Burleith Citizens’ Association President wants to remind you that residents don’t hate students

In this week’s edition of “How Burleith Residents Misunderstand the 2010 Campus Plan,” we take a look at Lenore Rubino, President of the Burleith Citizens’ Associations. This gem of a line is from an email Rubino sent out over the Burleith listserv:

“Good for all: More on-campus, affordable housing that accommodates student needs. I would think university students, no matter where they are located, would want and demand safe, affordable, convenient on-campus housing, especially at the tuition rates some universities are charging.”

Sigh. I’m not sure where Rubino thinks the University can build more on-campus housing. Neighbors often cite the fact that an architectural firm identified space for 800 additional beds on campus—if the University built on every plot of open space there exists on campus. (And built only dorm-style housing that no student would ever opt to live in as an upperclassman.)

I’m also not sure why Rubino thinks that new on-campus housing would be less expensive than off-campus housing. It certainly isn’t more affordable now.

But her next assertion may be the most mind-boggling of all: “Students should know this: The BCA is not against students (as some of the student blogs indicate).” Of course you aren’t! And to verify your claim, we’ve gone through all the blog posts we’ve written about BCA meetings and activity since March and pulled your organizations’ most ‘pro-student’ acts:

  • From the BCA’s form letter protesting the Campus Plan: “In Burleith alone, over 47% of the houses are rented, many to Georgetown students. Too many of these students frequently disrupt residential tranquility with loud parties, public drunkenness, fights, vandalism, and threats to neighbors. The houses often suffer from poor maintenance that negatively affects property values and causes potential buyers to look elsewhere.”
  • At a meeting to discuss the Plan’s most egregious elements, BCA Vice President Walter Hillabrand disdainfully reminded attendees that more students trying to rent in Burleith would mean more students “doing binge drinking” and “doing public urination.”
  • At another meeting, Glen Harrison of the BCA Committee for GU Relations said, “In a nutshell, GU students living in our community are affecting our community’s health, crime, and domestic tranquility.” …. “At these parties, there is binge drinking with attendant drunk behavior—loud music, cursing, fighting, [and] public urination. These are not new, these are serious, chronic problems.”
  • And for kicks, don’t forget about that the BCA’s lawn signs and dialogue inspires comments like these: “‘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.'”

Some student blogs get it all wrong.

40 Comments on “Burleith Citizens’ Association President wants to remind you that residents don’t hate students

  1. I don’t know why I didn’t draw this connection before, but am I the only one who is reminded of Miss South Carolina by Mr. Hillabrand’s poor grasp of the English language?

  2. Was Lenore Rubino BCA President last summer? In other words, was she the person who drafted the lovely President’s Letter encouraging residents living near students to call the police BEFORE going next door and asking the neighbors to turn the music down? Because if so, her complaints aren’t just stupid; they’re two-faced.

  3. In response to where the students should live – how about in a wonderful apartment building purchased or rented by GU in Rosslyn. The entire building can be for students and GU can battle the recession by employing people to maintain and work in the building. Sounds like a simple and easy plan to me.

  4. Students don’t want to have to take the bus from rosslyn to get to school.
    That’s always residents go to move: “why don’t students move to Rosslyn?” Because it’s not convenient.
    That notion also presumes georgetown has the money to spend renting or buying an apartment building.
    Residents need to realize that students will always live off campus in the neighborhoods surrounding Georgetown. College students will always have parties and get drunk. The occasional student will do something stupid from time to time. If you don’t like this reality then the best solution is to move.

  5. As your neighbor, you expect me to follow laws in the community and I do the same of you. You want to get high and drunk and puke on the sidewalk fine, go ahead. I will not go knocking on your door, but I will call 911. If you get arrested for not following the laws, then so be it. move? NEVER. Been here before you were born and will be after your ego is deflated once you learn that you are not above the law. You party on my block and I guarantee the cops are coming. Security Cameras – ON.

