GWU advises students to take extreme precautions, stock up on supplies ahead of Election Day
The nation’s capital has been torn by violent rioting, looting, and civil unrest related to Antifa and Black Lives Matter since May.
In an email, students were told to stockpile food and medicine like they would for a “hurricane or snowstorm.”
Washington, D.C’s George Washington University is warning students about potential civil unrest following Tuesday’s election.
George Washington University in Washington, D.C. is advising students to stockpile supplies, anticipating potential civil unrest following Tuesday’s presidential election.
On Friday, GW’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities sent an email to the Washington, D.C. institution’s student body advising students to stockpile food, medications, and other supplies ahead of Tuesday’s election. In the email, students were advised to prepare as if there was going to be a “hurricane or snowstorm.”
The university recommended that students stockpile a week’s worth of provisions in case of civil unrest. However, it strongly suggested that students purchase dry goods with long shelf lives, like pasta, rice, seeds, nuts, grains, and canned food. In the email, students were also advised to keep their student identification cards with them at all times and to be more diligent about preventing unauthorized persons from entering dormitories than usual.
Normally, the Office of Student Rights And Responsibilities handles affairs related to student conduct and discipline. However, in this contentious political environment, it has been tasked with sending this particular warning to students.
An earlier advisory, issued Wednesday, told students that “if there is a disturbance” they should “shelter indoors until normal conditions return.” This advisory suggested that students should be on and near campus on Election Day only if necessary and that they should take numerous precautions.
GW said it would also monitor the security situation in Washington, D.C.
GWU Assistant Director of Media Relations Crystal Newcombe Nosal told Campus Reform that “GW is following the lead of the D.C. Government who asked area businesses to prepare for a very active election season.” She added that students weren’t only being advised to take care during the election season, but also that “many of our faculty and staff, for example, have research projects on campus that they may want to take home for several days so that there is no interruption to their research” due to protests around the election.
Newcombe Nosal added that GWU sends alerts and publishes advisories recommending certain precautions around events like the “Women's’ March” which frequently take place in D.C. but did not indicate that GWU normally recommends such severe disaster readiness measures.
George Washington University is located in D.C’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, where several embassies, policy institutions, and governmental departments and agencies, are headquartered.
In June, businesses in the neighborhood were looted amidst civil unrest related to Black Lives Matter protests.
GW is located a brisk walk away from the White House and the National Mall. During the summer, protests near the White House often turned violent, with police often needing to engage in crowd control tactics. During these protests, a fire was started at the historic St. John’s Church, which is located across the street from the White House.
Businesses in Foggy Bottom, and throughout Washington, D.C., are gearing up for potentially greater violence following Tuesday’s presidential election with many storefronts covered with plywood and other barriers.
Authorities throughout the country are preparing for possible riots and civil disorder following the election.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that his state is preparing for potential civil unrest. If the incumbent, President Donald Trump, is reelected, it is likely that left-wing extremists will engage in mass protests.
In September, Campus Reform asked GWU students whether rioting in response to deaths resulting from police brutality was justified.
An overwhelming majority said yes.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Leo_Thuman