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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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This week’s best and worst

Sarah Blugis, a senior majoring in political communication, is The Hatchet’s opinions editor.

In case you missed it, here’s the best and worst news from around campus and the District this week.

Thumbs up:
GW is introducing a new program about extremism to its Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, led by experts in counterterrorism.

Over the last few years, national conversations about extremism and terrorism have been much different from those that followed 9/11. Since 2001, the United States has seen waves of mass shootings, a bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon and violent, high-profile hate crimes like the attack in Charleston last week.

Given these incidents, government officials as well as everyday citizens have been forced to confront questions about how we should define terrorism and extremism. In fact, an analysis released by The New America Foundation this week found that since 9/11, more Americans have been killed by white supremacists and anti-government extremists than by Jihadists since 9/11.

GW is known for its strength in politics and international affairs, so it’s only fitting that the University is working to boost its the center. It’s clear that the United States is on the cusp of some important discussions about homegrown terrorism, and hopefully our students will have the chance to learn from those – or maybe even go out into the world and make some changes, themselves.

Thumbs down:
For the past few years, the relationship between faculty and University officials hasn’t exactly been cordial. Between disagreements over faculty benefits and revisions to the faculty code, it feels like the two parties haven’t seen eye-to-eye in a long time.

Now, in the most recent development, the University appears to have ignored most of the recommendations made by the benefits task force – a group that University President Steven Knapp himself created. Faculty and staff on the task force made recommendations for health care, retirement and tuition benefits, but the University will only address health care.

This leaves many staff and faculty in the dark on retirement and tuition benefits, which doesn’t quite seem fair. And although this was announced several weeks ago, we can expect to see the repercussions throughout the next academic year.

By creating a task force and asking for recommendations, officials appeared to be taking faculty and staff priorities into account. But since most of that advice was disregarded, a substantial part of the process might have been a waste of time.

Of course, the University can’t be expected to listen to every single request made by faculty and staff. But if GW wants to improves its relationship with its employees, it should start taking their opinions seriously.

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