ANC Candidate Hopes to Spark Student Awareness
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 02:04
After Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E completed a redistricting process this year, it is likely that students will have a chance to win two spots on the commission in next year’s election. With Jake Sticka (COL ’13), incumbent student commissioner, set to conclude his term in November, Peter Prindiville (SFS ’14) launched his campaign for one of the two student seats. If elected, he would serve for two years. Though the campaign is still months away, this summer, Prindiville must gather the signatures of 25 students eligible to vote in D.C. in order to be put on the ballot. The Hoya sat down with Prindiville to talk about his goals and the challenges he will face.
The Hoya: What are the key tenets of your platform?
Prindiville: I would want to first and foremost support students. We can do a lot more than everyone thinks [on issues of] police enforcement, transportation and zoning. Zoning directly affects the university when they want to expand. … I want to help establish a dialogue … with students and the neighborhood and I think the ANC is where that can happen. My final point is to encourage engagement. I think [that it’s] extremely important for students to get involved in neighborhood affairs. I knew what the ANC was, but I never was engaged. … I never knew how to get involved, or that it was important to get involved. … It’s really easy for the student voice to get lost when the only voice[s] that [show] up at meetings [are those of] disgruntled neighbors.
The Hoya: What do you think needs to be changed about the way the university and the surrounding neighborhood relate?
Prindiville: I think the most important part … is dialogue. We need bona fide efforts to sit down at the table and talk these things out. … With the campus plan, the chair of the ANC and some members from [both] the administration of [the Citizens Association of Georgetown] and [Burleith Citizens Association] decided to sit down for a number of talks about the campus plan. But it was the administration and the neighborhood, no students. Legally, we are given representation on this commission. My role in that is going to be [to] foster communication between the students, administration and the neighbors.
The Hoya: Is there anything you would change about the ANC as an institution?
Prindiville: I think we’re already seeing change. This is the first year [that] we’ll actually have two student representatives and I think that’s an important improvement. … It gives the students representation on par with the neighbors, which is what they deserve as residents of the neighborhood. … The institutional culture really can change. … I think this “us versus them” mentality is unhealthy.
The Hoya: Do you have any plans for getting students out to vote?
Prindiville: I was in Red Square [Wednesday] registering voters. Right now, my major hurdle is getting my petition signed and verified, and to do that I need 25 registered voters. … Once I’m eligible, I’ll push hard to register voters and get them out to vote. … There’s usually low voter turnout and I want to change that. … I think that [low voter turnout] gives us a lack of legitimacy in a sense.
The Hoya: How can your representation on the ANC be used as a source of student empowerment?
Prindiville: I plan on using Twitter and Facebook and most likely an email newsletter to let students know when meetings are coming up … [and] what the issues … on the agenda [are]. As more students go to … meeting[s], they’ll begin to realize they have a say in what affects them.
The Hoya: Your term would start in November and end two years later, by which point you will have graduated. How will you make that work?
Prindiville: I think right now I’m prepared to complete the term. I obviously can’t look into the future and see what my life will be in a year and a half, but I’m thinking seriously about doing a five-year grad program here.