What was the big news last year?

September

SPHHS declared GW’s most selective school

The School of Public Health and Health Services was the most selective undergraduate school at GW last year. According to data given to The Hatchet, 9.4 percent of first-time applicants were admitted – 20 percent fewer than the School of Business, which had the second-lowest rate for admittance.

University debt breaks $1 billion mark

The University’s debt surpassed the $1 billion threshold when officials borrowed $50 million to ensure liquidity during a time when the market was at an all-time low, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said.

Despite the large amount of debt, a financial rating agency – Moody’s Investors Service – said GW was in a healthy financial position, and its financial outlook appeared stable.

October

Obama encourages mid-term mobilization

In a town hall meeting held in the Marvin Center Oct. 12, President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of about 120 voters in an effort to mobilize young people for the midterm elections. Twenty first-time voters and faculty members from GW were pre-selected by the Democratic National Committee to attend the event.

Obama’s visit temporarily shut down a large portion of the Foggy Bottom campus. The Marvin Center was closed from 3 to 9 p.m., and all previously scheduled events in the building were also canceled.

November

Professor arrested for alleged possession of child pornography

Part-time Italian language professor Diego Fasolini was arrested for possession of suspected child pornography. Fasolini taught two Italian language classes during the fall semester, according to the Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literatures’ website.

December

University announces gender-neutral housing option

The University announced it would offer gender-neutral housing starting fall 2011. The ruling allows students of the opposite sex to live together, and the option is available in all but three of the University’s residence halls, which are reserved as female-only. Allied in Pride President Michael Komo, as well as the Residence Hall Association and the Student Association, supported the movement for this housing option.

January

GW needs more sexual assault education

A survey conducted by GW medical student Megan Evans and Shannon Lynberg, national director of the Younger Women’s Task Force, found a disparity between the number of respondents who thought sexual assault was an issue on campus and the number who knew someone who was a victim of sexual assault. The results led the authors to conclude that sexual assault was an “underreported and silent problem” at GW.

University projects financial aid increase

Senior Vice Provost and Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak said the amount of funding for financial aid would likely be between $155 and $159 million in the fall. The increase would be a nearly $10 million spike from what it was during that year.

Univ. strips three chapters of housing on Townhouse Row

Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon were each formally charged with various counts of hazing, providing alcohol to minors and underage consumption of alcohol, after an investigation that lasted months. The investigation, which began in November, ended with the three organizations losing their University-owned townhouses and facing social and disciplinary probation until December 2012.

February

Director search riles adjunct faculty

Faculty and alumni of the Graduate School of Political Management alleged that the College of Professional Studies Dean Kathleen Burke did not take their thoughts into consideration as she began the decision-making process in search of the school’s new executive director. Adjunct faculty members were especially angered. Candidates who did not have PhDs or law degrees were not originally considered, thus disqualifying former members of Congress and leaders in the political management field from the job. Burke, who denied most of the charges, later amended the search so that a terminal degree is only preferred, not required.

Alternative Breaks gains SA funding and organization status

Alternative Breaks, the University’s largest student-run volunteer program, was slated to receive $15,000 from the Student Association for the first time. The program was previously ineligible to receive money from the SA, because it operates under the Office of Community Service. The money was used to help send about 400 students on community service trips.

March

Richardson, Costigan clinch top SA spots in runoff election

Then-sophomore John Richardson beat out then-junior Chris Clark during the SA runoff election for Student Association President by just 34 votes. Then-junior Ted Costigan was elected executive vice president over then-sophomore Amanda Galonek with 53.7 percent of the vote.

“It was a close race, but I’m excited to get started,” Richardson said. “We have a lot of big things on our plate and we can’t wait to get the ball rolling.”

University selects leader for LGBT Resource Center

The University hired Timothy Kane, formerly the director of the Office of Community Service, as a short-term leader for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center after four months without leadership. Kane will continue to lead the LGBT Resource Center until a permanent director is hired.

April

University to renovate, revamp Marvin Center first floor

The Marvin Center will see new changes with the removal of the staircase leading from its ground floor to the center of J Street, opening up space in the café area. Other changes include, the relocation of the GWorld Card Office on the ground floor, additional seating constructed in front of the GW Bookstore and conversion of underused spaces on the ground floor into student meeting spaces.

The changes began this summer, and the GWorld office relocation is scheduled for completion by the start of the fall 2011 semester. Remaining work on the ground floor is expected to be complete by the end of fall semester.

Ginwala remembered for political passion

Ismail Ginwala, a junior, was found dead in his room in City Hall Residence Hall April 13. The Metropolitan Police Department labeled the death a suicide. The 20-year-old was an international affairs major and a member of the College Democrats. Ginwala was remembered for being down-to-earth and a “fun guy” with “a kind heart.”

“Ismail was just kind. I can’t think of a time.when he was not the nicest guy in the room,” Amish Shah, a fellow member of the Roosevelt Institute and a friend of Ginwala’s, said. “He was always the kid that was driven to create ideas and progress.”

May

Gelman project allocated $16 million

The Board of Trustees approved a $16 million budget to upgrade the Gelman Library over the next three years. While only $1 million of the budget is anticipated for use over the next year, the project will no longer be held back by lack of funding. Cox Graae + Spack Architects, hired by GW in December, is still in the process of developing a design for the 1st floor.

This article was updated on June 13, 2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly called the Residence Hall Association the Resident Hall Association.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.