Dangerous silence — staff editorial

Two men allegedly entered the GW Food Services office on the second floor of the Marvin Center Tuesday morning, pulled a gun on two employees, stole an undisclosed amount of money and left the building without being captured.

Almost as shocking as the armed robbery is the brief statement released by the University. Administration officials have remained all but silent otherwise.

Hatchet reporters repeatedly tried to get information from employees on the second floor, but many of the doors on the floor were locked. Employees from the second-floor office were instructed not to talk about the robbery. While these are understandable measures, more information about serious crimes like this one must be made available to the GW community.

Students have a right to know when something of this magnitude occurs, and the University has the duty to be forthright with information. Many students, even those in the Marvin Center when the robbery occurred, will not have heard about the incident until this edition of The Hatchet hits newsstands.

In issuing a brief press release and declining to answer some questions about the robbery, GW sends the wrong message to students. Secretiveness by the administration can lead to distrust and animosity from the students. The age-old adage that honesty is the best policy applies in this case.

The University Police Department took a step in the right direction by vowing to reevaluate safety issues in the Marvin Center. UPD, while also declining to answer some questions about the crime, is responding in good faith to the safety concerns brought to light by the robbery.

Neither the University nor UPD is to blame for the robbery. But after a terrible occasion like this happens, students need to be reassured that this was an isolated incident.

No one likes bad press, but with Family Weekend coming up, the University needs to show that it takes safety issues seriously. By trying to sweep this disturbing event under the carpet, GW risks making this potential tragedy worse than it already is.

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