Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

New Projects Aim to Boost Town Ties

The university launched two new projects this week in an effort to strengthen Georgetown’s relationship with the surrounding community.

On Thursday, President John J. DeGioia sent out a blast email to faculty, students and staff urging them to sign a online petition in support of the Campus Plan.

In his appeal, he stressed that Georgetown is the largest private employer in the District and cited The Washington Post’s Oct. 24 editorial in support of the Campus Plan.

He also called attention to the measures Georgetown has taken in recent months to improve the safety and cleanliness of the community.

“Together, the names of hundreds of members of the Hoya family can send a message that we support strengthening Georgetown’s position as a world-class university,” he wrote.

The petition has received widespread support within the university, with large numbers of students sharing DeGioia’s letter on Facebook.

Kerr said that the appeal will also be distributed to District-area alumni, friends of the university and neighbors. She hopes that the letter, in tandem with the university’s public relations efforts, will improve neighborhood opinions of the university in the run-up to the next Zoning Commission hearing about the plan on Nov. 17.

“We believe we have an impact in the community, and this letter is a way [for community members] to demonstrate support for our contributions,” she said.

Wednesday saw the release of Rocky’s Report, a weekly update from the Office of Public Safety intended to educate and inform the Georgetown community on neighborhood safety issues.

According to university spokeswoman Stacy Kerr, the report will be written by Georgetown Chief of Police Rocco Del Monaco in an effort to establish clear communication with Georgetown residents about recent incidents in the neighborhood.

“Rocky will separate fact from fiction, set the record straight and give a report directly from the folks who are in the neighborhoods responding to concerns and proactively working to keep us safe,” Kerr wrote in an email.

Kerr said that while much of the content of Department of Public Safety and Metropolitan Police Department investigations are confidential, the university wants to communicate as much information as possible to the surrounding community.

“Conversations between the leadership and officers at DPS, officials at the university and MPD … sometimes contain confidential information, but there is also a lot going on that is helpful for the community to know, and we think it is important for us to present information in a way that is understandable to people sitting around their dinner tables,” she told The Hoya.

Rocky’s Report will be sent to neighborhood email listserves and posted on Georgetown’s neighborhood communications website:

The initiative is the latest in a series of measures designed to ramp up engagement with the surrounding community and demonstrate Georgetown’s status as a good neighbor. To date, Georgetown has transported 9,300 students on its new M Street Shuttle, picked up 120 tons of trash in twice-daily trash patrols and paid for additional MPD presence in order to smooth over contentious relations with neighbors.

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