The beginning of this semester was filled with mixed emotions. The general elation surrounding the Inauguration was replaced only three days later, as GW found out that sophomore Laura Treanor, who was The Hatchet’s contributing life editor and a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority, had passed away. We have since learned that her death was caused by alcohol poisoning.
In a previous staff editorial, “Much needed Closure, April 30” The Hatchet’s editorial board questioned the University’s response to the confirmation of the cause of death. More specifically, we called for a reopening of the investigation and an approach that was reflective of the weight of the tragedy.
Since obtaining confirmation from the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office, the administration’s response has greatly improved. In a recent statement, President Knapp said, “The results recently announced clearly call for a new review of the situation . on behalf of The George Washington University community, I extend my sincerest sympathy and condolences to the Treanor family and Laura’s many friends.”
Furthering an investigation into the circumstances of Laura’s death will hopefully bring the kind of closure that family and friends are seeking. Even with new information, vital questions still surround the case. It’s important that this investigation be undertaken with the goal of understanding the events of the night, so as to help prevent future tragedies. Actively seeking out somebody to blame will only hinder fact finding, which should take precedence over anything else.
Not only is the investigation itself encouraging, the entire shift in attitude from the administration is laudable. This new statement from President Knapp was more emotionally grounded and demonstrated a sincere concern for the issues involved. Most importantly, the administration was responsive to the GW community’s concerns and is actively trying to provide closure. Few things benefit a University more than truly responsive leadership and hopefully President Knapp will continue with this mindset throughout his tenure.
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