GUSA Solicits Student Involvement in GCP
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 02:11
The steering committee of the Georgetown Community Partnership, a body formed out of the university’s 2010 Campus Plan agreement with the surrounding community, convened for the first time Saturday.
According to Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13), president of the Georgetown University Student Association and the university’s student delegate to the committee, the meeting was mainly an opportunity for the constituents to get to know each other and establish objectives.
“We talked about our hopes and goals for the committee [and] established a good discourse ... [and] trust within the group,” Gustafson said.
The GCP will be comprised of five working groups, which Gustafson said will begin meeting in November.
Gustafson said that she hopes the working groups — which are concerned with student life, conduct and safety; environmental and landlord issues; transportation and parking; communications and engagement and metrics and data — will begin to produce results this academic year.
GUSA launched an online application for students to join working groups Monday, and submissions were due today.
“If students want to have their voices heard in a long-term, meaningful way, we need to be an active part of the GCP discussions,” Gustafson said.
Both the university and neighborhood groups sent several delegates to the steering committee meeting, which was facilitated by Don Edwards, who has facilitated past discussions related to the 2010 Campus Plan. University attendees included Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives Lauralyn Lee and Provost Robert Groves. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 2E and 3D, the Burleith Citizens Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown also sent delegates.
Both Gustafson and ANC 2E Chair Ron Lewis said that the GCP and its working groups have the potential to effect positive change in town-gown relations.
“I’m really optimistic about the working groups and their success,” Lewis said.
Gustafson stressed the need for creative thinking going forward in order to find appropriate compromises that satisfy all constituents.
“My most important goal with the GCP … [is] to emphasize it is incredibly important to not only be results oriented when talking about off-campus behavior but also to use creative thinking and creative solutions so that every member of our off-campus community feels respected and like they are a legitimate member of the community,” she said.
According to Lewis, the steering committee of the GCP is expected to meet quarterly.