Olson email suggests impending off-campus party crackdown
Beginning this weekend, SNAP will increase enforcement of existing off-campus party policies through more “proactive patrolling and stopping,” GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) wrote in an email to Vox.
Gustafson sits on the Georgetown-Community Partnership steering committee, which plays a large role in implementation of the provisions included in last summer’s campus plan agreement. “[T]he neighborhood partners have felt the need for some time, since the summer Campus Plan Agreement, for an improvement in their quality of life, namely noise on the weekends. Therefore the increased and more effective enforcement of existing policies and procedures will go into effect.”
The email Dr. Todd Olson, the Vice President of Student Affairs, sent to students yesterday reminding them of the school’s and the neighborhood’s policies for off-campus parties seems to confirm this coming stricter enforcement. He did not respond to Vox‘s requests for comment.
Likely in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day events this weekend, Olson reminded students that their behavior affects those living near the school. “First, as the weather begins to warm, it is important to remind everyone about the high standards that guide life both on and off campus,” Olson wrote. “As members of a university community, we simply cannot behave in ways that disrupt life for our neighbors.”
The email emphasized being quiet when walking by Georgetown homes and ensuring that parties remain manageable in terms of size and noise. Olson also reminded students that a first noise violation can have serious consequences, since it is considered disorderly conduct under District law.
Olson’s email intended to remind students of existing policy. “There have been no changes in University policy, and Dr. Olson’s letter served to inform, as much as to start a broader dialogue with students about the Georgetown community,” Gustafson wrote. “I am sure some students will feel put upon, and frankly—they have a right to feel that way. However I hope that that feeling gets translated into helping create an on-campus environment where we, the undergraduates, rule the roost.”
Olson also announced that the University will start providing regular bus service to DuPont Circle and Adams Morgan on Friday and Saturday nights. The bus new late-night bus service is set to start up this Friday.
Gustafson was pleased by Olson’s announcement of the bus service—something she says that GUSA has been promoting for several years. “This new relationship with the neighbors enables us to have two parties at the table outlining the critical need for reforms and new services, like the free shuttles, in order to improve social life on campus,” she wrote.
To move parties back on campus, the school is also throwing a Georgetown day kegger in Leo’s for students 21 years of age and older. Other initiatives intended to move student life back on campus include the pub opening in the New South Student Center and the school’s (more) relaxed on-campus party policies.
According to Gustafson, “swifter adjudication of off-campus accidents” will also be among the new changes, which she believes “is not necessarily bad as students have complained for years about the horrible timeline of the student conduct adjudication process.”
Nate Tisa (SFS ’14), GUSA President-elect, says that though he plans to extend the “clear and convincing” policy to all students, he applauds the school’s decision, as it will help the Campus Plan and the Georgetown Community Partnership succeed.
Though there will be “growing pains” this semester, Gustafson believes this decision is a favorable change.
“There is so much positive momentum on all sides and a desire to engage students that we have to jump at the opportunity,” Gustafson said.
Additional reporting by Connor Jones