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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

Melissa Holzberg, a sophomore majoring in political communication, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

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

Thumbs up:

One year after launching its largest-ever capital campaign, GW had its most successful fundraising year in history.

The University’s fundraising arm brought in $230 million in donations this past fiscal year – a 21 percent increase from the prior fiscal year. That progress means GW has $230 million left to raise for its $1 billion campaign, with three years remaining.

This past fiscal year’s success may help to turn the corner on a  history of lackluster fundraising and donations. For example, GW raised $84 million in 2009, one of the smallest amounts for a school its size.

Officials have said they expect the campaign to reach its $1 billion goal well before its end date.

But to keep up this momentum, officials must ensure a cohesive and productive atmosphere in the fundraising office. Three high-level members of the office left over the past academic year and 10 positions opened in the office in one month this summer. If the campaign is going to reach $1 billion, officials must ensure continuity.

Thumbs down:

Asbestos was found behind heater boxes in nearly 300 Metro cars, according to a contractor proposal by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority last week. The proposal calls for the removal of the asbestos material, as well as phasing out 280 of the 1000-series railcars, the oldest type of Metro car in use today.

Asbestos carries cancer-causing toxins. But Metro officials have said the cars are still safe because the asbestos cannot be crumbled, and the toxic fibers cannot be exposed until the affected areas are sawed or drilled through.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended the removal of all 1000-series cars from the rails. This move has already begun, according to Metro officials, and will continue as the asbestos is removed and as more 7000-series cars are available to replace the older cars. To determine what series car you’re boarding, you can look at the top exterior of each car where the 1000-series trains have their number printed.


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