    Oh, and you complain about the neighbors, but never complain about the shit hole slumlord rat infested piece of shit rowhouse you attempt to function in, or that stats show students are more likely to be victims of crime in this community, that your buddies (and maybe you this year) are getting arrest records because the neighbors are tired of you treating our community like shit, AND GU sits back and takes your parents serious $$$ while they refuse to build safe, affordable and good quality ON-campus housing. If you want to see how a respectable and intelligent University treats its students and community, checkout Yale or Harvard. Oh, forgot you guys are the best… right…….

  6. no… we are not the best, although some students (myself included) choose Georgetown over Harvard or Yale.. It would help if we had 380 acres (harvard) or 837 acres (yale). also if we had even comparable endowment. So it is not a matter of respectful or intelligent so much as acres or $$.

  7. “to P” — This is a college community. The university has always been here. You knew what you were getting yourself into, and if you didn’t, you’re an idiot. Your house wouldn’t be worth half as much as it is if the university didn’t exist. So seriously, shut up. You can deal with a little noise on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s called the weekend. Try having fun for once instead of sitting at home by yourself watching college kids (who are going to be way more successful than you) have a good time on your security cameras. By the way, good luck with those. They sound like a great investment. Wait, they’re ON? I am so scared.

    And speaking of Harvard and Yale, you sound about as douchey as any Yale or Harvard grad, so maybe you should just move to one of those places and be with your own kind.

  8. Hey to P,

    I’m pretty sure if a student lived in a “shit hole slumlord rat infested piece of shit rowhouse,” they would complain to their landlords. Also, “Security Cameras – ON”? Bet you can’t say that out loud without someone laughing at you. Wanker.

    Wingardium Leviosa,

  9. I sense that this is just how the big shots at the University want it: long-term residents and short-term students sniping at each other over late-night behavior. Everyone, lift your eyes a little higher and see the University’s plan to CROWD the area. That affects everyone; residents AND students. Increased enrollment means a more highly populated campus. Students wait in lines longer, classes swell, events are harder to attend, not to mention rent rates spiking, living conditions decaying. Yes, the school makes more money. But who does that benefit? BAND TOGETHER, students and residents! Oppose the plan!

  10. @Burleith Resident

    Yes we should band together…to stop the university from enrolling more mid-career and early-career adults from taking night and weekend graduate classes? You do realize that’s where the increased enrollment is based, right?

  11. @burlieth resident

    jesus janis joplin, chill the hell out.

  12. @Burleith resident

    Actually, the school making more money benefits all students – the more money Georgetown has, the more it has to spend on books, professors, staff, financial aid, tech services, building maintenance, and everything else that we expect from the university.

    And increased enrollment at the CONTINUING STUDIES level or the LAW level does absolutely nothing to main campus because neither of those groups meet on main campus. Increased enrollment at the graduate level may lengthen lines slightly at Corp stores or Cosi, but that’s really not a high price to pay. It doesn’t mean increased class sizes because, as this blog has mentioned repeatedly, the 2010 campus plan does not increase the number of undergraduates. I’m a rising senior. I’ve taken approximately 30 classes in various departments, from the intro level to the 300 level. I have had a grand total of four graduate students in those classes; two were MSFS students who needed to pass a language proficiency exam and so were brushing up on their French, one was a high school history teacher who wanted a little extra knowledge about the Reformation, and the fourth, I’ll grant you, was a guy doing a five-year BA/MA program. Grad students don’t take undergrad classes because most professors won’t let them. As for rent rates, graduate, law, and continuing studies students don’t live where undergrads live. We like to live in Burleith or West Georgetown. They like to live in NOVA, where it’s cheaper. I appreciate your expressing a desire to look out for our best interests as well, but the 2010 campus plan isn’t going to hurt us the way you seem to think it will.

  13. comrade burleith resident!! we shall band together and storm healy tower!!

    the school making more money (because it is a for profit business….. oh wait) benefits us, the students. the campus plan is part of the effort to make the university more competitive and to improve quality if life for students. Money is part of that. Growing graduate programs is part of that. Not forcing seniors to live in on campus dorms is part of that. so are lau renovations, science center, the 1789 block, multi sport etc. etc. etc. Sometimes the University snubs its students (more accurately, some of the university offices snub its students… OCAF.. cough cough..) but the campus plan is good for us. Whether it is good for the neighborhood and what right the university has and what right the neighbors have are different questions.
    nice try

    ps. I think bad late night behavior should be punished more. students neeeedd to pick up their trash and should be paddled when they dont. but I also think residents need to stop calling the cops when there are 6 kids drinking beer watching cnn, or even 15 kids drinking jungle juice with reasonable music.

