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One less Hurdle for student politicos

Wanted: a mature, cooperative Hoya willing to stay over the summer and who works well with others. One Georgetown student will get an early chance to shape community relations this year when Jason Hurdle, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, resigns from the body later this week.

Campaign Georgetown, a student advocacy group, is already mobilizing a task-force to ensure that another student joins lone student commissioner Mike Glick (CAS ‘05).Hurdle is being relocated to Memphis, Tenn., by his employer.

Matt Ingham, president of Campaign Georgetown, said there will be a special election to fill the vacancy until regular elections are held in Nov.

The next few years will be a crucial time for the ANC because of upcoming University construction projects and recent strains on community relations, according to Ingham. “The videotaping proposal came out of nowhere. Whenever the neighbors get angry, new issues come up, and it’s important to have student voices there to present our side,” he said. Residents discussed videotaping disruptive students at a neighborhood meeting last week.

Campaign Georgetown is trying to secure a candidate, who must be a Darnall Hall or Henle Village resident and willing to stay in Georgetown over the summer. Their main obstacle is the apathy that plagues student campaigns for the ANC.

Amanda K. Hamilton (CAS ‘06) said that it would be tough to persuade her to change her registration to the District. “I decided to register at home because of the lack of representation in D.C. My vote is going to count more in Florida, and that supersedes the ANC,” she said.

Ingham says that it is impossible to know whether a resident will respect the students once elected. “A student can represent student interests best. This is a good opportunity to show the community we’re mature people they can work with, we care about resident concerns, and we are willing to stand up for our own issues,” Ingham said.

The ANC’s input on new Georgetown building projects could persuade some students to vote in commission elections.

“Whenever GU wants to build new buildings, such as the science and business buildings, ANC decides whether to make the recommendation to the Zoning Board,” Ingham said.

Hamilton agreed that construction was a hot button issue, “We only got the Southwest Quad because we had people representing us.”

The Georgetown ANC and commissions across the city transmit neighborhood opinion to District officials

In Nov. 2002, Hurdle defeated GUSA Vice President-elect Eric Lashner (CAS ‘05) by approximately 70 votes to win the seat for Georgetown District 2E02, which includes Henle and Darnall. Glick, who ran unopposed in an all-student district, is the only student commissioner.

Hurdle’s resignation, Lashner said, shows that students’ mobility is not a reason to keep them off the commission, as some residents have claimed. “In this city, the D.C. people move in and out, students have just as much a stake as anyone else.”



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