The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

A Rare Georgetown Post

February 25, 2011

My University’s relationship with the neighborhood’s oligarchy really, really sucks.

Although our neighbors have some legitimate grievances, I find it hard to sympathize with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission’s  particular brand of crazy. According to the City Paper:

Basically, the neighbors want to seal all evidence of student presence either on M Street or inside the campus gates, protecting quiet streets from noise and unsightly student rentals. The problems of cacophony and crowding have gotten intolerable, they say, as a result of Georgetown’s failure to keep a lid on its student population since the last 10-year campus plan. And the stakes are high! “If these problems continue unrelieved,” the report reads, “the stable, engaged community we cherish–and that the D.C. zoning rules are designed to encourage–is at serious risk of being lost and becoming a rental student enclave because of what GU is doing.”

In order to avoid that dark future, the Commission recommends sanctions:

  • New enrollment caps should be set lower than the current student population, in order to remedy past injustices.
  • Limits must be imposed on the number of students living off-campus, with further enrollment decreases if those limits are not met.
  • Magis Row on 36th Street should revert from undergraduate housing to accommodations for older faculty.
  • The University should not be permitted to acquire more property in zip code 20007 without approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment.
  • University and Hospital buses should not be allowed to go through the neighborhoods, but rather enter and exit the campus via Canal Road only.
  • Students who commute to Georgetown by car should not be allowed to park in the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Georgetown should create a shuttle system to ferry students from M Street bars back to campus on weekend nights.
  • Georgetown must develop strong measures to address off-campus student conduct, treating parties outside the university gates, for example, as strictly as those inside it.

My favorite comment (although I thought the racism insinuations I redacted were gratuitous):

Look, I don’t like Georgetown kids either (really, who does?). But these people bought houses in GEORGETOWN! I’m gonna take a risk here and guess that GEORGETOWN was probably in the neighborhood before they were. If they don’t like living in GEORGETOWN, because of the students who go to GEORGETOWN, than maybe they should just live somewhere else.

Via Yglesias.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.