Student resistance against the recent amendments to the noise law escalated when members of Georgetown Student Government Association created the new Stop Crime Not Parties movement.
Members of the organization have created an anti-noise law website, ordered 100 lawn signs and hope to meet with city officials including Mayor Vincent Gray, according to co-founder and GUSA Senate Speaker Adam Mortillaro (COL ’12).
Co-founder Colton Malkerson (COL ’13), chair of the GUSA Finance and Appropriations Committee, expressed optimism about student support and involvement.
“Students are tired of being bullied by the neighbors and [the Metropolitan Police Department]. I’m confident they will support this movement,” Malkerson wrote in an email.
The movement began when members of the Georgetown University Student Association met with university administrators requesting information about how the new noise law is impacting students and off-campus residence life, according to Mortillaro. Officials recommended that GUSA collect formal documentation about the law’s implementation, and the GUSA senators thought of creating a website, Mortillaro said.
The law, implemented Feb. 1, states that unreasonably loud, disruptive noise between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. is punishable by 90 days in prison, a $500 fine or both.
The website launched Sunday evening, according to Mortillaro. GUSA Technology Director Ben Goldhaber (SFS ’12) developed the site.
“This website is an attempt to not only raise awareness among the community but also gain information about how students are affected by these types of disciplinary actions,” Goldhaber wrote in an email. “The website is one part of the larger movement to ensure fair treatment for students and to mobilize students to advocate politically on these important issues.”
The group hopes to begin distributing lawn signs this weekend, according to Malkerson. The signs read “Stop Crime Not Parties” and are subtitled “We’ve Been Here Since 1789. How About You?” and also gives a website at which students can “report inappropriate police, DPS, SNAP and neighbor activity.”
Malkerson said that a number of students have ordered signs already and pointed to the use of signs as a reaction against signs being put up by Georgetown neighborhood residents in opposition to the university’s 2010-2020 Campus Plan.
“The neighbors have their signs, but we want to show that we have even greater support with our own,” Malkerson wrote in an email.
Stop Crime Not Parties has also opened a complaint file with the American Civil Liberties Union, according to Mortillaro.
Mayor Gray’s office has also expressed interest in meeting with the group, and Mortillaro said that they hope to meet with Gray and other city officials within the next few weeks. The focus of the meeting, Mortillaro said, will primarily be gathering information about the noise law’s origins and implementation.
“We just want to see what this means and act accordingly,” he said.
Mortillaro also said that the group has been in touch with DC Students Speak and university officials, both of whom have been very supportive. Associate Vice President for Communications Julie Bataille said that the group is acting independently of any university office.
“Students certainly have the right to express their views about laws that have the potential to impact them,” Bataille wrote in an email. “University administrators have expressed our views of the recently enacted noise law … and continue to monitor its enforcement.”
Though both Mortillaro and Malkerson are GUSA senators, Mortillaro said that Stop Crime Not Parties also includes students who are not involved with GUSA. GUSA recently passed a resolution in support of the movement, but it is not a GUSA program, Malkerson said. He emphasized that no student money is going towards the group and that it is being funded by private donations.
In his capacity as GUSA Speaker, Mortillaro also signed a Feb. 23 letter from the D.C. Student Alliance to Mayor Gray expressing concern about the noise law and soliciting a meeting with Gray. Representatives of the University of the District of Columbia, American University, Catholic University of America, The George Washington University and Howard University also signed the letter.
D.C. Student Alliance Executive Director Andy MacCracken said that he views the move as an opportunity to build relationships between different D.C. schools as well as between universities and the District government.