Friday, February 25, 2011

Georgetown Versus Georgetown

Via Matt Yglesias, FLG learns of the Georgetown Neighborhood Commissions demands on Georgetown University:
— New enrollment caps should be set lower than the current student population, in order to remedy past injustices.
— Limits must be imposed on the number of students living off-campus, with further enrollment decreases if those limits are not met.
— Magis Row on 36th Street should revert from undergraduate housing to accommodations for older faculty.
— The University should not be permitted to acquire more property in zip code 20007 without approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment.
— University and Hospital buses should not be allowed to go through the neighborhoods, but rather enter and exit the campus via Canal Road only.
— Students who commute to Georgetown by car should not be allowed to park in the surrounding neighborhood.
— Georgetown should create a shuttle system to ferry students from M Street bars back to campus on weekend nights.
— Georgetown must develop strong measures to address off-campus student conduct, treating parties outside the university gates, for example, as strictly as those inside it.

FLG has also seen signs in Burleith that read "Our homes, not GU's dorm."

Now, FLG is sure there are problems. College students get unruly and the houses they rent aren't usually kept in the best condition. He saw that in Georgetown just as much as he saw it in Boulder. And to be honest, there was tension between the community and university in Boulder as well.

And now that FLG is a bit older than 18-22 and has a kid and owns a house, well, he's a bit more sympathetic to the claims of the neighborhood. But then again he's not that sympathetic to much of this for two reasons -- 1) some of this is just total bullshit that wreaks of unreasonableness. For example, no buses in the neighborhood? Really? You live in a city. Metro buses go through all the time. That's just a stupid point. Also, how would students not allowed to park in the neighborhood? It's a public fucking street. Again, stupid. 2) Everybody who bought a house in Georgetown, and FLG means everybody, bought their house knowing that a university and university students were in the area. It's not like it just popped up. It's been there since 1789. Earlier if you count when the Jesuits started educating people on the grounds.

FLG has the same reaction when people complain about aircraft noise when they bought a house near an airport. For fuck's sake, it was there when you bought the place. Shut the fuck up!

If the commission had focused on addressing off-campus student conduct, then FLG'd have been far more sympathetic.


The Ancient said...

FLG --

Come on, you know better than this.

1) Last Saturday, about one in the afternoon, four Georgetown undergraduates were in the alley behind our house. (We do not live all that close to GU.)

My wife screamed, "Ancient, come down and look at this, they're peeing in the alley."

So I did go look, and indeed they were -- though their male discretion required that they climb out of their Jeep by pairs, walk off in opposite directions, and pee on walls out of each other's line of sight.

Naturally, I responded, "What do you want me to do? Shoot them?"

This shit happens all the time.

2) The claim that "the University has been here since 1789 and the residents knew it coming in" is just stupid.

Think about it, looking back over the past half century, and you'll see why.

(I have already spilled too many words on this subject elsewhere to repeat myself.)

Best, etc.

FLG said...

Why didn't you yell "Hey, knock that off!" ?

Odds are, they'd freak out, stop peeing, and the burn that arises from stopping the pee stream would have been more than enough punishment for their stupidity.

The Ancient said...

A perfectly reasonable suggestion.

But in the past, complaining to students directly has led to the cars being vandalized, beer bottles thrown in the yard, security lights broken, and any number of nasty bits of business.

And as I said, they were obviously very drunk.


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