Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Music fans flocked to Virgin Mobile's FreeFest this Saturday for a day of free music, rides and more. The festival took place at Merriweather Post Pavillion and its surrounding grounds in Columbia, MD. Participating acts included Pavement, M.I.A., Joan Jett, Jimmy Eat World, LCD Soundsystem and Ludacris.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Since the start of school, there have been rumors that there is a significant price difference between J-Street and Pelham’s cafeterias. Rumors attribute it to everything from an actual price difference per ounce to the fact that the Pelham plates are significantly heavier than J-Street plates. Students have even gone so far as to avoid Pelham’s food when possible due to the suspicion that they are not getting their monies worth. However, the fact of the matter is that there is no price difference between the two cafeterias.
The price is exactly the same in the two halls, 55 cents per ounce, and the entire plate is factored out. J-street factors out .04 pounds worth of food and Pelham factors out 1.17 pounds worth of food. After measuring and paying for a plate with an identical on it at either cafeteria, it was found that both charged the exact (to the penny) price for the weight. It can actually even be cheaper to order at Pelham, because there is a large selection of food at a fixed price you can order from the chef which ends up being much cheaper than paying by the ounce.
All rumors that there is a price difference between the halls are inaccurate and must be disregarded, there is no difference. George Washington Universities’ registered dietician Jill Wilson expressed how hard the school worked to equally align prices of food, whether just the per ounce food or a bottle of orange juice. There is no need to worry, the prices are equal for Vern and Foggy Bottom residents.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty (left) lost his bid for the Democratic Party nomination Tuesday evening, rejected by primary voters after only one term in office.
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray (right) prevailed over the incumbent mayor, receiving approximately 53 percent of the vote to Mr. Fenty’s 47 percent, with 90 percent of the precincts reporting.
Education reform, perhaps the most contentious issue in the election, has had liberals and teachers unions upset with the mayor since he enacted the changes in 2007.
The changes, imposed by School Chancellor Michelle Rhee, included closing schools, firing teachers and principals, and restructuring teacher tenure, now based more on criteria such as student test scores, rather than overall years teaching.
With the District of Columbia decisively Democratic (President Obama received 93 percent of the vote in 2008), Mr. Gray is heavily favored to win this November.
Mr. Fenty does have one shot, however, at winning another term: with no one having declared their candidacy yet for the Republican Party, the mayor can switch his affiliation to the G.O.P. and challenge Mr. Gray.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
This past Saturday, on 9/11 over 1,900 freshmen participated in GW’s Second Annual Freshman Day of Service. This year theme was “Giving Today for a Better Tomorrow.” The main focus of the different service projects was “sustainability and environmental protection.” This year students lined up outside the Smith Center at 11:30, and after fitting the over 1,900 freshman and hundred plus other volunteers for the opening ceremony. President Steven Knapp, Associate Vice President and Dean of Freshmen Helen Cannaday Saulny, and Student Association Executive Vice President Rob Maxim all spoke, thanking the students for their dedication to their new community. President Knapp said; “I think it’s a terrific introduction to your experience as new students at George Washington University.” The ceremony ended with Animal Planet host and conservationist Jeff Corwin thanking the freshmen for helping, and by reminding the students of the power of one, and how they should live their lives trying to do even the littlest things to help others. Students were then bussed to 14 different organizations, in all eight wards, as well as Maryland and Virginia. The organizations that participated and hosted the freshmen were; the Anacostia Watershed Society, WeatherizeDC, Rock Creek Park, Loaves and Fishes, Mount Vernon Triangle, We Are Family, Armed Forces Retirement Home, National Park Service, Casey Trees, Capital Area Foodbank, Transitional Housing Corporation, Ballou Senior High School, Washington Parks and People, and Vinson Hall Retirement Community. While the Anacostia Watershed Society hosted the most students, over 1000 students, the volunteers at the Vinson Hall Retirement Community were surprised with a visit from First Lady Michelle Obama. After volunteering the students were taken back to Kogan Plaza for a barbecue, and spontaneous performances from different student groups. The day ended with a 9/11-remembrance candlelight vigil. Of the day of service, freshman Colin said, he felt that the day was mostly symbolic, because he felt they spent more time listening to people talk and sitting in buses, than actually volunteering. However another freshman Justin said, “It was for a good cause, and it was worth it.”
Friday, September 10, 2010
Travelers on the Red Line moving between the New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue stops should anticipate delays around twenty minutes due to repairs on a section of elevated rail between the stations.
Work on replacing old track will force Blue Line trains between Pentagon City and Braddock Road stations to share a single track. WMATA is predicting 30 minute delays to this critical section of rail that services both the Pentagon City Mall and Crystal City. While not as frequently used by GW students, the Yellow Line will experience the same delays.
Maryland isn't spared, either: weed-trimming efforts alongside above-ground track between Greenbelt and College Park Green Line stations will create delays of 20 minutes.
Finally, events around the city have led to the rerouting of a handful of bus routes, the details of which can be seen at the WMATA website, www.wmata.com.
