Georgetown Students Will Vote on Fee to Aid Descendants of Slaves Sold by the University

This April, the students of Georgetown University will vote on a referendum that would create a semester fee that would go toward a fund to benefit descendants of the GU272. The $27.20 fee, which would be added to students’ tuition, would contribute to the descendant community of the 272 enslaved individuals who were sold to pay off Georgetown’s debt in 1838. The Georgetown University Student Association senate approved the proposed referendum with a 20-4 vote.

The university could collect $405,987 from its undergraduate students if the referendum passes. Additionally, if it passes, the referendum will establish a reconciliation board of trustees, consisting of both students and descendants who will decide how to allocate the new funds to best benefit descendant communities.

The Gu272 Advocacy Team, a group of students who advocate for descendants on campus, pushed for the referendum to be held. They were committed to presenting the reconciliation fee to the entire student body, since the student senate does not accurately coincide with the diversity of the student body. If the bill passes, the team plans to launch educational campaigns that will inform the student body about descendant communities and their connection to the Georgetown campus.

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