Within the next week, Vox will introduce you to the student ANC candidates who will appear on the ballot on November 6. Here we bring you Peter Prindiville (SFS ’14), who campaigns to represent Single Member District 08. This district encompasses Henle, Harbin, Copley, Nevils Halls, Alumni Square, and a cluster of university-owned townhouses.
Peter Prindiville: In terms of the campus plan I think we’ve seen a lot of really great advancements. Obviously the changes in party registration, but also a culture of trying to make the campus more of a social hub.
I think there are many things that are quite terrible. First and foremost, I think it’s important to note that students were markedly absent from most of the campus plan discussions and final deliberations. Even Jake Sticka, who was an elected representative on a district commission, was markedly absent.
I think both from the ANC side and the University side, there was a lack of student involvement and a lack of student voice, and I think that’s quite terrible. I think that needs to change. I’m looking forward to working with the GCP [Georgetown Community Partnership], which is a collaborative effort between the ANC, some of the various neighborhood associations and the University…I think that’s a really good opportunity and I think the GCP might be a venue for providing a student voice. The more we can get some student representation, I think that’s really good.
There are obviously a lot of things I don’t like about the campus plan. The push to move Magis Row townhouses…I think it might just be misguided.
Magis Row is the embodiment of Georgetown. It’s students living in the community who are serving the city in which they live. To move them, of all people, just surprises me. Maybe they lashed out on the wrong group. I’m also concerned about some of the restrictions on GUTS bus routes … I think rerouting GUTS buses to the point where the rides are 20 to 30 minutes long is just unwise.
Vox: If you could change something about the ANC as an institution, what would you change?
Peter: I saw a lack of dialogue on the ANC. The meetings are void of discussion and it’s quite interesting to see. I think there’s an institutional culture on the ANC. Five of the six commissioners who are running for reelection have served between six and 12 years. There’s definitely a culture, and I think that culture discourages open dialogue. I think that that culture pushes student voices to the side and really makes students a marginalized group in the neighborhood.
I think that might be changing. I guess I’m an optimist at heart. This new era of friendship and communication is valid and truthful. Time will tell. In terms of what I can do, I think I’m going to be a strong voice for students, making sure that the student voice is heard in a forum that isn’t really open to hearing it.
We have representation. We have two districts. If you do the math, Georgetown students make about 42 percent of the residents in the ANC, we have two out of eight of the representatives. That 42 percent still has a right to be heard.
Vox: How do you think the relationship between students neighbors can improve given the recent noise complaints emerging as students return to campus?
Peter: I really want to stress that this is a two-way street. I’ll be the first to tell you that this comes from both the neighbors but also the students. I think there’s a lot that can be done and I think the university is doing a very good job of trying to educate the students about their rights and responsibilities in a residential community.
I think that there’s also a side from the neighbors. There needs to be some reasonableness in all of this and that balance is hard to find. Trying to find that balance is the entire campus plan discussion, really. I think it’s going to happen. I think in the end, and this is something I’m really going to push, is trying to foster a culture of respect. I think the ANC sets the tone for neighborhood relations, and what is remarkably absent is a culture of respect [...] A theme of respect and a theme of mutual living will be able to solve some of these problems. It’s also the fact that we’re living in a large city, and some of this inevitable.
V: If you could play beer pong with any ANC member, who would it be and why?
P: I’ll put this out here, I’m not 21, and I don’t play beer pong. I don’t drink. Ron Lewis ’cause I’d want to see his moves.
V: What you do differently compared to ANC student commissioner Jake Sticka?
P: I think he’s done a really great job, he’s been a great resource for me. I think everyone brings their own flavor [...] What I would do differently, in terms of what I’m passionate about … Jake was very big on transportation and university issues. I will also continue to push for transportation, and more transportation options in the area. that’s one way you can try to keep a quiet neighborhood.
I’m also going to do a lot looking into landlord accountability, especially in West Georgetown and Burleith, and making sure that students living in non-University owned residences are living in places that are safe, up to building codes, and up to fire codes. They [students] should know their rights in relation to the District law and their rights in relation to their landlord.
Just talking to friends and voters, I really found some frustrating stories of delinquent landlords, rooms divided by curtains. People are paying upwards of $1200 for rent for rooms divided by a shower curtain. I’m not the authority but from what I can tell from Zoning Code, that’s not a room. That violates both the Zoning building codes but also fire safety codes.
V: How do you plan to work with ANC candidate Craig Cassey (COL ’15)?
P: We’re running in different districts. If we’re both elected we will do a really good job together.