GW Summer Recap: Murder and policy changes

Students to pick up packages at one location

Students living on campus this year will pick up thier packages at 2025 F St. They will be notifed via e-mail the day a package is delivered and by a note in thier mailbox within 24 hours, said Ayodelle McClenney, senior project manager for the Office of Auxiliary Services.

In past years parcels were delivered directly to recipients’ residence halls and sorted by student employees, and then recipients received notification of delivery in their mailboxes. Students could pick up packages at their hall office.

GW Mail Services officials said the new system was created because of safety concerns following last fall’s anthrax scare, which led to the shutdown of D.C.’s central sorting facility and great delays in campus mail service.

The transition to a centralized facility began last winter when student assistants were replaced by professional staffers.

Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak said “incidents of parcel theft” also caused concern among students.

McClenney said The Arrival System, a barcode tracking system, will trace packages as they arrive at the facility, and thus, parcels should not get lost.

Most students, however, said they do not understand why extreme safety measures must be taken.

“The idea of hundreds of packages being sorted, stored and distributed in the same place will definitely lead to problems,” senior Dave Aimone said “I’m still waiting on a letter from February, so if they know where that is I’ll change my (mind).”

“I think that’s just another added inconvenience,” junior Naki Mendoza said.

Other students think the new policy is necessary.

“Obviously packages being delivered is more convenient but if this is what they got of do to prevent problems then it just has to be dealt with,” freshman Jordan Rothman said.

Mail services officials said they have made some provisions to make students’ lives easier.

After notified, residents will have seven business days to pick up their packages. McClenney said the facility will be open seven days a week and provide hand carts for student use.

McClenney also said since there is not enough room to hold goods indefinitely and all parcels will be returned to the sender after the allotted seven days.

She said students unable to get their packages within that time should
make arrangements with Mail Services to hold them.

Students can still have packages delivered to their residence halls, but it will cost $3 for the first two packages and $1 for every additional package, McClenney said. She said students can use debit dollars to pay.

McClenney also noted that renovations on the building are almost complete, but some items like painting are still in the works.

Officials also said they followed similar mail services programs at Emory University and George Mason University.

Gary Bowman, asst. manager for Pitney Bowes, the company that handles GW’s and GMU mail, said George Mason students began picking up packages and mail after complaints of theft.

He said although some students were upset initially, incoming and current students never knew another system and therefore do not have many complaints about it.

CADE to notify parents of alcohol violations
University officials said they hope to see students make more “educated” decisions as GW begins notifying parents when students receive alcohol violations from Student Judicial Services.

Brian Hamluk, director of the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education, said the policy is targeted at freshmen because they commit the more than half of the alcohol violations from SJS.

Previously, GW officials notified parents about drug violations and hospitalizations, not minor alcohol offenses.

He said students and parents were informed of the new policy at Colonial Inauguration.

“Parents were generally appreciative of the expansion, and students did not have many reactions,” Hamluk said.

Officials said they think this new policy will help students make better choices if pressured from the University and their parents.

Hamluck said some students who went through the different levels of alcohol sanctions noted that notification could have “deterred them (from committing another violation).”

He said parental concerns were also a factor in the new policy.

“Parents have said ‘why didn’t we know about a problem earlier’ after being notified about hospitalizations,” Hamluk said.

SJS Director Rebecca Sawyer said she hopes the new policy will cause students to “take the opportunity to remove themselves from (a party)” when alcohol is present.

In a city where students say alcohol is easily obtained, most freshmen said this policy will not significantly affect their decisions. They did note, however, that it might act as a minimal deterrent.

Freshman Phil Sherman said notification may cause some students to reconsider activities but, as always, students need to consider their personal situations.

“My mother wouldn’t care too much (if she was informed about a violation) … she knows I’m mature,” Sherman said. “You’re supposed to experiment in college … but you have to have fun within reason.”

“One factor is that I am a legal adult, but at the same time, my parents are paying for school,” freshman Matt Lowery said. “It will be in the back of my head, but I’ll do what I was going to do anyway.”

Maralee Csellar, media relations specialist at American University, said parents are notified at American after a student’s second violation.

She said although students get one “free” violation, they are still unhappy with the University’s policy.

“Students are trying to be adults and don’t want mommy and daddy to be told (about their actions),” Csellar said.

Although most students said they are legal adults, the new policy does not violate the 1974 Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, which prohibits schools receiving federal education funds from disclosing most educational records and student information without student consent, according to the Department of Education Web site.

