techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com April 21, 2019


Georgetown students vote overwhelmingly for slavery-reparation fee

14 April 2019, 10:02 | Glen Norman

Georgetown students to vote on slavery reparations fund

Georgetown students vote on historic proposal to pay reparations to slave descendants

'Our students are contributing to an important national conversation...'

It would levy a $27.20 fee on students each semester to create a fund for the descendants of 272 slaves sold by the university's Jesuit founders in 1838 to pay off debt. If approved, that money will go toward helping under privileged communities where some of the descendants live including in Louisiana.

Creation of the reparations fund was approved in a student referendum and the results were announced late Thursday.

The students are considering a fee benefiting the descendants of enslaved people.

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A vote held yesterday with the participation of 57.9 percent of students at the center of higher studies showed that two thousand 541 were in favor of the so-called Reconciliation Contribution, while one thousand 304 rejected the initiative, according to the Commission of Elections of the Student Association. University administrator Todd Olson didn't commit to the fund's establishment in a statement on Friday, but said the non-binding vote provided "valuable insight into student perspectives".

"There are many approaches that enable our community to respond to the legacies of slavery", Olson said. The student-led proposal aims to atone for the Jesuit-organized sale of 272 slaves in 1838.

Some Democratic candidates for president have also raised the issue of reparations - including 2020 Democratic hopeful Cory Booker.

Undergraduate students passed the referendum with a 66 per cent majority, but the measure requires approval by the university.

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Barack Obama, America's first black president, and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did not support compensation for the descendants of slaves.

Tuition at Georgetown, a private school in Washington, D.C., costs about $55,000 a year.

"The students remembered, recognized, and re-ignited awareness about descendants who literally made it possible for today's Georgetown University", Lee Baker, a GU272 descendant, told The Hoya.

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