn't just bring out humans. Dogs were in for a fight, too. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

The event – advertised on Facebook and by media outlets across the city didn’t just bring out humans. Dogs were in for a fight, too. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

There were just two rules: Don't pelt cars, and don't pelt police. The rest of the bystanders in Dupont Circle were fair game. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

There were just two rules: Don’t pelt cars, and don’t pelt police. The rest of the bystanders in Dupont Circle were fair game. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

The University announced around 5 a.m. that it would close for the day on Tuesday. Forecasters were calling for about 5 inches of snow, clogging up not only D.C. streets but those in Virginia and Maryland.Erica Christian | Photo Editor

The University announced around 5 a.m. that it would close for the day on Tuesday. Forecasters were calling for about 5 inches of snow, clogging up not only D.C. streets but those in Virginia and Maryland.Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Thurston Hall, which houses the most freshmen of any residence hall, was filled with students making the most of their snow day. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

Thurston Hall, which houses the most freshmen of any residence hall, was filled with students making the most of their snow day. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Photographer

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Students were evacuated from Thurston Hall late Sunday night. Samuel Klein  | Photo Editor

Students were evacuated from Thurston Hall late Sunday night. Samuel Klein
| Photo Editor

An activated sprinkler in a third-floor trash chute caused an hour-long evacuation from Thurston Hall but no damage Saturday night.

Students were evacuated at about 8:50 p.m. and told to head to the Marvin Center before being allowed to return to their rooms at about 10:00 p.m.

The cause of the sprinkler activation is unknown, said University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt. It could have been due to heat or it could have been hit inside of the chute, he added.

Student rooms and common spaces did not face any damage, though there was a small amount of water on the third floor and basement trash rooms.

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Monday, March 18, 2013 1:28 p.m.

Kerry Washington to speak at commencement

Kerry Washington, an actress and GW alumna, will speak at Commencement in May. She recently appeared in the Academy Award-winning film “Django Unchained.”

Actress and alumna Kerry Washington will headline this year’s Commencement ceremony, GW announced Monday.

Washington, who graduated magna cum laude in 1998, formerly served as a member of the GW Board of Trustees, and will accept an honorary degree before a 20,000-person crowd May 19.

She is the first GW graduate to keynote Commencement in at least six years, though last year’s speaker, award-winning journalist Brian Williams, also took classes at GW.

The Bronx, N.Y. native snagged a role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” which was nominated for best picture this year at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. She also stars as communications consultant Olivia Pope in ABC’s Scandal, making Washington the first black woman to headline a network television show since 1974.

Washington earned the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in “Ray.” She shared the screen with actor and musician Jamie Foxx in both “Django Unchained” and “Ray.”

A former resident assistant in Thurston Hall, Washington did not major in acting while attending GW. She passed over elite acting schools like the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama to accept GW’s presidential performing arts scholarship.

Washington now sits on President Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and is part of a group of advisers for V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women.

She also spoke at last year’s Democratic National Convention, urging fellow Obama supporters to stand up and preserve their rights.

“Today there are people trying to take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can’t let that happen,” Washington said at the convention last September.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent off the graduating class of 2011, first lady Michelle Obama headlined the event in 2010 and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel spoke in 2009.

When joining the Board of Trustees in 2010, Washington said her time at GW helped shape her professional career.

“Because the George Washington University is a really important part of who I am as a professional,” Washington said then about why she wanted to join the Board. “It’s an important part of how I do what I do and it’s very important to participate.”

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Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 9:08 p.m.

Officials have yet to provide answers about University Police Department searches of several residence halls Monday night, which led to drug and alcohol busts in two campus buildings.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said Monday that the searches were “just normal health and safety inspections,” but officers sent students into hallways while they searched rooms wearing gloves – straying from standard protocol for health and safety inspections.

Office of Health and Safety inspections “are limited to a visual assessment of each space. If items that pose a substantial threat to person or property are found, UPD and GW Housing Programs will be contacted and a thorough administrative search will then be conducted,” according to its website. The inspectors visit once during the spring and leave paper receipts behind.

Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski also tweeted at about 10 p.m. that the searches were standard.

UPD busted students for drugs and alcohol at 605 22nd Street and for drugs at Thurston Hall on Monday, according to the crime log. The log shows that in both cases, individuals were reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, but not referred to the Metropolitan Police Department.

UPD Chief Kevin Hay has not yet returned a request for comment regarding the drugs found in the two busts, if those incidents led to further searches across campus or if Greek like members were targeted for sweeps. Greek Life director Christina Witkowicki did not return a request for comment.

Two students said they saw officers searching the Alpha Epsilon Pi townhouse on 22nd Street between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The students, who asked to remain anonymous, said officers left the building carrying four boxes with some bongs and pipes visible.

President of Alpha Epsilon Pi Nate Kropp said “nothing improper was found in AEPI controlled areas.”

“As you are probably aware, health and safety inspections of individual students’ rooms have no bearing on our Chapter so it would be inappropriate for me to comment on such a search in 605 22nd Street, just as it would be in any other University housing facility,” Kropp added in an email.

Rumors have circulated about the searches since they began Monday evening, with dozens of students warning each other on social media and several fraternity and sorority listservs.

Interfraternity Council president Casey Wood said he believed “normal health and safety checks” had occurred throughout Townhouse Row and International House, and said he did not feel that Greek members had been singled out. He said no administrators have reached out to him regarding Alpha Epsilon Pi, and said he is typically notified when incidents occur in townhouses.

But some Greek life members said they felt targeted. In some residence halls, students took down their chapters’ letters from their doors to avoid officer searches.

- Jeremy Diamond and Brianna Gurciullo contributed to this report

This post was updated at 9:08 to reflect the following correction:

Due to an editing error, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that drug law violations had been reported at Townhouse Row and that alcohol violations occurred at Thurston Hall. The violations occurred at the Alpha Epsilon Pi’s townhouse at 605 22nd Street. We regret this error.

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Trash cans collect water in Fulbright Hall, where the ceilings and pipes are leaking after heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sandy. Samuel Klein | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Hurricane Sandy has been drenching the District, prompting leaks in residence halls across campus.

Students have reported that water is dripping from ceilings and puddling on the floors of Potomac House, 2109 F Street Hall, Francis Scott Key Hall, Mitchell Hall and Fulbright Hall in addition to elevators in Thurston Hall.

Students used cups and trash cans to collect water drips in their rooms and hallways, and in some cases took to Twitter as they awaited GW maintenance workers.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said Facilities Services is working to repair the leaks in residence halls “as quickly as possible.” Facilities staff is on call throughout the weekend.

“Our facilities staff are extremely busy at the moment,” she said.

Sherrard said she would not be able to specify which buildings were affected, how many students reported leaks or flooding and how many employees are working on repairs until the storm blows over.

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water, thurston,

Jordan Emont | Photo Editor

Updated:  Oct. 23, 2012 11:54 a.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Aaron Goodtree

Water will be out in Mitchell and Thurston Halls for up to six hours Tuesday to fix a leaking underground pipe, according to an email sent to residents.

The University warned residents Monday that water would be shut off that evening through the early morning to repair a leaking water main. But property manager Lauren Orvis said in the Tuesday email that D.C. Water and Sewer Authority “unexpectedly” shut the water off Tuesday instead. She said the outage would last between four to six hours.

Greg Collins, a representative with D.C. Water, said Monday that the office was notified of the leaky water main before the weekend, but the leak was not causing damage.

He said the repair usually takes between six to eight hours, but the time estimate could change once the crew digs down and evaluates the pipe’s damage.

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