SA signals support for GW campus plan

The Student Association Senate endorsed the University’s campus plan Tuesday with conditions urging additional communication between GW and the Foggy Bottom community.

SA senators stressed the maintenance of a proportional student enrollment and the need for a committee to discuss University expansion outside the campus boundaries as stipulations to their support.

It’s basically saying that we support the campus plan, said Kim McGraw, SA executive vice president. However, to make the University better, these are things we believe should be considered.

The bill was passed unanimously after the GW administration requested the SA review the plan before it is sent to the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The campus plan documents the University’s timeline for expansion and upgrades to facilities within the University’s structured borders.

It’s good that they wanted to involve us, said graduate Sen. J.P. Blackford (SEAS), who sponsored the bill. We can give our advice and give our support.

Local community members attended the Senate meeting and praised the SA for adding the conditions, which give credence to local community concerns.0I think they are starting to realize it’s better if they become a part of what the University wants to do, ANC Commissioner Richard Sheehey said.

Ellie Becker, Foggy Bottom Association president, said it is in the students’ best interest to ask for controls in admission.

The University facilities are not keeping up with the enrollment, she said. That has been the problem all along – too many students and not enough facilities to accommodate them.

Blackford concurred.

We don’t want the University to be adding students before we have the facilities for them, he said.

Bernard Demczuk, GW’s assistant vice president for Government Relations, said the SA and the University are on the same page.

The campus plan is in fact increasing administrative and academic space and student housing, he said.

Demczuk said the campus plan hearing before the BZA has been postponed to give GW and the community another chance to come together.

But Sheehey said he was concerned the community dialogue approach is just a delay tactic.

We’ve been sitting down with them for a year, and it hasn’t done anything, he said.

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