Georgetown University students vote on fee for slavery reparations

Lester Mason
April 14, 2019

Georgetown has taken initial steps to seek reconciliation, beginning with offering a formal apology to Descendants; renaming two buildings, including one for Isaac Hawkins, the first person named in the 1838 sale; and offering Descendants the same consideration in admissions that it gives members of the Georgetown community.

Georgetown University students overwhelmingly voted this week for a tuition hike, which would pay reparations to the descendants of slaves. The referendum, which would establish a fee of $27.20 to tuition each semester, passed with 66.1 percent in favor.

More than 2,500 undergraduate students at the Washington D.C. campus voted in favor on Thursday for the "Reconciliation Contribution" fee.

In a statement, Georgetown University Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Todd Olson said that the university has met with the descendants of the slaves that were once owned by the institution. Critics of the proposal, however, argue that students should not have to pay for the institution's failures, thus, the fee should be optional.


"In addition, the Georgetown Memory Project, which has done extensive genealogy research, would assist any applicant wishing to prove descendant status", the CNN reports. Student referendums help to express important student perspectives but do not create university policy and are not binding on the university. They went on to labor "under awful conditions", according to a September 2016 Georgetown report that called on university leaders to demand "reparative justice" for the institution's actions.

As unusual as it may sound that students will pay the cost for reparations, it was all their idea.

The journal, cited by Newsweek, said Craemer came up with those figures by tabulating how many hours all slaves worked in the United States from when the country was officially established in 1776 until 1865 when slavery was officially abolished.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER