Staff Editorial: Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down

Alumni Weekend
This year’s Alumni Weekend brought a record turnout of 2,800 former Colonials, many of whom attended a concert by the classic funk band Earth, Wind & Fire. While students and alumni were singing along to famous tracks like “September” and “After the Love Has Gone,” University President Steven Knapp’s bongo solo was an added bonus.

National Zoo Panda Cub
The National Zoo lost its newest member last week when Mei Xiang's panda cub died six days after it was born. This was unfortunate news for the D.C. community, and the editorial board is saddened by the death of this much anticipated new born.

Dakota Smoke Detector Fails to Activate
A malfunctioning clothes dryer caught fire at The Dakota residence hall Sept. 10, forcing 50 students out of their rooms for a week and caused more than $340,000 in damages. But what is most concerning is that a D.C. Fire and EMS investigation found the smoke detector in that room failed to activate. The University said it checks smoke detectors regularly, but it is troubling to hear that in the event of an emergency, an alarm failed to go off. Steps must be taken to prevent this in the future.

Bill O’Reilly & Jon Stewart Debate
GW frequently plays host to the nation’s political bigwigs and television personalities. On Saturday, Lisner Auditorium will host “The Rumble,” a debate between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. The downside: Only 100 tickets were available to students at a price of $25. When big name speakers come to campus, it is a shame to see students who waited in line at the box office for hours get turned away – and then charged $5 to watch online.

GW’s Green Makeover
When University President Steven Knapp first took the helm in 2008, Sierra Magazine rated GW one of the least environmentally friendly schools in the nation. Since then, the administration has taken an all hands on deck approach to becoming more sustainable. Last week, the University announced a $5.3 million push to make campus buildings, like Gelman Library and Lisner Auditorium, more green, which would in turn save energy and money on electricity bills. We are encouraged by the University’s continued commitment to going green.

UAsk in GW Mobile
A national group established the UAsk App for smartphones in September, creating an application for students to find resources at eight colleges across the District in the event that they are sexually assaulted. The editorial board had one concern: Would the information be accessible if it was not looped into an application students already use? Deputy Title IX Coordinator Tara Pereira said she is working to incorporate the UAsk app into the more commonly used GW Mobile App. It is reassuring to see the administration taking concrete steps to promote awareness of resources on campus.

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