Georgetown University students to pay slave reparations through scholarships

Students on Georgetown University's campus

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"The University has made a commitment to further our efforts in dialogue and partnership with the Descendant community, seeking to promote work that draws on the inherent strengths and expertise of our community in collaboration with the Descendant and Jesuit communities and that promotes racial justice", Todd Olson, Georgetown University's vice president for student affairs, said in a statement.

It was announced that students at Georgetown University, founded in 1789 and located in Washington D.C., may soon be paying a $27.20 per semester fee for slavery reparations at the school. The proposal was organized by the GU272 Advocacy Team, which conducted an outreach campaign to educate students about slavery.

Students at Georgetown University passed a referendum this week that seeks to address the fact that the institution once owned slaves.

Georgetown University's school newspaper, The Hoya, reported that the vote Thursday had the highest turnout in recorded student government electoral history, about 58 percent.

It said: "the board of students and descendants would make this determination in the same way that the Georgetown University Admissions Office does, or the various descendant associations do".

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The student-led referendum was organised by the group Students for the GU272. "We choose to do more than simply recognize the past - we resolve to change our future".

Georgetown University has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 7,000. The vote marks the first time students have favored a slavery reparation. "Regardless of what happens, we will know that Georgetown University students practiced solidarity and made a decision to ensure that such an historic injustice has a permanent lens for awareness, analysis and action".

The student vote comes as the issue of national reparations has resurfaced among 2020 Democratic candidates.

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