The Foggy Bottom and West End Neighborhood Advisory Neighborhood Commission unanimously passed a resolution last Wednesday, advising D.C. officials that the organization is against lifting the enrollment caps of local universities.
ANC Commissioner Asher Corson – a GW alumnus and president of the Foggy Bottom Association – offered the resolution as a way to clarify the ANC’s position on an issue that caused tension recently between GW and the community.
Corson questioned GW’s intentions in regard to enrollment and employment limits at last month’s ANC meeting, prompting an official response from Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz.
Corson stressed that the resolution – directed at Mayor Vincent Gray, the D.C. Council, Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment -was not only about GW’s population caps set by its campus plan, but the caps of other D.C. universities too.
“This is not meant to be a resolution directed at GW, or as a slam at GW – this is to our city,” Corson said. “This is to leaders and decision makers in the District of Columbia government asking them to maintain the protections that are in place.”
At the meeting, Corson said the ANC has “considerable doubt” that lifting population caps will increase jobs, the main reason the discussion of lifting caps arose in the first place. Instead, the ANC believes lifting caps would negatively affect the quality of life in the neighborhood, according to the resolution.
Corson said the resolution originated from an article in The Examiner in which Gray said he was open to the idea of lifting D.C. university population caps to aid job growth.
In that same article President Steven Knapp said jobs were moving away from D.C. as GW moved employees to GW’s Virginia Campus of Science and Technology because of the cap placed on the number of employees the University can have in D.C.