News Briefs

JIN introduces students to Japanese culture

The Japanese Intercultural Network held a study break Tuesday at the Marvin Center to give members a breather from the stress of final exams and to introduce students to Japanese culture.

“The Japanese culture is very complex,” said senior Jennifer Ries, vice president of the organization. “We are trying to bring a better understanding to the George Washington community.”

The 30 members, who include Japanese and East Asian Affairs majors, students who have studied in Japan and foreign students, organize events throughout the year in its effort to promote the Japanese culture.

One of the club’s biggest events is its Spirit of Japan Festival. Last year, the event featured karaoke and food from area Japanese grocery stores and sushi restaurants.

The group plans to hold several other events this year, including introductions to traditional Japanese teas and ancient Buddhist rituals and a New Year’s Party.

-Robert Luck

RHA Suitcase Party raises $700 for housing scholarships

The Residence Hall Association held its annual Suitcase Party at J Street Nov. 20, raising more than $700 for housing scholarships.

“The purpose of the Suitcase Party, much like all of our events – with the exception of Superdance – is to help raise money for housing scholarships and to provide social events that we feel students would enjoy,” RHA Vice President for Special Events Alan Mok said.

The event was coordinated by Mok and RHA representatives Justin Lavella and Aaron Winn.

Prizes, including gift certificates to Lustre Dry Cleaning, Cosmic Universe and Safeway, were raffled off throughout the night.

But the most coveted prize of the night was airlines tickets for a trip for two to London. Sophomore Elizabeth Breitenhirt won the tickets.

“Everything went spectacularly,” Mok said. “We had a great turnout, we pulled in a nice sum of money for housing scholarships. Everyone had a good time. I was very happy with the way it turned out.”

-Brian Brennan

Student groups collect 300 gifts for homeless children

Santa will come a little early this year as the Student Association holds a party Dec. 7 to wrap the gifts student organizations have purchased for homeless children in the District.

The SA worked with Community Family Life Services – a coalition of three D.C. churches that offers job training, temporary housing and support to homeless families – to develop its “adopt a child” program.

Forty student groups and several community members bought Christmas gifts for the 110 homeless children served by Community Family Life Services.

Cindy Morris, community service coordinator for the SA, said the wrapping party, scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Colonial Commons, will feature a roaming Santa Claus, Christmas carols and free food.

“There are more than 300 presents to wrap – action figures and Barbie dolls, Sony Playstations, tricycles, art supplies, games and books,” Morris said.

“We chose to work with homeless kids because that seems to be the major problem that GW students encounter on a daily basis,” she added.

Students will distribute the gifts to the children at parties Dec. 11 and 12. The first party will be held at Trinity Church in Southeast Washington and the second will be held at the Community Family Life Services Center.

Morris said the top participants in the program were Thurston Hall, which donated $2,000 in gifts, and Mitchell Hall, which donated $500 in gifts.

For more information on the program, contact Morris or SA Vice President for Community Affairs Adam Kinsinger at 994-7100.

-Becky Neilson

Smokeout encourages students to `kick butts’GW hosted the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout Nov. 20 to encourage students to quit smoking cigarettes.

As part of the event, Student Health Services developed the “Butts for Bubbles” campaign. Students were offered the chance to exchange packs of cigarettes for bubbles at a table outside J Street.

“The bubbles were a promotional thing, a way to get people interested,” said Patrick Preston, the Student Association’s vice president for undergraduate student policy, who was involved in the project.

“We’re just saying, `try to quit smoking for one day,’ ” Preston said.

Smoking survival kits filled with gum, lollipops, how-to-quit smoking guides and inspirational stickers, such as “I Kicked Butts Today,” were distributed at the table.

“The lollipops and gum takes care of the cravings,” Preston said. “It’s a different kind of hand-to-mouth action.”

Stickers for non-smokers that said “Kiss Me, I Don’t Smoke” and “Tobacco is a Drug Too” were also available in the kits.

“Most non-smokers wanted a survival kit for their friends. Everybody has a friend or relative or roommate who smokes,” Preston said. “We probably got 75 smokers and 100 non-smokers (to come up to the table).”

-Eric Ladley

Elliott School forum explores Russia-NATO relations

The Elliott School of International Affairs will explore NATO’s emerging relationship with Russia at a forum Thursday.

The military alliance announced in July plans to invite the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to join the organization. To allay fears about the eastward expansion, NATO signed a cooperation agreement with Russia.

Ambassador Marshall Brement of the European Center for Security Studies and Ambassador Nicholas A. Rey, the former U.S. envoy to Poland, will discuss the impact of the expansion and the deal brokered with Russia.

Elliott School professor Constantine Menges, director of the school’s Program on Transitions to Democracy, will moderate the discussion.

The event, scheduled for 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Stuart Hall room 103, precedes the debate on NATO expansion set to take place in Congress early next year.

-Becky Neilson

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.