Campus Plan Update: ANC Special Meeting

Last night, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission held a special meeting to discuss the 2010 Campus Plan.

Ed Solomon chaired the meeting because ANC Chairman Ron Lewis was home sick.

The first, and longest, topic of the night was student housing. Solomon started the discussion off with some background on the issue: the rise in students living off-campus in the past ten years and the University’s response to it, which was called a “second stamp card”. He recited the litany of programs the University has in started then handed the microphone off to Provost Jim O’Donnell.

O’Donnell began the University’s response to the issue of student housing. He acknowledged the neighborhood’s concerns, but said, “We live under the constraint of finances.”  Vice President Todd Olson outlined the Campus Plan in how it would strengthen on-campus student life. He argued that projects such as the New South student center and the library extension would make campus a more appealing home. New requirements such as making all transfer students under 21 live on campus and having all off-campus students sign community contracts are other measures the plan includes, according to Olson.

Lenore Rubino, president of the Burleith Citizens Association, stated that 48 percent of houses in Burleith are rentals, most of which are occupied by students. According to her, this number will grow if the Campus Plan passes.

“Band-aid solutions do nothing to mitigate problems,” she said, referring to the measures Solomon outlined.  “The issue of students living off-campus needs to be addressed as nothing else will improve our quality of life,” she said to raucous applause from residents.

Following opening statements by both sides the ANC turned to the public for input.

One of the earliest questions of the evening came from Ken Archer, a neighbor that recently referred to the neighborhood as a “student ghetto.” Archer asked the University why they have the second most expensive housing rates in the country and if they had explored his four ideas for more housing on campus.

Olson responded that the high housing rates are due to D.C. generally being expensive, but that the University does provide financial aid for students who demonstrate need. He also countered the idea that the four locations Archer presented would truly be feasible locations for more housing.

In response to the University’s claim that there was no more adequate space for adding on-campus housing, Rubino brought up one of her favorite ideas for alleviating the housing problem—satellite housing.

Later, Solomon asked the University if the policies for parties would remain different for students on- and off-campus.

Olson affirmed that the rules for on and off campus would remain different, as they, by definition, do not own the off-campus housing. However, the University is attempting to control off-campus behavior through work sanctions and prohibition of study abroad. At this point a number of audience members chuckled but Olson explained that a significant number of students come to the University planning to study abroad and that this is a deterrent.

As the University listed their ways of how they are dealing with off-campus students Rubino quipped, “What’s next? The national guard?”

Scott Stirrett (SFS ’13) questioned whether the citizens association’s assessment that students were “taking over” the neighborhood was correct and then presented a petition with 721 signatures, four times that of community’s petition. Commissioner Jeff Jones, who openly admit many times that he does not understand technology well, said that he saw 49 signatures from the same address in Kansas. Stirrett said that he had looked at the same information and that a number of the signatures were from residents and that Jones’ statement was hyperbolic and untrue.

In response to Stirrett, President of the Citizens Association of Georgetown Jennifer Altemus (COL ’88) noted, “We welcome students into the neighborhood if they obey the laws.” She also said that when she was a student that it was a privilege to “live on-campus in Nevils.” This comes as a contradiction to a number of residents’ statements that refer to the same area as being off-campus.

Resident Jacques Arsenault, asked the community groups to demonstrate that graduate students would have an adverse impact of the residents’ quality of life because he has not seen this happen. Arsenault did graduate work at the University and now lives in the neighborhood.

Candith Pallandre, senior instructor in the Center for Language Development and Education at the University and a neighbor, said that she sat down with neighbors and does not see enough solutions in the plan. “The University needs to think outside of the box,” she stated.

After more than an hour-and-a-half discussing student housing, the ANC began discussing the MedStar-owned hospital.

The neighbors raised concerns as to why the hospital could add 600 beds, but the University could not add those beds for students, and why the hospital felt that there was a need for the hospital to add hundreds of parking spaces on the campus.

