This week’s best and worst

Thumbs Up: Turning words into action in the GW School of Business
Students shouldn’t graduate only with knowledge of a narrow academic field. That’s what the provost argued last February, when he announced in the strategic plan that one of GW’s major goals heading into the next decade is to focus on interdisciplinary studies.

And this week, those words turned into substantive action, when leaders in the GW School of Business said that they’ve created a new curriculum, which requires most undergraduates to minor outside of the college.

The new curriculum will be instituted for incoming freshmen next fall. Hopefully, it will encourage undergraduates to study the liberal arts and sciences, which employers said they’re looking for and would help put business practices in a social context.

Early last semester, the business school was rocked by the abrupt firing of former Dean Doug Guthrie. The school’s slipping rankings and high employee turnover has also put strain on the undergraduate program.

It’s encouraging to see that in a era of uncertainty for the school, it still has a strong focus on academic growth for students.

Thumbs Down: Most sexual assault cases without police reports

This should stop you in your tracks: The Hatchet reported earlier this week that three-quarters of on-campus sexual assault calls to city police never resulted in formal reports.

Out of 76 emergency calls related to sexual assault since 2009, it is shocking to see that only 17 of these have been logged in public records. One expert called the number of unrecorded reports “surprisingly high.”

The report underlines the reporting stigma and incomplete information that comes along with analyzing trends of sexual violence. A disproportionate percentage of alleged victims who make the calls decide not to file a report. That incomplete information hampers how we allocate services and to sexual assault response on the city and University level.

Even more concerning is the possibility that clerical errors disguise the city police’s data about sexual assault. The Metro Police Department got in hot water last year when the Human Rights Watch reported that officers mishandled troves of sexual assault cases.

There are plenty of scenarios that might explain the huge number of sexual assault calls that never became reports. But we lose a grip on this critical issue because of it.

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