Around Campus

GW senior under fire for interview

A GW student interning at a Dallas newspaper came under fire last month for a jailhouse interview she conducted with an alleged murderer.

A lawyer for Carlton Dotson, a former Baylor University basketball player accused of murdering ex-teammate Patrick Dennehy, said Dallas Morning News intern and GW senior Shani George did not tell his client she was a journalist when she visited him in a Maryland jail.

“It is our understanding that she represented herself as a Christian who was there to let Mr. Dotson know that she was ‘praying’ for him,” said the lawyer, Grady Irvin Jr., as reported by the Associated Press.

News editors quickly came to the defense of George, a journalism major, saying she identified herself upon meeting Dotson.

Stuart Wilk, managing editor and vice president of the Dallas Morning News, said the newspaper has strict guidelines that every reporter must follow.

“Shani George adhered to that guideline when she immediately identified herself to Mr. Dotson as a Dallas Morning News reporter,” said Wilk, noting that George, who refused several interview requests, has “an excellent work record.”

“Ms. George conducted herself professionally and got one heck of a story,” he said.

After an extensive investigation, news editors found no wrongdoing on George’s part.

Dotson, 21, said he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Dennehy in June.

“If someone points a gun at you and shoots and it doesn’t go off, what would you do? If someone is pointing a gun at you and they start putting more bullets into the gun, what would you do?” Dotson told George, as reported by the News on July 30.

Alex Kingsbury, who was also a summer News intern, said interns are subject to “strict oversight.”

“(The editors) are a meticulous and serious group of people that demand professionalism from reporters at all times,” said Kingsbury, a GW graduate and former Hatchet Metro Editor.

Kingsbury said George interned at a television station owned by the Belo Corporation, the News’ parent company. He said it is not unusual for George as a television intern to be filing stories for the News.

-Michael Barnett

Aston resident foun dead in room

A 77-year-old resident of the Aston was found dead in his apartment on August 6. Irvin “Charlie” Cheek died of natural causes about three days before his body was discovered, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Officials from Property Management said the building manager, Trammell Crow, received a phone call from one of Cheek’s former co-workers at approximately 11 a.m. the day the body was found. The co-worker said she had not seen Cheek for several days.

UPD and Crow went to the apartment and found the body at about 11:30 a.m.

Courtney Flaherty, associate director of property management, said in an e-mail that the room “will under go extensive cleaning and refurbishing” but will be occupied by students this fall. She declined to say which room Cheek lived in.

Cheek lived alone in the Aston for 28 years. His death notice in the Washington Post on August 10 said he was survived by two brothers and their wives and several nieces and nephews.

-Andrea Nurko

Students to see new options in halls

The University recently signed lease agreements to put a Subway and Paul Park newsstand and convenience store in 1957 E St., University Senior Counsel Charles Barber said Friday.

Barber said no dates for official openings have been set.

Barber said officials are also considering putting a 7-Eleven in Mitchell Hall. While no lease has been signed, a letter of intent has been inked.

The University agreed to have a certain amount of retail space in the buildings to appease community members’ requests. The city only allowed GW to build 1957 E St. if it agreed to include the retail space.

-Elizabeth Chernow

Guster and Jason Mraz to perform

The Student Activities Center and Program Board are bringing musical acts Guster and Jason Mraz to GW on Monday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. in the Smith Center. The concert will serve as the culmination of Welcome Week 2003.

Officials said they initially invited the two bands in mid-May to perform during Welcome Week. Both accepted the invitation in the first week of June.

“We invited them to come perform and considering their popularity we all hoped for a ‘yes,'” Student Activities Center Coordinator for Student Involvement Martine Philogene said in an e-mail. “We are very excited that they accepted our invitation.”

Program Board leaders said the two bands have a wide appeal among GW students.

“I think that there will be a very good turn-out for this show. I have heard in the past that students have wanted to see Guster and Jason Mraz . . . Also both bands have sold out numerous shows in our area,” PB concert co-chair Zan Sabini said in an e-mail.

Tickets to the show, which cost $19, are selling fast, and will most likely sell out, Philogene said.

Students can order tickets at http://gwired.gwu.edu/tickets.

-Farah Khan

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