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Georgetown Students Work in Neighborhood as Punishment

Georgetown University student Collin Smith spent Thursday afternoon picking up trash along Prospect Street.

The streets around Georgetown University are always busy and crowded with students bustling to meetings or class. Today, freshman Collin Smith was taking his good old time as he slowly made his way up Prospect street, filling a black trash bag with discarded receipts, cigarettes and other street trash.

Patch stopped Smith, who was wearing a "Hoya Pride" t-shirt, to ask just what he was up to. He sheepishly admitted that this community service was less-than-voluntary. Smith was picking up trash as part of the 10 hours of community service he was given as a punishment for violating dorm rules.

He and his roommates had a run-in with the university discipline system and were given a list of possible ways to put in their 10 hours before the deadline, which is set for Friday, Dec. 16.

Smith said he procrastinated a little, putting of the last of his service until today because he had spent the earlier half of the week studying for his Chem final.

After our conversation, he continued slowly along Prospect Street with his trash grabber as other students buzzed by.

Georgetown University has come under fire from neighbors during the campus plan process for ineffectively disciplining students. This very public punishment is one of the ways the university tries to show neighbors that there are consequences for student actions.

Dave Roffman December 16, 2011 at 02:20 PM
A wonderful program instituted by the University.
Peter Courtney December 16, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Love it. And I wonder if they make them wear Georgetown apparel during their service ... probably not, but that would be smart.
Arnold December 18, 2011 at 01:09 AM
. . . during the campus plan process . . . Please decode. Thanks.
Peter December 18, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Love it Pete. Wonder if you have to pretend like you're not the author's wife just so she can get some support for her biased journalism...probably, smart move.
John December 18, 2011 at 05:30 PM
How can you live in Washington, D.C., where many residents worry about murder every day, and still write stories complaining about how Georgetown students "procrastinate" in picking up your trash?
Chad December 18, 2011 at 07:31 PM
You told this student that you wanted to "interview him about students helping out in the neighborhood" yet wrote a piece slamming him. I don't understand how this isn't directly contradictory to your own code of journalism ethics: "At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism." Just despicable.
Maria December 18, 2011 at 07:36 PM
The caption of the picture reads, "taking a break from work." Is this supposed to suggest that you caught him when he wasn't working and you did not, in fact, ask him to stop working and pose for a picture? This piece is junk and the epitome of biased journalism.
Michael December 18, 2011 at 07:40 PM
Shaun, Georgetown rejected you almost 10 years ago... Get over it.
Kate December 18, 2011 at 07:42 PM
The last line of your piece is troubling. "Have you had students volunteer to help you?" The neighbors all live in mansions that cost millions of dollars (one just sold for upwards of $30 mil) and for some reason us students should still be volunteering to help them? I'm sorry if we're too busy volunteering with low-income children across the district to shine your shoes. Why don't you 1% contribute to the economy by hiring your own help because God knows you can afford it?
Stephen December 18, 2011 at 07:52 PM
"Taking his good old time." "Procrastinate" "Slowly made his way up" "Sheepishly admitted" "He continued slowly.." The University institutes a program designed to make the neighbors' lives easier than they already are and all you can do is complain that the students are not doing a good enough job helping. Maybe you and your privileged, elitist friends should get together and practice saying, "Thank You."
Molly December 18, 2011 at 07:55 PM
Oh, he was moving too slowly for your liking? Sorry Usain Bolt wasn't available to clean your streets.
Molly December 18, 2011 at 07:57 PM
If you wanted to live in a nice, quiet place, maybe you should move to rural Virginia, NOT NEXT TO A COLLEGE THAT'S BEEN HERE AS LONG AS YOUR COUNTRY!
Greg December 18, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Imagine if the whole country was so unappreciative of institutions of higher learning in their neighborhood
Julia December 18, 2011 at 08:05 PM
The fact that you can publish such a complaint is appalling. Look around you. DC has an AIDS infection rate comparable with Africa and the worst public school system in the country, yet you don't have anything better to do than complain about an ineffective trash collection system.
Fahreed December 18, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Georgetown University pays for twice daily trash pickups in the neighborhood. They also pay for additional MPD officers to patrol far-from-wild college parties instead of doing things they are needed for, such as ensuring the safety of the District's citizens. But all of this isn't enough for you. You want more from the University. Shame on you. Just because you have money and a megaphone doesn't mean you are more important than anybody else.
Ricky December 18, 2011 at 08:19 PM
Ms. Courtney, you are what is wrong with America. You are part of a wealthy and unappreciative class who was never taught to say "thank you."
Shane December 18, 2011 at 08:25 PM
Your tainted and biased reporting has no place in the world of journalism.
Arnold December 18, 2011 at 10:15 PM
". . . Smith said he procrastinated a little, putting of the last" should be "putting off" I think students would've "whizzed by", "bolted by" of "flew by" but only bees could have "buzzed by." This piece has earned a C- or maybe a D+ Is this middle school writing or what?
Connor December 19, 2011 at 12:41 AM
The whole idea behind the article is bad enough but it is truly shocking that you coerced quotes from a kid under the guise that you were painting him in a favorable light...while he was cleaning your streets.
Shaun Courtney (Editor) November 26, 2012 at 03:02 PM
We removed a comment from this article because it violated our terms of use. http://georgetown.patch.com/terms - Shaun

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