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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter


September 2015

Dear AU Neighbors:

With the beginning of the fall semester yesterday, AU’s entire student body now has returned to the District. Some of them will be moving into private rental homes in your neighborhoods and we hope that you will welcome them.

To help ensure that our off-campus students get off to a positive start in their new neighborhoods, we are conducting an enhanced orientation program to remind them of their responsibilities under AU’s Student Conduct Code and District law. Topics will include responsibilities for yard maintenance, trash and snow removal, as well as an overview of the District’s noise and alcohol laws. We also are informing them of their rights as tenants to a clean and safe living space, including the requirement that rental property owners obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) from the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). The orientation messages are reinforced by a letter to all off-campus students from the associate dean of students.

Occasionally, some of our students demonstrate poor judgment in their conduct and mode of living and become a cause for concern to their neighbors. We want you to know that we are here to help in those instances. We expect AU students to be responsible and considerate neighbors, whether they live on or off campus.

If you have concerns, we urge you to report incidents in progress to AU Public Safety at 202-885-2527. Public Safety is available 24/7 to take appropriate action on your complaints.

If you believe that students are violating District law, please do not hesitate to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 911.

If intervention by Campus Life staff seems to be the most appropriate response, you may call the Office of the Dean of Students at 202-885-3300 (M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or file a complaint online at (click on the complaint form on the right).

We are here if you need us. In the meantime, please welcome your new neighbors to the community.


Andrew Huff

Director of Community Relations

American University

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How to Contact Us

Office of Community Relations
(202) 885-2167

Public Safety
non-emergency: (202) 885-2527
emergency: (202) 885-3636
Community Incident Reporting Form

Dean of Students
(202) 885-3300

Parking & Traffic Office
(202) 885-3111

Meeting of Community Liaison Committee Slated for September 24

American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Thursday, September 24.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Abramson Family Founders Room in the School of International Service (SIS) building on the university’s main campus (4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW). Neighbors are invited to join AU staff at 6:30 p.m. for pre-meeting coffee and conversation. Parking for the meeting is available in the SIS garage.

The CLC was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the D.C. Zoning Commission Order for AU’s 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.

Additional information on the CLC, including meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.

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Neighbors Invited to Back-to-School Picnic

Neighbors Picnic

American University’s Office of Community Relations and the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church cordially invite neighbors and students to attend a back-to-school picnic to celebrate the beginning of the new school year.

The picnic will take place on Sunday, September 13 from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church at 3401 Nebraska Avenue, NW, across the street from AU’s main campus. Honorary grillmasters will include AU President Dr. Neil Kerwin, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Spence Spencer, and Metropolitan's Senior Pastor Charlie Parker.

All are invited to attend. Lunch and kids activities will be provided. Come out and meet your neighbors and students from American University as we kick off the 2015 school year.

For additional information, please contact AU’s Director of Community Relations, Andrew Huff, at 885-2167.

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AU Freshmen Explore and Experience Their New DC Neighborhood


This August, incoming freshmen took the opportunity to learn about the DC community beyond the AU campus. As part of Welcome Week, students participated in one of the three programs:

• Freshman Service Experience

The Freshman Service Experience (FSE), a cornerstone of Welcome Week, gave incoming students the opportunity to make connections with D.C. and American University through community service. During the day, students worked in small groups by joining forces with local nonprofit organizations and learned about social justice while performing community service. In the evenings, they got together with other groups for dinner, films, speakers, and social events. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors – with their own first-year experiences to share – served as FSE leaders.

• Discover D.C.

The Discover DC program celebrated its 12th year of connecting AU’s new students with residents of the District in ways that highlight its diversity and history of civic engagement. Students explored DC neighborhoods and surrounding areas typically missed by tourists. Their tour through the neighborhoods included visits to historical sites and with local agencies and neighborhood associations to learn about issues affecting DC residents.

• Explore DC

Through the Explore DC program, groups of 20 to 25 students navigated and learned about Washington, DC through a targeted lens. Students with similar interests explored specific areas and topics to better understand the inner-workings of DC from an insider’s perspective. Their myriad activities included meeting with women who strive for important policy changes on Capitol Hill; exploring a variety of DC neighborhoods, landmarks, and historical sites; gaining new perspectives on careers in business from AU alumni and business professionals; learning about journalism, public relations, and film and media arts from AU alums and other professionals from leading area organizations; visiting businesses led by AU alums in the region to learn about leadership, planning the path to success, and accessing the power of networks; and exploring local farmers' markets, and learning about sustainable food production and community building at a local Community Garden.

