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

Olive Branch

The ball is in the neighbors’ court. After years of negotiations with local residents and analysis of its own needs, Georgetown recently unveiled the finalized 2010-2020 Campus Plan. The recent alterations are a gesture of good faith by the university toward the locals. They, in turn, ought to drop their angry rhetoric and reciprocate.

The new version incorporates substantial changes to appease the worries of concerned citizens. Among the concessions are the elimination of a proposed convocation center, university funding for additional security patrols around the Georgetown neighborhood and a substantial reduction in the size of proposed residential and commercial facilities in the block of 37th and 36th Streets between N and Prospect Streets. The school has also agreed to cut back on its projected number of parking spots, opting to allot a portion of spaces in a subterranean parking garage for neighbors’ use. Each of these represents a fair shift in response to the understandable worries of the community.

Given the length and potential legal expense of a protracted challenge by neighbors, Georgetown is wise to take their demands into account. The last attempted campus plan took over five years to pass, and the university was slow to respond to community concerns the that around. Bearing these new considerations in mind, as well as Georgetown’s existing commitment to reroute Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle buses away from residential streets and to cap undergraduate enrollment, Georgetown residents should be accommodating in this process. They have legitimate fears, but at the end of the day, the surrounding town should emerge as a willing partner in university planning rather than a stonewall blocking any growth.

Particularly, much of the unwarranted bitterness and antagonism voiced by some is deeply troubling. We call for those living nearby to reign in their fickle emotions and engage in constructive dialogue. Georgetown has already budged on a good number of points. Inflammatory rhetoric is a hollow tactic and does nothing but bog down progress. This type of scheme to halt university expansion only leaves the residents looking childish.

Ultimately, increased university capacities and smoother functionality can only help the Georgetown community as a whole. The university has deep roots in the community and is an established part of the area. The campus plan is proof that the school has shown its willingness to work with the neighbors – they should approach the approval process with a similar level of open-mindedness and respect.”

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