Best and worst from this week’s headlines

GW has hired new staff members for its Title IX office in what will hopefully lead to improvements. While Metro is doing anything but improve. Students and faculty who take the Metro will face longer commutes this fall with newly implemented speed restrictions.

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The Title IX office is no longer a one-man operation.

GW has hired a new assistant director for sexual assault prevention and response, as well as a Title IX investigator and a paralegal, positions that are new to the University’s Title IX office. Christina Franzino, the new assistant director who is filling the position previously held by Carrie Ross, has already started. Meanwhile, a University spokeswoman said new staff members are expected to start this week, but their names have not yet been released.

Franzino looks to be a solid choice for the position. Despite having only graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio a year ago, Franzino has already worked in various sexual assault prevention advocacy organizations, including It’s On Us, a national campaign which GW joined in 2014.

The announcement comes less than a week after it was reported that GW is one of 250 universities now under federal investigation for the possible mishandling of sexual violence cases. After recent events were followed by scrutiny about Title IX procedures from students and alumni, GW also announced it had hired outside legal experts to review its Title IX procedures.

A new school year is just around the corner, so it’s good to see that we will be able to start it with a fully staffed Title IX office. But it will be an uphill battle. In addition to the bombshell announcement of the federal investigation, the Title IX office has long experienced turnover problems.

With the new staff members though, there’s hope that the University can improve how it handles with sexual assault and violence cases.

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The commute to your internship this fall is about to get a lot longer.

Metro announced this week that starting on Monday, they will be slowing trains to a maximum speed of 35 mph in critical stretches of the system on the Red, Orange, Blue and Silver lines. This is a significant difference from the speed limit of 59 mph in place on most of the system.

Two of the affected track segments currently already have a lowered speed restriction of 45 mph after the Federal Transit Administration ordered Metro to reduce their power draw last year.

With the new speed restrictions affecting so much of the system, faculty trying to get to campus and students taking the Metro should allow for even more travel time. And it won’t be for just a few days or weeks – Greater Greater Washington reported that the changes could be in place for as long as a year.

The repercussions of this go beyond the inconvenience of morning and evening commutes though. The order to reduce power draw is for high-risk track segments, meaning these areas are prone to safety problems. And after so many alarming safety incidents, including the breakout of two fires last year, it is definitely nerve wracking to get on the morning train to work.

When you find yourself on a train going slower than usual this fall, just take a few deep breaths – and maybe consider renting a Citibike.

Irene Ly, a senior majoring in psychology, is The Hatchet’s opinions editor.

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