D.C. saddened by the death of its beloved snowy owl

Bird-lovers across the District are mourning the loss of their favorite feathered friend: the snowy white owl.

She was first seen in downtown D.C. one bitter winter day in January. Because these birds are typically only found in the Arctic region, it caused quite a stir when passersby spotted her casually perched on an awning near McPherson Square Park.

The legendary owl, who both survived being hit by a D.C. bus and SUV earlier this year and led the District police on a 2-hour chase, died in Minnesota last week. Although the cause of death is still uncertain, it is believed that a vehicle is to blame.

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Twuesday Tweetacular: Rodents of unusual size

Welcome back to the nation’s capitol, Hoyas! Georgetown Hot Mess, for one, is glad to back among impressive monuments, ineffective legislators, and way too much construction.

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GU Fossil Free releases final divestment proposal

Last Tuesday, Georgetown Univeristy Fossil Free (GUFF) released its final divestment proposal. The 35-page document is the result of a year-and-a-half long campaign that focused on divestment of the GU endowment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies.

Founded in December of 2012, the campaign is a combined effort of students, alumni, faculty, and staff that addresses the multiple viewpoints within the collective University.

“The cooperation and collaboration of the entire Georgetown community was crucial in GU Fossil Free’s ability to compile our final proposal,” Chloe Lazarus (COL ’16), one of the core members of the team, said in an interview with Vox. “Our campaign is not isolated; it has been important for us to incorporate the concerns and suggestions of a diverse array of voices on campus.”

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GUSA secures four-year on-campus housing guarantee for students with high financial need

Last week, GUSA executives Trevor Tezel and Omika Jikaria announced a new policy guaranteeing four years of on campus housing to students with high financial need.

In an interview with the Voice, Tezel and Jikaria explained that, prior to this change, students with high financial need who did not secure on-campus housing eligibility for senior year were only partly compensated for rent, leaving them to find a Georgetown-area house or apartment that was possibly more expensive than on-campus housing.

Tezel described the change as “righting a wrong,” and explained that the issue was brought to his attention when it happened to a close friend.

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Breaking News: Bao Bao reaches her first birthday in spite of herself

The District erupted into a state of pandamonium this week when Bao Bao, the resident panda cub at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, turned one year old last Sunday.

During her first 365 days on Earth, Bao Bao gathered numerous, great accomplishments. She lead several panda uprisings in Western China, she once won an award for her work on creating sustainable bamboo farming, and has just generally forwarded the cause of world peace. “Stay sleepy, my friends,” was her response when HONY’s Brandon Stanton asked her what piece of advice she would give to a large group of people. In short, she is simply the most interesting panda in the world.

Bao Bao’s greatest achievement by far, however, was that she somehow managed to avoid tumblng to her death. In honor of her birthday, DCist complied video footage of all the times Bao Bao has fallen over, and Vox agrees that nothing could more appropriately honor Bao Bao on her special day, nor could anything more accurately show how absurd it is that pandas can actually survive in nature.

h/t DCist

Photo: Connor Mallon via flckr

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Prefrosh Preview: Religion at Georgetown

Georgetown is a Catholic university, and there’s no avoiding that fact. You’re never far from a crucifix here (there’s one in every classroom, with the exception of the ICC)—or a priest (many live on campus in the Jesuit Residence near the Southwest Quad). It can seem like every statement from the university talks about how “our Jesuit values” inform such-and-such controversial decision. And yes, there are a number of students who attend Mass every Sunday.

Students from very Catholic high schools, however, might be surprised by how the administration treats students regarding religion. There’s no mandatory Mass, and the topic of Catholicism rarely is broached in academic discussion outside of Theology classes. Two of those classes are a requirement, but Georgetown’s Theology department offers a wide range of them—there’s “History of Christian Thought,” but also “Jewish Sages and Sinners” and “Hindu Religious Tradition.”

Almost everyone takes “Problem of God” (a Theology survey course) freshman year, though some more scripture-inclined students take “Intro to Biblical Literature” instead.

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Prefrosh preview: Greek life at Georgetown

Unless you have been horribly mistaken, at this point you should know that Georgetown is a Catholic, Jesuit University. This does not just mean that you have to take a few Theology courses and call it a day, but it also holds an impact on your campus activities. Since the university does not deem sororities and fraternities contingent with the Jesuit moral vision, Greek life is not included within the official Student Activities Commission. That doesn’t mean that sororities and fraternities don’t have a presence on campus.

Greek life at Georgetown is sort of like that extra piece of pie on the dessert table. It’s there if you want it, it’s not for everyone, and you don’t necessarily need to have it. Unlike at colleges with deep Greek systems, where much of your social life and college experience is based on the “letters” you wear, at Georgetown a lot of your social life is based upon other involvements on campus, and most students have friends from a variety of student groups.

Many student groups on campus resemble fraternities or sororities. Most clubs and teams host parties and pre-games for their members, have initiations or traditions of their own, and bring together a lot of different people into tight friendships, not far off from the fraternity traditions and bonds of sister or brotherhood.

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Comments of the Week: The spears of (Connor) Rohan

Vox wrapped up a lot of the final Prefrosh Previews last week by letting freshmen know about what GUSA (pronounced “goosa”) is and does, some of D.C.’s history, and what separates the four different schools of Georgetown.

While Vox does know that the Healy Family Student Center opens on September 5, no one yet knows what the final product will look like. placenta, however, seems to have a good feeling about.

wow it so pretty

By the way, that’s the grossest commenter name on the blog yet.

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Just the Tip: You left me like this, Superfood

Editor’s note: Just the Tip is back with a new columnist, Connor Rohan. Enjoy!

Dear Connor,

I’m from Spain, where the drinking age is, obviously, 18 and I’m coming to Georgetown this fall. I’ve never really spent much time in America, aside from a few family vacations and I have no clue what underage drinking is like. What should I expect? How much of a culture shock is it going to be now that the drinking is illegal and the place where I’m living is supposedly dry. Do they search bags or anything like that?

Sincerely,
Trying to get Drunk

Hi Trying to get Drunk,

Luckily for you, living in America is just like one big family vacation, except that your family has been replaced with an overbearing government that is more at peace with you dying for a vague set of values than ingesting a beverage that predates writing by thousands of years. Not that I’d ever condone underage drinking, seeing as the law is perfect and reflects objective and absolute morality, but if you want to drink at Georgetown, you can drink at Georgetown. Don’t even worry about it. Don’t even fret. Georgetown is more of a damp campus than a dry campus, so you’ll be fine. Just be careful and try to conceal it when you can.

Godspeed,
Connor

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Prefrosh Preview: The four schools

Just because you won’t get enough acronyms dumped into your life upon your arrival to the Hilltop tomorrow, Vox will add four more: COL, SFS, MSB and NHS. You’re sure to see them attached to alumni names on Wikipedia, the plaques outside of classrooms, and on name tags.

Let’s start with the NHS, because Vox knows you have absolutely no idea what N.H.S. stands for (although, hopefully, a vague idea of what it is).

The NHS

Natural Hegemony Sucks? No Ham Salad? No Home Schooling? Oh—that’s right: Nursing and Health Studies. The School for Nursing and Health Studies began its life as the Georgetown University Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1903 as an adjunct to the recently founded Georgetown Hospital. By 1951, it had transformed into a four-year school within the University, as we know it today.

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