A 1998 addendum to the law added that universities and colleges can disclose student disciplinary violations to parents if the student is found in violation of consuming alcohol or controlled substances.

Sawyer noted there will be no changes in the way SJS hears cases and underage students in the presence of alcohol will still be charged with a minor first-time offense.
–Julie Gordon

Police charge second murder suspect
Two men have been charged in the strangling death of GW graduate student Daniel Krug.

D.C. police accused Edward Lee Nellson, 21, of Alexandria, Va. and Stephen Patrick d. of murdering Krug in his K Street apartment in June.

Burciaga, a former student at the University of Maryland, was caught withdrawing money from an ATM with one of Krug’s cards. Police found a computer and other items believed stolen from Krug’s apartment in Burciaga’s College Park residence. Nellson – also spelled Nelson by police – was charged with Krug’s murder in June while incarcerated in Maryland for allegedly stealing water and cigarettes from a woman in Ocean City, Md.

According to court documents, Burciaga told police in a videotaped statement that Nelson offered him half the proceeds of a series of random robberies in the D.C. area if he drove the getaway vehicle. Burciaga said the night of Krug’s murder, Nelson was armed with a gun, a metal pole and cord with which he planned to bind victims.

Police said Krug was found bound and strangled.

Burciaga said Nelson told him he would hit the residents with the metal pole and bind them while committing the robberies. Nelson called Burciaga while in the building and told him to wait; when he returned to the van, Nelson told Burciaga he had “killed the victims,” Burciaga testified earlier this summer.

Krug was set to begin his second year in the master’s of business administration program. Also pursuing a degree in international affairs, Krug hoped to work in international disaster relief, said friends, who said he “always put other people ahead of himself.”

The Easton, Pa. native graduated from Cornell University with a degree in urban and regional planning in 1994. He worked in Lake Tahoe, Nev. and then Seattle before coming to GW last year to work on his master’s degree.

The University of Maryland reported Burciaga, from Port Deposit, Md., attended the school from fall 1999 through last December.

CI leader dismissed after assault charge
Two Colonial Inauguration cabinet members were dismissed from duties following the second CI after a female leader accused a male leader of sexual assault, GW officials said.

While the accused male was let go as part of University procedure in sexual assault cases, the female cabinet member was asked to leave because of personal issues unrelated to the incident, said Robert Chernak, vice president of Student and Academic Support Services.

Chernak said the dismissal marked the first time the 10-year history of CI that a cabinet member was let go while the program was in progress.

“Both individuals were qualified … but (the allegations) were creating a situation where it was interfering with the cabinet members’ ability to put their best efforts forward,” he said.

Student Judicial Services held a hearing which and found the male not in violation of GW’s Code of Conduct.

Chernak said the allegations went back over a seven–month period when the two were involved in a relationship.

The University Police Crime Log reports one sexual assault charge in June, allegedly taking place in City Hall April 14.

Chernak said it would have been “awkward” for either of the two cabinet members to return for CI five after missing the third and fourth

“I think it would be difficult to bring someone back after the cabinet has made adjustments,” he said.

Chernak said the 30-member cabinet “hasn’t missed a beat,” and was able to make adjustments to cope with the loss.
–compiled by Alex Kingsbury

GW approves Sign Language classes for fall
Students will have the opportunity to take American Sign Language 1 and 2 at the undergraduate level this fall after the University approved the Speech and Hearing courses in June, officials said.

Students can currently register for the classes, Speech 81 and 82, which are offered Monday and Wednesday mornings.

Speech and Hearing Science representative Jamie Ellis said she is unsure whether the classes will totally fill up because they were made available so late, but is confident the class will soon be in great demand.

GW offered ASL courses through the Graduate School of Higher Education but cancelled the classes last fall because of a lack of funds.

A group of students from the class, along with the Student Association, met administration officials last spring and worked to find the class a home in the Columbian College.

Medical student Michael Kuhne, one of the students who was pushing for the class, said he was happy to see ASL stay on campus but has some concerns.

He said he is upset with the decision to bring in new ASL professors, noting that he was happy with last year’s teachers.

