The recently announced crackdown on off-campus rowdiness comes as no surprise given Georgetown’s long history of sordid town-gown relations. But what has turned out to be a pleasant surprise is the university’s approach to revitalizing nightlife within the front gates.
To complement the initiatives introduced last fall, such as on-campus food trucks and the elimination of the party registration system for on-campus residences, the Office of Student Affairs has planned a Georgetown Day keg party in O’Donovan Hall for those over 21 and introduced late-night weekend shuttle services to Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan.
While these changes have understandably elicited a lukewarm reception, especially considering the motivating factors behind the policies, it is undeniable that they will ultimately bring benefits to the student body. The expanded shuttle service allows students more accessibility to the greater D.C. area. And for all we know, a kegger at Leo’s could become a quirky Georgetown tradition, even if it excludes the three-quarters of the student body who are underage.
Many of these changes can be seen as concessions made by the university not to our neighbors, but to students. The administration has recognized that simply cracking down on rowdy off-campus parties and telling students to be quieter without providing alternatives for students to blow off steam on the weekends is ineffective and will ultimately exacerbate tensions between off-campus residents and their neighbors.
These policies alone are unlikely to overturn current partying habits and trends anytime soon, and many loose ends — such as the discrepancy in evidentiary standards between on- and off-campus conduct violations — remain untied. However, they can be seen as a student-conscious step by the university in the right direction.