Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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:
Although sexual assault has become a prominent issue on college campuses across the country over the last year — including our own — students aren’t the only ones who need resources and protection.

Thankfully, people throughout the city have access to a free app called ASK DC, meant to connect survivors with resources and assistance immediately. It prompts the user with four options: “talk to someone,” “get an advocate,” “get medical aid” and “alert friends.”

Updates to the app were rolled out this week, and survivors can now use ASK DC to connect directly with emergency response and law enforcement through a “Call 911” button. Users also have the option to program specific contacts into the app so that in case of an emergency, they can get in touch with multiple people at the touch of a button

The city should be commended for creating the app and keeping it updated. City officials should continue making improvements to ASK DC, and should also consider asking survivors for their input.

It’s great that those in the city who can afford a smartphone can make use of such a user-friendly resource. It’s important to remember, though, that many women and men in D.C. have limited access to smartphones, and ASK DC certainly won’t help every sexual assault survivor in the city. Plus, sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes and many survivors may not want to immediately seek help, let alone call the police.

Though it’s extremely important to talk about sexual assault on college campuses, we can’t forget that sexual violence reaches much further than that. Survivors of all types and in all communities need just as much support.

Thumbs down:
When former White House press secretary Jay Carney spoke on campus last year, a few friends and I noticed that the auditorium was freezing. An older woman sitting in front of us overheard our conversation and turned around to say, “Don’t you know why it’s cold? Men control the temperature, and they wear suits.”

This week, a columnist at the Washington Post made a similar observation. After interviewing men and women who work in D.C., she came to the same conclusion: Offices are kept cold because men get hot.

Of course, a few interviews don’t prove much of anything. There are exceptions, and many women wear suits during the summer, too. Even at my own internship with an organization staffed almost completely by women, I sometimes shiver at my desk.

But regardless of why offices are cold, the bottom line is that they’re just too cold. Any D.C. intern wearing a skirt and short sleeves will agree.

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