If you ask just about anybody who’s been following the campus plan debacle (if you read this blog, we’re willing to bet that you’re one of them) to sum up the process in a word, you’re going to get a variety of not-so-nice answers. So when Georgetown resident and University alum Jacques Arsenault (COL ’01, GPPI ’07) posted yesterday on Greater Greater Washington saying that planning between the school and its neighbors can be more constructive, we all thought that was a pretty gross understatement.
But Arsenault’s post goes deeper than just pointing out the glaringly obvious. He takes a position about students in the area that we haven’t really heard from those neighbors who have vocalized their opinions about the campus plan—that, for the most part, having us around makes Georgetown better.
“The opponents’ position suggests that the very presence of students in the neighborhood is an insurmountable problem,” Arsenault writes. “This ignores the many positives that students bring to the community … My wife and I feel safe walking home at night knowing there are other people walking about. Without the presence of so many students in the neighborhood the streets would be emptier, and would feel darker and less safe.”