In characteristically late fashion, the University announced today who will be giving Georgetown’s 2013 commencement addresses. Each school has a separate speaker and the list includes several scholars, journalists, high-ranking government officials, and a sitting head of state.
The School of Foreign Service’s commencement speaker will be President Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania. She was inaugurated as the first female president of the
Balkan Baltic state in 2009. She’s known as the “Iron Lady” (of Lithuania) and is credited with pulling the country out of its economic crisis after 2008, doing so without taking financial aid from the International Monetary Fund. “I never really had this goal—to become president,” she said. “I saw Lithuania sliding deeply into crisis, and I wanted to help the government get our country out of those troubles.” She also holds a black belt in karate.
The School of Nursing and Health Studies gets Dr. Lisa Simpson (not to be confused with the Simpson’s television character), the president and CEO of AcademyHealth, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research institution dedicated to advancing the field of health services research. According to her bio page, “Dr. Simpson has worked to raise the visibility of the field of health services research and its contributions to improving the quality, value and accessibility of care, reducing disparities, and improving health.” (All Vox got from that was that she likes health.)
The commencement speaker for the McDonough School of Business will be Senator William Cowan, Democrat from Massachusetts. He was appointed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to fill the seat that John Kerry vacated when he became secretary of state. A prominent lawyer in Massachusetts, he served as Patrick’s chief legal counsel for two years from January 2011 to November 2012.
Finally, Georgetown College’s speaker will be Lisa Shannon, the founder of Run for Congo Women and the Thousand Sisters Campaign. According to her bio page, she was the “first national grassroots activist in the United States working to raise awareness of the forgotten humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Run for Congo Women has sponsored over 1,400 war-affected women from the Congo and raised over $12 million.
Needless to say, this year’s crop of graduation speakers is bound to be less controversial than last year’s affair.
See the rest of the commencement speakers after the jump.
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Yesterday afternoon, the University in conjunction with GUSA announced that Fritz Brogan (COL ’07) will be the manager for the new pub in New South Student Center. Brogan owns the popular student bar Mason Inn in Glover Park and belongs to a family with strong ties to the University.
19 different pub and restaurant providers were solicited for consideration for managing the pub, and the list was narrowed down by a group of administrators and students before Brogan was selected.
“Students were loud and clear that we want someone that understands what it’s like to be a student, what our needs are, how we want to make this place our own. Fritz, having been an incredibly involved student while he was here … and has been a strong alum … it really made sense for us,” said Chief Business Officer for University Services Debbie Morey. “We couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”
The design and atmosphere of the bar have not been decided on yet. While the bar will incorporate television screens for watching sporting events, Brogan will establish a design once he receives sufficient input from students.
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This is it for me, Vox. I was elected five months ago, so now it’s time for me to sashay away.
Sometimes in the course of the semester, what we cover is really exciting, and, other times, it’s painfully, painfully boring. For instance, every week Vox covers what our favorite campus leaders talk about at their meetings in Gaston. You know them as GUSA Roundups.
One week, my assistant editor Caitriona agreed to write the post. This particular GUSA meeting was dragging on for hours, and the only thing she had to occupy her was her notes, which she decided to entitle “WEEKLY GUSA CIRCLEJERK.”
Somehow, she was seated near GUSA President Nate Tisa, who happened to see her notes. I’m fairly certain that Tisa looked at every Voice reporter differently after that day.
Vox takes its work seriously while not taking itself too seriously. And I’m proud to say that, this semester, I think we’ve lived up to that ethos. (Even if it did devolve into our own circlejerk at times.)
Mostly, though, any success Vox stumbled upon this semester is credit to my assistant editors Isabel Echarte, Ryan Greene, and Caitriona Pagni. We worked as a team this semester and I was incredibly lucky to have them.
Anyway, this will be my last post as Vox editor. Ryan and Izzy will stay on as assistant editors next semester, whereas I’ll be returning to the print side of things as managing editor (my election for which is in literally minutes). In the meantime, it’s been real.
