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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Officials shrink Nashman Center office space, cramping students, staff

Florence Tian | Photographer
The directory for the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, housed within 2300 H St.

Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service employees have felt cramped since officials shrunk their office space in December and January.

Officials moved Nashman Center operations from the third and fourth floors of the GW Hillel building to only the fourth floor, leaving 29 staff members and additional student employees with less workspace. University spokesperson Julia Metjian said the third floor of the building is now reserved for “future academic endeavors.”

The Nashman Center moved to the third and fourth floors of the Hillel building in 2021 after the Hillel building was completed in July 2021. Officials demolished the building that previously held the Nashman Center on 22nd Street in October 2021.

Metjian said Nashman Center operations were unaffected by the decrease in space. She said officials made additional space on the Foggy Bottom Campus available to the Nashman Center.

“During this time, the Nashman Center’s work and resources remain uninterrupted and fully available to the community,” Metijian said in an email.

Metjian declined to comment on when officials moved all Nashman Center office space to the fourth floor of the Hillel building and whether offices would be moved back to the third floor.

The third floor of the Hillel building included offices for Nashman Center programs like JumpStart at GW, which trains college students to serve in low-income preschools, and Math Matters GW, which provides free math tutoring to public middle school students in D.C. The fourth floor contained programs like GW SmartDC, which offers free literacy and math tutoring to K-8 students in the District, and engageDC, which connects GW students with partner organizations.

But Nashman Center student staff said the limited space has impeded their work and ability to interact with each other.

Cali Guastella, a junior majoring in accounting and a community engagement assistant for engageDC, said she primarily works remotely, but the decrease in office space has made it difficult for some of her colleagues to work in the Nashman Center.

“​​I know there has been a lot of stress and chaos for people who work in the building,” Guastella said in an email.

Guastella said her engageDC cohort leader previously conducted his office hours in the Nashman Center but has since moved them because of the reduction in space.

“Due to the lack of office space, he has to find other meeting spots,” Guastella said.

The Nashman Center also holds other programs such as ArtReach GW, which offers District residents free art courses, Civic House, a community service residential program for first-years, and GW Votes, which promotes voter registration.

A secretary in the Nashman Center, a sophomore majoring in marketing who asked to remain anonymous, said there are six Nashman Center offices on the fourth floor of the Hillel building that two or three people have to share.

She said Amy Cohen, the Nashman Center’s executive director, and Amy-Leah Joaquim, the Nashman Center’s assistant director, are the only people who don’t have to share office space, but they work remotely “most of the time,” so other people can use their offices.

“They’re so nice, and they’re so compassionate about the situation,” the secretary said.

The secretary said some Nashman Center employees have had to work at tables previously used for activities like making arts and crafts for kids because of the crowded workspace.

“Now it’s only just one small table, and it’s stacked with computers,” the secretary said.

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