ANC Endorses Revised Campus Plan
Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, July 1, 2012 01:07
Members of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E voted unanimously to support recent changes to Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan in a special public meeting Thursday night.
The amended version of the plan, which has been under deliberations since December 2010, sets the course approved for January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2017.
“The proposal addressed every issue that has been at stake over the last two or three years,” ANC 2E Chair Ron Lewis said.
According to Lewis, the biggest immediate change included in the proposal is the conscious decision to pursue a better relationship. Lewis said he hoped that the creation of the Georgetown Community Partnership would help all parties more quickly reach an agreement on the next 20-year campus plan, which is set to take effect January 1, 2018.
Lewis then asked Georgetown’s Vice President for Public Affairs Erik Smulson, Citizens Association of Georgetown President Jennifer Altemus (COL ’88) and Burleith Citizens’ Association Chris Clements to give their views on the new proposal.
Altemus and Clements both said that they had been initially skeptical about private negotiations that led to this agreement, but were happy with the outcome.
“I do believe, that in this circumstances, all parties came out a little ahead,” Clements said.
Lewis then opened the floor for questions and comments from the audience.
Several local residents expressed concerns with continual problems of unruly behavior off campus, an issue that Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson tried to address
“This agreement adds significant new language … that provides some clarity, in some cases some teeth that we didn’t have before about those difficult issues,” Olson said, referring to text in the proposal that outlines the university’s expectations for students’ off-campus behavior.
Olson also noted that these changes mark a change in Georgetown’s perspective toward off campus housing for undergraduate students. It is now considered a privilege, not a right, for students to live in the area surrounding the university.
Although some of the changes to the Campus Plan have recently faced criticism from Georgetown undergraduates, especially the change in the university’s off-campus housing policy, students who were in attendance voiced support for the revisions.
“This doesn’t fundamentally alter what it means to be a Georgetown undergraduate, and I think that some of the plans could have. And, at the end of the day, it’s a positive step,” student ANC Commissioner Jake Sticka (COL ’13) said.
Audience member Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) asked that more student input be solicited as the university launches the Georgetown Community Partnership and begins developing its next campus plan.
“Going forward, I would just hope and suggest that students are part of these conversations,” he said. Tisa is a Georgetown University Student Association senator.
ANC 2E must file its opinion on the latest version of the 2010 Campus Plan to the D.C. Zoning Commission by June 18. ANC 3D, which encompasses the neighborhood of Foxhall, can file jointly with ANC 2E by June 25. The Zoning Commission will decided if any further hearings on the Georgetown Campus Plan are needed in mid-July.