WEB EXCLUSIVE: GW re-opens residence halls

Posted 12:35 p.m. Sept. 18- GW announced it will keep residence halls open Sept. 27 through Oct. 2 after the IMF and World Bank officially postponed their meetings and Metropolitan Police lowered their expectations for demonstrations that weekend.

Students may stay in their rooms, the University announced Monday night, during the five days GW originally closed the Foggy Bottom campus because of security concerns surrounding protests at International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings.

Metropolitan Police, who requested that GW close in expectation of 100,000 protesters at the meetings, now anticipate about 4,000 to 5,000 demonstrators, said Sgt. Joe Gentile, MPD’s chief public information officer.

“In consultation with MPD, the University has decided to allow residence halls to remain open,” Director of Media Relations Gretchen King said. “We look to them for guidance because they’re the ones that have information about what to expect.”

King said GW will provide buses, originally available only to students with financial need or disabilities, for any student to certain locations. A schedule will be available by 5 p.m. Tuesday at www.gwired.gwu.edu, the Marvin Center Scheduling Office and the Student Activities Center, King said.

Student Association President Roger Kapoor said he met with University administrators ever since they made the decision to close, a decision he said was made without student input.

“As soon as I found out that that’s what they wanted to do, I quickly set up meetings with all the administrators to try to remedy it,” Kapoor said. “We wanted to make sure that one way or another, GW students had a place to stay whether or not the University closed.”

He said this decision is an example of GW meeting student needs.

“Students that want to stay, have the option of staying and students that want to go have the option of going,” Kapoor said. “The only reason this was so successful is because so many students came up to me and told me what they wanted.”

After terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon Sept. 11, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and MPD Chief Charles Ramsey asked the IMF and World Bank to postpone their meetings because of security concerns for the city.

Gentile said MPD has been advised by activist groups, such as Mobilization for Global Justice and the AFL-CIO, that fewer or no demonstrators will represent their groups the weekend of the scheduled protests.

“Hopefully, because of the whole tone of everything that has happened over the last week, people have realized that violence is not the answer,” Kapoor said.

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