Poll: More Georgetown Students and Programs in Arlington?

by ARLnow.com October 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm 4,358 33 Comments

Georgetown University’s neighbors in D.C. aren’t huge fans of having students living in their midst.

Town-gown relations started deteriorating in 2007, when the university implemented a restrictive on-campus alcohol policy that forced parties off-campus and into surrounding neighborhoods. Complaints about noisy, drunken students have gotten so loud that D.C. officials are seriously considering a proposal to force Georgetown — the District’s largest private employer — to downsize if they don’t house an unprecedented 100 percent of students on-campus by the fall of 2016.

The Washington Post editorial board weighed in on the proposal over the weekend, calling it “unrealistic” and “troubling,” particularly during uncertain economic times.

“The District seems distressingly disinterested in promoting a knowledge-based economy,” the Post said in its editorial.

While there have been suggestions for less-restrictive ways to satisfy the university, its students and neighbors through a series of policy changes, one other potential solution that has been brought up is to have the university house more of its students and/or programs in Arlington — particularly Rosslyn.

The university already has a presence in Arlington — its Clarendon-based Center for Continuing and Professional Education. An even bigger presence could potentially diversify and strengthen Arlington’s economy. (Disclosure: Georgetown University is an ARLnow.com advertiser.)

Would you welcome an increased Georgetown University presence in Arlington?

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    I think this would be a huge boost for Rosslyn.

    • RosRes

      +1 !!

    • Novanglus

      It’s not like Rosslyn has acres of empty land for dorms. If undergrads get pushed into Arlington, it’ll more likely be in existing residential neighborhoods — which will inherit the same problems that GU’s neighborhoods are trying to unload.

      GU has been around since 1789 – hundreds of years before the Burleith or Foxhall neighborhoods existed. Those residents should either solve the problems that existed when they moved there or move out, not just push their problems onto someone else over the river.

      • ArlingTony

        Georgetown was it’s only city until DC incorporated it. I say Arlington just annex Georgetown.

      • CW

        Yep. I somewhat chuckle when the snooty residents of those neighborhoods make it sound like this horrible problem has been thrust upon them. Uh, sorry, they beat you to it by a couple hundred years there.

  • Carl


    • Don Ager


      • Carl

        It is the official (and operational) position at Georgetown University Hospital to not perform abortions. Nor are birth control materials or counseling provided on its campus. These extremist positions are not in line with progressive Arlington.

  • Chris (no, not that one)

    Doesn’t one of the new buildings at Glebe and Fairfax in Ballston have the name Georgetown University on the top (near the one that says Virginia Tech). What is that building for?

    • Carl


    • WestoverAndOver

      Not Georgetown, but George Washington. GW rents a couple floors of the building on the corner of Fairfax and Glebe (the Qwest building?). It’s strictly for grad school classes, though; no rowdy 19 year olds to speak of. It’s mostly late 20s, early 30s professionals who are too tired from working full time and going to school at night to cause any ruckus around the neighborhood.

      • Aaron

        Glebe is like college outpost row over there. We’ve got Marymount, GWU and Virginia Tech outposts nearly in a row

    • Mcleaniac

      Perhaps you mean Wilson and Highland? If so, WestoverAndOver’s comment applies.

  • ArlingTony

    I’ll only agree to this if we get to name our portion “The Cool Georgetown”

  • DarkHeart

    They could all live in John Thompson II’s Rosslyn penthouse.

  • ME in Arlington

    I just moved out of the Meridian Apts at Court House. In the three years I lived there, I noticed more and more Georgetown students moving in to the building. I heard several of them complaining about having to “slum” it across the river. The concierges told me that there was an increase in complaints and parties at late hours. Moving the problem is not solving the problem. The university needs to enact penalties for the way their students behave whether on or off campus.

    • Maria

      But is it really the school’s responsibility for off campus behavior? Do they get to punish 30 year old grad students if they have rowdy parties too?

      • North A-Town Snob

        For real…I had a GW professor in his late 50’s that lived behind my house in Ballston. Him and his wife had friends over on their back deck almost every Saturday night in warm weather until midnight or 1am…maybe I should have complained to GW over that. (actually I never complained to anyone since he invited me over for every party, had a kegerator of Newcastle and a huge humidor full of top notch cigars…what a great neighbor)

      • Zoning Victim

        Exactly. And is it really DC’s place to tell a private company where to house its students? Last I looked; it was still a free country and business and people can lease any property someone is willing to least them. If some students are causing problems, call the police.