One neighbor hinted in his question that he believes that this is the University trying to add more parking spaces under the guise of them being for the hospital.

Discussion over the proposed enclosure of Kehoe Field went by quickly, with little discussion about it and only minor concerns from the residents.

The Campus Plan’s proposal for a road on the east side of Yates for GUTS buses to use to loop around the campus and exit via Canal Road became the next topic of discussion.

According to Bob Avery of the Foxhall Citizens Association, the University exchanged property with the National Park in order to build the Canal Road entrance and the road encroaches on that parkland, known as the scenic easement. One resident called the proposed road an “insult to the park.”

However, the University’s Karen Frank refuted these claims, saying, “The road is not in any part on the Scenic Easement.”

After the meeting had already passed the two-hour mark, the topic of enrollment became the last issue of the evening.

The university has opted not to increase undergraduate enrollment in the next ten years.

They are, however, changing the way the number of undergraduates is counted. Instead of averaging fall and spring semesters (spring has less students because of study abroad programs) and excluding some groups of on the outskirts of the definition, the University will apply the enrollment cap to all undergraduates, regardless of averages, excluding only three small subsets.

Like nearly everything the University had presented, this idea also faced some opposition from the residents’, despite this form of counting actually limiting the number by more than the previous method would have.

Altemus then gave the ANC commissioners a fact sheet about enrollment prepared by CAG Vice President Gianluca Pivato. Despite CAG claiming that all of the numbers came from the University, one ANC commissioner noted almost immediately that some of CAG’s numbers were significantly higher than what the University reports as the actual numbers. When asked where he got the numbers from, Pivato said that they came from a previous meeting with the University but could not remember when.

As the room had already significantly emptied out, both sides offered closing statements. Olson thanked everyone for listening and participating, and Rubino—reading from a typed statement—said, “sitting here tonight I was very disappointed in the University’s responses.”

For more on the ANC special meeting, check out our Twitter hashtag #ANCGUPlan.

Additional reporting by Geoffrey Bible.

36 Comments on “Campus Plan Update: ANC Special Meeting

  1. I miss the person I used to be…the one who really cared about having good relations with the neighbors. Thanks to people like Lenore Rubino, Stephen Brown, and Ken Archer, I’m really tempted to say “Fuck ’em all; I’m going to trip on the sidewalk in front of your house and sue you for damages before I use my zoom lens to take pictures of you in the bathroom.”

    The problem, of course (as is usually true with politics), is that the majority of residents I meet are actually fairly decent people with very cute dogs.

    And again: if 48% of homes in the neighborhood are rentals, what do they really think is going to happen to their property values if all those homes get sold off immediately because Georgetown students have to live on-campus? And do they really think that AU or GW or employers in the area are going to police the 20-somethings who would rent these houses if Georgetown students are no longer an option for landlords?

  2. Eileen, I think you state an important point that many residents are decent people whose voices are drowned out by anti-student activists like Lenore Rubino and Ken Archer. Just as it’s wrong for them to indict all students for the actions of a few, we need to be careful not to make blanket accusations against all neighbors. It’s important to call them out by name, and let the world know when individuals like Rubino and Archer call for segregationist “relocation” policies, demographic-based quotas, and other unequal treatment for students and non-students.

    In the past, there have been neighbors (e.g., Bill Cochran, Ted Jacobs, Jonda McFarlane) who showed leadership in working with students in a respectful manner, even if they disagreed on some issues. We don’t want to lump such people together with extremists like Lenore Rubino and Ken Archer.

  3. If you’re sticking with the policy of identifying class and year of alumni, Jacques Arsenault is COL’01, MPP’07.

  4. @asuka

    I didn’t actually believe you until I went over there.

