Tuesday, October 5, 2004 Off-Campus Life Coordinator Must Be More Than a Cop

Georgetown has hired Ray Danieli to replace Scott Minto (SFS ’02) as the coordinator of Off-Campus Student Life. Danieli spent the past 34 years as an officer for the Metropolitan Police Department and served six of those years as the go-to-guy for student-related issues in the Georgetown area.

Danieli brings with him a wealth of experience from his time with MPD. And Danieli starts this job coming from the other side of the table compared to his predecessor – a recently graduated student. Accordingly, Danieli should be cognizant that he must embrace all aspects of his new role as coordinator of OCSL.

Primarily, Danieli must understand that his new role at the university does not amount to an extension and specialization of his work with MPD. Simply, he should not act as the university’s policeman in student-related town-gown issues. Disciplinary actions should not be Danieli’s sole focus in his time here at Georgetown, and for him to be an effective member of the OCSL team, discipline cannot be his sole priority.

Rather, Danieli must serve as a resource for both students and neighbors in the community. Danieli ought to provide students with a welcoming environment where they can come to find a clearinghouse of information regarding living off campus in the District.

Danieli must provide this same welcoming atmosphere to neighbors in the community. His charge vis-a-vis town-gown relations will be to promote a harmonious community between both students and neighbors. Communication between neighbors, students and the university will not be as effective without a welcoming, trusting environment.

Ultimately, Danieli must ensure that he brings to the table a feeling that Georgetown students living off campus cannot and should not be treated as a monolith. Yes, there have been egregious incidents committed by Georgetown students in the past, but these incidents are caused by a stunningly small minority of students who live off campus. An overwhelming majority of Georgetown students each year prove to be courteous, pleasant neighbors who respect their non-student neighbors and the community as a whole. It is not fair for these students to be cast in a negative light because of an erroneous belief that all students are categorically disruptive.

By using his experience Danieli will have the opportunity to help erase this false belief and build lasting bonds between community members, the university and students who live outside the Healy Gates.

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