Alaska’s junior senator, Mark Begich, visited campus Thursday night, speaking to crowd of about 70 College Democrats and interested observers.
Begich, who defeated longtime Republican Ted Stevens in 2008 by a razor thin margin, addressed a series of issues, ranging from policy, to politics, to Sarah Palin and the Tea Partiers.
He explained that though he agrees with President Obama’s $50 billion infrastructure initiative, more needs to be done, because “infrastructure in this country is in desperate need of renovation.”
In terms of the critics who claim that Congress and the White House are spending too much, Sen. Begich retorted “no one talked about it (spending) for 10 years,” while “millionaires and companies that shipped jobs overseas received tax breaks.”
He expressed concern that, to “the obstructionist Republicans, it’s not about policy, it’s about politics.”
When asked about the Tea Party, Sen. Begich explained that there are currently two groups propelling the movement, “a very, very hard right extremist group and those who are just mad” because of economic problems.
He went on to state that it’s important not to paint them all as radicals, as well as reminding the audience, “we (Democrats) had that group two years ago who were mad at Bush.”
Describing Glen Beck as an entertainer, Sen. Begich stated, Mr. Beck is “tapping into this anger and reaching out, trying to deliver his message.” He went further, labeling Mr. Beck dangerous because he was riling people up.
In perhaps the most comical portion of the evening, Sen. Begich, sarcastically referring to Sarah Palin as “our favorite governor,” commented on Ms. Palin’s role in the economy. “Sarah Palin is just another constituent who quit her job,” Mr. Begich stated, a quote that received a round of applause from the audience.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The affected homes were built with defective drywall, imported from China. The drywall is corrosive, and homeowners have reported health problems that they believe to be associated with the defective materials. Many of the homes were built in Musicians’ Village, a new neighborhood conceptualized by New Orleans natives and musicians Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis.
Reports from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and investigative website ProPublica state that employees complained about the quality of the imported drywall as far back as 2007. But the Habitat for Humanity New Orleans continued to use the drywall until Nov. 2009, when it was told by the Consumer Product Safety Commission not to use the remaining drywall.
In Mar. 2008, the GW Alternative Spring Break New Orleans (ASB NOLA) program joined Habitat for Humanity in Musicians’ Village. It was not clear at press time whether GW students had helped to build the contaminated homes. The Office of Community Service, which organizes the Alternative Spring Break program, could not be reached for comment late Thursday afternoon.
Habitat for Humanity is still inspecting homes that they suspect are affected, both in Musicians’ Village (in the Upper Ninth Ward) and some surrounding areas, including St. Bernard Parish. The organization began to notify homeowners last month of their intention to gut the affected homes and provide rent-free apartments for affected residents for the duration of reconstruction.
Since 2006, the Office of Community Service has sent increasing numbers of students down to New Orleans each year for their Alternative Spring Break program. Students have volunteered their weeklong March break to help clean up debris and rebuild homes with Habitat for Humanity after Hurricane Katrina left 1,500 homeless in Dec. 2005.
Habitat for Humanity is an international housing organization that helps communities in need to build and rebuild affordable homes, particularly in the wake of natural disasters. GW has a chapter, run by students, that focuses on building homes for the residents of Washington, D.C.
Keep checking WRGW News for updates, and
click for coverage of Habitat for Humanity New Orleans by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and ProPublica.
The Mount Vernon campus has gone through a drastic change this year, with a 40 percent increase in residents and a new dining area, event space, theatre and gym being utilized by all members of the GW community. Overlooking the tennis courts and athletic fields, the brand new state-of-the-art residence hall has drawn students from every class to live in this year.
“Living on the Vern as a junior is not bad at all,” says Summer Zhang, a current resident of West Hall. “People usually want to get into bustle and hustle on Foggy Bottom as an upper class student. I really enjoy my time on the Vern with quietness and greeneries outside my window.”
Ever since GW students started living on the Mount Vernon campus, there has been a negative stereotype about the types of students that live on the quieter, smaller campus. Now, West Hall is challenging that stereotype with its incomparable amenities being offered and attracting a diverse range of students. “Living on the Vern does not mean I don't have a social life,” says Zhang. “I spend more time in my friends' rooms when I am on Foggy Bottom and my friends will come to the Vern to visit me. The residents on the floor (composed of sophomores, juniors and seniors) are quiet but they are social. We have cabinet members, co-curriculum guides, leaders in fraternities and sororities, singers, pianists, and many others. It's a very diverse and active group.”
A recent confusion however has been with the re-naming of the residence hall, formerly known as Pelham. It has been clarified that the common area of the building (floors B1 and B2), which is accessible by all GW students and includes a gym, dining hall, black-box theatre and much more, is called Pelham Commons. Meanwhile the top four floors is all residential space, only accessible to residents of the building, and that is called West Hall.
