D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, who has been accused of corruption and unethical practices, is feeling the heat this summer as candidates continue to enter the race to unseat him. Although Ward 2 residents have more options to bump Evans out of office, Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment and the Student Experience Laurie Koehler tacked herself onto a growing list of departing administrators.
Here’s the best and worst from this week’s headlines:
Long-time incumbent Evans represents the Foggy Bottom area but has recently come under fire for allegedly accepting benefits from private companies in exchange for favorable votes on legislation. Now, Evans is under federal investigation, is facing a recall effort and announced last week that he will not seek reelection to his Metro board chairmanship.
As his reelection to the D.C. Council rolls around, multiple challengers have entered the race to take his place for the first time in more than 10 years. Evans’ fresh competition is an opportunity for D.C. voters to vote for anyone but him for the first time in nearly a decade.
Evans’ opponents include Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Patrick Kennedy, former Barack Obama staffer Jordan Grossman, Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner John Fanning and Microsoft employee Daniel Hernandez. Kennedy, Grossman and Hernandez have said that Evan’s unethical conduct is one reason why they decided to run for his seat.
Evans has continuously worked against the wishes of District voters in his nearly three decades in office, and the growing pressure against him should signal to voters that reelecting him would be a mistake. Evans has supported the Washington Redskins’ racist moniker and prevented term limits for D.C. Council members. Now that there are representatives willing to step up and oppose Evans, Ward 2 residents should elect anyone but him.
Here we go again.
Just two weeks ago, Dean of Admissions Costas Solomou announced he will resign in August. Shortly before Solomou it was Provost Forrest Maltzman, who said he would step down after the University finds a replacement. This week, Koehler joined her departing colleagues and announced her resignation.
In her time at GW, Koehler was instrumental in redesigning freshman orientation into a single session in the fall. Before the academic year began, she also oversaw a reconstruction of the University’s enrollment and student affairs divisions. Koehler and Solomou worked hand-in-hand on these initiatives, and now the University is losing both of the officials who created them.
The Hatchet’s Editorial Board has noted time after time the concerning turnover among top officials, but more worrisome is the direction of the admissions, student experience and enrollment offices without its senior leaders. Both Koehler and Solomou spearheaded new-student orientation mere months ago, and now they will leave before seeing the project through. GW has also admitted an increasingly diverse student body since the pair have been at the helm, and officials must ensure they hire replacements with the same focus on diversity as their predecessors.
It is difficult for the University to prioritize certain vacancies over others, but ensuring that Koehler is swiftly replaced will continue and improve upon the projects she will leave behind. From overhauling the financial aid office to dropping standardized test scores, Koehler took steps forward that improved GW, and leaving her seat empty might cause the University to go in reverse.
Kiran Hoeffner-Shah, a sophomore majoring in political science and psychology, is the Hatchet opinions editor.