For many students, the start of the school year includes the excitement of moving into off-campus housing. For the Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs, it means just another year of going unnoticed. According to DCRA spokesperson Michael Rupert, each year his office kicks off a new campaign to encourage students who rent off-campus housing to make sure their homes are up to code, and each year, the response is lackluster. So last week, his office and the D.C. Fire Marshall tried something new: launching a “student-friendly” website, thisshouldbeillegal.com.
As the Metropolitan Police Department, Mayor Adrian Fenty (D), and the D.C. City Council consider another high-tech program for MPD–this time one that would put video cameras in police cars–they should think about whether they have begun to accept technology as a substitute for real police presence in D.C. communities.
Early Saturday night, a group of Burleith residents harassed a Georgetown student and his friend, shouting homophobic slurs at the pair from their lawn. The student they taunted, a senior in the College who wished to remain anonymous, said he was harassed by twelve to fifteen men, all of whom appeared to be drunk.
“Well, I got to work a murder case. I got to canvass a crime scene, which meant taking pictures and interviewing possible witnesses,” Natalie Punchak (COL ’11), who interned for the Public Defender of the District of Columbia this summer, said. Punchak’s work often took her to Southeast DC. “The funny thing is, people kept asking us if we were lost.”
The announcement yesterday that the Washington Teachers’ Union has filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia Public Schools for the allegedly improper dismissal of more than 70 teachers confirms that things really are getting ugly on the D.C. school scene. DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee heated things up earlier with the announcement this summer of a tiered pay proposal, which would introduce merit-based pay and extra bonuses for teachers willing to give up tenure for a year of probation.
Former Georgetown University sailing team member Chris Behm (MSB ‘08) was almost giddy when the Beijing Olympics began this summer. His old teammate, Andrew Campbell (SFS ‘06), was one of two Georgetown graduates to make the U.S. Olympic team, and Behm was more than willing to stay up as late as three in the morning to watch him sail.
In the wake of criticism of the Student Activities Commission’s new funding guidelines, the Georgetown University Student Association will try to start a fund to allocate money to student groups independent of SAC. The “Fund of Second Resort,” which GUSA’s Funding Board will vote on this Monday, is designed to provide money to clubs who propose major events mid-year, after SAC, which funds most clubs and activities on campus, has approved its annual budget.
The Georgetown University Student Association recently conducted an audit of several student advisory boards and found that six umbrella student groups—the Student Activities Commission, the Media Board, the Georgetown Program Board, the Performing Arts Advisory Council, the Center for Social Justice and Club Sports—are holding onto more than $800,000 in contingency accounts.