Though the GW community was scattered across the globe this year, we’ve gone through a lot together.
The year started with a bustling campus and ended with an empty one. Just three days after the District confirmed its first presumptive COVID-19 case, the University sent students home for, at the time, two weeks of online learning. Responding to increasing cases nationwide, GW quickly changed course, announcing that the rest of the semester would be held remotely like hundreds of schools across the country.
Faculty and students quickly adapted to remote learning. Dozens of Foggy Bottom community members rallied to help vulnerable populations weather the health crisis. Students and professors grappled with life at home, picking up extra jobs, taking care of their families and trying to find time away from a computer screen.
The pandemic pushed The Hatchet, like offices, organizations and departments across campus, to make changes of its own. We stopped printing a newspaper in late March as campus emptied out and began operating over Zoom from all over the world. We’ve kept in touch with our readers through copies of our print edition, newsletters and social media posts. Thank you for supporting us every step of the way.
Thanks to you, we’ve been able to cover the University’s slew of decisions, from laying off hundreds to halting GW’s 20/30 Plan. We traced students’ and faculty members’ calls for University President Thomas LeBlanc to resign throughout the year, which met an obstacle after the Board of Trustees reiterated its support for him.
Our staff has followed student, staff and faculty activism both on campus and from afar. In February, we covered a week’s worth of protests over GW’s fossil fuel investments after LeBlanc revealed GW’s holdings in the industry. As protests over racial injustice took shape around the world, we covered calls for police reform and ongoing pushes for changes to the Marvin Center and Colonials’ namesakes, which culminated in task forces evaluating each name. And after banding around political hopefuls for months, we reported celebrations over President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
We’re honored to be recognized for our work. Our coverage picked up several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and Associated Collegiate Press, including best online college newspaper. Our stories covering basketball games, demonstrations over police brutality and the University’s pandemic response earned honors, and we couldn’t have done it without readers like you.
The pandemic has shed light on the importance of independent student journalism, even when it’s perennially threatened by finances. We’ve leaned on readers like you more than ever to help us through the year, and we hope you continue to support us through the end of the year. Please consider supporting student journalism with a tax-deductible donation this holiday season. You can donate here.
Thank you for reading The Hatchet in 2020. From everyone on staff: Have a safe and happy holiday season.