  14. I have had it. This blog has now convinced me to call the cops every time these kids break the law.

  15. Great post. One small quibble–I don’t think it’s accurate to say that on-campus housing is certainly less affordable than off-campus housing. The yearly rate for on-campus housing generally ranges from $8,000 to $9,000. To pay an equivalent amount off-campus, counting the months from September through May, that’s $1,000 to $1,125 monthly. (This is excluding the summer months, which you usually have to use yourself or sublet. I’m also ignoring the cost of furnishing your place.) Assuming a conservative estimate of $50 for utilities per month, and you have $950 to $1,075. Rent in West Georgetown, I think, is in the high-end of that range to more and rent in Burleith is about the same.

    @this blog–Yeah, informed students really get my goat too. Plus, DC has no real use for its police other than harassing college students. Nice.

  16. Neighbors who want the undergrad students to band behind them would do well to consider the parts of the neighbor agenda that actively screw students over–especially the insane GUTS bus routes.

  17. To P, who said this: “Oh, and you complain about the neighbors, but never complain about the shit hole slumlord rat infested piece of shit rowhouse you attempt to function in, or that stats show students are more likely to be victims of crime in this community, that your buddies (and maybe you this year) are getting arrest records because the neighbors are tired of you treating our community like shit, AND GU sits back and takes your parents serious $$$ while they refuse to build safe, affordable and good quality ON-campus housing. ”

    1) We do complain about the crappy housing landlords provide. Some of those landlords are your neighbors. Perhaps you should be dealing with that to since it doesn’t help your property values, either.
    2) We know the crime rates. We’ve complained a lot about them. Part of the problem, however, is that you residents are complaining about drinking, and because you have money and we don’t, guess what the cops do? Break up parties, not patrol for the muggings or the Cuddler. Two way street.
    3) Tell me WHERE GU can build the housing? They built Southwest Quad. That was a bunch. They build anymore, and all the green space goes. Who wants that? No one. THERE IS NOWHERE ELSE TO BUILD.

  18. so i’m in seattle for the summer working at one of the most successful online retailers in the world (i’ll keep you in suspense over who) and last weekend me and a few other interns along with some fulltime employees (people in their late 20’s, probably part of the demographic who could possibly move into burleith if students didn’t live there, OMG THEY DRINK ALCOHOL AND GET ROUDY TOO?!) were having a barbecue in a similar style row house to those in DC and things got a little out of hand with the alcohol and got pretty loud a little after midnight and GUESS WHAT, one of the middle aged neighborhoods came over and asked us very nicely to quiet down, and GUESS WHAT?! we went inside, and quieted down. if that had happened in DC, i would have an arrest record for getting a 61D.
    yes, there are a few georgetown students who would not have complied with quieting down and going inside, but don’t generalize every georgetown student is like that because of them.

    oh, and also, unless you lived in the wooded area that was burleith before 1789, don’t pretend like you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into. see you in august, i’ll save you a beer.

  19. There’s lots of places to build more housing on campus — there’s the air rights above the Jesuit cemetery, and the worthless garden around the old observatory.

    Build high enough, and you could put up thousands.

    (And there’s that football field, which is as useless as the team. Build on that.)

  20. the best way to win an argument since “I know I am but what are you?”.

    Really, person, really?

  21. Where can GU build housing? It is NOT the surrounding communities problem where GU builds its ON-campus housing. When you kids grow up, you will learn to not make your problem someone elses. GU’s business plan right now is to use the community as their dormitory. This has resulted in a serious negative impact to the communities and that is against the zoning laws for institutions within the City of DC. GU is making their problem the communities problem and most everyone knows this. GU has focused too much on $$ and not enough on its effects to the community and the community is fed up.

