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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Jaden DiMauro: Leaving home

Auden Yurman | Senior Photo Editor

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches — “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story — to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

Working for The Hatchet can be brutal.

The townhouse is a haven for talented people who relentlessly demand excellence from each other. We work insane hours for no pay and pour more energy than we have into our work because we believe in the power of the product.

In my time on staff, I’ve been part of 86 Sunday-night read-throughs spanning three volumes. And no matter how late we stayed, no matter how tired we were or how pissed we all were at each other, we always gathered at the bottom of the townhouse stairs to say goodnight before we went our separate ways.


All 86 times.

In spite of all the chaos, catastrophes and delirium — or maybe because of it — I started to feel like I was leaving home those nights instead of walking back to it.

At the first in-person Hatchet training I went to, then-editor in chief Lia DeGroot asked me, in front of everyone, what I saw my job as copy editor being. I had to think about it for a second, but eventually I said it was to work behind the scenes — with a bit of elbow grease — to make sure that when the stories our reporters and editors spent so much time and effort on finally saw the light of day, they sparkled.

Since then I’ve edited thousands of stories, both as a copy editor and managing editor. There were times when I was harsh, probably overly so, but each and every time I opened a Google Doc or hit edit on WordPress, I did it with the goal of honoring the writer, to polish the words until they shined.

I’ve always loved the work, but there have been moments where I’ve been close to walking away.

When I stepped down from being EIC last year, I was terrified that making that decision meant I was going to lose the community that had become my home and the friends I’d made within it. Instead, I was met with unconditional understanding, support and love from people I was putting in an unbelievably challenging position.

It was that love and support that kept me here, built me back up and made me fall in love with this place all over again.

In my platform last year, I wrote that The Hatchet was home to the single-most passionate, driven, and talented group of people I’d ever been a part of. I meant it then, and it’s never felt more true now that I’m about to leave it behind.

Anusha Trivedi | Staff Photographer

To the people who made The Hatchet home:

Grace M:
Three years, gallons of black coffee, and way too many sleepless nights later, and we made it. Sometimes I think back on those early prodos we spent alone and masked in the basement and can’t believe we stuck around. But when we felt miserable and all our little plots and plans got shot down, it was the late-night walks around the block, those first CVS runs, comparing Goodreads ratings and arguing about the best Harry Potter movies that got us through it. Out of everything I’m proud of about my time on The Hatchet, watching our post-prodo musings about creating a community in the basement become reality takes the cake. We both know I couldn’t have made it back to Shenkman without you that first month, and now that it’s over, I can’t imagine having done any of this without you. I joined The Hatchet hoping to make friends after being stuck online for a year, and I’m leaving with one for life.

Auden Yurman | Senior Photo Editor

When Grace graduated and you took over, I was skeptical. I’d gotten used to things working a certain way and you were a new, unknown variable. Two years and 40-something Sundays later, and I don’t know how I ever made it through a prodo without you. We’ve been allies, gossip buddies, laughed until neither of us could breathe and most importantly, become friends beyond those moldy walls. The first print paper after we got back from COVID had a gray photo illustration of oranges on the front page. Now, as we’re leaving, your photo team was featured in TIME Magazine and one of your photographers took the cover photo. In the two years you were senior photo editor, you cultivated an environment that both attracted the best photographers on campus and made them want to stick around. The Hatchet became the gold standard for student photojournalism while and because you were running the show. You have so much to be proud of.

My Hatchet party buddy, and — along with Grace — oldest basement ally. Out of all the laughs over the years, I think I spent the most time laughing and joking in the townhouse with you. After all the time we spent together down there, it was probably inevitable that we’d become friends outside of it, and I’m so glad we did. You were just as instrumental in building the basement into the community it is today as Grace and I, and watching you work with Anusha and Abby has given me hope that the design desk will continue to be the heart of the basement like it was when you and Grace manned it. Every Sunday, you got thrown curveball after curveball, impossible and ridiculous ask after impossible and ridiculous ask (lots of them being mine), and somehow you always made it work while making the paper look beautiful. It’s never been a secret how much I love design and how important I think it is. The Hatchet isn’t really a student newspaper; it’s a local paper run by students. And the print edition is the primary mechanism by which community members engage with us. Your work was invaluable to serving that end. It made me proud to say I was a part of The Hatchet.

Zach B:
This was the hardest one of these for me to write because I don’t know how to put into words how grateful I am for you. From the first prodo you came down into the basement, you’ve been a part of so many of my favorite Hatchet memories. We almost wrecked the design and photo computers with a mini basketball, telepathically edited that photo essay, reported courtside while GW beat a Power 5 team for what’ll probably be the last time in both our lifetimes and plotted a co-EIC run together. I put you in an impossible situation last spring when I stepped down, and you did what you always do: you stepped up. You’ve lived up to all the hopes and dreams we had back then and been every bit the leader The Hatchet needed and deserved. I’m so proud of you, in awe of you and lucky to have worked with you. Thank you for bringing me back and more than anything else, for being my friend.

