For three summers and one academic year, I shared a house or apartment with other undergraduates of Georgetown University. I lived in Arlington, Glover Park, Georgetown and Foxhall -- and I never had a drunken all-night bash or exchanged any but the most pleasant words with my neighbors.

Georgetown has many students like me, and it is unfair of area citizens associations to treat us like outcasts rather than neighbors {"GU Urged to Require Students to Live on Campus," District Weekly, July 26}. People who disturb their neighbors certainly should be held accountable for their actions. But residents of Burleith and other areas adjacent to the university should handle unpleasant situations with students in the same way they would handle such situations with any other adults. Georgetown University should not act as a parent -- protecting or punishing.

I admit that it is tempting for students to flaunt their new-found freedom when they are first away from parents and dorm supervisors. But wouldn't citizen education -- perhaps a mandatory program for first-year students provided jointly by the university and the citizens association -- be more productive than corralling students between O Street and Reservoir Road?

Further, rather than increasing enrollment and building more dormitories, the university needs to address the fundamental reason that more and more students are living off-campus -- the almost prohibitive expense of on-campus housing. Sharing a not-exactly-spacious dorm room now costs at least $400 a month or $1,200 a semester. The same space in a house or apartment costs about $100 less a month, and payment is not due in one lump sum. Any person making decisions on a budget would obviously choose the less expensive and more pleasant -- if somewhat less convenient -- option.

Students will not choose to move into expensive dormitories unless forced to do so -- which, as university Vice President and Treasurer George Houston stated, would make Georgetown less competitive. It would also sharply curtail the economic diversity that the university claims to prize.

Not all students make bad neighbors, just as not all non-students make good ones. The university and the community should work in tandem to find long-term solutions rather than setting up an adversarial relationship between students and other area residents. Confining students to residing on campus is not a solution. MICHELLE E. HYNES Washington

As young working alumni of Georgetown University and as residents of the Burleith neighborhood, we oppose Ted Jacobs's campaign to force Georgetown undergraduates to live on campus.

Most students are responsible contributors to the community. They take part in neighborhood recycling programs and cleanup efforts, offer baby-sitting services and devote themselves to their books. They make a critical economic contribution to the area, and as future professionals and parents, most understand the need to respect their neighbors.

In the Burleith Newsletter, however, Mr. Jacobs portrays Georgetown students as young toughs, dangerous alcoholics, vandals and fornicators. He solicits reports of any incident of student drunkenness or misbehavior, however minor, that might support his campaign to force the university to adopt a mandatory on-campus housing policy.

True, some students keep late hours, fail to mow their lawns often enough, are noisy and are not sufficiently respectful of their neighbors. But these are scattered incidents. Families or working adults who choose to live two or three blocks from a large university such as Georgetown should expect the occasional clash of lifestyles and attempt to resolve the resulting tensions.

Perhaps Mr. Jacobs should direct his wrath toward absentee landlords and real estate speculators who show little interest in the conduct of their renters. We find it ironic that his anti-student newsletter is financed by the parties who profit most from the high demand for housing posed by the area's student population.

Mr. Jacobs insists he will not rest until every Georgetown undergraduate is living on campus and is threatening to withhold support for the university's 20-year campus development plan unless this comes to pass. This is preposterous. The proper way to address tensions in the neighborhood is through discussions among Burleith's residents and student residents and the university's director of off-campus housing.

IAN W. TOLL PETER A. WIEBLER Washington