    I really wish the normal people in the area who accept that the university isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (and seriously, they do exist – they’re members of Yates, they get students to babysit/tutor their children, they understand that living in a city is not the same as living on one’s own private island of perfect quietness and no traffic) would call out extremists who think that it’s okay to dig up dead priests to build dorms.

  5. @Eileen

    Comments like the one posted on GM make me wonder if there might be anti-catholic sentiment at play as well.

  6. I graduated from Georgetown and am also a property owner on 35th Street.

    Can I ask the students on this blog as serious question?

    Todd Olson stated students with multiple offenses against them for disorderly conduct in surrounding neighborhoods to campus would lose study abroad privileges. Is the threat of this punishment actually going to make you (the students) think twice before misbehaving -i.e. throwing a loud party at your house or underage drinking?

    I am not trying to be a smart ass… I am seriously curious about your response.

  7. I wouldn’t, personally, because I never studied abroad, but I’m in the minority on that one. Most students want very much to study abroad and would take seriously a threat to that privilege. The problem is that most students who live off-campus are seniors. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, and juniors usually choose to as well. Since most students who go abroad do so during their junior year, this punishment would primarily affect students who are already housed on-campus.

    The work sanctions are a pretty decent deterrent. They can take a long time to coordinate, and if not completed a student can’t graduate, so they’re a more immediate problem for seniors. Additionally, fines also come up, which obviously we don’t want to pay.

  8. Asuka, it’s possible, but it’s hard to be certain. In the 1990s, a few activists (Suzi Gookin, Westy Byrd, and perhaps others) made comments that were meant to appeal to anti-Catholic sentiment. During a neighborhood meeting, Gookin stated, regarding Fr. O’Donovan, “He deserves to be attacked, he’s a priest. ” Byrd denounced a student voter registration drive and then blamed the Jesuits. “The students have made it clear that they want to take over our ANC,” she said, “And we know the Jesuits are behind one of those students [Fogarty] running for the ANC.” Of course, Byrd never explained the basis for this claim.
    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/11107/the-macbarrys-dark-hour

    I don’t know if neighbors utter such statements today (openly, at least) but there are valid reasons for concern.

  9. Could students be housed in some kind of Time Tunnel / Quantum Leap passageway to the past?

    They could stay out of the resident’s way as well as put right what once went wrong, hoping each time that the next leap would be the leap home.

  10. What the neighbors don’t seem to understand is that I’ve got some very delicate treasure hunting operations going on all over campus and the Georgetown neighborhood. These operations in undisclosed locations make it impossible for Georgetown to build anymore on-campus student housing. And students are much more amiable to my using their lemon juice and ovens to decode secret messages than any \mixed-generation\ household has been so I say let the students come off campus.

    There might be a solution that works for all, though. I heard there’s a whole hidden city in Mt. Rushmore. Satellite campus perhaps?

    -Ben

  11. The snobbishness at this meeting was appalling. First you had the neighbors literally laughing out loud at every claim the University made. You then had audience members and ANC commissioners saying that their neighborhood is special because it is “affluent.” Many said that they didn’t mind a few token students, but once they “tipped the balance” things became a problem, as they were “taking over and ruining our way of life.” Another hilarious moment was when Jennifer Altemus spoke about how she loved living in Nevils and how the University should build more apartment-style housing like it. What Ms. Altemus forgot was that the University did propose more apartment-style housing, one block closer to Healy Gates than Nevils, and her group raised hell to have it removed from the plan. It was hypocrisy at its best. But the ultimate insult was when the DC Students Speak group presented their petition, stating that they had hundreds of signatures from residents, outnumbering the CAG/BCA petition. Commissioner Jones, who represents many of them, refused to acknowledge that they were in fact residents, despite the fact that they live the majority of the year there.

    The culture of self-entitlement was on full display last night. The neighbors do not deserve anyone’s respect and it’s time that the University community band together to push this through. We’ve been willing partners, but respect is a two way street.

