Letters to the Editor

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

September 13, 2007

It’s about time that someone put their foot down on the new alcohol policy on and off-campus here at Georgetown. The University and the Metropolitan Police Department don’t understand that the new ramped-up policies set in place to “protect” the students and neighbors are actually making everything worse. In previous years, students of all ages would simply go to an apartment party or house party in very close proximity to campus. The new policies have completely shut down all parties on and off-campus. So what happens next?

The University may claim that they are providing “safe, alcohol-free, on-campus fun” for students. Any reasonable person would not buy that claim. The University needs to understand that nothing can be done to curb student drinking; if students want to drink, they will do it anyway. So now you have MDP and DPS breaking up parties early in the night, kicking out intoxicated kids onto the streets of Georgetown. These drunk kids have no place to go, so they are forced to loiter in the streets of one of the most dangerous cities in the country. (https://www.marcieinmommyland.com) That sounds really safe.

Next, Georgetown turns into a bar school. With the absence of parties, students will be forced to go to bars on M Street and Adams Morgan. Fake IDs are not difficult to come across, so more underage students will get fake IDs to go to bars. Let’s step back and analyze this situation: before, you had students walking to and from dorms, apartments, and houses throughout the neighborhood. By eliminating parties, you have drunk students walking not only from campus to the bars on M Street, but around Adams Morgan and other areas of Washington. The last thing the University and MPD needs are intoxicated students of all ages walking around various parts of a city with the highest per-capita assault rate in the country.

The new alcohol policy may seem to be working now, but it will just create more problems later. The University and MPD are now looking at an increase in off-campus rapes, assaults and other violent crimes against their students. Is all that worth shutting down parties at our school? What makes Georgetown unique is the niche that we are in. We are an urban campus that is, for the most part, secluded from the city. We stay in the Georgetown area to have fun because we feel safe here.

The new policies set in place determined to eliminate such a localized “problem” are only going to create a more hazardous environment for students in the weeks to come. The University was here long before the current residents moved into the neighborhoods, so they knew what they were getting themselves into.

Hopefully now the University and MPD will realize that they are actually creating more harm than good. What was wrong with the old policies? A simple quote could answer my question: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


Tom Hutton (MSB ‘09)

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