Yesterday the Washington Citypaper published an article highlighting several complaints from Georgetown residents about Homecoming-related noise from this past weekend. While the piece itself played it pretty neutral, it was soon picked up on social media where a common argument emerged:
And so on…
It’s a refrain we’ve heard many times before: don’t move next to a university and complain about conditions caused by the university. But that argument has a flip-side. While the institution of Georgetown University has existed for over 200 years, the students got here at most only three years ago. Just as Georgetown residents chose to live near a university, so too did Georgetown University students choose to go to a school right next to non-students. And if we’re to demand that non-students must accept all the behavior of students, then why can’t we demand that students accept the behavior of non-students insisting on some decorum in public areas?
They knew or should have known that they were deciding to relocate next to gray-haired grumps who will complain if you do something as typically collegiate as throwing a kegger or screaming at the top of your lungs as you walk down the street at 4 am. If they don’t like it, they can transfer to a school in the middle of nowhere where there are no nosey neighbors and they can rage to their hearts’ content.
Of course both of these arguments are fundamentally weak. Not every act of boisterousness needs to be squashed, but no one should be expected to tolerate excessive immaturity simply because of where they chose to live.
The reality is that Georgetown and the surrounding neighborhood have moved past arguments like this and have developed a dramatically improved relationship. Yes, the streets were a bit noisy this weekend, but overall things have gotten a lot better. If only the rest of the city could drop old and dated arguments as well.