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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Anne Wernikoff: Home is where The Hatchet is

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

I started thinking about what to write for this column months ago, knowing that the task of summing up my Hatchet experience in 30 inches – not to mention writing my very first article – was a daunting one. As I thought about all of the experiences I’ve had while taking photos for this paper, both in and out of the townhouse, what continuously stood out to me was the importance of the townhouse itself.

Since I first came on staff at the end of my freshman year, my friends have joked that I actually live in the Hatchet townhouse. Considering the innumerable production days, Saturdays, late nights, hours between classes and spare time I’ve spent sitting at the photo desk, this is a pretty accurate statement. But for me, it actually has a much a deeper meaning. Over six semesters, The Hatchet has become my home and the people within it, my family. The townhouse has been the center of my college world. It’s where I work, play, joke, yell, argue, teach, learn and, most importantly, laugh. No matter what was going on in my life outside of The Hatchet, 2140 G St. is where I would go to seek refuge, to ask for advice or to just kick back. I always knew that whoever was sitting on that grimy old couch would lend a sympathetic ear, tell me something new and exciting or crack a joke that no one outside of our staff would ever think is funny. Without that certainty, I don’t know how I would have made it this far. I owe so much to each and every one of you: for your dedication, your energy and your support which has helped me grow up.

Knowing that the townhouse will always be there has been a source of comfort to me. It’s given me a sense of security as well as a sense of purpose. There will always be news, there will always be stories that need to be told and, as a result, there will always be a need for photography. Whether I was fighting with my roommates or struggling not to fail my classes, The Hatchet continuously provided me with a place where I felt needed and where I knew my efforts were appreciated. Inside of the townhouse, I felt part of something bigger than myself, part of an ever-evolving institution that relied on the dedication and talent of its current staff. Knowing that the work I did every time I picked up my camera was relevant and potentially influential allowed me to become a stronger person. It gave me the ability to forget about my shyness in favor of determination and to ignore my anxieties, because having the perfect shot was more important. I would never have learned those lessons anywhere else.

Nick, you helped me become the photographer that I wanted to be. You were the first person who made me think that I might actually have some potential, and without your encouragement, I never would have had the courage to try.

Chris, your passion and dedication continuously inspires me to become a better photographer. I look forward to the day when I can say I was once your editor!

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches - called 30 pieces - to reflect on their time at The Hatchet. Browse all.

Viktors, you’ve been a part of my Hatchet experience since day one. Thank you for all the laughs, schemes and good times.

Michelle, my fellow “girl with a camera with long, brown, curly hair,” I’m so proud of how far you’ve come as a photographer and an editor over the last three years. You’re going to do amazing things next year, and don’t worry, I’ll be back to visit.

Francis and Jordan, you’re the future of this department and I’m so excited to see how you develop as photographers. Thank you for always having so much energy, enthusiasm and dedication. This department would be lost without you.

Marie, Gaby and all the rest of Team Photo, I call you my photo army because you’re the best, biggest and most involved group of photographers we’ve ever had. Thank you for all your hard work and all the fun we’ve had together. Stay focused!

French, we’ve had our disagreements, but I want you to know that I think you’re doing a great job and you’re going to continue to do amazing work next year. I can’t imagine being offered champagne in the middle of G Street with anyone but you.

Louis, we survived the scariest road trip of my life, ate some really weird stadium food and had a lot of fun along the way. Thank you for always making me laugh.

Gabe, you’re inadvertently one of the funniest people I know and also one of the most dedicated journalists. I can’t wait to have you over to my house for dinner in 20 years when you’re famous and I’m living in a cardboard box.

Lyndsey, Annu and Priya, the three of you are the happiest, sweetest girls I know. Thank you for always putting a smile on my face, being there to have a chat, listening to my complaints and letting me eat cupcakes and scones with you.

Justin, your wit and sarcasm are the perfect tension breakers on a tough prodo day and I’ve enjoyed watching the evolution of your hair. P.S. You can’t always win hugs!

Traynor, we might not have ever executed our “mission” but I have complete faith that you’ll solve that mystery one day! Keep it classy; I’ll see you around the Bean.

Cahn, we’ve come so far from that first Metro ride and I’m so happy to have you as a friend. You crack me up and remind me that things aren’t always so serious, thank you for that.

Team Prodo, I’m consistently amazed by the new and creative ways you guys display our photos. Thank you for caring about them as much as we do.

Cory, I wish I could have cool cardigans like you, especially the Red Sox one.

To all my non-Hatchet friends and roommates, thank you for always being there, for supporting me, making sure I eat, listening to my Hatchet drama that made absolutely no sense and reminding me there is a world outside of the townhouse.

Maman and Katharina, you both have been there for me no matter what, always supporting me in everything I do and having faith in my ability to succeed. Ultimately, everything I do is to make the both of you proud. I love you so much.

So here it is, my one and only byline, I only wish I had the space to say more. -30-

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