As part of the program, AU Director of Community Relations Andrew Huff led 25 students on a two-day tour of Spring Valley/Wesley Heights, Tenleytown, and Van Ness and introduced them to neighbors and Commissioners from ANC 3D, ANC 3E, and ANC 3F. Students visited the John A. Wilson building where they learned more about District government, and heard from DC Vote about the statehood movement. They also went on a tour of WAMU 88.5 studios.

“Special thanks to the neighbors and ANC Commissioners who helped welcome our students to the neighborhood. This was a great opportunity to bring students and community members together,” said Huff.

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Tenley Campus Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to Feature Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg


American University Washington College of Law is thrilled to announce that U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will participate in the historic ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the law school’s new Tenley Campus.

“We are deeply honored that Justice Ginsburg has made herself available to celebrate the opening of our new campus,” said Dean Claudio Grossman. “As the first law school in the country founded by women, WCL could not be more enthusiastic about Justice Ginsburg joining us for this memorable occasion. Our entire community is looking forward to this day, this spectacular new campus, and all the opportunities it will provide.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 2016, with additional events being planned for alumni and friends as part of the Celebration Weekend. Students are set to start classes at the Tenley Campus – an 8 ½-acre space one block from the AU-Tenleytown Metro station – beginning January 11, 2016.

For more information, visit

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"14 Tips For First Years" Video For Freshmen


American University President Neil Kerwin's office has produced a video for incoming freshmen titled 14 Tips For First Years. The video offers tips on how first-year students can be be safe, good neighbors, stewards of the environment, as well as ways to save money. To view the video, click here.

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AU Co-Hosts Neighborhood World Cup Finals Screening


American University partnered recently with District Sports, Stoddert Soccer, Rocklands BBQ, and Wilson High School to screen the Women’s World Cup finals match. Coordinated by Tenleytown residents and former ANC 3E Chair Matt Frumin, the screening took place at Wilson High school. About 750 people attended to watch the American team defeat Japan 5 – 2. During the screening kids from the local neighborhoods also kicked soccer balls into the goals on the school’s soccer field, as parents and fans watched.

“AU values the opportunity to partner with our neighbors to bring great events to the community. This was a huge success and one that we hope to duplicate in the future,” said Andrew Huff, AU’s Director of Community Relations.

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AU Receives Second ‘LEED Gold’ Distinction


American University’s McKinley Building earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification recently. It is the second new construction on AU’s campus to receive the Gold distinction. The first building to receive the LEED Gold certification was the School of International Service in 2011.

According to sustainability manager Megan Litke, “Washington D.C. has more LEED-certified square footage per person than any state in the country, and we at American University are excited to contribute to making the Capitol City the greenest in the nation. The McKinley Building has many features that embody what a green building is and we are excited to use it as an educational resource on campus.”

To achieve Gold status, the McKinley Building, which houses the School of Communication (SOC), met a number of rigorous LEED-specified environmental and human health-related standards. The building’s green features include:

• Green roofs (viewable from the third floor);

• Water-efficient landscaping that features native and adaptive species;

• A location that is walking distance from numerous community resources including a bank, pharmacy, church, convenience store, and restaurants;

• Easy access to the MetroBus and the AU shuttle to the Tenleytown Metro-station;

• Toilets and sinks that are low-flow, water-saving fixtures;

• Energy efficient design that uses 22 percent less energy than a traditionally built building;

• The purchase by AU of 100 percent renewable energy credits;

• Lighting level controls at work stations and shared spaces; and

• Usage of a green cleaning plan.

This LEED certification comes as a result of AU’s concerted effort to adhere to the university’s Green Building Policy which states that all construction implemented on campus must meet or exceed LEED Gold status. To meet that self-imposed standard, AU followed strict green practices whereby nearly 30 percent of building materials, by cost, contained recycled content; 26 percent of the building materials were local, and manufactured and extracted within 500 miles of the building site; all adhesives, sealants, carpeting, and paint used contained low or no levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC); and more than 96 percent of construction waste was recycled.

School of Communication Dean Jeff Rutenbeck said, “At the School of Communication we seek to instill a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit in our research, teaching, and creative work, and the LEED gold designation celebrates those sensibilities. We are grateful to both the university as well as the donors and partners who have made this possible.”

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Registration Open for SPExS Lifelong Empowerment & Professional Development


Do you want to write better? Lead better? Master digital and social media? Recharge your self-esteem? Switch professions, or re-enter the work force?

Registration is open now for AU's School of Professional and Extended Studies (SPExS) certificate program for adult women in transitional stages of their lives, called LEAP – Lifelong Empowerment and Professional Development. LEAP already has given dozens of women renewed and richer lives, personally, and professionally.

