This semester, George Washington University has been plagued by some prominent Pinocchios. First,there was the GW sex columnist who plagiarized his sex tips. Then, the group of protesters who came under fire for plastering campus with ambiguously satirical anti-Muslim posters. Just last week, a freshman was found responsible for drawing swastikas on her own dorm room door, spurring campus outrage and an FBI investigation.
Here’s a break-down of GW’s sweet little lies:
Truth-Bender: Sahil Mansuri, a junior.
Offense: Lifted sage shackin’ up advice for his anonymous sex column, “Under The Covers,” from this Web site. The result was gems like this: “[Following] an unremarkable high school experience, where the only time I got laid was when my prom date was drunk …. I could walk into any party, any bar, any club, and within a few minutes, have some hot girl’s tongue down my throat. I exuded confidence, I was charismatic, I was irresistible.”
Defense: Ignorance. “He said he simply believed that the ideas—-including phrases, acronyms and strategies—-were allowed to be borrowed from other sources without attribution.” —-The GW Hatchet
Punishment: According to the Hatchet, “He is not a paid staff member and his column is being suspended indefinitely.”
The Verdict: Kudos to anyone willing to admit that they lost their virginity by committing gray rape. Unfortunately, plagiarizing the pick-up advice of someone who wears fuzzy Dr. Seuss hats on VH1 doesn’t exactly make me believe your claims to be “irresistible.” Mansuri’s not writing, for now, but the real question is: Is he boning? And is he still such an asshole about it?
Fabulists: Freshmen Yong Kwon and Ned Goodwin; senior Brian Tierney; graduate students Adam Kokesh, Maxine Nwigwe, Lara Masri, and Ammal Rammah.
Offense: A group of wiseacres calling themselves “Students for Conservativo-Facism Awareness” hung posters around campus depicting anti-Muslim sentiments in an attempt to satire the Young America’s Foundation’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.” When their satire was misinterpreted as overt racism, the group was scrutinized by Muslims and the YAF.
Defense: Just kidding! “There’s a great tendency in academia to have a knee-jerk reaction to anything controversial,” Kokesh told The Hatchet. “Anyone who bothered to read the whole thing got that point (that the posters were satirical).”
Punishment: The posters were torn down. Any further punishment was minor enough to go under the radar.
The Verdict: You got the publicity you wanted, but you also enabled the YAF, of all things, to play victim. Clearly, the GW community doesn’t respond well to satire; next time, know your audience better.
Jive turkey: Sarah Marshak, a freshman.
Offense: This past month, six swastikas were drawn on Marshak’s door. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Marshak drew at least five of them herself.
Defense: Denial. First, Marshak “categorically denied” drawing the swastikas; then, Marshak claimed she “only drew the final three of six swastikas on her door in an attempt to highlight what she characterized as GW’s inaction.” Earlier this week, UPD revealed that, yep, Marshak’s still lying. Marshak drew at least five of the swastikas—-and possibly all of them. “I wasn’t looking to create this, sort of, insanity,” Marshak told The Hatchet. “I wasn’t looking to become a media darling. I was just looking for acknowledgment from University that someone drew a swastika on the door.”
Punishment: In the works. “Marshak said Tara W. Pereira, director of [GWU’s Student Judicial Services office], informed her she would likely be expelled. Marshak said she did not want to leave GW but probably will,” The Hatchet reports. No word yet from outside law enforcement.
The Verdict: What does it take for a girl to get some acknowledgment that she faked a hate crime around here? Sure, most people do something they regret their freshman year of college. Few, however, manage to get the FBI called in.