GW University To Cancel Classes for IMF Meetings

By Kate Stepan The GW Hatchet

(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON – George Washington University will cancel classes and evacuate residence halls Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 during anticipated demonstrations surrounding World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings that will be held that weekend, the university announced Thursday morning.

Although the meetings are scheduled for Sept. 29-30, GW’s Foggy Bottom campus will close for five days because of the large number of protesters anticipated. D.C. officials expect as many as 100,000 visitors and protesters that weekend.

IMF and World Bank officials originally planned a five-day conference but cut it to two days to minimize the impact of the expected protests.

“The challenge here is you’ve got a huge amount of protesters forecasted and you’ve got barricades through campus,” said Director of University Relations Gretchen King. “It would be extremely difficult to continue operating on any normal basis at all.”

No classes will be held and all facilities, including residence halls, will be closed at the Foggy Bottom campus, according to a press release from University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. The Mount Vernon campus will remain open but no classes will be held there during this period.

Students should go home, stay with friends off campus or at ount Vernon during the scheduled closure, King said.

“It’s a good recommendation to go home, and we’re going to be working with people who can’t do that,” she said. “It’s a challenge and we’re looking for students to help us get through this event.”

Classes will not begin after 4 p.m. Sept. 27 and all campus buildings will be locked by 8 p.m. that day. Classes beginning before 4 p.m. will continue until their scheduled conclusion.

Residence halls will re-open at 11 a.m. Oct. 2 and classes will resume at 4 p.m. that day.

The university will also heighten security in all GW buildings beginning Sept. 21, according to the press release.

Students and staff will be required to show GWorld cards at the entrances to all residence halls and university buildings, and will not be allowed to host overnight guests who are non-GW students until 12 p.m. on Oct. 5.

Student Finds Way to Locate Lost Goods on Campus

By Sam Sessa The Diamondback

(U-WIRE) COLLEGE PARK, Md.- Tristan Howell suffered a rude awakening for a freshman on the first day of school.

“When I lost my ID card [Aug. 31], I didn’t know what to do, where to go or who to call,” said the University of Maryland student. “I tailgated someone to get to my dorm room, and got a call from La Plata residence hall telling me that someone had found it and returned it.”

“The scary thing is that I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “No one had told me where to go to find any lost items. All I could think of was, `if I don’t find this, people could use it to get things on my account money.'”

The University of Maryland campus does not have an official lost-and-found network.

“Each building had their own lost-and-found department at their information desks,” said junior marketing major Tobias Thornwell, a resident assistant.

However, there is one other option for campus students to help locate their lost belongings.

DormSAFE, founded by sophomore Jonathan Swerdlin, is marketing a lost-and-found network on college campuses around the United States.

DormSAFE sells labels with identification codes on them, which are used to identify lost items. The labels come in various sizes and can be placed on a variety of valuables from key chains to cell phones to laptops. The labels come in packets of different sizes and values, and can be ordered individually, starting at $1.95 per label.

“It’s quite simple, really,” Swerdlin said. “You pick up a pack of DormSAFE labels, place them on any valuable, and register them into our network via telephone, Internet or mail. If your lost item turns up, you will be notified immediately.”

The labels tell the finders how to contact the producer of the product, Stuffbak, and return the missing item and claim their reward. DormSAFE offers a standard reward of a Mini-Pak of labels valued at $19.95, plus any cash reward the owner may have offered.

All the finders have to do is take the item to a nearby drop-off location, such as Mailboxes Etc. The owner pays the shipping fee, and any reward offered for the return of the object.

“One of the things that people like most about DormSAFE is that this kind of insurance is a one-time fee, not something that has to be paid every month,” Swerdlin said.

Unfortunately for students, DormSAFE cannot ensure a 100 percent return rate because their network, like all lost-and-found networks, relies on the honesty of the returner.

College Life Makes Some Prone to Internet Addiction

By Anne Preller Minnesota Daily

(U-WIRE) MINNEAPOLIS – As students begin their freshman year at the University of Minnesota, Housing and Residential Life gives residents some deals, including free laundry, clean bathrooms and free Internet access.

These services really aren’t free; they are factored into the cost of housing. But students can wash as many loads of laundry as needed and surf the Net for hours. And that’s just what students are doing.

According to an article by Dr. Kimberly Young, executive director of the Center for Online Addiction, college life is the Internet user’s dream and college students’ downfall – if they get sucked into the mesmerizing world of the Internet.

Due to large blocks of unstructured time, a new freedom from parental control, no monitoring or censoring of use and encouragement from the institution to take advantage of Internet resources, students are spending more time on the Internet, Young said.

Researchers first recognized Internet addiction several years ago, though the idea of being addicted to computers has been around longer through another medium.

Computer games have been around since the 1970s, when computer addiction was first noticed, said Laura Gurak, director of the university’s Internet Studies Center.

