September 07, 2001
GWU closes campus for protests

The following is an email from the President of George Washington University, in which he outlines the plan to shut down and evacuate GWU for the duration of the IMF/World Bank meetings (and subsequent protests), to "protect the community". They're even giving students money for airfare (!!!!). (thanks to kendall of monkeyfist for forwarding this to me :P)

posted by dru in activism

===== Original Message From =====

TO: The GW University Community

FROM: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg

DATE: September 6, 2001

RE: University Schedule, September 27 - October 2, 2001

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have scheduled two days of

meetings adjacent to our campus September 29 and 30, 2001. As a result of

these meetings, municipal officials expect as many as 100,000 visitors in

and around Foggy Bottom. They anticipate disruptions of normal operations

and have expressed concern for the campus.

While we believe that the majority of guests, including protesters, will

peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights, recent experience with

similar meetings in other locations and the best advice from city and

federal sources, have focused our attention. As part of their crowd

control efforts, police will be erecting crowd control barricades around a

security perimeter, some of which will run through our campus. According

to MPD, protests will likely commence before the meetings begin and

continue for a time after they end.

Having assessed the overall impact of the World Bank/IMF meetings and the

protests on our campus community, Metropolitan Police have recommended

that GW close during this period and ask all but designated personnel to

leave the area.

After careful consideration of all available information, including the

recommendation of police, the decision has been made to CLOSE the Foggy

Bottom Campus from Thursday evening, September 27 until Tuesday, October

2. During this period, no classes will be held at the Foggy Bottom

Campus. All facilities at Foggy Bottom will be closed, including all GW

residence halls.

Specifically, no classes will begin after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September

27 and all buildings on the Foggy Bottom Campus will be locked as of 8:00

p.m. Classes beginning before 4:00 p.m. will continue to conclusion,

subject of course to modification should circumstances warrant. Please

note that classes affected will be rescheduled (please see the GW website for details).

This closure applies to all classes and buildings, including

administrative offices, that are part of the Foggy Bottom campus, as well

as all GW Continuing Education classes in Washington, D.C.

Employees designated to be on the Foggy Bottom Campus during this period

will receive special instructions regarding work assignments and

schedules. All other faculty and staff assigned to Foggy Bottom should

not report to work.

The GW Mount Vernon Campus will remain OPEN during this period, with NO

classes conducted, NO shuttle service to Foggy Bottom and a no-guest

policy for non-GW students in effect for residence halls. Employees

assigned to the Mount Vernon Campus are expected to report to work as

regularly scheduled during this period. Alternate shuttle transportation

from the Mount Vernon Campus to a location other than Foggy Bottom will be

made available.

The University will be open and operating on a normal schedule at all

other campuses, satellites and administrative offices in Virginia and

Maryland. Faculty and staff assigned to those locations during this

period should report to work.

The GW Hospital will remain OPEN and employees will receive instructions

from hospital officials regarding work schedules and restrictions.

University buildings in Foggy Bottom are currently scheduled to re-open at

8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 2. Non-faculty staff are expected to report

to work as regularly scheduled on the morning of October 2. Employees

scheduled to begin work before 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning will receive

special instructions from their supervisors regarding work assignments and


Residence halls in Foggy Bottom will re-open at 11 a.m. on Tuesday,

October 2 and classes will resume at 4:00 p.m. that day.

The University expects all students to leave the Foggy Bottom Campus area

during this time period. Students will not be permitted to remain in the

residence halls after closing. In those situations where this presents

extreme difficulties, University officials will work with students who

live in our Foggy Bottom residence halls to find alternate accommodations.

The Community Living and Learning Center staff will contact all students

in Foggy Bottom residence halls by e-mail or in person to confirm

students' departures for the September 27th closing. Students who have

extenuating circumstances that hinder their departure or students who need

special assistance should advise their community facilitator or, in upper

division halls, their community director, promptly.

Letters to parents of undergraduates are now in the mail outlining this

plan. Parents are also being encouraged to host friends of their sons and

daughters who might otherwise have difficulty going home. All students

should alert family members of their plans for the period of time from

September 27 to October 2. Parents and others will want to know how to

reach their students.

In addition to the closings, the University will heighten security in all

buildings on both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses beginning

Friday, September 21. GWorld identification cards will be checked at the

main entrances to all residence halls and the overnight guest policy for

non-GW students will be suspended beginning 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September

21. Students, faculty and staff are urged to carry their GWorld

identification cards in order to gain access to University buildings

beginning on Friday, September 21. Once the University reopens, the guest

policy suspension will continue through 12:00 noon, Friday, October 5.

Yom Kippur services, conducted by GW Hillel at various sites on campus,

have been moved to locations off campus. Students, faculty, staff and

other community members who plan to attend GW Hillel Yom Kippur services

on Wednesday, September 26 and Thursday, September 27, should contact

Hillel for information about the alternate locations.

These decisions have not been taken lightly. We would not proceed in this

way if we believed our community could benefit from this experience in a

conventional environment. Our mission is to educate, but it is also our

responsibility to protect the welfare of our community. The University

respects the rights of all involved. However, the history of recent

protests demonstrates that we face a potentially serious situation with

risks for our students, faculty and staff. Even in a best case scenario

our proximity to the meetings and crowds would make it difficult, if not

impossible, to operate on a normal schedule.

Please check the GW website ( in the coming days and weeks for

additional updates. The GW Information Line (202-994-5050) will also

offer recorded information.

We hope this early notification to our community gives everyone ample

opportunity to make the necessary adjustments in their schedules. We

appreciate everyone's understanding and cooperation. Thank you.


(This message has been sent in accordance with George Washington

University mass e-mail policy and procedure. This procedure is available

online at for review. This message was requested

and approved by the Office of the President)