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In an email to students this afternoon, Chief of Police Jay Gruber announced that DPS will be increasing security on campus in light of the recent acts of terrorism in Boston. Last night, in particular, 26-year-old Sean Collier, an MIT police officer, died in an armed confrontation with the men suspected of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombings.
Gruber says there will be an increase in police presence in the short term on campus. “There will be an increased number of uniformed public safety officers on campus,” he said. “We are also coordinating closely with the Metropolitan Police Department to mobilize resources as needed in our area.”
He additionally encouraged students to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity when they encounter it. “Vigilance is important. If you are off campus, we also suggest that you remain aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity,” he said.
Though he also cautioned that Georgetown has received no specific threats either: “Please know that this message is precautionary and there are no threats to campus at this time.”
D.C police has been under increased alert for the past few days as well. Just Tuesday, an unnamed police force removed the trash cans from the immediate area surrounding the Capitol building, since the Boston Marathon bombers planted their bombs in trash cans. A school district in New Hampshire even decided it would cancel its upcoming eighth-grade school trip to Washington, D.C. over security concerns.
If you haven’t looked at any news outlet today, Boston Police have a massive manhunt underway for one of the suspects of the bombings Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. Police are going door-to-door in Watertown, Mass. looking for Tsarnaev and anyone related to the bombings. The other suspect, his brother, was killed last night in a shootout with police.
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Photos: Joshua Raftis (slides 1-6), Julia Tanaka (slides 7-13), courtesy club baseball (slides 14-18), Miles Gavin Meng (slides 19-23)
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In a announcement this afternoon, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Todd Olson lifted the on-campus keg limit which limited students to one keg per party.
“Today I am announcing an immediate change to the one-keg limit at on-campus parties,” he wrote in an email to campus media. “After hearing from students and other stakeholders, and consulting with colleagues, it seems clear that this is a reasonable and promising approach to bringing the center of student social life back onto campus. This change is in effect as of this Friday, April 19.”
Just this Sunday, GUSA passed a bill calling for the University to raise limit on kegs. Before the policy change, students could only purchase one keg per house per night. Students leaders say that the policy change will move more parties back on campus—something neighbors would welcome.
“After working since the beginning of our term to get these important changes in place, we are thrilled that it has finally gone through,” GUSA President Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) said. “Getting rid of the keg limit is huge. … Special thanks to the GUSA senate and neighborhood leaders who helped us encourage the administration to make this change. It’s an important symbolic victory for students and will improve campus social life.”
For his part, Chair of the ANC 2E Ron Lewis welcomed the measure, saying “I think lifting the on-campus keg limit is a great step toward improving on-campus student life.”
Tisa made lobbying the administration to change the policy a priority in the last 40 days of the school year. Over the past few weeks, Tisa and other members of GUSA have been speaking with administrators and neighborhoods through the Georgetown Community Partnership, trying to reach a consensus about what policy would serve students and the community best.
Tisa said GUSA is working to influence the implementation of the campus plan and trying to make on-campus social life better for students. “With the campus plan, obviously there’s a lot of negatives attached for off-campus students, but we wanted to combat that with positive effects,” he said.
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In an email to students, Provost Robert Groves announced that the new Georgetown Downtown location for the School of Continuing Studies will be open in time for fall 2013 classes—a few months ahead of the deadline required in the campus plan agreement.
The move by the School of Continuing Studies will take away 1,100 degree and 2,000 non-degree students, 300 full-time and adjunct faculty, and 100 administrators from the Main and Arlington, Va. campuses, which will free up space for other uses.
Groves notes that the center’s opening is one of the ways in which the University is strengthening its ties to the city of Washington: “Georgetown University has long been a committed partner to the city in investing in the downtown community through learning and service.”
The new campus will be located at 640 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., eight blocks north of the National Mall and about five blocks away from the Law Center.
Luckily for graduate students, the downtown campus will be one of Georgetown’s most accessible campuses. The campus is located within six blocks of all five Metro rail lines and is located near a number of Metro bus stops, Union Station, Interstate 395, Route 50, and public parking.
