I was walking home yesterday and noticed that several signs had started to pop up on the lawns of various Burleith homes. The majority said something along the lines of “Our Homes, Not GU’s dorm”. On the website itself (Burleith.org), members of the BCA argue that GU’s 2010-2020 Campus plan (to install some graduate student housing among other things) would apparently result in increased urinating on their lawns and cause alcoholism rates among GU students to soar. I understand that it can be tough for families and students to have to live next to each other given that the two have such different lifestyles, but I also think that this is not a new set of issues. The BCA seems to be trying to organize a new campaign that targets the GU 2010-2020 campus plan, when instead these same issues have always been present. It’s sneaky and a childish approach. It has always been difficult for students and families to live together, but as a student I find that we are the ones being told how to behave and how to be respectful of the neighbors. Last year when I would walk back to my house on 38th and T with a friend, we wouldn’t even be able to talk on our way home because the woman across the street would yell “sshhh!!!”. Most of us couldn’t really enjoy our front or back porches either because by 10pm, when students start to have some free time to hang out and chat, we’d have to pack it in for the night. Even the GU Off-Campus Services are the first to tell students how to behave and how to be respectful of the greater Burleith community and it seems to me that we are. When I’m walking home at night, it’s usually always pindrop silence. Even on the weekends, though some kids will enjoy the occasional bbq drinking sesh in their back porch, it’s never something all that loud and disrespectful. Even my band City Folk would be so scared of pissing off the neighbors that we couldn’t use a spacious basement to practice since the only times everyone had free were after 8pm. I understand that I have a bias perspective because I am a student, but I think that when we are doing what we can do be respectful, there’s got to be a point at which students can enjoy their time at college as well.
Vox Populi dives further into the issue and highlights ways in which they believe the BCA has severely misunderstood GU’s intentions: