Georgetown students to vote on slavery reparations fund

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

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

Students at Georgetown University students have approved a referendum to add a reparation fee to their tuition that will go to descendants of slaves the school sold almost 200 years ago. As a result of the resolution, students will now be charged an additional $27.20 per semester. More than 2,500 undergraduate students at the Washington D.C. campus voted in favor on Thursday for the "Reconciliation Contribution" fee. CNN notes that the collected fees would amount to about $400,000 annually and, per the bill, would "be allocated for charitable purposes directly benefiting the descendants. and other persons once enslaved by the Maryland Jesuits".

We value the engagement of our students and appreciate that they are making their voices heard and contributing to an important national conversation.

The fee, if passed by the school's board of directors, would benefit the descendants of the 272 enslaved people sold by a Jesuit society affiliated with Georgetown in 1838, known as GU272.

After the passage of the bill, Georgetown sophomore Eliza Dunni Phillips, a member of the GU272, told CNN: "The vestiges of slavery are still so evident, and so numerous African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved are still so disenfranchised".

"There are many approaches that enable our community to respond to the legacies of slavery", the statement said.

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".

Barack Obama, America's first African-American president, and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did not support the idea.

"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.