At Georgetown University, in the heart of Washington D.C., undergraduate students demand a change that will try to right a wrong that was committed generations ago. A newly approved measure has declared that the school will pay reparations to the descendants of slaves who helped build the school and make it into the prestigious institution that people respect and laud to this day.
Although the wrongs of slavery might be in the past, the students at Georgetown University believe that the responsibility of righting the wrong lies on their shoulders. That’s a large burden to carry for such young adults. The school has created a simple and easy way for this initiative to be put into practice. Not only would it go to the descendants of slaves who built the school in the first place, but it would also cost current students less than a few sandwiches for lunch. The cost would be $27.20 per student per semester. That money would go into a new fund that would then go out to the descendants of the slaves that built the Washington D.C. university.
While the students want to take on this burden and pay a modest amount toward slavery reparations, they are facing a lot of resistance.
In a statement shared to ABC News, Matt Hill, the Georgetown University’s media relations manager, resists how students wish to write history’s wrong. He shared the following information to the news organization.
“Student referendums help to express important student perspectives but do no create university policy and are not binding.”
Hill wants to make it clear that just because the students at Georgetown University want to start paying reparations to the descendants of slaves who built the prestigious school does not mean that Georgetown would ever honor such a practice.
“The university will carefully review the results of the referendum, and regardless of the outcome, will remain committed to engaging with students, descendants, and the broader Georgetown community and addressing its historical relationship to slavery.”
The horrible truth is that slavery was present in the United States and before when this land was a colony of England. While slaves built much of the United States and received no credit or recognition, their slavery directly benefit Georgetown University.
In 1838, the university sold 272 slaves to pay a debt to the Maryland Society of Jesuits. The sale of those humans brought in about half a million dollars of wealth for the university and eventually saved it from the brink of extinction.
One sophomore at Georgetown named Melisande Short-Colomb is a descended of one of those 272 slaves sold to save Georgetown.
“The Jesuits sold my family and 40 other families so you could be here,” Short-Colomb said during a town hall meeting with other students.
The advocacy group was called GU272 and passed the measure to honor the descendants of the slaves who saved Georgetown University from bankruptcy.
While the motion is controversial, the students of Georgetown University believe that paying an extra $27.20 per semester is worth it.
What do you think?