“We do know that lots of people, adults and students alike, are spending more time on the computer,” Gurak said.

Symptoms of Internet abuse include losing track of time online, separation anxiety from the computer, withdrawal from personal relationships and social activities, lack of sleep and a dwindling grade point average.

Cawley said he believes the Internet is here to make University teaching more effective.

“All the positive values the University wants to promote, the Internet, for the most part, has done that,” Cawley said.

But Young’s report warns that most college and university counselors are not aware of the high risk of students becoming addicted to late-night surfing.

Tom Beaumont, an assistant professor and clinical social worker at Boynton Health Service, said there must be a clear diagnosis between addiction to a certain stimuli and a behavior used as a defense against a phobia.

“Addiction is a situation where there is a real-life, immediate reward of some kind or another,” Beaumont said.

When the reward is frequent enough and stimulating enough, a person will continue the behavior in everyday life, Beaumont said. Gambling, pornography and peculiar fetishes might be some of the content drawing students to the computer.

Internet Site Grades Net Worth

By Tim Perzyk The Chronicle

(U-WIRE) DURHAM, N.C. – Think your earning potential’s through the roof? Ever wonder about your real net worth? A new Web site lets you put your opinions to the test. may be the ultimate capitalist experiment. Before slapping a price tag on humanity, the site surveys inquiring minds on a host of personal traits. Height, weight, eye color, IQ and drinking habits all contribute to the assessment, which considers more than three dozen factors.

Fellas, be prepared to dish on your buddy below the belt. Ladies aren’t off the hook either – cup size figures in as well, but the realm beyond triple-D is uncharted.

The exact numerical distributions for the categories aren’t clear, but a little experimentation enlightens the obvious.

Body hair is a negative for both dames and gents, and porn fans, gamblers and the sexually impotent also take a hit.

Cavities, marijuana use and venereal disease are downers, and a low SAT score could come back to haunt you. discloses its appraisals only via e-mail, making the site a tool for gathering demographic marketing info.

While the satisfaction of a lofty appraisal is reason enough to log in, there’s no eBay feature for those fond of indentured servitude.

Hope Holds as Search Continues for Missing U. Illinois Student

By Tom Rybarczyk Daily Illini

(U-WIRE) CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Ryan Katcher’s photograph smiles upon all who enter the Katcher home foyer in Oakwood, Ill. Delicate silver chains drape over his immortal image and hold a pendant upon which the word hope is enscribed.

Hope is the only word left for Ryan’s mom, Linda Katcher. No one has seen Ryan, her only son, since November of last year.

The sequence of emotions is an unending cycle for his mother.

“Once you go through all this, you’ve made it through the end,” Linda says, sitting on the couch in her living room. “Then you go back to the beginning, start over again.”

Stephanie Katcher, Ryan’s sister and a University of Illinois graduate, said she has tried to go on living her life.

Ryan – who would be a junior in commerce this year – still is missing today.

For Ryan Katcher, the first weekend in November last year was similar to every other.

He unloaded his dirty laundry in his house and went out with his girlfriend Friday. Saturday, he went hunting with his friend Travis and later joined some high school friends at a local party; his friends said they dropped him off early the next morning.

But no one has seen Ryan since about 2 a.m. on Nov. 5. That Sunday, his name joined those of the 98,000 other missing persons in the United States.

This particular Sunday, Ryan did not go back to school with his usual supply of food. His black Ford truck – parked in front of his red brick house that night before – was gone.

Police performed land and air searches right after his disappearance. They even resorted to sonar lake searches after all other leads were checked. Nothing has been found.

Ryan lived at home his freshman year in college, commuting to the university every day from his home in Oakwood. One of the main reasons Ryan stayed home was because his father, Rob, died in March 1998, Linda said.

But Linda still has no idea why Ryan would be in trouble. She said she has looked through all of his belongings, his papers and even a computer science assignment that he was working on with some other students.

Recently, police have accessed Ryan’s Internet files, without finding any more clues.

His girlfriend, Carrie Kinney, a sophomore at Danville Community College, said she agrees with Linda – he was a good kid.

Ryan and Kinney dated for four years, which spanned her high school career. Their anniversary was three days prior to his disappearance. During those four years, Kinney said they shared each others’ tragedies, including the death of Ryan’s father.

“He was fun, he was caring, he was kind,” she said. “He always loved you no matter what.”

Both Linda and Kinney said they have tried their hardest to deal with the tragedy.

“I think I am as strong as I can be about it,” Kinney said.

But Linda said she has her “ups and downs” but will never give up hope and will continue to investigate her missing son.

“Believe me, I dig and I dig deep,” she said. Linda said she still questions why she did not teach Ryan more about safety, and wonders if she sheltered him too much when he was a child.

