The acquisition of new property may be important for the future of GW, though many would debate even that.
The University administration has snatched up many buildings in the Foggy Bottom area and has plans to obtain more. However, the problem arises with Foggy Bottom residents.
Bernard Demczuk, assistant vice president for Government Relations, would have us all believe that the GW administration is doing all it can to reach out to the community and bridge the tremendous gap that exists. Yet it seems quite obvious that Demczuk and others view the residents and neighborhood organizations with bewilderment, as to why they might be upset, but more importantly with contempt.
GW has a distinct attitude of entitlement, which is evident in the excessive purchase of property, as well as the request for a tax-exempt bond from the D.C. government. This attitude is understandably viewed with disdain by area residents.
The University must take significant steps not to isolate the community, of which we are a part. The series of meetings that were held with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and GW that broke off were ineffective because each side viewed the encounter as a fight. The residents of this area have everything to lose, so they naturally view GW as the enemy. GW has everything to gain but still views the neighborhood as the enemy.
For the University, fostering a bond with the community should be paramount to acquiring property.