  • Michael H.

    Graduate programs would be fine. Those students are older and generally more mature (with some notable exceptions). Rosslyn could actually be more convenient for many of those students, particularly if they have internships or jobs downtown. Rosslyn has a Metro station; Georgetown doesn’t.

  • Elmo

    I think GW, not GU, is the District’s largest private employer.

  • Roz

    As a Rosslyn resident, I am in full support. It can only help the nightlife and the land value.

  • L

    Fully support and agree – the “Cool Georgetown.” If DC doesn’t want the economic boost, happy to take it. GU is already in Clarendon – mini-campus accross the water is fine.

  • North A-Town Snob

    With a few random exceptions at I’m guessing smaller schools, what university of similar size to Georgetown actually requires all undergraduates to live on campus? Sure most schools require freshman and sometimes sophomores, but an entire population of what, nearly 8,000 undergrads on a campus the size of Georgetown is ridiculous. And every college town has the same party & noise issues. Guess what, if you want to reap the benefits of having a college right there, you got to deal with that stuff. How about just enforcing noise ordinances? I lived in an apartment once that had in the lease that 3 noise violations and they could void your lease.

  • steve85

    I think that it would be a good idea. Rosslyn would become vibrant with more things to do. Rosslyn gets dull at night and it would bring a welcome addition to the area.

  • Failed Again

    Park them all at Park Georgetown! Wait they are already there!
    Thats why I moved!

  • Carol_R

    The students are a huge problem in the surrounding neighborhood. I personally know long term homeowners who live in Georgetown next to the campus and it’s a huge problem for the community. One of the main problems are students that rent row houses nearby and try cramming way too many people in the houses and then destroy the lawn in order to park cars on it. It’s eroded property values in the community. Some of it can be blamed on landlords renting to students and not caring how they take care of the property.

    • CW

      Show me some of those “eroded property values” so I can pick up a steal. Butler, pass me another jar of caviar!

      • Michelle

        I agree with CW on this one… Not buying the property values being declined from students renting row houses. Furthermore, um, what lawns are there in georgetown?

  • Overgrown Balls

    Only send the hotties across the river to us!!!!

  • Don Ager

    There’s precedents for colleges buying hotels or motels. Locally GW bought or leased the Howard Johnson hotel from Watergate fame.
    Also, I don’t see what relief moving grad students out of G’town would do since most agree they aren’t the problem. I have an undergrad nephew at GU and he’s clueless or doesn’t care less about their effect on residential neighbors.
    GU does need to do something about the problem. They seem to only to give lip service to attempting to control their students in the neighborhood. For instance, and I know this isn’t exclusive to GU, but the campus police do not enforce the laws when it comes to drinking, I know shocking! They run interference between the students and the MPD and obviously turn a Sgt. Schultz’ blind eye to the drinking, noise and other issues.
    Catholic Univ. had a pretty bad problem a few years ago with local residents, they work hard on solving the problem by working with the neighbors. It’s not perfect but they are working it.
    GW on the otherhand played hard ball and just kept buying up property to force neighbors out and expand their campus.
    Simply moving some students to Arlington won’t solve the problem and may actually exacerbate the issue and place their students in more danger of being arrested by local authorities and of being injured late at night walking around drunk from G’town to Roslyn or wherever they may house them.

  • GrandArch

    As a G-town grad nearly a decade out, I can attest to tensions long before 2007. In fact, in the early 2000s the neighborhood required the university to not permit students to have cars in Washington DC as a condition of their enrollment (after a court ruling saying they couldn’t legal prohibit students from becoming DC residents and having cars). Somehow the Advisory Neighborhood Counsel (“ANC”) got veto power over Georgetown’s 10 year plan and were able to push through a bunch of changes. In the late 1990s they attempted to institute laws that limited the number of students in a house to 3 (despite there being large mansions in the neighborhood). In November 2000 I remember hour long waits at the polls as the residents challenged every student who attempted to vote. In fact, somewhere in that stretch DC repealed parts of its human rights law to prohibit discrimination against students at the behest of the Georgetown ANC. Though I wouldn’t be happy with parties next door or a few blocks over, I don’t have much sympathy for these antics.


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