  12. Look, you can’t blame residents — the little guys — for a some pushback when the university attempts to steamroll a plan through without considering community concerns. The plan is all about the university making more money and improving their prestige. They may pay lip service to surrounding neighborhoods, but the campus plan contradicts that.

    The neighborhoods aren’t the same as they once were, what with GU’s overflowing enrollment and the rising tide of rentals in the area. There is a tipping point, when quality of life declines and communities lose their diversity, and we are at that point.

    The university obviously is only looking out or their own interests. This is why, thankfully, the plan must go through city approval. The neighborhoods need a strong voice to be able to stand up to GU’s money, power and political influence.

    It’s a mistake to label Rubino and Archer extremists. Rather, they are bravely passionate community organizers.

  13. If you kids took a measured approach like Candith Pallandre (Burleith resident and Gtown teacher), you would be able appreciate both sides of the conflict. Your blind, green and frothy loyalty to the university exposes your disconnect from the streets you live on. I’m liking this satellite dorm idea.

  14. @Underdogs

    If that was satire, then it was brilliant. If it wasn’t, I nonetheless stand in awe of your mental acrobatics.

    The university’s concessions are as well-documented as they are substantial. If the university wielded as much clout as you suggest and was so openly dismissive of neighborhood concerns, they wouldn’t be binning the smokestack. In fact, perhaps they’d call it something like the Altemus School of Rhetoric and Neighborhood Resource Center. That would certainly be as disrespectful as it would be deeply satisfying.

  15. You have just exhibited the kind of rhetoric that is so frustrating. Neighbors continue to be completely dismissive of students and their beliefs. Might it be that our stance isn’t based on loyalty but on reason? We respect your opinions far more than you ever respect ours. But who do ya’ll say are the immature ones again?

    Really there’s only one way to change it. Campaign Georgetown understood: if you want representatives that share your beliefs, elect one of your own. It sounds to me like it is time to do so again.

  16. @Old Man

    We understand your opinion. If I were an old man (in some gender-bending world where that could be possible), I probably wouldn’t want to live next to a bunch of twenty-somethings. I also would not buy a house three blocks away from a university, but never mind that. But think about this – which I’ve said a few times so far, but no one from the community seems to have a response:

    If, as BCA stated last night, 48% of houses in Burleith are rentals, and students live in the majority of them, a conservative estimate is that 30% of the homes in this neighborhood are rented to students. Now, I can’t think of any undergrads who would want to live in “satellite housing,” but if the university forced us to we’d have no other choice. The houses that students live in currently appraise for seven figures, but they’ve been renovated for students – you’re likely to find, inside, six tiny bedrooms, no dining room, and one and one half bathrooms. This isn’t a family kind of house. You’re also likely to find that while they’re kept in decent shape, $1,000,000 can get you a much nicer house in many other neighborhoods in DC, often neighborhoods that are served better by Metro. Landlords are going to want to keep renting, and their customers are likely to be students from other universities or young professionals not far out of college themselves and just as likely to throw lots of parties. The other option is selling all of these properties, thereby flooding the market and driving the value of all homes in Burleith down. It’s easy to forget these days that Georgetown was not always an affluent neighborhood, and given all of the other nice neighborhoods in Washington, it can easily go down again.

    Honestly, I think your best bet is dealing with students. Most of us are pretty reasonable, interesting, and intelligent people. If you try getting to know the students who live in your neighborhood, you might actually come to respect them as human beings – and the feeling will likely be mutual (thereby leading to more consideration for your concerns – I care more about how my actions affect my friends than how they affect people who regularly treat me like shit). We really don’t come in wanting to hate you.

  17. Can we elect Eileen to some kind of office? I’m glad someone so logical and well-spoken has joined in the fight.

  18. Nice try, Eileen, but I doubt you’ll find any resident who believes that their property values will decrease when the slum lords move out and people who truly care about their property and neighborhood move in.

