News Briefs

Students raise awareness about African issues

Students discussed issues with African ambassadors Thursday night.

The Organization of African Students organized the event to raise awareness about the continent’s main issues.

The event was really a huge success because we wanted to raise awareness, especially about how children have been affected by war in Africa, OSA Treasurer Akia Lineberger said.

Some GW students came to the event to find out about African issues and culture.

Students were disappointed that no ambassadors from North African countries showed up.

I wanted to talk to them about several issues in Morocco, junior Younes Tazi said. I wanted to ask them about the new king and how he dismissed the minister of the interior, only to replace him with (the king’s) best friend.

Lineberger said the event was successful in raising the profile of the OSA on campus and bringing to light African issues.

-Josh Gerben

Greek-letter groups lip sync for charity

Will Steward was Livin’ La Vida Loca after his performance of the Ricky Martin hit brought him the Audience Favorite and Best Impromptu awards at Saturday’s Karaoke Night at the Hippodrome.

The event, which was sponsored by Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, the Student Association and GW Dining Services, was a fundraiser for My Sister’s Place.

Jim Eckels, a bartender at Lindy’s Red Lion, helped emcee the event.

Entrance fees collected by the 10 groups who participated helped garner $285 for the organization, which serves battered women. Five groups performed in both the pre-registered and walk-on categories.

Betsey Whitmore earned the Best Solo award for her performance of These Boots Are Made for Walking.

Break dancing and back flips in the Tau Kappa Epsilon pledges’ rendition of the Backstreet Boys’ That Way earned them the prize for best group.

Steward, a Sigma Phi Epsilon member, received the only perfect score of the night, and said the routine was inarguably the best performance for the newest fraternity on campus.

Contestants were rated on overall performance, style, accuracy, creativity and stage presence.

Winners were given $50 gift certificates to Tower Records.

Stephanie Brown, philanthropy chairwoman for Phi Sigma Sigma, said that the event went well overall and that the sorority plans to do it again.

-Carolyn Polinsky

GW researchers release new findings on D.C. charter schools

The successes and failures of the District’s 27 charter schools, which have been promoted as an alternative to the area’s ailing public school system, were the subject of a recent report from GW’s Center for Washington Area Studies, according to a University press release.

The study, entitled Making a Choice, Making a Difference, analyzed the impact of the charter schools, in operation since 1996. While publicly funded, the schools are exempt from many of the District’s laws and regulations regarding educational curriculum.

There is one charter school for every five public schools in the District, and one student attending a charter school for every 11 in the public school system, according to the study. Charter schools are also serving low-income families, and many are specializing in special-needs education.

Yet while proponents claim that charter schools can better serve students at greater savings to the public, the study found that preliminary evidence showed these claims have yet to be realized. In general, it found notable differences between charter schools and warned that speaking generally about charter schools can mask important differences in quality, professionalism, goals and likelihood of success.

The study also said the charter school movement could undermine the public-school system and that other issues concerning the school’s freedom from regulation have yet to be resolved.

-Gayle Horwitz

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