In a recent joint press release by the Burleith Citizens Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown, respective presidents Lenore Rubino and Jennifer Altemus remind whomever is listening that they do not like students in their neighborhoods.
It’s nice that some things never change.
In the letter, Rubino and Altemus cite that the “proposed mitigations for the adverse impacts students living off campus have on the community,” which include daily trash pick-up and the M Street Shuttle, miss the point.
These “limited initiatives” fail to address the most important issue: students live off campus. And no number of daily trash pick-ups can fix that (we think).
So what’s the solution? It’s a shocker: House 100% of students on campus.
The full letter is after the break.
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: THE STUDENT HOUSING ISSUE
GU’s 2011-12 Fall Semester is in full swing. The students returned to campus at the end of August and the University began implementing its proposed mitigations for the adverse impacts students living off campus have on the community. The University has instituted twice-daily trash pickups in the neighborhoods, an expanded MPD reimbursable detail and bus shuttles to and from M Street bars. Unfortunately, as we have witnessed this month, these limited initiatives do not address the most important issue: student housing. In the past ten years, GU has built one dorm in 2003 for 780 students, but has also increased student undergraduate and graduate enrollment by close to 3,700 from 2000 to 2010. According to the ANC Presentation to the Zoning Commission, approximately 2800 GU students live off campus in zip code 20007. Transient student rentals now make up close to 35% of Burleith residences alone.
Despite GU band-aid fixes in place, this September has just reinforced the strong case presented by the Burleith Citizens Association, the Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E regarding the negative impact of increases in GU enrollment on surrounding neighborhoods. Housing GU undergraduate students on campus or in satellite locations is the only solution to the problems of noise, traffic, and deteriorating houses that plague our communities.
On November 17, 2011, the DC Zoning Commission (ZC) will hold a sixth hearing on GU’s Ten-Year Campus Plan. The ZC scheduled this hearing to allow the University a third opportunity to submit a plan that the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) could properly review and in turn discuss on November 17. We look forward to the completion of these sessions and to a Zoning Commission decision that will ensure livable neighborhoods for now and for the future.
Residents, leaders of community organizations, Mayor Vincent Gray, and Councilmembers Jack Evans, Mary Cheh and Phil Mendelson have asked the Zoning Commission to require GU to commit to a responsible Ten-Year Campus Plan that houses undergraduate students on campus. In a September 28 editorial, The Current Newspaper endorsed our cause, suggesting GU house 95% of its students and give relief to the surrounding communities. This is in line with the Office of Planning’s recommendation that GU house 100% of its students. We agree.
Lenore Rubino, President, Burleith Citizens Association
Jennifer Altemus, President, Citizens Association of Georgetown
October 5, 2011