GUSA report and petition regarding 2018 Campus Plan calls for student mobilization
On Wednesday, the GUSA Campus Plan Subcommittee released a detailed report on the impacts of the 2010 Campus Plan on the Georgetown student body. This report encourages proactive student engagement in the collaboration process for the upcoming 2018 Campus Plan, starting with a petition.
As listed in the report, the 2010 Campus Plan included multiple undergraduate housing requirements: an additional 385 students housed on campus by fall 2015, the movement of all 65 students in Magis Row closer to campus by fall 2016, and the long-term, athough not legally binding, goal of housing at least 90% of undergraduates on campus by fall 2025.
The GUSA report stresses the importance of student involvement in the 2018 Campus Plan negotiations. The plan, a 20-year binding agreement, will have to account for the aforementioned provisions for increased on-campus student housing from the 2010 Campus Plan.
Within the University, there is currently no institutional framework for student participation in the master planning process; however, GUSA has created a Student Master Planning Working Group that is currently preparing a report on student demands to present to the Georgetown Community Partnership (GCP) Steering Committee on April 11.
“The Georgetown Community Partnership (GCP) has been crucial to this change, facilitating consensus-driven conversation around the next Plan – but in order to ensure students are part of this consensus, it’s critically important to improve student representation at all levels of the GCP, especially on the Steering Committee and the Master Planning Working Group,” Co-Chair of the GUSA Campus Plan Subcommittee Ari Goldstein (COL’18) wrote in an email.
According to Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey, the student concerns noted in the Report on the Campus Plan have codified what the University already knew from past Hoya Roundtables and planning sessions.
“I find it encouraging that our plans and goals moving forward toward the 2018 Campus Plan are generally aligned with that of the students and we have much more in common than not,” Morey said. “What concerns me in the report is the sentiment that the administration is not engaging our students.”
Although Morey cites the master planning website as a 24/7 forum for student feedback, he addressed the continued need to explore new ways of collaboration.
“The Master Planning process will continue to use hard data and constituent feedback to support the development of the campus plan,” he wrote. “The ‘Report on the Campus Plan’ represent feedback from one of our primary constituents, the student body.”
GUSA has also created a petition to supplement the campus plan report and explicitly outline student demands. It states that the University should not require a greater number of students to live in on-campus housing than was already legally mandated by the 2010 Campus plan and also prioritize the renovation of existing buildings over the construction of new ones.
Goldstein says that signing the petition is a great start for students to raise their voices in the campus planning process.
“It opposes additional on-campus housing requirements and demands that administrators prioritize long-needed renovations,” he said. “We’re hoping for thousands of student signatures to demonstrate clearly to both the administration and the community that students are ready to take a stand.”