The roster of non-credit courses in the program are designed to enhance writing, communication, and leadership skills in an intimate classroom setting with smart and like-minded adults. The certificate is earned by taking four courses, although students also can opt to take individual courses. Courses will be taught both in Annapolis, Maryland and on AU’s D.C. campus.

Voices of Women

An immersion in the study of women authors through the ages with the purpose of self-reflection and re-direction in personal and professional lives.

Write Well (and get published)

This course offers instruction in journalistic style, feature article writing, the art of the memoir, blogging – and how to get published.

Women and Leadership

This course will help women to lead more thoughtfully and effectively in the workplace, in membership organizations, or in personal relationships. The course will help participants to better understand the distinct challenges and opportunities women face when assuming a leadership role, and provide them with choices for their leadership.

Mastering Digital and Social Media

In an ever-increasing digital world, leaders must master social media to spread their messages and enhance their clout. In this class, participants learn about the appropriate use of different social and digital media tools for both personal branding goals and organizational purposes. This course teaches the use of several different digital and social media tools to demonstrate expertise; promote a cause, product, or organization; or reach a wide spectrum of audiences.

For registration and further information on instructors and courses, please visit: Space is limited, so enroll today!

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Calendar of Events

Field Hockey vs. Appalachian State University

September 6, Jacobs Field

1 – 3 p.m.

Members’ Only Fall Preview

September 11, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Director Jack Rasmussen invites members and their guests to preview the Early Fall exhibitions before they open to the public. At 6 p.m. there will be a tour and lecture on the contemporary Chinese art in Pulse of the Future. Not yet a member? Join now for exclusive programming.

Gallery Talk with Gerhardt Knodel

September 12, 5 – 6 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Meet the artist Gerhardt Knodel and learn more about his interactive, thought-provoking work in Let The Games Begin.

Gallery Talk with Mary Schaffer

September 12, 6 – 7 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Meet the artist Mary Schaffer as she discusses her site-specific glass installation in Reflections and Contradictions: Five Decades.

Early Fall Artists’ Reception

September 12, 6 – 9 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Mix and mingle with artists, curators, and museum guests at the Early Fall Reception. Early fall exhibitions include Pulse of the Future, contemporary Chinese art; Let the Games Begin!, interactive works by Gerhardt Knodel; Blood Mirror, organized by artist Jordan Eagles; Reflections & Contradictions: Five Decades, glass work by Mary Shaffer; and Itinerant Edens: Of Fable and Facsimile, sculptural scenes in unfired clay by Walter McConnell. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.

Yoga in the Galleries

September 16, 23, 30, 10 a.m.

Katzen Museum

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class provides mental clarity and relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of art. Participants are required to bring mats. Sessions run every Wednesday through April 29. $10 per class and free for museum members. Cash, credit, or check accepted:

Weekly Gallery Tours

September 18 – October 16, 12:30 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Explore the galleries at the Katzen Museum each Friday afternoon with our knowledgeable volunteer docents. Guided tours highlight current exhibitions and cover a new subject every week. Free.

University of Virginia vs. UMBC – American Volleyball Classic

September 18, Bender Arena

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

AU Women’s Volleyball vs. UMBC – American Volleyball Classic

September 19, Bender Arena

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

College of William & Mary vs. University of Virginia – American

Volleyball Classic

September 19, Bender Arena

1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

UMBC vs. College of William & Mary – American Volleyball Classic

September 19, Bender Arena

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

AU Women’s Volleyball vs. University of Virginia – American Volleyball Classic

September 19, Bender Arena

7 – 9 p.m.

Kids@Katzen Family Day

September 20, 1 – 3 p.m.

Katzen Museum

As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we’re offering a special family day for this session of Kids@Katzen with an engaging art project for the whole family inspired by one of our current exhibitions. Appropriate for ages 4-12. $15 per family of four, $5 for each additional member. Advanced registration recommended:

New Student Showcase: Overture

September 25 – 26, 8 p.m.

Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre

Led by playwright, lyricist, director Caleen Sinette Jennings, the New Student Showcase welcomes the dynamic incoming class of 2019 to the American University performing arts community, and introduces them to the incredible adventure of becoming a performing artist. Through monologues, scenes, and song, the new students reveal their insecurities, passions, and ambitions. It's an unforgettable rite of passage and celebration of the first days at AU. Tickets: $5 general admission at 202-885-ARTS or

Gallery Talk with Walter McConnell

September 28, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Meet the artist and discover the process behind his large-scale moist clay installations in Itinerant Edens: Of Fable and Facsimile.

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