    YOUR University is the one that forces more drinking off-campus with its alcohol policy, YOUR University has created this mess with the lack of quality affordable housing ON-campus, YOUR University subjects you to a higher rate of being a crime victim by living off-campus, YOUR University forces you to deal with slumlords, YOUR University has clogged are roads and parking with too many thousands of students enrolled and YOUR University has pissed-off the neighbors so much, that people are quick to 911 and doing other proactive measures that can have serious consequences for a student. The University is simply making its business decision in a self-centered manner that is a losing deal for both the surrounding communities and the students. Wake up. Your parents are paying serious $$$ for you to go to this school, and it is embarrassing to see the situations students are now facing because of the University’s past and continued actions.

  22. “GU’s business plan right now is to use the community as their dormitory.”

    Actually, it’s your neighbors’ business plan to use the community as GU’s dormitory. Absolutely nobody is requiring anybody in Burleith to rent to Georgetown students. But you can’t stop your neighbors from renting, so you blame Georgetown. Sort of sounds like you’re making “your problem someone elses [sic].”

  23. Fine, it is the students paying the consequences as much as anyone else.

  24. Hey “tell me where?” (the poster formerly known as “to P”),

    Georgetown isn’t planning on literally building dorms in Burleith, so it won’t be violating any zoning laws. You’ve obviously based your argument entirely on a lawn-sign slogan. I guess I shouldn’t expect better from someone who thinks “communities” is possesive.


  25. that’s funny. a smart gu person telling me about grammar, but can’t spell “possesive”

  26. I’ll take a typo over general poor literacy. Can’t wait to hear you defend the substance of your arguments.

  27. I lived in burleith last year. Last August right before school started we threw a party. Probably 35 people were there and it was a little loud. I got a 61d and have an arrest record as a result. This was the first time we’d ever had any sort of get together. We are reasonable people. Had our neighbors come over and knocked on the door and ask that we quiet down, we would have immediately. Mind nearly every person at this party was of legal drinking age and it was relatively late on a weekend night. Had our neighbor had just a little more patience and confronted us about it directly things would have been just fine. Instead I will have an arrest record for the rest of my life. Sorry burleith residents, but you’re willingness to assume that all college students are monsters is the real problem here. You guys immediately jump to conclusions and vilify your younger neighbors. I admit things get out of hand sometimes. But simply speaking to your neighbors would go a long way to solve your problems.

  28. Funny that tell me where? is calling out Hermione on a typo after complaining about how the university “clogged are [sic] roads.” Now I might not have taken an English class since freshman year, but shouldn’t that be “our roads”? Go watch your security cameras and pop in some Hooked on Phonics while you wait for something meaningful to happen in your life.

  29. This Is Just to Say (Dedicated to the Neighbor Whose Lawn I Peed On)

    I have peed
    on the grass
    that was in
    your lawn

    and which
    you were probably
    for your landscaping contest

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

  30. Why don’t these bitter Burleith residents just rent out their shit holes…make some cash, move away…

  31. to bitter says:

    that is exactly the point. neighbors are pissed because GU has forced itself on the community so much (look at how last campus plan went down with GU stuffing it to the community with its high powered lawyers), the students are now having serious consequences. GU’s alcohol policy, cost to live on campus, safety/crime issues, sanitation violations and consequence, no cars due to crowded streets, payback from neighbors with 911 calls etc… I am seriously not trying to be hostile to students, but neighbors are pissed and the students are losing big time until GU management decides to clean up its act. In the meantime it is a lose-lose deal for the community AND the students. if you can get past grammar checks on a blog and figure it out a little more, maybe then you will be able to avoid some 61Ds in the future. Right now GU is still pushing status quo and yes, the students today, right now, are losing because of it.

    Keep waving the Hoya banner and fight the neighbors if you want, but that is not the answer. It is really up to how much DeGioia and the Board they want to force it. Serious consequences for students and community verus $$$$. I am betting on $$$$.

  32. @ tell me where?
    Oh I get it now…thanks for clarifying. So neighbors are calling 911 as some sort of payback for the last ten year plan that was made when we were all 11 years old. Not because neighbors are trying to enforce laws, not because of public safety and well-being, but as payback. Thank you for finally admitting what I had suspected for so long.

