News and Analysis


Thurston Hall

Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 4:01 p.m.

Two individuals arrested in Thurston Hall

This post was was written by Hatchet reporter Liz Provencher.

Two people were arrested in Thurston Hall for separate crimes early Sunday morning.

Metropolitan Police Department officers received a report that two GWorld card readers in Thurston Hall were damaged and stolen at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, according to MPD documents. A water fountain was also reportedly damaged.

After reviewing GW security footage, the officers returned to Thurston and found the suspect smoking a cigarette outside of the building at 1:15 a.m. the report reads. They asked him to show his GWorld card to confirm his identity and that he was a student, according to the documents.

The officers identified the individual as the one who damaged the card readers “by his striped shirt and light colored pants, clothing which he had not changed since his appearance on the CCTV footage,” the documents stated.

The officers determined the suspect was under the influence of alcohol, UPD Detective Matthew Robinson said in a meeting Wednesday. The incident is listed as theft, destruction and an alcohol violation in GW’s crime log.

While at Thurston for the destruction and theft arrest, UPD Officer Mark Thunstedt also responded to an administrative search of a residence room. The individual living in the room gave a GW staff member permission to search the room, according to the documents.

“In his room located at the top drawer of a nightstand was a plastic zippered bag containing grey fungi similar in appearance to psychedelic mushrooms,” the documents read.

After the suspect admitted there were his mushrooms in the bag, a “trained officer” conducted field tests which confirmed the presence of psilocybin, a psychedelic. The suspect was arrested in the residence hall at 2 a.m. and MPD transported him to the second district station, the reports show.

Alcohol, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, access cash, and the stolen University card readers were also found in the suspect’s room, Robinson said Wednesday.

Both individuals were not named in the police reports.

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Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 10:49 a.m.

Internet and phone service outages reported

Updated: Jan. 11, 2016 at 1:15 p.m.

The Division of Information Technology reported phone and Internet service interruptions in multiple locations Monday morning.

Students and faculty in Old Main, Thurston Hall, Alumni House, 1959 E Street and the Elliott School of International Affairs building were not able to access phone, Internet and wireless services, according to an 8 a.m. service alert on the division’s website.

“We are currently investigating, and working to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” the alert reads.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said service was restored to all buildings except Alumni House, where the Office of Alumni Relations is housed, by 10:30 a.m. and she attributed the service interruption to “an unforeseen technical issue.”

“Service was interrupted because of an unforeseen technical issue. As soon as we identified the issue, technicians worked quickly to restore service. By 10:30 a.m. all buildings but the Alumni House were operational, with Alumni House expected to have full service restored by early afternoon,” she said.

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The number of alcohol violations recorded this Halloween weekend was the highest in seven years. Hatchet File Photo.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jack Thomson.

The number of alcohol violations recorded this Halloween weekend was the highest in seven years, increasing only by one from last year’s numbers.

This past weekend, 22 cases of alcohol violations were reported to the University Police Department. Similar numbers were reported last year with a total of 21 incidents. Two years ago, the number of violations during the holiday weekend marked the fifth year of declines.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said in an email that UPD held two events to communicate with students about safety during Halloween weekend. The department hosted a “Coffee with a Cop” event Thursday in Thurston Hall, where UPD Chief RaShall Brackney and officers “talked with students and offered safety tips and reminders about Halloween weekend,” Csellar said.

On the same day, UPD also held a campus safety cookout on the Mount Vernon Campus to discuss safety leading up to the Halloween weekend, Csellar said.

Alexis Janda, the associate director of GW’s Health Promotion and Prevention Services, said the office offers online and in-person resources to inform students about things like alcohol, nutrition and sexual health.

She said her organization “works to educate students about a wide variety of substances so that they may make informed and responsible decisions for their health and wellbeing.”

The number of student disciplinary referrals for alcohol and drug violations dropped by about half last year, according to the annual security report.

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A juvenile male was mugged and assaulted by four men near Thurston Hall early Sunday morning.

The victim, a juvenile male, was approached by four men who “threw him to the ground” and assaulted him, a Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman said. He lost consciousness and his property was taken.

The spokeswoman did not say whether the juvenile was a GW student. He was transported to a local hospital, she said.

The robbery occurred at the 1900 block of F Street at about 12:30 a.m., according to a GW alert.

The suspects are four black men, one “possibly wearing a maroon or white shirt,” according to the GW alert, which was sent at 4:50 a.m.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Grace Gannon.

GW’s Residence Hall Association won the “School of the Year” award at a regional conference over the weekend.

The award recognizes student achievement in leading residence hall initiatives within the 75 schools that make up the National Association of College and University Residence Halls’ Central Atlantic region.

RHA President Ari Massefski, who made the announcement at the group’s monthly meeting Monday, said the executive board had to make a bid for the award.

“The bid very much focused on all the different things that have happened throughout RHA this year, whether it’s programming or the kitchen in Thurston or other advocacy projects,” Massefski said.

The communal kitchen in Thurston Hall opened this semester after months of negotiations between the University and the RHA.

The RHA will host a conference of other college and university residence hall associations in the region later this year.

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Corcoran students who are admitted to the University this year will have to follow the same housing rules as GW students, a spokesman confirmed this week.

Students who are accepted to the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design will apply to live in residence halls using GW’s iHousing system, University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said, and will be required to live on campus through junior year.

Returning Corcoran students, who were absorbed into GW as part of the school’s merger, will not face the same requirements.

Hiatt said the University has the capacity to house all students who are required to live on campus, with the number of students living in residence halls depending on the number of students admitted this year.

And the amount students pay for housing will depend on the residence hall they are placed in, Hiatt added.

Corcoran students had paid an average of $10,650 for housing before GW acquired the arts school last year. The lowest housing price at GW is $7,790 for freshmen, $10,050 for sophomores and $10,830 for upperclassmen.

Corcoran freshmen will also have a chance to apply to live in a “Creative and Performing Arts Community,” which will be housed in Thurston Hall. Thurston already offers a Globalization Community, and School of Engineering and Applied Science and Business without Borders living communities.

Returning Corcoran students will be able to apply for affinity housing. About 35 Corcoran students have lived in Mitchell Hall this academic year.

Camila Rondon, the president of the Corcoran Student Association, declined a request to comment.

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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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