Burleith Citizens Association Outraged Over University Plans To Continue Existing Through 2015
BURLEITH– Members of the Burleith Citizens Association recently expressed outrage over Georgetown University’s latest version of its Campus Plan, which calls for the continued physical existence of the University through 2015.
Crystal Rigney, head of the BCA, called the plan “absurd and disrespectful to the community,” saying that University officials should have consulted with her organization before deciding to extend the University’s 222-year history for another five years.
“The University has once again shown an incredible lack of regard for the community in its unilateral decision to continue existing for another five years,” declared Rigney. “This institution has exploited our downtrodden neighborhood for far too long, and this latest decision is just too much.”
Previous versions of the Campus Plan have been criticized by neighborhood residents for proposals to create more off-campus student housing, expand parking at the University Hospital, and increase enrollment. However, opposition to the Campus Plan’s latest addition has been especially fierce, as many neighborhood residents purchased homes in the area under the assumption that the 4,305,264 square-foot University would not be a permanent fixture in the neighborhood.
“The University has no right to do this,” said local resident Frank Mitchell, whose three children are tutored in mathematics, English, and chemistry by Georgetown students. “All this University does is take and take from the community, and it has to stop.”
Chief among many residents’ concerns is the number of parties held by University students, with Mitchell explaining that loud weekend parties were “not what he signed up for” when he made the conscious decision to live in the vicinity of the 15,000 student university.
Seeking to forge a compromise with University officials, the BCA has presented a variety of alternatives to the University maintaining a physical presence in the Georgetown neighborhood, including relocating the University to a more “ethnic” part of the District of Columbia; constructing an underground campus accessible only by a complex system of tunnels; and demolishing the University and crafting an elaborate computer system able to simulate the reality of an actual university, a la the Matrix trilogy.
“I’ve lived in this area for fifteen years now. I’ve spoken to a lot of other residents, and we just want our neighborhood back,” said Rigney at a recent BCA meeting, addressing officials representing a university that has existed for more than two centuries.
University officials have attempted to compromise with neighborhood organizations on previous disputes, but have held their ground in this latest conflict, maintaining that the physical existence of the University is critical to its continued success. At a BCA meeting last week, a visibly frustrated Todd Olson, Georgetown’s Vice-President of Student Affairs, attempted to patiently explain to BCA leaders, including Rigney, that the University would not be relocating its 104-acre, 64-building campus in the near future.
“Georgetown University has a proud history of cooperating with neighborhood residents, and we look forward to continuing this strong relationship,” said Olson in his prepared statement. “However, we do not believe that relocating our university, which has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars, a Supreme Court Justice, and the 42nd fucking President of the United States, is an option that is either feasible or desirable.”
After reading from his prepared statement, Olson calmly sat back down, waited for Rigney to turn her back to him, and then proceeded to raise his two middle fingers in her direction.