Nick Pasion:
You told me a while ago that The Hatchet is a machine that we’re all cogs in, and that even when some cogs get replaced, everything ultimately keeps on running. I’ve taken a lot of comfort in that idea, but I think there are exceptions to it. Sure, there might be newcomers who, one day, might be able to come close to your hunger for the truth, your desire to be fair and to get the story right while always trying to hold power to account. But none of them will be able to match the depth of your kindness and your constant willingness to lend yourself and your knowledge to those who want to learn from you. The machine will keep whirring even though you’re gone, but it’s definitely not going to sound quite the same.

Relinquishing control of copy wasn’t easy for me, you know that. But leaving it in your hands sure made it a hell of a lot easier. You’re a ferocious defender of what you think is right and a formidable opponent of what you think isn’t. But when I’m raving about you to old Hatchet people, it’s not the confidence or the vast copy knowledge I focus on. It’s the way you stand up for the people who work for you and how respected you are as a leader because of it. It’s how you’ve built a copy/facts corner in the back of the basement that’s bright, purposeful, and proud of the work that’s done there. It’s how you’ve turned the copy section into everything I wished it was and hoped it could be. I’m so proud of you and excited for you to move onto management. I’m only ever a phone call away.

I’ve told you this before, but I was so intimidated by you those first few prodos. Even though you were smaller than I’d pictured you on Zoom, your presence, experience and quiet confidence made you feel larger than life. My quest to earn your respect that first year back quickly made me a better editor and a more confident presence in the townhouse. Over the years, you’ve been a mentor, confidant, somehow my assistant copy editor for a semester and still, through it all, a friend. Thank you for putting up with my shitty texting, calmly listening to me rant and rave and checking in on me when you could tell I needed it. You’re one of the gentlest, kindest people I’ve ever encountered, and I’m glad The Hatchet brought you into my life.

Grace C:
I’ve been thinking about that first conversation we had in the EIC office a lot while I’ve been writing this. We talked for over an hour, but what I remember most was talking about how lonely and isolating being a reporter and a new staff member could be. In the year and change since, you’ve cultivated a community, first with your news team and now with your new staff, that’s serious about the work it produces while also bursting with laughter, silliness and joy. I — along with everyone else who’s worked with you — have gotten to see the compassion and care you demonstrate toward your sources, the empathy you have for your editors and your reporters, and the tenacity and intentionality you carry yourself with as a leader. There’ll be times next year where you’ll be overwhelmed and angry, exhausted and scared, but you’ll never be alone. Don’t forget to ask for help, to lean on Faith, Ianne and Cristina when you need to or to give Zach, Nick and me a call out of the blue. We love you, we’re here for you and we believe in you.

I was once anonymously quoted in an Ethan Benn story calling you the “biggest Hatchet sicko,” and I still think that’s true. You poured an unimaginable amount of yourself into paper while you were here and your impact reflects that. You’re the most meticulous editor I’ve ever met, and the way I edit nowadays has your fingerprints all over it. As tough as you were as an editor, your greatest strength has always been making people feel heard. I appreciated it when I was working for you and aimed to emulate it when I was working with you. I really missed you in the basement this year, and I still owe you dinner in CT this summer.

Throughout my time at The Hatchet, your presence in the townhouse and the basement has been a constant. You’re endlessly creative, enormously talented and a joy to be around. It was always comforting to look around the basement late at night and find you snoozing somewhere or somehow managing to get school work done. Even though you’re from Jersey, I know you’re bound for great things at CNN and wherever else you end up. I’ll always be on the lookout for “Graphic by Nicholas Anastácio.”

Faith & Ianne:
If the EIC’s job is to steer the ship, the MEs’ is to make sure the ship stays afloat; to catch fires before they start and put out the ones that slip through the cracks. You’re both natural editors who care deeply about The Hatchet as an institution, and that’s what’s most important. Take care of yourselves and Grace next year. Let each other know when you need breaks or just a pinch hit here and there. Being ME means getting thrown lots of puzzles. Make sure to pause every now and then to have fun solving them.

So much of my philosophy when it comes to the Hatchet comes from you. You showed me what it means to be a good ME, made me a better editor and influenced the way I think about what it means to be a journalist. You were the first person to ask me to come to your reporter meeting to do a copy training which made me feel valued at a time when I felt like the work I was doing didn’t mean much. I wish I’d gotten to work with you sooner.

Grace H:
From the beginning, you took me and Grace under your wing and made Sunday’s something to look forward to. You snuck us off to Whole Foods, took us on those first CVS runs, made sure we walked home together and stayed on FaceTime with us until we all made it back to our rooms. Thank you for making those early days bearable and for showing us that The Hatchet could be fun.

