The battle against students living in residential parts of Georgetown continues with this salvo to a Georgetown email list from a resident whose sensibilities are offended by students sunbathing on their own steps:

The joy of these recent beautiful, sunny days have been somewhat mitigated for me by the sight of bare-chested, boxer-shorted GU students sunbathing on their front stoop right out on the sidewalk. To add insult to injury, these men are sprawled out on old beat up lawn chairs. I am not talking about a real porch here, but rather the top stair of the front entrance of their run down student house. The sight is very down-market, low rent, college dorm and affects the property values of our homes in this section of Georgetown, as well as the pleasure of walking our charming streets. These people have a back yard! Let them use it for their sunbathing activities.

It is bad enough that the neighbors have to put up with the students’ relentless drunken and disorderly conduct, but to host a slew of Dewey Beach antics on our Georgetown streets is too much! They were recently flipping burgers on a barbecue grill out there, too!!

I hope that the off campus life office at GU requires their students to follow the rules of conduct required for living in a community of permanent residents and remind them that they ARE NOT LIVING ON CAMPUS!!!

One thing I didn’t mention in my story is that property values in the neighborhoods around Georgetown bounced back from the recession fairly quickly, and it’s strange that fears about property values are a talking point in the argument against students. Students in the neighborhood may mean that different kinds of people would find the area appealing—young professionals and other people with more active lives—but there’s no evidence yet that housing prices are down.

So what’s the real beef here? Well, “the sight is very down-market” gets at the heart of the problem. Longtime residents don’t like looking at shirtless college men sitting outside their own homes. But while it may not be pleasant for some residents, as far as we’re aware, it’s also not illegal.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery