Washington, D.C.-area universities are full of passionate students seeking to serve their communities in any way possible.
Unfortunately, the requirement that anyone serving on a District board or commission must be a legal resident of D.C. precludes students who could otherwise be valuable members of these committees from participating.

Recognizing this issue, Georgetown University Student Association Speaker Tyler Bridge (COL ’17) and Vice Speaker Abbey McNaughton (COL ’17) have proposed a treaty to remedy the situation, which has since been passed by GUSA senate. This treaty has been sent to other D.C. universities’ student organizations in an attempt to alter the requirements for service on the D.C. Boards and Commissions.

It seems counterintuitive that our local government would place such a restriction on an organization with the self-stated goal “to recruit the best people to serve the residents of Washington, D.C.,” when there are so many bright, talented people ready and willing to serve waiting at the District’s doorstep.

Although GUSA and Catholic University of America strongly support the proposal, the future of this is unclear at the moment because it has yet to move past the interest of student groups.

However, should the coalition of college students involved in this treaty be successful in reaching the D.C. Council, the D.C. Office of Boards and Commissions and the desk of Mayor Bowser herself, the results will affect students in D.C. for generations to come.

Our new mayor’s administration has yet to cement itself as an ally of college students in the area, but this could be a prime opportunity to do so.
For the moment, we should celebrate the efforts of Bridge, McNaughton and all those involved in this attempt to gain more opportunities for students in this city we are privileged to call our home — at least for eight months of the year.

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2 Comments

  1. Why should students who aren’t residents of the city and don’t pay taxes here get to influence the city’s policymaking? This is another example of your publications bias and entitlement. Just cause Georgetown students *want* to do something doesn’t mean they *deserve* to. Finish your degree, MOVE TO DC and then serve on the board like everyone else.

  2. Sounds like white kids who think they know public policy because they read The Atlantic want to pad their resumes with some “board” or “committee” while trying to make policy affecting the lives of poor, marginalized, and disenfranchised communities who actually live here.

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