    And to you students who label long-term residents as “haters” and spring your slick debate-club lines that you learned last year in high school: Please learn to think for yourself, and stop being such a tool for the DeGioia administration.

    Again, most residents respect and welcome students as part of the neighborhood. If, however, the university wants to expand, then they should build into their plan a way to mitigate the effects of flooding more students, more traffic, more pollution into surrounding neighborhoods.

    Not that difficult to understand, is it?

  19. Any resident know knows anything about economics will understand that landlords’ putting 30% of the homes in the area on the market will increase supply, which lowers the market price. It’s the second or third lesson of principles of microeconomics.

    And as I was also saying, you’re simply not going to get people living in these houses who “care about their property.” Trust me, “normal” people don’t want to live in these homes because they’re overpriced. As I explained, these houses are not in great condition and have been renovated to serve the needs of students living with friends, not parents living with children. The only reason landlords are able to charge such high prices is that students want them badly enough (demand is high) – and we want them because they’re conveniently located for our needs. These houses would either rent to other young people, sell at a much lower value than their appraised worth (as above), or remain on the market for years (in case you’ve forgotten, most of the country’s in a real estate slump, with home values everywhere rapidly losing value because too many are for sale – this is what caused the financial market collapse, and if you think Washington, DC is too good for that, you’re living in a fantasy bubble).

    Finally, along the lines of “not that difficult to understand,” more students will NOT be living in Georgetown because the university has agreed to cap its undergraduate enrollment. Graduate students simply can’t afford to live in this neighborhood. Most undergraduates are at least somewhat supported by their parents, meaning we can accept the $800 – $1000 that is usual in Burleith. Graduate students, however, are adults who pay their own living and are often married, sometimes with families. They already live in so-called “satellite housing,” not that it matters because they typically spend all their time studying and wouldn’t bother you anyway. As for more traffic, this is a major city. Traffic happens. And please stop claiming that the smokestack would cause horrendous pollution – it conforms fully with EPA standards and the university has still pulled it off the table because enough residents complained about it.

    The funny thing is, if you read anything else on this site, you’ll hear a lot of student discontent with the administration and the way that Georgetown is run. In fact, the post above this one clearly makes fun of Jack DeGioia. Georgetown students are NOT his “tools.” In this case, however, many of us agree with the plan. The fact that we don’t agree with you does not mean that we are not thinking for ourselves.

    Finally, for the record, I haven’t been in high school in three and a half years, and even then I wasn’t in the debate club.

  20. It’s time for Georgetown to make the neighbors an offer they can’t refuse.

  21. Dear Old Man,

    Anyone with any idea of what goes on at Georgetown would know that the students have, at best, a neutral relationship with the University Administration. Most of the time, I would say it borders on antagonistic. And the University has made attempts to mitigate its expansion, most of which have been opposed by the neighbors whose complaints inspired them in the first place. Until the neighbors start providing some realistic solutions, or (GASP) compromise on some of their demands, nobody on our side will take them seriously. You and your fellows are not interested in a good debate and a symbiotic solution. You will stop at nothing to kill the plan, at any cost.

    The neighbors have made no attempt to make a deal with the University and simply complain about everything the University does. I’m sorry, satellite housing is not only a stupid idea, but it would, as mentioned above, only exacerbate the problems of traffic and pollution about which you are so worried. It’s quite similar to when Jennifer Altemus extolled the virtues of Nevils, not realizing that the University had proposed something quite similar, even close to Healy Gates than Nevils, which she lead the charge to oppose. There is no chance of ever appeasing people like you and your compatriots. I see no incentive for anyone to continue granting credibility to the unruly mob that is the CAG/BCA cadre, armed with weapons of hyperbole, falsehood, deceit, self-entitlement, and greed.

    As I have said before in this forum, respect is something which is both given and earned. The “multigenerational neighborhood community” has done neither.

