As the mayor strolled down the flyer-plastered walkways of Georgetown’s campus during his recent visit for President DeGioia’s Inauguration, he was undoubtedly struck by the bold “Email the Mayor” signs that accompanied his arrival. He likely returned to his office, sat down at his desk, clicked on the mailbox icon and heard his computer exclaim: “You’ve Got Mail from Those Georgetown Students Looking to Protect their Rights as Citizens of the District!” Without marching, protesting or storming his office (take note, Solidarity), students have earned a spot on the Mayor’s agenda. He knows our cause. We know where he lives.

But now that we’ve earned a seat at the table, we would be remiss not to cash in on this once-in-an-undergraduate-career opportunity to lament, discuss, suggest or at the very least list our other concerns. Certainly, none rank as highly as our rights as individuals in our community; however, they’re worth noting for the mayor to read (and hand over to his highest-ranking intern).

First, I appreciate the newly paved 20-foot stretch of 37th Street just as much as the rest of my peers. However, the obnoxiously loud road-digging machines that woke me up at 7:15 a.m. made me feel like I was caught in enemy gunfire in an African civil war. That morning, I began to understand the complaints of our Prospect Street neighbors about disruptive late-night noise, though a drunken rendition of the fight song by a pack of freshman returning from Champs could hardly have compared to the noise to which I awoke. Metro’s decibel-measuring machines would have spun wildly out-of-control at the sounds of these construction machines. Stop pre-dawn construction, Mr. Mayor. Nobody should be making noise while others are trying to sleep.

Next, Georgetown needs more police. We’re not looking for party-busting Metro officers, as there seems to be plenty of them (in conjunction with our loyal DOPS officers). Rather, we need some police presence to remind forgetful bar-goers that people sleep next to the sidewalk. A combination of some student residents returning home and many bar-going non-students returning to their cars on Prospect Street recently woke up Elizabeth Rideout, a resident of the 3300 block of Prospect Street, and prompted her to call local ANC Commissioners at 3:15 a.m. and ludicrously demand that they patrol her street. Obviously, this necessary task is not the responsibility of local elected officials. After all, Mr. ayor, we would never in our right mind rouse you out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to quiet your constituents. But an increased late-night presence in Georgetown – simply to serve as a visible reminder – would continue to help mend town-gown relations.

Third, talk of a Georgetown Metro Station resurfaced last week on the 11 p.m. evening news. The four lead stories, in fact, were “Anthrax found in Senator Daschle’s office,”Anthrax closes Republican-led House of Representatives; Democrat-led Senate remains open,”Anthrax worries millions of people who wish they were important enough to have someone send them Anthrax” and “Georgetown may get etro station by the time your grandchildren reach retirement.” In anticipation, I watched the news, hoping for a major breakthrough in our long-awaited Metro station. Rather, I was bombarded with the same false hope that my children’s children wouldn’t have to ride the GUTS bus to Rosslyn to catch the Metro downtown. No date was set, Mr. Mayor. No groundbreaking ceremony was announced. Just unsubstantiated claims that Georgetown might, some day, if everything works out, possibly be home to a future Metro Station. Like the university’s long anticipated, enormously disappointing One-Card (a task that doesn’t even involve digging holes, changing routes, and dealing with angry neighbors), it is time the city either builds our Metro station or forgets about it.

Finally, stop taking away our un-zoned parking spaces. In our efforts to comply with Ward 2’s discriminatory parking system, un-zoned streets have become a legal refuge for law-abiding Georgetown students. I recently noticed the zoning of these un-zoned spaces when a $15 parking ticket appeared on my windshield last month while parked on 39th Street. Parking meters popped up overnight, it seems. Within any system, it is necessary for small patches of well-planned legal loopholes to allow rebellious individuals an opportunity to claim non-compliance, defiance and victory while, in actuality, adhering to the system. Mr. Mayor, the city has ruined its own trick! It is time the city re-un-zoned much of Georgetown’s parking. Otherwise, I fear an organized late-night removal of parking signs by fair-minded, law-abiding, frustrated students.

Alas, the mayor is thinking about Georgetown. He knows our concerns about the BZA and about students’ rights. And while he’s working on Georgetown’s student issues, I figured we should just round out our grievances and accomplish everything in one strong swoop.

Hoyas in the ‘Hood appears every other Tuesday in The Hoya. The author can be reached at mccabethehoya.com.

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