New Web Site Satirizes U.S. News Rankings

By Kevin Lees The Chronicle

(U-WIRE) DURHAM, N.C. – In case you are not satisfied with a university’s ranking from U.S. News & World Report, you can go to another ranking service –

Stuart Rojstaczer, associate professor of earth and ocean sciences at Duke University, has launched the site to poke fun at college ranking methods.

On the Web site, Harvard University may be number one for a few seconds. But just hit the refresh button on the Internet browser and the top-ranked school is the California Institute of Technology. The next moment, it is Princeton. “I’ve been thinking about doing this off and on for the past few years,” Rojstaczer said. “The college rankings that the media circus provides are a measurement of wealth.”

Rojstaczer said the rankings are determined mostly by the size of the school’s endowment divided by the number of students. He said that student satisfaction and the uses of a school’s wealth are factors in the current ranking system, but those are not particularly the best ways in which to determine the quality of a university.

“I wanted to poke fun at U.S. News & World Report,” he said.

Rojstaczer, who is currently on sabbatical at Stanford University, wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle last week criticizing the magazine’s system and promoting his glib Web site.

“There are many institutions that don’t have large endowments, but offer a superior and sometimes affordable education,” he wrote.

Rojstaczer has been a long-time contrarian on a number of higher education issues, especially at Duke. He has written books on American academics, including “Gone for Good: Tales of University Life after the Golden Age,” and columns for such forums as The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Rojstaczer has often questioned the quality of education, research in academia and the pressure on faculty to constantly publish research. Two years ago, Rojstaczer waged a tongue-in-cheek campaign for provost and has criticized Curriculum 2000.

But Provost Peter Lange said Rojstaczer can provide a helpful, fresh voice. “Sometimes he’s very useful,” he said. “Academic environments are places where people ask questions. Stuart’s a guy who asks those questions.”

False Rape Accusation May Result in Charges for Accuser

By Zach Calef and Wendy Weiskircher Iowa State Daily

(U-WIRE) AMES, Iowa – The Story County attorney will make a decision this week whether charges will be filed against the Iowa State University student who lied about being raped by four men.

A white female ISU sophomore, whose name has not been released, told Department of Public Safety officials last week she was abducted from campus and taken to a wooded area where she was sexually assaulted by four black men.

The student has not been charged with a crime. Filing a false report is punishable by up to a year in jail.

The false allegation may enforce a stereotype that black males commit violent crimes – and a minority leader on campus said the woman should be charged.

“Basically, she should face charges,” said Robert Price, president of the Black Student Alliance. “She should not be able to do this and not face consequences.”

Price, a senior in management information systems, said he does not think the woman’s allegations reflect a campus-wide stereotype.

Captain Gene Deisinger, with the special operations unit for DPS, said the department never made an arrest. He said the woman never named a particular person as an assailant.

“There was never any suspects, [and there was] never a viable suspect,” he said.

Deisinger said DPS officials realized the woman had made a false claim by investigating scenes where she said she had been and through interviews.

Deisinger said three agencies were directly involved with the case – Ames Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations and DPS.

It is not common for women to falsify sexual assaults, Deisinger said. He said DPS takes all reports of sexual assault “very seriously.”

“We investigate fully, assuming all allegations are true,” Deisinger said.

Students Criticize New Statue As Waste Of Money

By Olivia Fairley The Pitt News

(U-WIRE) PITTSBURGH – Students and faculty gathered last week outside the William Pitt Union to watch the unveiling of the illennium Panther, a bronze statue purchased by the Student Government Board three years ago. But not everyone was there with a welcome greeting.

Some students were there in protest, upset that this new addition to the university came at a cost of $72,000 – money spent out of the University of Pittburgh’s 1999 student activity fee.

“There are a lot of things to be proud of at this university, like the Cathedral of Learning and the medical programs,” senior Sarah Root said. “I don’t see how this Panther will bring the university together.”

During his speech, SGB President Jeff Alex said he is hopeful that the new statue will become a symbol of pride among the students and help raise the school spirit that has been lacking in the past few years.

As driving rain hurried the ceremony’s speakers, a group of students gathered behind the hedges on Bigelow Boulevard with posters and megaphones.

“We want our money back, the statue is whack,” and “Students, not statues,” could be heard over the addresses – delivered by Alex, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and 1999 SGB President George Mongell – that focused on how the panther is an important part of school spirit here at Pitt. Jocelyn Horner, vice chair of the Non-Traditional Student Caucus of the United States Student Association took the megaphone and yelled “Hey Chancellor Nordenberg, where is my $72,000? Give me some money!”

Sophomore Samantha Lea attended the protest because she felt the University’s priorities are misaligned.

“I know too many students who couldn’t come back to this school this year because they didn’t have enough money,” Lea said. “And now, the same year, $72,000 of the students’ money is put towards a statue. It’s not right.”

Lisa Moriole, a Pitt sophomore and USSA Atlantic regional chair, attended the protest to criticize the University’s priorities, saying that Pitt no longer seems focused on its students.

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