The signs, which read “OPPOSE GU’s Campus Plan” and “Our Homes Not GU’s Dorm,” are a part of the Burleith Citizens’ Association’s campaign against the 2010 Campus Plan. As we’ve reported here (many, many times), Burleith residents largely oppose the 2010 Campus Plan because they worry about the consequences of increasing the graduate student enrollment.
Vox decided to take a stroll through Burleith this afternoon to talk to some residents about the signs. While some residents are knowledgeable about the 2010 Campus Plan, others remain poorly informed about the Plan’s details. And many, such as S Street homeowner Larry Torrez, only put up signs after BCA representatives knocked on their doors asking for support.
“Personally, I like the thought of living in a college town,” he said. “To be honest, this is a nice, sleepy, little neighborhood.”
But if student behavior can be ascribed to “college students being college students,” as Torrez argued, then why did he agree to put up the sign?
“[The BCA representative] is a nice lady. I’ve met her a few times in the past,” Torrez said.
Another Burleith resident, Larry Stowers, told us that his wife put up a sign after BCA representatives visited the S Street home where he’s lived for 40 years.
“I haven’t read [the 2010 Campus Plan,]” Stowers said. “But if students knew how to act, it’d be fine.”
The more in-the-know residents, such as R Street resident Charlotte Kroll, told us that they put up the signs because of a link between the enrollment increase and the neighborhood’s rental situation.
“If [the graduate student enrollment increase] happens, then you’ve got little ghettos around the campus,” Kroll said. “Then, all the students end up coming to parties in Burleith.”
Kroll, who asked a friend help her put up both signs, originally moved to Burleith 15 years ago because she “liked being close to Georgetown.” Now, she worries the 2010 Campus Plan will tempt too many people to rent to students.
“If you add students, more people see real estate opportunities,” she said. “They’re the ones who make out like bandits.”
Mary Meyer, a 37th Street resident who has rented her basement to graduate students for almost a decade, echoed Kroll’s statements.
“If [Georgetown] wants to add students, they should provide housing,” Meyer said. “The neighborhood is like 50% students … and it’s not as nice as families.”