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In its endorsement of Georgetown University’s campus plan—-which seeks to cap the number of undergraduate students at current levels and increase graduate students by 1,000—-the Post notes: “What’s most troubling about the city’s posture is the notion that an increase in young people, particularly those in search of an education, is somehow undesirable.”
Today, the Georgetown Dish posted a response from the Citizen’s Association of Georgetown:
The result of students living in the residential areas is an unacceptable level of noise, poorly maintained homes and yards, unchecked trash violations, and a lack of adequate parking. None of the university’s attempts to address these accelerating problems has succeeded. The 2010-2020 campus plan exacerbates the negative consequences of the previous expansions to the surrounding communities.
There’s a lot more in the letter, but that graf was pretty ridiculous. I’d guess that in Georgetown, one of the most expensive zip codes in the District, any noise (well, above the clink of martini glasses at a cocktail party) is probably considered unacceptable. It just seems like some people in the neighborhood are being unrealistic about what it’s like to live near a large university. And instead of engaging their younger neighbors like, say, the LeDroit Park Civic Association does with Howard students, they’re just trying to beat them back.
The complaints aren’t just selfish, they’re also rather shortsighted. Like all neighborhoods that have good schools, Georgetown currently enjoys the prestige it has in large part because of the presence of the university. And while this tension between college and college town can be found all over the country, it’s especially striking in Georgetown since, as the Post pointed out, the university actually houses a larger percentage of its students on campus than any of the other universities in the District.
All is not negative, however. The Dish posted a letter from a different group of nearby residents who praised the campus plan, noting money the university has poured into the community and resources it provides that benefit all residents.
Photo by Kevin H. via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License