  33. Along the same lines as Hunter, hurting students that are in Burleith for one or two years max doesn’t help your cause against the University. We’re there and gone. Maybe I’ll by property here in twenty years so I can rent it out and piss you off if you’re still around. I’m also not sure how the university’s alcohol policy factors into this. They don’t “underage” student’s drink. I don’t think there is anything outrageous with them complying with the law. Is the drinking age of 21 ridiculous and arbitrary? Yes. But that’s something you should take up with your representative. Oh wait, you live in DC.

  34. @ tell me where?
    I still don’t get it. How is it GU’s fault that *your* neighbors are willing to rent to college students? If you want the GU administration to “clean up its act,” then stop renting to GU students. Then, GU will have to find somewhere else for its students to live. Right now, though, the market is working: landlords in Burleith are supplying and Georgetown students are renting.

    The real truth here is that you *can’t* get your neighbors to stop renting. You’re not politically powerful enough to get the zoning changed. So, instead, you try to get the GU administration to do your dirty work for you.

  35. This discussion and ongoing conversation about the Campus Plan proves one thing: The self-important and self-entitled residents of Burleith (though I admit that as there are some bad apple students, there are some great neighbors) want all the benefits the University provides them without having to deal with any of the students who are the cause of the University in the first place.

    Should everyone comply with codified law? Yes. Would I want to be woken up at three in the morning or look at trash in the streets? No. But it’s a two way street. Do I like having to live in fear of having more than five people at my house to watch a football game where we might scream at a blown call? Do I enjoy the University taking “proactive measures” against me (giving me category A violations, fines, and work-sanction hours) for having more than 12 people in my townhouse at 12:05 on a Thursday night? Is it right that the “neighborhood associations” actively work to harass, exclude, and degrade the quality of life of a good portion of the people who live in their neighborhoods (students)? Certainly not.

    The neighbors have absolutely no credibility. They talk out of both sides of their mouths, saying at one time that they are really trying to help students (without proper research or, God forbid, asking students what they actually want) and at another time, they vilify those same students, calling us dirty pigs who prefer to live in squalor and sleep only during the hours of one and five in the afternoon.

    Here’s an idea: Treat students with respect, work with us, offer us legitimate seats at the table, and we will reciprocate in kind. But that’s only calling the residents’ proverbial bluff. They don’t want to have an amicable relationship with the University or students. They want us out, locked up behind Healy Gates. All they are after is turning what could be a vibrant and pleasant small “college-town” atmosphere which benefits everyone into a quaint, quixotic “Village in the City.” How delusional.

  36. Pingback: Vox Populi » Comments of the Week: A post about the campus plan stirs controversy

  37. Do these complaints even matter? I can’t even get upset about the neighbors- they are so petty.

    It’s pretty clear they are just a collection of bored, middle-aged losers. They have nothing better to do, and have found a crusade to take up some of their spare time.

    Hope the parties are louder and bigger this year

  38. Yeah, go ahead and break the law and get lots of 61Ds, category A violations, work-sanctions and fines! Screw the law and forget about the arrest record on my resume!!

  39. I lived in the Georgetown and Glover Park neighborhoods for many years. The Burleith Citizens Association has a long record of lying to everyone, including their fellow members, the city, and the local press. In the 1990s, they submitted a falsified maps of “student group houses” to the district government and other neighborhood associations to try to pass a zoning overlay that violated the DC Human Rights Act. Some activists, including Pat Scolaro, launched a voter intimidation campaign against students to try to steal the 1996 ANC election (they failed, and Scolaro and others were ordered to pay a hefty monetary fine). Once Bonnie Hardy wrote a letter denouncing the annual GU Senior Auction (how is it her business?) They even tried to shut down the Hoya Kids daycare center. The BCA is led by a small group of extremists with no interest in helping their neighbors or being honest with anyone, and if they want respect, they need to change their ways and start earning it.

  40. Pingback: Vox Populi » Campus Plan Update: No need to worry, the neighbors still don’t like us

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