After students spend their summer months scattered across the country and the globe, they unite on a campus shaped and changed by summer events.In an effort to update students on major summer happenings, The Hatchet has compiled a review of its coverage during the past three months.
Thousands say goodbye to Reagan; GW cancels classes
Thousands of people gathered along a flag-strewn Constitution Avenue June 9 to bid farewell to former President Ronald Reagan.
Reagan, who withdrew from the public spotlight in recent years as he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, died June 5 at the age of 93 in his Los Angeles home. The University canceled that week’s Friday classes in observance of Reagan’s death. Students and all non-essential employees had the day off to join in what President Bush called a national day of mourning for the 40th president
There was a strong relationship between GW and Reagan since his attempted assassination in 1981. It was at the GW Hospital that a crew of 65 medical personnel saved Reagan’s life after would-be assassin John Hinckley shot him.
In 1991, the University awarded Reagan an honorary doctor of public service degree, and later attached his name to the GW Hospital’s Institute of Emergency Medicine.
Iraqi interim president attended GW
GW officials ended confusion in June over whether the Iraqi interim president is a former student, concluding that Ghazi al-Yawer took engineering classes here during the 1980s.
After failing to find al-Yawer’s name in University records in May, officials said the Associated Press and other news organizations were erroneously reporting that the Iraqi leader studied at GW. They said al-Yawer had actually taken classes at nearby Georgetown University.
But in June, after Georgetown denied reports that al-Yawer attended their school and after an exhaustive search for the Iraqi leader’s name in GW’s database, Media Relations officials said the original reports were correct.
Commission reviews GW’s responses to student deaths
A GW commission created to investigate the University’s response to five student deaths since December began its regular meetings and discussions in May.
The 21-member panel, which was appointed after a GW freshman committed suicide in April, held its first meeting May 17. The group of University staff, faculty and students were charged with examining the existing resources and response protocols GW uses after a student dies.
The commission met every Monday for ten weeks over the summer and is expected to release its report in the fall.
The GW Counseling Center increased the visibility of counseling services during CI with information booths and posters.
GW, Aramark sign 10-year contract
The dining service provider Aramark inked a new deal with the University last month that will allow it to operate campus venues for the next 10 years.
Both Aramark and GW officials declined to disclose the terms of the new contract, which replaces a five-year deal that expired in late June. But Louis Katz, the University’s executive vice president and treasurer, said the dining service provider would be paying GW to operate venues in the Marvin Center, which it did under its previous contract.
Katz said the deal was reached after Aramark officials presented plans to renovate the dining areas on the Marvin Center’s ground level and first floor.
GW keeps free newspaper program
Despite campus-wide budget cuts, the University will continue to provide free newspapers to students in residence halls this fall, though GW may reduce circulation of the papers.
The GW Reads program, which stocks residence halls with free daily copies of The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today, was one of several programs that GW considered eliminating in April in the face of $4.6 million in spending cuts and budget reallocations.
But officials said the extra tuition generated by GW’s largest freshmen class ever helped keep the program alive.
Health and Wellness Center extends hours
Students will be able to exercise in the Health and Wellness Center until 11:30 p.m. starting this fall after the city’s Zoning Commission granted GW approval to extend the facility’s hours in June.
Although the University originally requested to have the center’s hours extended until 1 a.m., the commission ruled on June 14 that it could remain open until 11:30 p.m. every night, a decision opposed by some area residents.
The commission refrained from completely approving GW’s request because some residents voiced concerns that letting the center stay open any later would create more noise in Foggy Bottom.
At the June hearing, zoning officials also approved the University’s request to extend membership to Mount Vernon residents and trustees. But the commission rejected a plan that would have allowed residents living within 500 feet of the center to exercise there, saying all of the facility’s users must be affiliated with GW.
-compiled by Caitlin Carroll from Hatchet staff reports