  22. Eileen,

    As anyone who knows anything about economics would know, the lower market price would only be temporary. In the long run, the neighborhoods would become much more desirable and the prices would go back up again. Houses can easily be restored to pre-slumlord levels. But thank you so very much for the valuable lessons in microeconomics and for popping my fantasy bubble. It’s so wonderful having so many smart young people in the neighborhood!

    You are too pat in saying “traffic happens.” That makes the lame assumption that traffic everywhere is equally bad and more of it can’t possibly be detrimental. You are deeply mistaken.

    City council member Jack Evans says the smokestack was a non-starter. Anyone who knows anything about environmental regulation would know that the EPA would never have approved it.

  23. Asuka,

    San Francisco? A wonderful city.

    You should move there. It might mellow you out.

  24. @Old man,
    In the long run, then, you all should have an incentive to increase the standard of living from abysmal to alright. Furthermore, you should have an incentive to stop renting to students. So why don’t we just let everything play out?
    Furthermore, Jack Evans has no clue what the EPA would and would not have done. Not to mention the fact that one of the sides arguing the case of the smokestack has concrete scientific evidence on its side, as well as knowledgeable people on the topic.

  25. @old man
    Yes, the market price would decrease only temporarily… just like home values all around the United States are doing right now in the worst recession ever. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are eligible for those 800,000 loans that the banks aren’t giving out anymore.

    About the meeting, first of all, I’m ashamed of all of you University plan supporters who didn’t make the trip up to Duke Ellington, there wasn’t the turn-out I expected at all.

    I sat through the whole thing and it was everything I expected: ANC chairmen being on the side of the residents, neighborhood representatives acting as if that this campus plan passed it was equitable to their death sentences (I thought Ms. Rubino was going to cry), and the university being as non-confrontational and passive as possible in hopes that they will appease the insatiable resident representatives.

    I thought the implications that Georgetown wanted to increase enrollment to help their endowment were ridiculous. Provost O’Donnell joked “I would never say flat out that that wasn’t the case” which allowed everyone to jump on the University for it. As one of the residents pointed out, the University is only adding graduate school programs which are actually a money sink for the University. So I think that that implication is a little ridiculous. Secondly, I thought the residents accusing the university of “secretly” adding undergrads by changing how they counted students was almost as ridiculous. Even the ANC chairperson said that he thought the system was better, but he didn’t go as far as to help Mr. Olson describe how it was more inclusive. Finally Messieurs Olson, O’Donnell and the Vice President should have been a little more aware of what the statistics were to answer the questions more fully.

    I am intrigued that the university essentially refused to answer why the 600 bed future medical school building couldn’t be used as a dorm. I suspect it’s because they know that if they explained that if it were a dorm then it could never be a hospital and then a new hospital could never be built on campus.

    I’m not sure why everyone is making a stink about the turn-around. You’d need x-ray vision to see through forests and hills in order to see the road from anywhere outside of Georgetown University. As far as whether it violates the easement (which Georgetown firmly claims it doesn’t), then DDOT and/or the National Park service will strike it down, so there is no need to bring it up six times during this neighborhood meeting. In addition, residents need to give us something: if you want both less cars driving to Georgetown and students living farther away from campus you need to allow us to increase bus service and make the routs more direct or visa versa. I know it’s a cliche, but work WITH us not merely against us.

    I meant to ask Ms. Altemus why she claimed the 1789 block wasn’t part of the university’s campus, but why she considers Nevils, that she lived in, to be on-campus. Residents, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, but isn’t behind a 200 year old brickwall, it’s still a duck!

    That being said, I went home that night and I had problems getting to sleep thanks to my neighbors across the street who are the types of students that are causing this campus plan to be contested so much. Personally, I think the university should be a little light on first and second time (maybe third time) offenders but after that REALLY throw the book at them: work hours, probation, study abroad, and after the fifth or sixth or seventh time expulsion should seriously be considered.

