The 2010 Campus Plan agreement has been a frustration for the Hilltop since it was reached in 2012. The university’s agreement to house 385 more students on campus by fall 2015 and 90 percent of students on campus by 2020 has certainly caused its fair share of problems for administrators and students alike.
At the end of April, administrators will announce the results of discussions considering a six-semester on-campus housing requirement for all undergraduates. Although this type of restrictive housing policy is one that usually provokes student outrage, it is important to acknowledge that this requirement would be neither an unexpected nor an impulsive move on the part of administrators.
In this case, the university would be doing what is necessary to fulfill the conditions of the campus plan. While it is both defensible and correct to take issue with the way the plan has overwhelmingly burdened the university and its students, upholding this plan is an important part of maintaining the commitments Georgetown has already made. Instead of pouting over the past in terms of both the original agreement and the steps necessary to implement it, student leaders should turn their focus toward mitigating the negative effects of these steps.
One policy consideration that we recommend is a continuation to ease on-campus drinking and noise policies in student housing. As one central goal of the requirement to house students on campus is to keep late-night student activities within the front gates, easing these policies would benefit students, the university and the neighbors at little additional cost. Students would likely feel that a third-year requirement would be less restrictive with eased policies regarding alcohol, and social life would logically shift back toward campus, relieving the pressured relationship between university administration and denizens of the Georgetown neighborhood.
True, a third-year housing requirement represents a burden for students. But instead of fighting against a policy that makes practical sense, students should focus on the ways the university can mitigate the policy’s negative effects.