It’s not difficult to understand why local politics might never cross the mind of the average Georgetown student. Although college students are an inherently transient population, temporary residence is not justification for political apathy. This November, D.C. voters will elect a new mayor, choose a swath of new councilmembers and pass judgment on an historic ballot initiative that will shape the evolution of one of this nation’s most rapidly changing cities.

From the 2010 Campus Plan agreement to the development of D.C.’s transportation infrastructure, it is undeniable that the decisions of local government affect our lives as Georgetown students. It cannot be lost amid the fleeting nature of student life that those of us that call the Hilltop home also call Washington, D.C., home. Engagement in the community and understanding of local government leads to a more responsive and productive relationship between the city and its citizens. Simply being students does not suddenly invalidate this notion.

Many Georgetown students head elsewhere after graduation, but the truth is that District policies decided during the election will affect our neighbors, our successors on this campus and students who choose to stay in Washington after graduation. To discourage or somehow suggest that seeking a deeper understanding and critiquing local government is a privilege afforded to those who call D.C. a permanent home is antithetical to everything we are taught as students. To question is to seek a deeper knowledge of issues that affect you and is the only way real solutions are actually formed.

So whether it be joining a club involved in the D.C. community, running for the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission or even just following election news, engaging in local politics is a responsibility even for temporary denizens of this city — and one we should embrace before Nov. 4.

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