Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Staff Editorial: A letter from The Hatchet’s editorial board

What’s happening, and why does it matter? The Hatchet’s editorial board aims to answer this question each week, breaking down University policies and national programs that affect you.

The editorial board is a group of Hatchet staff who meet weekly to discuss and write about events that affect our campus, our city and our country. From arming the GW Police Department to tweaking Title IX regulations, the decisions that officials make have consequences.

The editorial board’s work stems from factual, accurate reporting and a commitment to our community. We aim to inform our readers, advocate for their rights and challenge their beliefs. We focus on issues large and small that matter to University students like ourselves, whether hard-hitting or uplifting — last week, we welcomed the Class of 2027 to campus.

Our topics come from The Hatchet’s headlines and those of other local publications, but wherever the news breaks, the editorial board works to make sense of it. After deciding on a topic, a collaborative discussion forms the foundation for the staff editorial. Members of the editorial board then work together to write the editorial, which serves as The Hatchet’s stance on any given issue.

Six members of The Hatchet’s staff are on this volume’s editorial board. Drawing from our various backgrounds and roles, we act as an engaged voice for The Hatchet.

Meet the members of the editorial board:

Ethan Benn, a senior from Georgia majoring in journalism and mass communication, is the opinions editor. He runs the editorial board’s weekly meetings, co-writes the staff editorial and focuses on how urban planning and public transportation affect our lives.

Riley Goodfellow, a junior from California majoring in political science and peace studies, is the contributing opinions editor. They are passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion both on campus and in D.C., with a focus on the intersection of LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights.

Paige Baratta, a sophomore from Pennsylvania majoring in political science and journalism, is the editorials assistant. She helps lead the editorial board’s weekly meetings, contributes to the staff editorial and focuses on social justice and local policy in D.C.

Jenna Baer, a senior from Texas majoring in creative writing, is the contributing culture editor. She is passionate about making the University more affordable for all students, with an eye on improving sustainable energy and accessible health care beyond Foggy Bottom.

Anaya Bhatt, a sophomore from California majoring in political communication, is the contributing social media director. She is passionate about creating a more representative democracy.

Ethan Valliath, a junior from New Jersey majoring in international affairs, is the social media director. He focuses on the availability of financial aid and mental health resources for first-generation, immigrant and lower-income students.

Zach Blackburn, The Hatchet’s editor in chief, is present for our discussions and edits the staff editorial, but he does not offer his opinion. The editorial board is also independent from the newsroom — like Blackburn, no news writers, reporters or editors contribute to the staff editorial.

Distilling the views of six people, let alone an entire University, is no easy task. We know we do not and cannot represent the entire student body, so we aim to consider perspectives besides our own, even — and especially when — that leads us to defend unpopular or unorthodox ideas.

We don’t expect you to always agree with us. We don’t hesitate to outline the policies and programs we think are necessary for GW’s community. And we don’t refrain from holding officials, be they presidents of universities or international leaders, accountable for their actions.

Should you disagree with us on a particular issue, we encourage you to either write a letter to the editor or an op-ed. The members of the editorial board are also fallible. If we get something wrong, we’ll acknowledge and correct our mistakes. If new information comes to light, we’ll update our views accordingly.

This is your editorial board — we represent The Hatchet, but we’re also an independent voice capable of commenting on and advocating for our community. That’s our mission, and we’re more excited than ever to fulfill it this volume.

The editorial board consists of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s staff editorial was written by Opinions Editor Ethan Benn and Editorials Assistant Paige Baratta based on discussions with Contributing Culture Editor Jenna Baer, Contributing Social Media Director Anaya Bhatt, Contributing Opinions Editor Riley Goodfellow and Social Media Director Ethan Valliath.

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