Lizzie M:
My first Hatchet boss. Thank you for cheering me on through each of my major Hatchet milestones and for believing in me, first when you hired me and then again when you bumped me up to copy editor just a few weeks in. It’s always meant a lot to me.

I don’t know if I ever said it, but you staying on those extra few weeks to train me and help me acclimate to the Hatchet meant a ton. I felt like a deer in headlights for most of it, and the time and effort you took to make sure I knew what I was doing and how to work within the Hatchet system was invaluable. Thanks for the style docs, for answering my deluge of questions with patience and for getting me up to speed on the Hatchet whos-who before I came to campus.

An underappreciated Hatchet legend. Thanks for giving us the scoop on bygone (and not-so bygone) basement drama. I always admired the way you advocated for yourself and for video as a whole. I took notes.

We may have butted heads over copy stuff, but I’ve come to appreciate how tight of a ship you ran. You were always organized, purposeful and as on-schedule as it’s possible for a Hatchet EIC to be. Thanks for breaking your no-outside-hires rule when you brought me on board.

Zach S:
My early Hatchet memories are full of your video montages, sharp insight and the sound of you giggling to yourself in the corner of the basement clicking through Pointer Pointer. That time when some WaPo editor wanted a copy change and you came back to my desk to ask me my opinion was a turning point in terms of my confidence. Thanks for trusting in me.

Ethan B:
It’s been so fun getting to know you these past couple years across so many different environments. That first Hatchet D&D campaign was a bright spot in what was otherwise a really hard year for me. Thanks for being brave enough to send that first message about starting it in Slack; so many fun memories came out of it. You’re a talented writer and a fierce editor. I’ve admired the standard you hold yourself and your writers to since I first got to watch you in action on edboard. I’m going to keep sending you Futurism stories until you block me.

I’m still in awe of how you held the sports section together for as long as you did by sheer force of will. Taking stories for you was some of the most fun I had working for The Hatchet. Thanks for teaching me how to cover basketball games and for getting me and Zach courtside seats for the South Carolina game.

I’ve missed coming downstairs after visuals and cracking up with you and Izzy this semester. You’re a great designer and an even better D&D player. You made a permanent mark on The Hatchet with your merch designs and cartoons, and I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with this year’s Cherry Tree.

Before you and Cristina came along, the copy desk and the back of the basement was a lonely place. But it didn’t take long for you to brighten it up with your enthusiasm and infectious joy. You know how much I care about the copy section, and it’s in your hands next year, along with Lindsay and Anna. Take care of it for me.

Lindsay & Carly:
Joining staff as a copy editor mid-year isn’t easy, but you both dove in head first. Never stop learning, asking questions and picking through stories with a fine-tooth comb.

Brooke, Anna & Dylan:
Fact checking is the most important and thankless job on staff. Watching the three of you not only do it better than any group of fact checkers since I’ve been here, but take as much pride in the work as you have has been such a joy. Dylan and Anna: Keep holding everyone’s feet to the fire and make sure that when you inevitably move on, the people who take over for you uphold the same standard you’ve maintained. Brooke: News editors who get their start as fact checkers always end up being stars. Make us proud and don’t forget your roots.

Anusha & Abby:
In the three years I’ve been on staff, design has been home to some of the most creative, dedicated and talented members of The Hatchet. In the few weeks I’ve gotten to know the two of you and watch you work, I’m confident that you’ll fill those shoes just fine. There’ll be busy days and crazy nights when design decisions are pushed to the back burner and you feel like your ideas and vision are being ignored or trampled on. When that happens, speak up, chime in and push back. No one knows design as well as you do; don’t be afraid to remind everyone of that. The work you do is invaluable and irreplaceable; don’t be afraid to remind yourselves of that.

Nick Perkins:
When you told me you were getting more involved in The Hatchet during that geography lab we had together, I was thrilled, and not just because I wanted another CT staff member. You’re a great writer and a sharp editor. I’m glad you chose us; we’re better off for it.

Your pitches were so good this year that they slowly started to turn me into a begrudging culture fan. I’m glad that you have plans in place to keep writing: I’ll be reading.

Sandra & Ben:
You both were thrust into a tough position at the beginning of this year, but you’ve risen to the challenge and made the sports section your own. I’m so glad you’re bringing Ryan and Syd into the fold, and I’m excited to see how you’ll both continue to grow individually and as the dynamic duo you are next volume.

Ethan V:
It’s been so much fun watching you transform our social media accounts into cohesive and gorgeous collections of work. Thanks for putting up with all my grouchy ad texts and for always doing your best to make sure they went out right.

Lizzie J:
It was such a pleasure to work with you this semester and watch you execute your vision for the podcast. Keep getting to the bottom of it; I’ll be tuning in.

The Hatchet can’t operate without a good business manager, and I think you’re going to make a great one. Stay organized, communicate well and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

My Family & Friends:
Thank you for supporting me throughout all this, for forgiving me when I took forever to respond to calls and texts and most of all, for reading. I couldn’t have done it without you.


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