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The GW Hatchet

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

The stories that shaped GW this year

With a national admissions scandal, the firing of GW’s business dean, and a student accused of murder, 2013 has been a big year for GW.

Before you ring in the New Year, here’s a look at this year’s top stories:

Another admissions scandal


The University also publicly admitted this year that it has been waitlisting hundreds of students each year because they can’t afford GW’s price tag.

That policy impacts up to 10 percent of the 22,000 applicant pool each year, though GW had previously described its admissions process as “need-blind.”

Coming a year after GW admitted that it inflated admissions data to U.S. News & World Report and got booted off its rankings, this year’s scandal made headlines across the nation.

Police mishandled gun threats on campus
Faced with a pair of gun threats at GW last month, city and campus police both broke procedure by failing to immediately alert each other and the public about the reports.

One officer on scene said the mistakes “could have been a lot worse,” revealing a flawed communications system between police officers responding to GW’s campus.

Business school dean firing

Doug Guthrie told the Financial Times he was surprised at how quickly the University’s top officials fired him as dean of the School of Business. Hatchet File Photo.

When the provost fired Dean Doug Guthrie in August because the school had overspent by $13 million, it sent shockwaves through the school.

A month later, Guthrie again stunned campus when he said administrators really wanted him out because he had hired a lawyer to ward off a slander attack allegedly waged by GW’s top faculty leader.

Hospital staff accused of sexual assault
Three rapes were reported in the GW Hospital over the last three years – two of which involved hospital staff as the alleged perpetrators. Police have not made arrests in any of these cases.

Gay students call for Catholic priest to leave campus
Two gay students launched a contentious campaign to remove the leader of the Newman Center from campus. The students said that in personal counseling sessions with Father Greg Shaffer, they were told that they were sinful and were told to be celibate.

Catholic leaders across the country decried the complaints and GW maintained that both sides were entitled to their freedom of speech and belief.

A tough fundraising push ahead
On the brink of the University’s largest fundraising campaign in its history, GW actually saw fewer donations for the first time in five years.

That could signal a tough road ahead as fundraising officials attempt to bring in more than $1 billion towards scholarships, academic programs and campus development over a decade or so.

Officials also had to scale back expectations for University President Steven Knapp’s massive revenue-boosting effort called the Innovation Task Force, which was expected to bring in $60 million each year for academics.

A GW student murdered his friend at Georgetown

Rahul Gupta. Photo from the Montgomery County Police
Rahul Gupta. Photo from the Montgomery County Police

Rahul Gupta, a 24-year-old graduate student, confessed to killing his longtime friend and Georgetown law student after a night of partying for Gupta’s birthday.

Gupta, who also received his undergraduate degree from GW, told police he thought his girlfriend and Waugh were romantically involved. He will head to trial in 2014.

From the inauguration to the shutdown
Students rose before dawn to snag spots on the National Mall to celebrate President Barack Obama’s second Inauguration. That night, thousands students, faculty and staff danced at GW’s (unofficial) inaugural ball.

Months later, inaction in Congress slowed research grants and sent students with internships in government agencies home during the 16-day partial government shutdown in October.

Moving health centers closer to the heart of campus
Responding to heavy student lobbying, Knapp and other administrators promised to find space on campus for the University Counseling Center and Student Health Service. Still no word on what location might house the two offices.

A new dean to steer GW’s largest college
After Peg Barrett’s tumultuous tenure ended with her resignation in 2012, administrators hired Ben Vinson away from Johns Hopkins University to take control of GW’s largest school.

He is the second dean to come from the top research school where Knapp was provost and is GW’s only black dean.

Macklemore at Spring Fling
Macklemore’s performance at Spring Fling this year packed U-Yard to capacity. It was a performance from the newly minted pop and hip hop superstar that also included an iconic selfie. 2013 was a killer year for Macklemore himself, with singles like “Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love” becoming some of the most played songs on the radio.

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