    Fellow students, please be cleaner and more considerate. I feel that the fact that this simple plea hasn’t been answered is the deepest cause for this whole issue.

    Residents, I implore you to look at how the university affects you personally, both the pros and the cons. I am with you on controlling the out of control parties, the public drunkenness and the trash (I think I differ a little about the definition of “out of control” but probably not by much). But on the other hand, Georgetown University is an incredible benefit to you: a hospital, local sports teams, a gym, free bus service to Dupont and Rosslyn, a library, green space, and a wonderful view of Healy (sorry about Lauinger). If you think that this plan will truly be a detriment to your lives, then I support your decision to oppose the plan. If not please consider supporting the plan.

  26. …now it all makes sense, the residents are blaming the GU students for the nationwide housing bubble burst!

  27. And yet another student—the strangely named “Moose”—makes a coherent, logical, well-balanced argument. Will any of the neighbors respond in kind? Absolutely not.

    Why? Because secretly, they are less mature, less intelligent, and less willing to achieve a peaceful solution than the students.

    Why? Because without the “evil University” to oppose, most of them live ordinary, dull, run-of-the-mill lives, and this whole battle of wills gives them a good reason to wake up in the morning.

  28. Tim, great post – in fact, a former president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown, Bill Cochran, once stated that some neighborhood activists didn’t want better relations with GU because, if it happened, then “they’re out of business. They’ve got their evil empire.”

  29. Thanks Moose and Eileen for such reasonable arguments.

    As a student, one other point that I think should be made is that the vitriol between students and neighbors is, for the most part, misplaced– neighbors are attacking students when they can’t access the University administration, and it’s lowering the quality of life for EVERYONE in Burleith/West Georgetown– students and neighbors alike. This is because the Campus Plan does, in a way, provide the only formalized impetus for community/University engagement that occurs in ten years. I understand why neighbors are frustrated with the University– for all of the concessions the University has made for them (concessions that I think they don’t appreciate enough, sometimes), they still live on a daily basis with the behavioral issues students living off-campus cause, and they’re pretty helpless to change that. In the Neighbors vs. University fight, the University IS the bigger bully — it has more money, more power, and more ability to move forward without truly consulting the residents. So, when the Campus Plan pops up every ten years, the vitriol and pent-up anger explodes tenfold, and the University is finally forced to formally recognize the neighbors’ complaints (holding community meetings for residents to discuss the Plan is a requisite to get it passed), which they may or may not spend the other nine years artfully dodging.

    I don’t think any student will offer a standing applause to the DeGoia administration — Jack DeGoia is as unresponsive to our needs as yours, neighbors. Wireless all over campus? Better academic facilities for College and SFS students? More study space? More reliable Saferides on the weekends? More lenient alcohol policies on-campus to keep students from raging OFF-campus? These are all concerns we have, and we aren’t thrilled with the University’s response to them either. Ultimately, the neighbors want more from the University, and the students want more from the University, but because the University itself is so difficult to reach, the neighbors and the students are battling it out amongst one another. Yes, it’s the students throwing loud parties on the weekend that you hate, but it’s the University not providing greater disincentives for off-campus parties and/or better reasons to remain on-campus that you hate more. And students, it’s the neighbors spouting off name-calling, disrespectful taunts at you that you hate, but it’s the University that’s driven the neighbors to resent you so much that you hate more.

    So in this battle of “who’s treated the other guy worse,” at least consider one thing — if students AND neighbors demanded more from the University, we might ALL get somewhere. I can guarantee you, neighbors, that students don’t like risking a run-in with MPD and the chance of getting a 61D on their record just to throw an off-campus party because on-campus parties are too often shut down. So maybe students targeting neighbors, and neighbors targeting students, in this case just isn’t the most effective approach.

  30. Pingback: Vox Populi » Both 2010 Campus Plan petitions have significant flaws

  31. Pingback: On-campus housing not the answer for Georgetown University | DC Students Speak

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