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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Around DC

White House tours to resume
The White House will give tours to the public starting again later this month, pending visitors receive security clearance from a member of Congress and White House security.

White House officials canceled public tours after Sept. 11, 2001, but began allowing certain groups in starting in February 2002.

Those interested in exploring the White House previously lined up and were given tours on a first-come, first-served basis. Now, a person must give his name, date of birth and Social Security number to his representative or senator. A White House security officer will then screen the name.

“The tourism policies and procedures have been under review, and the goal has always been to make the tours more available,” Ashley Snee, a White House spokesperson, told the Washington Post.

Tours will be given starting Sept. 16, Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Julie Gordon

White House to replace concrete barriers
The White House will receive a security facelift after the National Capital Planning Commission approved plans last week to replace the concrete barriers blocking Pennsylvania Avenue with removable metal posts.

Proponents of the change said it potentially paves the way for the reopening of Pennsylvania Avenue between 15th and 17th streets to vehicular traffic.

“The plan allows us to breathe new life into America’s Main Street,” Commission Chairman John Cogbill told the Washington Times. “This project lends us an extraordinary opportunity to restore beauty and dignity to this important civic space.”

Officials closed the street to traffic in 1995 because of security concerns following the bombing of a Oklahoma City federal building, but the barriers aggravated downtown traffic problems.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said the move was a positive development for the District, because the new security implements will be retractable.

“It’s a first sign of life on Pennsylvania Avenue,” Norton told the Times. “Frankly, it’s a step toward reopening Pennsylvania Avenue. If Pennsylvania Avenue is not reopened, millions of people will think that the District is not an open city.”

Construction, which will begin in January, will be completed before the 2005 presidential inaugural.

Georgetown changes security procedures
Georgetown University students will have greater access to residence halls after complaining that security procedures were unnecessarily stringent.

Beginning Friday, students can enter any residence hall from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. by swiping their identification card, The Hoya reported. At 9 p.m., students must sign in their visitors at a residence hall’s security desk. Previously, Georgetown students only had access to the residence halls in which they lived.

Administrators said even though the new procedures will allow more freedom of movement, campus security will not be compromised.

“The impetus is behind the concerns that students raised last year in terms of inability to be able to visit their friends,” Darryl Harrison, interim director of the Department of Public Safety, told The Hoya.

The new policy will be implemented on a trial basis and will be evaluated at the end of the semester.

Michael Barnett

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