The facility will boast “30 classrooms, 14 group study rooms, a 130-person auditorium, digital media lab, broadcast studio, library resource center, contemplative space, bookstore, café and multiple lounge and meetings spaces.”
Read Groves’s full email after the jump.
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In this week’s feature, Chris Almeida looks into the health problems that participants in club sports face at Georgetown. Specifically, club sports don’t have access to trainers and have to rely on either the emergency room or the student health center for emergencies:
However, the medical attention given to club programs is not held to the same standards as that given to their varsity counterparts. Although it has been a concern of the Advisory Board for Club Sports, these athletes are not given access to a trainer— considered an essential resource at advanced levels of competition. Members of varsity teams have trainers on-site at games and are provided trainers when something goes wrong at practice. Club sports athletes, however, have to make do with less specialized attention.
News brings you the details on the master planning survey and how it will be used to inform new construction projects for the next 20 years.
Leisure has a preview of the upcoming student film Muse and examines the challenges they face from the University.
The Sports section profiles Georgetown Boxing Club, a group formed in 2007 yet manages to send fighters to the collegiate boxing nationals.
For Voices, Leigh Finnegan reflects on Susan A. Patton’s letter to the Daily Princetonian telling Princeton women to find a man while still in college: “As a female college senior reading this article, my gut reaction was befuddlement—Get a husband in college? What a comically horrible idea.”
The Ed Board thinks you should vote yes on D.C.’s Budget Referendum next Thursday, April 23.
Finally, Page 13 reveals the confessions of the ever-present smokers outside of Lau.
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Ahead of Vox‘s favorite day to enjoy nature, D.C. gives us another reason to be glad Georgetown is located in such a liberal city.
A new poll released today by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project found that 63 percent of residents supported enacting Colorado-esque legalization schemes here in the District. A further 78 percent of residents said that they would like to expand D.C.’s medical marijuana law so that doctors could prescribe cannabis to patients for any condition whatsoever. (The current law has quite restrictive limits on what conditions doctors may prescribe marijuana for.)
67 percent would like to see fewer police resources devoted to catching people who smoke weed. More than 4,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in D.C. last year.
Mike Debonis over at the Post notes that, three years ago, the District was fairly evenly split when it came to the issue: 46 percent in favor to 48 in opposed. D.C. is likely following national trends which now show that a majority, or a near-majority, of Americans support the legalization of marijuana.
This most recent poll, however, has people talking about the possibility of a 2014 ballot initiative either decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana in the District of Columbia. Mason Tvert, the Marijuana Policy Project’s director of communications, told HuffPost D.C. that advocates of legalizing marijunana “will be talking to community leaders and elected officials about various options for adopting a more sensible marijuana policy in D.C., including the possibility of a decriminalization ballot initiative campaign as early as 2014.”
Who knows? If a measure does get sent to the ballot box, we might finally see droves of Georgetown students registering to vote in D.C.
Photo: Zervas via Flickr
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Following yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, police agencies across the city began to take extra precautionary measures to ensure safety against either copy-cat attacks or further coordinated attacks. Removing the trash cans and recycling bins from around Capitol Hill seems to be among the measures taken, since early reports indicate that whatever attacker left two improvised explosive devices in trash cans near the marathon finish. People heading to work this morning noticed the metal husks of Capitol Hill trash cans strewn along the ground, without actual bins for trash inside.
For their part, U.S. Capitol Police say that they are following the events in Boston and working with national and other local law enforcement to prevent a similar attack. “At this juncture, we have no information linking the events to the Capitol Hill community,” U.S. Capitol Police wrote in a press release. “While there is no known connection to the Capitol Hill Complex, the USCP is being diligent in response to the events in Boston and taking additional practiced steps.”
The trash cans in Grand Central Station in New York were also covered up recently to deter similar attacks. Like the airline rules prohibiting liquids and requiring travelers to remove their shoes, this one incident may cause the removal of public trash cans everywhere. London already removed most of its trash cans after deadly attacks by the Irish Republican Army.
Photo: John T. Bennett
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