Student rights and responsibilIties
From the alcohol consequence flow chart created this year, to the University’s efforts to formalize a sexual assault policy and its updates to the graduate alcohol policy, the University’s judicial system has demonstrated that it is working in the student body’s best interest. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, under Assistant Dean of Students Tara Pereira’s purview, has demonstrated incredible awareness of student needs, and the changes made to the system will foster a safer campus, as students will hopefully be less afraid to report campus incidents, such as alcohol overdose.
With a new five-year contract extension granted by the Board of Trustees, University President Steven Knapp will continue to lead and transform GW. With initiatives such as strengthening research, a rebranding campaign, diversity and inclusion and sustainability, Knapp has proven that he is a multi-talented administrator who has the capability to raise the national profile of the University. Yet it often seems that Knapp is noticeably less concerned with student life issues, and many students continue to feel disconnected from their president. Furthermore, the Knapp administration continues to operate an extensive public relations machine – a serious step back for transparency at the University.
Student Safety and Security
It has been up and down for campus safety and security, beginning with the crimes in the City Hall and West End residence halls. Then there was a malfunction that delayed a Crime Alert e-mail following arrests on campus and a shooting Halloween night in Georgetown. Yet the University responded to both of the issues swiftly. The University Police Department tightened security in upperclassman residence halls by adding officers to monitor the front doors in an attempt to curtail piggy-backing. A texting alert system was unveiled to notify the community of any potential ongoing threats after Halloween’s delayed Crime Alert. While the semester got off to a rocky start for student safety and security, the University’s swift moves to improve these issues are comforting.
Student Association Executives
Student Association President John Richardson and Executive Vice President Ted Costigan began the year with a great deal of promise. Their advocacy assisted in the University Counseling Center fee removal and through G-Voice and town halls, they’ve curated student concerns in order to best serve the community. But their focus since those initial months is disheartening. Costigan’s organization of the GW Debate Series is not the best use of the access he has to administrators. Richardson, who was elected to serve as chief advocate for the student body, should have been more vocal about attending the initial Marvin Center fifth floor talks with administrators. As advocates for student concerns and not leaders of programming initiatives, Richardson and Costigan just barely pass, and hopefully the student body will see more from the SA executives next semester.
Farewell to Four hatchet staffers
Next semester, greener pastures, diplomas and overseas adventures will take away several staffers from The Hatchet. Gaby, Jordan, Caroline and Lisa: You will be sorely missed, but we wish you the best in exploring all the wonders the future has in store for you.