Acres on acres, with no destination and mere speculation

Rumblings and grumblings over the results of the campus plan agreement are still alive and well. Students demand a say in the process and express disapproval over the concessions made by the University, and two days ago, students were given the opportunity to discuss these concerns in a conference call with Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson. Tomorrow, the ANC is meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Georgetown Visitation to open the floor to critics and start a discussion about the outcome of the agreement.

A relatively under-explored topic throughout Vox‘s coverage is on the question of expansion. In the agreement, there is a brief reference to establishing a satellite campus for School of Continuing Studies. This change is projected for next December (2013), with the intent to move 1,000 SCS students “at one or more satellite locations not within zip code 20007. The exact phrasing is to “identify and develop next 100 acres” as one of the long term goals for the university.

Inspired by a recent GM post, our minds began to tinker. Where will Georgetown find these 100 acres? Not only that, but who’s moving? Presumably students in SCS, but the vague language indicates the possibility of pushing other graduate students out as well.

The School of Continuing Studies is in the process of a full transfer to Car Barn, which indicates that the University must already have several locations in mind. President John DeGioia mentioned that the space would be urban, with the University looking into “other places in D.C.” But with space of such large square footage (As GM aptly provides the comparison: Georgetown’s campus is 100 acres), many are concerned this will end up a chance to move students out of D.C. and into Virginia.

Paul Musgrave, a Graduate Teaching Associate and rising fifth year PhD student at Georgetown, lives off-campus and believes the possibility of moving students into Virginia will have serious detrimental effects on the student academic and social experience. “The University is committed to considering graduate housing elsewhere. I used to live in Rosslyn, and let me tell you, when I was getting out of the library at three, four, five in the morning, and having to walk across that bridge…that is not equivalent to living where I do, which is three of four minutes away from campus,” Musgrave said. “I’m really afraid that the way the ANC and the way that the planning commission handled this portends major problems for Georgetown to be a serious research institution.”

In an analysis of the open acres available in D.C., GM predicts the new location at St. Elizabeth’s, a historic psychiatric hospital in Ward 8 that no longer serves as many patients as it once did. A drive to Southeast D.C., where St. Elizabeth’s is located, would take about 20 minutes. By public transportation, at least an hour. When it comes to the commute, this option isn’t looking much better than housing in Virginia.

While GUSA is pushing hard for representation in the new Georgetown Community Partnership, this student involvement still isn’t confirmed. Vox encourages students with campus plan frustrations or questions to attend the ANC meeting tonight.

Via Georgetown Metropolitan

Photo by Kenneth Garrett of Fine Arts

3 Comments on “Acres on acres, with no destination and mere speculation

  1. Great post. Also worth keeping in mind with the SCS move are the undergraduate students who take graduate level classes. There are plenty of programs in the NHS and SFS where crossover is encouraged, and it will be a lot harder to maintain that relationship if these classes are moved to a location an hour away.

  2. MIT and Harvard (two major research universities) are located in Cambridge, MA. Many students who live off campus in Boston (on the other side of the Charles River) commute there via the Harvard Bridge (and other bridges). I feel confident that walking across the Key Bridge will not be a “serious problem” for Georgetown’s researchers.

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