Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Melissa Holzberg: This week’s best and worst

Melissa Holzberg, a junior 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.


After over a year of student advocacy, officials finally debuted an updated Haven – GW’s sexual assault resource website.

The new website takes a more user-friendly approach by listing emergency resources’ contact information on each page. The website also boasts separate tabs for legal resources, on-campus resources and support contacts unaffiliated with GW. Although the old Haven website may have had some of the same information, this new update should bring students a sense of relief that sexual assault survivors will have a less overwhelming website – which was a key point for student advocates.

While it may have taken over a year for the website revamp, it seems that GW took into consideration many issues that student groups had with the old website. For example, the dated Haven website listed Title IX policies and regulations on the front page, and resources listed were listed as names and addresses rather than with explanations. A website won’t stop sexual assaults from happening on campus, but Haven can now better educate sexual assault survivors and bystanders and can empower other members of the GW community.

Whether you’re a student coming to GW for the first time this year, or if you’re entering your final year as a student here, sexual assault education is likely something that is or will be part of your college experience. It’s heartening to know that officials considered students’ concerns and made the website more helpful for the entire community.


The Federal Transit Authority just handed the Washington Metro Transit Authority a hefty list of failures.

After a train derailment last week in East Falls Church, the FTA said Metro’s track conditions failed to meet “allowable safety parameters specified in [Metro’s] track safety standards, and were not found or addressed by [Metro] personnel prior to the derailment,” according to the report. The FTA also determined that WMATA wasn’t adhering to established standards for track inspections.

If that wasn’t enough bad news for Metro officials, the National Transportation Safety Board alleges that Metro officials have known about their lackadaisical safety procedures since 2009. Officials will not be meeting until Aug. 25th – a full month after the train derailment in East Falls Church – to discuss how to move forward with train inspections and recommendations. We can expect officials to discuss much more than just track issues at this meeting. They have other topics to discuss, like Metro operators running red lights and a Metro Transit Police Officer recently charged with providing material support to ISIS.

Although this report doesn’t give any new information about the train derailment or the inspection procedures for WMATA, it adds new difficulty to an already rocky summer for Metro officials. Unfortunately, the difficulties are becoming the norm for Metro.

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