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University Begins Implementing Elements of Campus Plan

'The real work has just started.'

Georgetown University has begun the process of implementing its campus plan agreement by engaging with neighbors directly and incentivizing on-campus socializing by students.

"We are off to a running start" said Lauralyn Lee, the associate vice president for community engagement and strategic initiatives in the Office of Community Engagement at GU.

Lee and Todd Olson, the vice president for student affairs, addressed the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission at the Sept. 4 meeting.

Lee said the University has engaged in conversations with comunity leaders to form the Georgetown Community Partnership (GCP), which she expects will formally launch in October.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ron Lewis was officially designated by his fellow commissioners as the co-chair of the GCP.

Lewis said he has been impressed by the conversations he has had with university officials who have a "genuine desire to make this work."

Lee acknowledged the "results-oriented" nature of the recent agreement with the community  on the university's future in the community.

"Among results that are most important to you, is seeing some mitigation of impact of university in the immediate environs," said Lee.

Olson spoke about GU's efforts to mitigate noise, litter and other concerns.

Olson pointed to the food trucks present on campus Thursday-Saturday nights and the relaxed policies for on-campus policies. He said they are trying to offer significant programming on campus on the weekend and they hope that the fall 2014 opening of the new student center will further these efforts.

"We are closely monitoring weekend by weekend, house by house where there are concerns and following up," said Olson.

He said GU teams are focused on reducing noise and addressing problems effectively to prevent recurring issues.

"It is not that we promise there will be no more noise in the neighborhood, I don't want to be unrealistic. But what we do promise is that we are working in very focused ways to address issues that arise," said Olson.

Commissioner Ed Solomon also took an optimistic view and said he hopes that over the next few semesters, they will see results from the community's partnership with GU.

"I want to be optimistic. Am I optimistic? Hardly so," remarked Commissioner Bill Starrels, citing complaints he and others have already received. "I just want to see the results."

Ron Lewis noted, "The real work has just started."

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