Recently, the student body of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., voted on a proposal to add a semester fee that would go toward a fund to benefit descendants of the 272 slaves that were once owned by the university. The referendum passed by a vote of 2,541 to 1,304; nearly a two-thirds majority in favor of the new fee.
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. Earlier in the semester, The Georgetown University Student Association senate approved the proposed referendum by a 20-4 vote.
“The university values the engagement of our students and appreciates that 3,845 students made their voices heard in yesterday’s election,” said Todd Olson, vice president for student affairs, in an official statement. “Our students are contributing to an important national conversation and we share their commitment to addressing Georgetown’s history with slavery.”