today's seattle times includes a story about how the university of washington is forcing 13 sex offenders to move out of an area just north of the university. for the past seven years, a number of sex offenders on probation have lived quietly in rental houses near the fraternities and sororities of the u-dub greek system. while the offenders have never caused trouble, people in power--including university president mark emmert and washington governor christine gregoire--have decided they must relocate.
landlord carol clarke works closely with each of the felons who rents from her, setting strict ground rules and encouraging them to do good; with short notice she is about to lose 13 of her 55 tenants. she intends to fight the university to let the tenants stay; in her view, the students cause more trouble than her tenants.
several things bother me about this story, but i'll point out two. first, while a spokesperson for u-dub panhellenic said they haven't had specific problems with any of the13 individuals, "sororities have been advised to know the location of sex-offender housing and 'gain as much information as they can' about sexual predators in the area." i wonder if that includes looking into the fraternities and dorms in the area, as well. chances are if a student is going to be sexually assaulted, it will be by a fellow student and not a stranger who happens to live in the neighborhood.
second, "As part of the UW's neighborhood plan, [vice-provost] Godfrey said the university is looking into purchasing properties and maintaining them as student rental housing. He said Clarke's five homes are in the real-estate corridor they are interested in most." interesting. so, with the governor's approval, they force a quarter of the residents out of the very rental properties they are hoping to purchase.
whose interests are really being protected here?