Over the past week, a resolution which I co-sponsored and the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission passed unanimously has come under criticism from Georgetown students. The resolution was a letter to Todd Olson, vice president of student affairs, that explained the ANC’s reaction to Georgetown’s decision last month to limit the number of kegs allowed at on-campus parties from two kegs to one.

The letter commended the University for reaching a reasonable compromise on the keg ban issue and encouraged the extension of the policy to apply to all Georgetown students, rather than just the segment that lives in university housing.

Students on this campus have charged that the recommendation was not made with their interests at heart. They have argued that the university has no right to intrude on their lives outside its own gates.

It is important for me to begin by explaining that I did not propose the resolution lightly, and it did not arise out of any twisted desire to damage the social lives of Georgetown students. Instead, I took a careful look at all the ramifications of the new one-keg policy and came to three conclusions.

First, by placing stricter limitations on parties held on campus, the policy makes off-campus parties more appealing. Georgetown’s party scene will likely move off campus in response.

Second, there are legitimate concerns about the safety of Georgetown students when they are outside the gates on weekend evenings. I would not want to increase the chances of students falling victim to these crimes by supporting a policy that would encourage more Georgetown students to put themselves in dangerous situations.

Georgetown University and the Citizens Association of Georgetown are to be commended for coming together to hire off-duty police officers to patrol the neighborhood on weekend evenings. We should not take actions that will needlessly make the officers’ jobs more difficult, and extending the one-keg policy will ensure that the university’s limitations do not.

Third, given the progress made in the relationship between the university and its neighbors, it seemed reckless to allow the one-keg policy to antagonize the neighbors, who would bear the largest brunt of any shift toward off-campus parties. Georgetown University is not an isolated entity; we live in and among a vibrant community that has to be considered when our actions will affect it on a large scale. The one-keg policy, as it currently stands, would unquestionably have a negative impact on the quality of life our neighbors enjoy.

From these conclusions – that the one-keg policy would shift parties off campus, reducing student safety and increasing conflict between the university and the community – I decided to support the opinion of the ANC.

Beyond the policy itself, however, a question exists about whether the university has a right to intrude on the lives of its students when they are off campus. Whether or not one believes the university has such a right, it already exercises it. Georgetown’s Code of Conduct states, “the University reserves the right to take appropriate action when, in the judgment of University officials, the alleged conduct has a negative impact on the University community or the pursuit of its mission or the broader community in which we live.” The university has acted on that right in the past, regarding issues of trash disposal, noise and property destruction.

I believe that public safety concerns are very real, and that a peaceful relationship between our students and local residents is essential to the continued growth of the university. When I ran for a seat on the ANC, I did so with those two issues at the forefront of my platform, as I explained at the time in both THE HOYA and The Voice.

My resolution – despite its expected unpopularity – directly addresses both of my campaign promises, and I stand by it.

It is important to remember that the ANC’s resolution is just the opinion of one group. Like any organization, the ANC has its own motivations and priorities, many of which differ from those of the student body at Georgetown or the university officials who make school policy. I anticipate that the university would not make any decisions about the one-keg policy based solely on the opinion of the ANC, nor would I want them to.

I welcome input from the student body on this and every issue that comes before the ANC. Please share your opinions with me at 2E04anc.dc.gov.

Jenna Lowenstein is a sophomore in the College and a member of the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

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