The Georgetown Community Partnership signifies — supposedly — a renewed respect for town-gown relations. While the university has bent over backwards to show its commitment to this summer’s campus plan agreement, an antagonistic website like Burleith resident Stephen Brown’s does not share that spirit and should be reprimanded by neighborhood leaders.

It would be an understatement to say that the university has been considerate of neighbors’ concerns and complaints. With its concessions in campus plan negotiations and the maintenance of strict standards for off-campus student conduct, the university has demonstrated that appeasing neighbors in West Georgetown and Burleith is among its top priorities. The neighborhood should , in turn, be expected not to instigate tension that would strain that cooperation.

A resident of the local community has every right to report noise or disorderly conduct to the police. But regardless of legality, a website that posts videos of someone snooping on students and filming their addresses and private recreation is inappropriate. The site, maintained by a disgruntled Burleith resident, not only invades students’ privacy but perpetuates the long history of hostility between students and neighbors.

The Burleith Citizens Association and other neighborhood bodies need to discourage activities that specifically target Georgetown undergraduates. The university’s policies have gone beyond the demands of the law to ensure that neighbors feel respected, and the neighbors ought to reciprocate that commitment to civility.

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