2011-2012: A(U) Year in Review
Earthquake hit D.C.A 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the eastern U.S. at the beginning of Welcome Week last year. The quake was 160 times bigger and almost 2,000 times more powerful than the last quake that hit D.C. in July 2010, according to The Washington Post.
AU has highest student debt in D.C.The Project on Student Debt found AU students had the highest average debt among D.C. universities in November 2011. The average debt for 2010 AU graduates who took out loans was $36, 206 while the average debt for 2010 graduates from all D.C. universities was $21,191.
Students advocate for themselvesStudents joined last fall together to form two groups: Occupy AU and A New AU. A New AU focuses on campus issues such as the University’s corporate responsibility while Occupy AU focuses on issues such as student debt and employment.
Bill Clinton speaks at AUBill Clinton spoke at AU in January and received the first ever “WONK of the Year” award. KPU sponsored the event and created the award, but the abundance of WONK campaign materials at the event caused some to think that the University was using the event as a marketing tool as well.
AU offers gender-neutral housingHousing and Dining approved the addition of a gender-neutral housing option to Centennial and Roper Halls for this school year last January. This was an effort to allow GLBTA students and those who do not consider themselves traditionally male or female to live together.
AU celebrated Founder’s Day at The Library of Congress last February. The 575 tickets available to undergraduates for the ball sold out in less than 90 seconds. Student Government later added more tickets.
AU to ban smoking on campusThe University administration plans to ban smoking on campus. This would be a change to the previous rule that banned smoking within 15 feet of on campus buildings. The University has yet to officially instate the ban, but a Student Government poll taken in March found that 47 percent of students polled were in favor of a smoke-free campus.
Adjuncts unionizeThe adjunct professors at AU voted to join the Service Employees International Union Local 500 last February. AU and the union are still in negotiations for their first contract, which will address issues such as job security and pay raise.
Campus Plan approvedThe D.C. Zoning Commission approved AU’s Campus Plan in March after nine months of negotiations and nearly three years of discussions. The plan includes creating spaces for over 1,000 more beds as well as additions to Mary Graydon Center and the relocation of Washington College of Law to Tenley campus.
Students protest gov. Jan BrewerStudents interrupted Gov. Jan Brewer’s, R-Ariz., speech at AU in February, chanting against the governor’s immigration policies. The students involved in the protest were later notified that their actions had violated the Student Conduct Code.
Photos by RACHEL DEVOR / THE EAGLE