Beatrice Peterson et al., Good Morning America, April 12, 2019
Georgetown University could become the first college in the nation to mandate a fee to benefit descendants of slaves sold by the university nearly 200 years ago — a debate that takes place against the backdrop of a broader political conversation unfolding on the 2020 presidential campaign trail about reparations.
By almost a 2-to-1 margin, students approved the measure, which still must be approved by the university to go into effect.
The school’s undergraduates voted Thursday on the referendum, which would increase tuition by $27.20 per semester to create a fund benefiting descendants of the 272 slaves sold to pay off the Georgetown Jesuits’ debt—a move that saved the university financially.
Todd Olson, vice president for student affairs at Georgetown University, in a statement issued after the vote, lauded the students’ efforts saying “university values the engagement of our students and appreciates that 3,845 students made their voices heard in yesterday’s election. Our students are contributing to an important national conversation and we share their commitment to addressing Georgetown’s history with slavery.”