Most students who run for office while on the Hilltop dream of becoming a Georgetown University Student Association senator or, for the more ambitious, GUSA president. Jake Sticka (COL ’13) has his sights set a little higher. Today, Sticka will be among the youngest elected officials in the district when he almost assuredly wins a position on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

The ANC is comprised of one member from each of the seven districts in Georgetown. District 4, which Aaron Golds (COL ’11) has represented well for the past two years, incorporates a significant portion of campus, landing Georgetown students a spot in the body. Not all of the university is represented in District 4, however. Harbin Hall, Darnall Hall and LXR are all in three different ANC districts outside the majority Georgetown district.

The disparity is a result of a move by the commission after the 2000 U.S. census to gerrymander ANC districts so that only one student can be realistically elected. The motivation to redistrict came from the 1996 ANC election that saw two Georgetown students elected for the first time in recent memory. One student, James Fogarty (COL ’98), even defeated the ANC chair by a margin of 401-162. Students registered to vote in unprecedented numbers to put two of their own in elected office.

If Sticka is officially certified as the winner this evening, most Georgetown residents – students and non-students alike – will only take a passing notice. Yet, student interests will continue to be under-represented because of the deliberate shapes of the ANC districts.

Ideally, the ANC should be a place for residents, both students and neighbors, to come together to solve problems. If the neighbors were serious about this function of the ANC, they would encourage redistricting after the release of the 2010 U.S. Census to fairly represent the student population and its interests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *