Neighbor complains of student rowdiness

Correction appended

A member of the Foggy Bottom community voiced concerns about the disorderly conduct of GW students on the Foggy Bottom Campus last week at the first Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting of the school year, saying the drunken antics of students are causing problems in the neighborhood.

Newly hired University Police Department Chief Kevin Hay fielded questions and comments, some of which said drunk students on the corner of F and 22nd streets are disregarding traffic and are behaving in a crude manner.

Sarah Maddux, a 54-year resident of Foggy Bottom, said Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are the most problematic.

During the period of Sept. 9 to Sept. 11, Maddux said students were “in the streets, disregarding traffic lights, jaywalking and causing dangerous traffic conditions.”

She said the highest concentration of disorderly students was located at a fraternity townhouse on the corner of 22nd and F streets. Maddux said she immediately called UPD, which she said performed as well as it could, given the circumstances.

Most shocking to her was how the students treated UPD officers. Maddux said students were “rude, gross, crude and disrespectful to GW police officers.”

She asked Metropolitan Police Department officers attending the neighborhood meeting to help UPD by increasing patrols on F Street between 19th and 23rd streets, specifically between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. MPD took note of the concern and said it plans to address the issue.

Hay assured Maddux, along with other concerned residents, that he “attended the ANC meetings for these reasons and plans to look into her concern.”

While Hay had to leave the three-hour meeting early, he told The Hatchet before he left that he trusts that Maddux’s concerns are valid and he will be looking into the situation.

“She’s lived there her whole life, I’m sure she knows,” Hay said.

At the meeting, Hay told residents he believes he must communicate with the community in order to make campus safe and pleasant for neighbors.

Hay said after the ANC meeting he went by the area on 22nd and F streets in an attempt to see if anything was going on. However, since it was Wednesday, there were no specific issues to report, he said. There are four fraternities with townhouses around that location, and Hay said no particular fraternity will be targeted by UPD.

“It just means we will be watching for potential illegal activity at the dwellings around that intersection,” Hay said.

The University announced to the fraternities and sororities in the area that unregistered parties will come with stringent consequences. Greek-letter life organizations that do not register parties with the Center for Alcohol and Drug Education on campus will lose their rush and recruitment privileges, and if the problem persists, chapters may lose their University recognition.

Hay added that both UPD and MPD are taking the complaint very seriously and intend to be on the lookout during weekends.

He said he will be looking for “signs of disorderly conduct, drinking in public or underage drinking.”

He added, “We want to be good neighbors and maintain the quality of life on campus for everyone.”

This article was updated on Sept. 20, 2010 to reflect the following:
A reporting error misrepresented the tone of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The concerns over student behavior were from Sarah Maddux exclusively.

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