“West Hall has truly been awesome,” says Andrew Adams, a sophomore resident. “After coming from Mitchell, West Hall is so nice - very clean and the rooms are truly the perfect size; I don't feel cramped at all. But, the best part about West Hall is that I get to enjoy the atmosphere that a city gives, while at the same time enjoying the Vern campus and its small college and suburban feel.”
“While living here has been very pleasant, there have been some hiccups along the way,” says sophomore Henry Przybylowicz. The Vern Express is still working out scheduling with the increase of students travelling to and from the Vern and students did not have access to mail for the first week of school. But that is expected with any new residence hall. “Overall the experience in living here has been good barring the small bumps in the beginning,” says Przybylowicz.
An ongoing series of speakers kicked off its schedule Wednesday night with distinguished GW Prof. David Shambaugh speaking to interested students, faculty, and members of the community about China’s declining soft power and global strategies of international influence.
Speaking to an audience of about 90 people in the Elliott School, China’s soft power, their ability to shape the preferences of international audiences by co-option rather than coercion, Prof. Shambaugh explained, is weak and in decline.
“China has a mixed global perception in polls,” with human rights violations, such as Tibet and the treatment of ethnic Uyghurs, dragging down many polls, Mr. Shambaugh stated.
He explained that both governmental campaigns, such as the distribution of carefully phrased slogans relating to peace (“China’s Peaceful Rise”) and nongovernmental ventures, such as increased tourism and more Chinese students studying abroad, have failed to stem the decline in the perception of China.
Recognized as a leader in his field, Mr. Shambaugh’s experiences of the last year in China as a Fulbright Scholar, his past position as editor of The China Quarterly, his Senior Fellowship with The Brookings Institution, and the Director of the China Policy Program here at GW, were on clear display Wednesday night.
When discussing how to resolve China’s declining influence problem, Mr. Shambaugh stated that though they possess “enormous resources,” China has “no real strategy.” They need to “get out of the way of society” and get rid of their “inept public diplomacy.” “China’s soft power,” he concluded, “is much more fiction than fact.”
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
GW Police responded to a report of a theft from one of the GW campus's parking garages. A female student parked her car in one the garages located on campus, and returned a short while later to find her driver's side rear window shattered, and her laptop and books stolen. The case is still open for investigation.
In other thefts, a male student reported his cellphone missing after leaving it unattended on a table in the Marvin Center. Additionally, a female student reported her room key stolen after leaving it unattended in a study lounge on the Mount Vernon campus. A word to the wise: if you leave your personal belongings unattended, they are likely to be stolen.
A former GW student reported to GW Police a sexual assault in the residential area of Ivory Tower. The woman stated that she was assaulted by an acquaintance. The case has been closed, and referred to Metropolitan Police.
An assault occurred on Monday at the corner of 19th and F Streets NW. GW Police was originally called to the scene of a traffic accident. Upon arriving, they found that a witness to the accident had been assaulted by a passenger from one of the vehicles. The witness decided not to press charges.
Just this morning, a woman unaffiliated with GW filed a complaint of indecent exposure at the intersection of 19th and E Streets NW. The woman stated that a male approached her parked car and exposed himself to her, before fleeing.
Finally, GW Police charged a man with disorderly conduct after he was discovered urinating behind Corcoran Hall in University Yard. The subject, who fled when confronted by GW Police, was apprehended. Metropolitan Police also responded, and the subject was barred from the GWU campus.
Check back each week for more from the UPD Crime Log and all your campus news!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Many GW students have unknowingly passed a component of DC's previous bike sharing scheme, SmartBike DC, when walking up the west side of 23rd St near GWU Hospital; the long bicycle rack allowed paying members of the system to rent the red and white bikes. Those with access to the racks could "check out" the bicycles and ride them anywhere - so long as they were eventually parked in one of nine other sharing stations. At $40 a year, membership was comparatively cheap, yet the small scale of the 10-station, 100-bike network limited its utility to the few people who were within walking distance of the racks.
This limitation, however, is soon to change. Partnering with Public Bike System, manufacturer for Montreal and London's bike sharing programs, DDOT is replacing the current system with a new 110-station, 1,100 bike system named Capital Bikeshare. Along with expanded availability, the city is replacing the current fleet of worse-for-wear bikes with visibly stronger, more rugged models.
Instead of just one station, GW students will be within a stone's throw of four; in addition to the existing station outside GWU Hospital, more will be placed outside the headquarters of the American Red Cross, on 21st and Pennsylvania across the Park from Lindy's, and on 18th and H opposite Founding Farmers. Dupont Circle, U Street, Eastern Market, Capital Hill, and Adams Morgan are all served by one or more stations as well.
However, this increased access comes at a price. While the current promotional price for a 1-year membership is $50, this will eventually rise to $80. Corresponding monthly and daily Capital Bikeshare plans will also be somewhat more expensive than their SmartBike DC counterparts, but DDOT hopes that the vastly increased service will more than justify the hike. While the system doesn't officially open until the end of the September, as stations are still being installed, promotional-priced memberships, station maps, and additional information are available at www.capitalbikeshare.com.