Georgetown University: Reparations May Be Paid

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Georgetown University: Reparations May Be Paid

photo credits to Olivia Gasser.

photo credits to Olivia Gasser.

photo credits to Olivia Gasser.

photo credits to Olivia Gasser.

CJ Gasser, Editor-in-Chief

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One of the guiding aspects of Georgetown University is the Latin phrase “Cura Personalis” which translates to “Care for the Entire Person”.  The recent petition to raise funds for people affected by the acts of slavery at Georgetown University embodies this mindset.

According to the Georgetown Voice, “The GU272 is a petition created by Georgetown students, an effort to raise funds for a reconciliation fund to benefit descendants of slaves sold by the Maryland Jesuits in 1838”. The number “272” represents the 272 slaves sold by the Jesuits in an effort to maintain the finances of the University. Through this policy, all students would be required to pay $27.20 each semester towards this fund. On 21 April 2019, The Georgetown University Student Association confirmed and accepted this petition, agreeing to the additional mandatory fee per student.  The resolution, accepted by the students, is non-binding and has yet to be accepted or implemented by the University administration.

As a member of the incoming class of 2023 of Georgetown, I have been extremely interested in this student demonstration. After the 2016 Slavery Scandal, Georgetown has been under a great deal of pressure about how and when to address this very controversial and ethical issue. The University administration, of course, denounces the Jesuits’ actions back in 1838, and are working to help the descendants of these slaves, in order to express their compassion and commitment to this issue.

Since the beginning, students have been working to contribute their own ideas and opinions, an effort to demonstrate the true philosophy of the University. This philosophy includes the notions of “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” (For the Greater Glory of God) and “Cura Personalis” (Care for the Entire Person). Through this petition, students have been able to support the descendants of these slaves and build a more unified community. As a future Georgetown student, I am proud of my fellow classmates, who have worked to “Care for the Entire Person”. Georgetown is a community that works to create a community that is centered around unity, openness, and profound appreciation for the world and its people.

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