Also, he said that students who completed the first two levels of ASL last year are left out of the new classes because there is no ASL 3 class.
CCAS Dean William Frawley said he thinks the addition of ASL classes is “great idea” and will consider the amount of students involved in the classes before expanding the program.
–Mosheh Oinounou

TV star treated at GW hospital
Game show host Bob Barker underwent surgery at the GW Hospital July 10 to ease discomforts associated with his enlarged prostate. Barker stayed for two days at the hospital and is currently on the road to recovery, Barker’s publicist Henry Bollinger said.
Bollinger said Barker returned to Los Angeles to rest before returning to CBS’ The Price is Right, which Barker has hosted for 30 years.

Last year he signed on to continue as the show’s host and executive producer through 2006.

“His recovery has been on target and he started working again this week,” Bollinger said. “Everything is going according to plan.”

Bollinger also noted that Barker has not undergone any other procedures since July 10.

Barker had a minor stroke in 1999 and surgery to clear a blocked artery in his neck. He also underwent knee surgery in May 2000.

According to the Associated Press, the Guinness Book of World Records named Barker television’s “Most Durable Performer” for appearing on 2,524 consecutive episodes of Truth or Consequences, and “Most Generous Host in Television History” for handing out $55 million in prizes during his career.
-Julie Gordon

New Columbian College Dean sets agenda
Newly-appointed Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean William Frawley said he has been “enjoying himself” in his first six weeks at the University and looks forward to “taking the college some place” during his tenure at GW.

A former University of Delaware administrator, Frawley said he has been meeting with students and administrators and is currently setting priorities for the school year.

“One of the priorities is to set priorities,” he joked, noting that he would like to spend time improving the graduate and undergraduate experience at GW.

Frawley said he looks to promote focus, engagement and discovery.
He said he would like to improve undergraduate advising and increase the number of Dean’s Seminars to a broader range of freshmen.

“Advising is part of engagement … and we need to see how we can connect to students through the use of peers, the creation of learning communities, professors, et cetera,” Frawley said.

He said he also looks to expand living and learning communities “with an eye toward international education.”

Frawley, who will teach an anthropology course in the spring on psycholinguistics, said he would like to work on faculty development and hopes to have professors make better use of classroom technology.

“I’m a believer in technology,” he said.

He said he hopes professors can create a seminar like experience for students which will “set their direction” and give them a “sense of belonging.”

Frawley said he thinks the Columbian College has a “good foundation,” but would like to see nationally ranked departments and promote the visibility of the school.

“There are some really terrific departments, ones who are really good and deserve recognition,” he said.

Frawley said he looks forward to meeting with students this year and plans to schedule informal discussions with students throughout the semester.

“I want to hear about the kind of experience they are having here … you never know what kind of idea may come up,” Frawley said.
-Mosheh Oinounou

Student designs Smith Center landscaping
Linda Hanna, a student in GW’s professional development program, will redesign landscaping outside of the Smith Center this fall.

It is the first time Grounds Manager Noel Gasparin said he could remember, new landscaping designs for two on-campus locations will be based exclusively off of students’ blueprints.

Students in the Landscape Design Program at GW’s Center for Professional Development drafted potential blueprints for the front of the Smith Center and the park adjacent to the GW Deli, “Veteran’s Park.”

Gasparin said he looked at about six on-campus properties before narrowing the design recipients down to the Smith Center and Veteran’s Park.

Gasparin said although choosing one design for the Smith Center from the 13 submitted was difficult, he was “thrilled.”

“I get free landscaping plans and fresh ideas,” he said.

Tony Dillard, coordinating manager for general services and facilities management, who also had a role in which design was chosen, called the students’ plans “really good and professionally done.”

The students’ professor, Joan Honeyman, said students had to take many factors into consideration when developing their plans, including “unique” GW problems like “rat and fraternity issues.”

She also cited knowledge of “drainage, soil erosion, sun and wind exposure and street chemicals” as being critical to devising effective blueprints.

Honeyman claimed fraternity houses and other group homes around the Smith Center pose landscaping problems due to the high volume of pedestrian traffic they generate.

However, Hanna, whose design was chosen for the Smith Center, said these “urban” issues didn’t daunt her.

“The design was pretty easy,” she said. “(Gasparin) knew exactly what he wanted.”

Hanna said that by walking around campus, she was able to get a feel for “the GW look.” She said students only had about a week to create their blueprints.

Hanna’s design includes two kinds of trees, nine kinds of shrubs and eight other kinds of plants.

Gasparin said work on the Smith Center’s landscape is set to begin this fall. The design for Veteran’s Park has yet to be chosen from the five submitted. He said work on the park is scheduled to commence in July 2004.

–Tricia Parker

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