News brief

Parents, friends of graduates locked out of Smith Center

Guests of graduating Columbian School of Arts and Sciences students were almost unable to watch the school’s graduation ceremony in the Smith Center Saturday afternoon after a limited Smith Center seating shut out hundreds of guests.

Smith Center employees locked the front doors with about 300 guests still outside, telling them they had run out of seats.

Students were given two tickets to the CSAS ceremony. CSAS officials told Commencement staff members that special students were given additional tickets, according to staff members.

Staff members also reported a number of guests were admitted into the Smith Center without tickets before the venue filled to capacity.

The limited seating was a complete failure of logistics, said Jason Karasik, a member of the Commencement staff who was outside of the Smith Center.

Karasik said he believes the University knew in advance there would not be enough seats in the Smith Center for the CSAS ceremony.

All guests were allowed to enter the Smith Center after about an hour wait. They were brought to the ground floor to fill in extra space. The ground floor was also where the graduates sat.

-Andrew Holland and Sarah Lechner

Smoke forces evacuation of Marvin Center

The Marvin Center was closed Monday for about a half an hour after several bookstore employees saw smoke. The University Police Department said the smoke came from hot metal in a dumpster outside the building.

I called University Police, evacuated the store, then the fire alarm went off, said Pat Lee, director of the GW bookstore.

After searching the store, employees determined that the smoke originated from near the building’s loading area, she said.

It came in through the air ducts, Lee said. We didn’t see any (fire), but we wanted to be safe. That’s why I evacuated. We didn’t want to take any chances with anyone getting hurt.

UPD responded to Lee’s call and evacuated the building.

We got the call at 11:52 a.m. and we allowed people back in the building at 12:30, UPD Director Dolores Stafford said. As we investigated the smoke, it was found coming from welders on the second floor. A piece of hot metal had fallen into the dumpster and was causing the smoke.

-Kate Stepan

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