Both 2010 Campus Plan petitions have significant flaws

At last Thursday’s special Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting regarding Georgetown University’s 2010 Campus Plan, D.C. Students Speak—an advocacy group for students in the District—presented a petition to the commissioners in support of the plan.

As Scott Stirrett (SFS ’13) attempted to present the petition, Commissioner Jeff Jones questioned him about how legitimate the signatures for the petition were. He noted that when he had looked at map of the signatures there was an unusual amount of signatures from the same location in Kansas. Update: Commissioner Jake Sticka has informed Vox, and GoPetition has confirmed, that signatures without a listed zip code are classified as being from this location. This creates a credibility issue for these signatures in the petition, but negates Jones’ claim that all of them came from the same location in Kansas.

Stirrett said that although it is possible that this is true, a significant number of the signatures came from the Georgetown area—and included local residents—and many more signatures came in from across the country.

However, the D.C. Students Speak petition is not the only flawed petition in the Campus Plan debate.

The Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Burleith Citizens Association have a petition opposing the plan with 169 signatures as of this post, far less than the 805 signatures in support of the plan. Jennifer Altemus (COL ’88), president of CAG, noted at the meeting that this is not an exact number because they also use handwritten petitions.

Despite the official Campus Plan being filed in late December, the CAG/BCA petition remains the same as when it was created in late June. The petition includes references to the utility plant chimney and the 1789 block, both of which were eliminated in the final draft of the plan.

The D.C. Students Speak petition was created on January 2, a few days after the University officially filed the plan.

It is unclear as to how many signatures on the CAG/BCA petition came before and after the University acquiesced to neighborhood demands about the chimney and 1789 block. Unlike the petition in support of the plan, the CAG/BCA petition only allows the creators of the petition to see the signatures.

9 Comments on “Both 2010 Campus Plan petitions have significant flaws

  1. Hey Geoff,

    The DC Students Speak petition is not in fact flawed: Commissioner Jones may have attempted to imply such, but if you read over GoPetition’s policies you will see why so many signatures appear to be from Kansas. Individuals that have untraceable IPs and do not list their ZIP code are automatically placed as dots in the center of the originating country: for the US this happens to be Kansas.

  2. Uh, there are, what, 10 times the number of students than there are long-term residents in surrounding neighborhoods, so of course the student petition will be longer than the one from the citizens associations.

    Big deal.

    The long-term local residents have more at stake.

  3. Short term students are subsequently replaced with more short-term students, making the student population just as “long-term” as the residents.

  4. For my next trick, I will move next to an elementary school and force the city to make abortions mandatory. All these kids are ruining my HGTV lifestyle.

  5. The point is that CAG and the BCA used the smokestack and 1789 block issues to get signatures opposing the plan. GU dropped those projects from the actual plan filed in December. The plan’s opponents submitted the petition and signatures to the ANC, as if it were based upon the current plan, when in fact it described a plan that was never filed. The CAG and BCA web sites both still link to the petition, as if the 1789 block and smokestack are still issues. Rubino and company are being dishonest with their own neighbors and the city government by pretending that the signatures represent opposition to the existing plan and not admitting that their petition is no longer valid.


  6. Sadly, your numbers are not in fact correct. Nor is your point a good one, as Incorrect made clear.

  7. If I recall, Georgetown University is included in the ANC2E district (SMD4, for the most part, but also portions of SMD2 and SMD3). As a result, all of the students within Georgetown University are just as valid participants in the ANC2E political process as the neighbors living nearby. The 800+ signatures on the petition are representative of supporters within ANC2E and beyond– students or not, we’re all in the same political district and we all have a stake.

  8. Pingback: On the Citizens Associations of Georgetown and the presence of a silent majority | DC Students Speak

  9. Pingback: Vox Populi » Tomorrow’s Campus Plan Hearing: What to Expect

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