The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is reputed for its decisions negatively affecting student life at GW. Most recently, the ANC has opposed an extension of hours at the Health and Wellness Center and advocated the revocation of McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon’s liquor license. While many students lament adversarial decisions made by the ANC and other neighborhood institutions, most do little, if anything, to affect the status quo. In an effort to ensure cantankerous neighbors are unable to negatively affect campus life, students should register to vote in the District and take an active role in neighborhood politics.
This election in particular offers students the ability to affect significant change in the ANC. Former Student Association President Kris Hart is challenging incumbent Commission member Dorothy Miller – perhaps the board’s most anti-student member – for her ANC seat. Given the poor turnout that is typical for such elections, 100 student votes for Hart could oust Miller. By becoming active participants in the Foggy Bottom community, it will become increasingly difficult for area residents to marginalize student issues and concerns.
Outside of Boston, the District is home to the largest concentration of colleges in the country. Because students retain residence in their home communities, decision makers are able to make policies without regard for student concerns, regardless of the capital they pour into their neighborhoods and the city. Registering to vote in the District will allow students to coalesce into an important voting block capable of swaying elections and enacting policy, ensuring that student rights and interests are protected.