On Tuesday night, University officials revealed their tentative plans for the future of enrollment, student housing, and off-campus life at Georgetown to an audience of about forty West Georgetown and Burleith residents. It was the first in a series of community meetings designed to give neighborhood residents an idea of what its Ten Year Plan will look like.
Emphasizing that the plans shown last night were part of the unfinalized “draft plan,” the Georgetown administrators said the University intends to cap its undergraduate enrollment at its current level of just over 6,000 and instead increase enrollment in its graduate programs from 5,512 to about 8,700 in the next ten years.
The presentation of the plan was accompanied by several University pledges to improve the quality of life for neighbors living near campus who often complain about student noise, parties, and trash. Beginning in August of 2010, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson said, the University will place an adult “Community Advisor” in both West Georgetown and Burleith to act as the equivalent of ResLife Hall Directors among upperclassmen living in those areas. Because Georgetown does not own housing in the Burleith neighborhood, Olson said after the meeting that the University will rent a house for the Community Advisor to live in.
While it is unclear whether the creation of the Community Advisor positions came at the request of neighborhood residents, last week, the results of a Voice FOIA request revealed that community leaders have been lobbying the University to place “adult live-in supervision” among students who live outside of Georgetown’s gates.
Starting in January of 2010, the University will also double the number of SNAP patrols which rove surrounding neighborhoods and break up parties from one to two patrol cars on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. This coming summer, the University will also run the SNAP program with one car on the same nights, which it has not done in previous summers.
Although residents had expressed a strong desire to see more on-campus undergraduate housing built in the next ten years at a previous Campus Plan meeting held in May, the draft plan, which was presented by Olson, Associate Vice President for External Relations Linda Greenan, and Charles DeSantis, who will oversee the Ten Year Plan’s development, does not include any plans for more undergraduate housing to be built on campus. This particularly surprised and incensed neighbors who had been at the May meeting, where the firm Georgetown had contracted to help design the plan, Cooper, Robertson & Partners, showed that there were many sites on Georgetown’s campus where it could add up to 800 beds (in addition to its current 5,053 beds).
With the exception of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Aaron Golds (COL `11) and GUSA Communications Director Molly Breen (MSB `10), no students attended the meeting.
Voice News will have additional coverage of this meeting and student and community reactions to it in tomorrow’s paper.
Photo by Danna Khabbaz.