November 6, 2012 – The first meeting of the Georgetown Community Partnership (GCP) – a group providing a new forum for collaborative conversations involving the university, its neighbors and the Washington, D.C. community – took place last week.
The GCP is composed of senior university leaders, students, faculty and staff, elected leaders of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) and presidents of the neighborhood citizens associations.
“The partnership is the tool by which we will live out our commitment to engage in collaborative transparent communication and decision making with our community,” said Lauralyn Lee, Georgetown’s associate vice president for community engagement and strategic initiatives.
Five Working Groups
The GCP created working groups at its first meeting that will focus on five areas of concentration – student life, conduct and safety; beautification and trash issues; transportation and parking; communications and engagement; and metrics and data.
President John J. DeGioia and ANC chair Ron Lewis announced the partnership in June after the university, the surrounding community and the District government worked together to reach agreement on the university’s campus plan.
Lee’s new Office of Community Engagement is coordinating and facilitating GCP’s efforts on short-term planning commitments and the creation of a campus plan for 2037.
“It’s really groundbreaking in the District,” she said. “The District government, including the mayor, has been very public about telling us that they hope it will become a model for how university communities and their neighbors live and work together.”
Lewis said he thought the first steering committee meeting got off to a good start.
“The mission of the partnership is very strong, and that will benefit the entire community including the university, as the partnership moves forward,” said Lewis, who is co-chair of the GCP steering committee. “There are many challenging issues, and I am looking forward to working through the partnership structure to make progress to the greatest extent possible.”
Christopher Augostini, university senior vice president and chief operating officer, serves as co-chair with Lewis. He said the first meeting was a testament to how dedicated university and community members are to working together.
“Having some of the most senior leadership from the university at the table alongside students and neighbors reflects our commitment to the partnership with our community,” Augostini said. “It’s necessary to accomplish the kind of work and decision making that we expect the GCP to be involved in.”
Clara Gustafson, president of the Georgetown University Student Association and GCP member said she thought the first meeting went well.
“I am glad the whole group wants to get the working groups started right away,” she said.
She also said she is pleased that students will serve on each working group.
“Hopefully we can get some really dedicated students involved … as they will be doing a lot of the brainstorming and planning,” she said.
The working groups will begin collaborating at the next meeting of the full GCP in January.