Men and Women of Georgetown, let us rise to action!
We cannot simply give in after achieving the renaming of McSherry and Mulledy Halls.
They were only the beginning. Much more work remains!
The truth is Georgetown is riddled with names and symbols which recall to mind our University’s dark and troubling past, which we the studentry should not have to confront or be reminded about.
We owe it to our University to fight for change and create a safe space for anyone who is offended about anything whatsoever. So we must scour the Hilltop and rid Georgetown of that which might be triggering to those who are fragile, or which honors someone who wasn’t 100% perfect or supports those who didn’t participate in the recent student protests.
Lauinger Library is named after one such fellow, an American soldier who died in combat during the Vietnam War. That war is a symbol of American aggression and imperialism. It is offensive that a building on campus be named after someone who fought in that war, thus this dead soldier should not be remembered, no matter how much money his family gave the University.
Change the name!
John Carroll at one point owned a slave and yet he sits proudly at the front gates of the campus.
Tear down his statue!
There are Jesuits in the Jesuit cemetery who were alive when the Maryland Society of Jesus owned slaves and they probably did nothing to help free them.
Find out who they are, disinter their bodies, and dump them into the Potomac!
Books which feature libertarian or conservative thought currently inhabit library shelves. Some even go so far as to criticize affirmative action or feminism.
Stack them in front of Healy Hall and burn them all!
Georgetown’s colors are Blue & Gray, a symbol of unity between the North and South after the Civil War. It’s triggering and inappropriate in 2015.
Time to make the new school colors the colors of the rainbow!
Okay, back to planet earth . . .
Can someone seriously explain what good such witch hunts on the nominal characteristics of our campus actually have when it comes to strengthening or improving the educational experience at Georgetown? Changing names doesn’t change history, and yet students on this campus over the last couple weeks have dedicated enormous amounts of energy and time to planning and leading protests, sit-ins, and rallies around this subject.
The dedication and drive students have is a critical part of why Georgetown is such a renowned institution. And so I, Quinctius Cincinnatus, question whether or not there is something greater in our community that we can channel our energy, our passion, and our dedication to . . .
The Washington Post reports that within D.C. alone there are 11,623 known people who live without housing. According to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute one in four children within D.C. live below the poverty line. The USDA reports 13.2 percent of households in D.C. are food insecure and the number is consistently rising.
There are so many ways in which the city around us is struggling.
I come to wonder: what if Georgetown students fully dedicated themselves to these problems in the same way they have attacked history on this campus? What if the amount of time that was spent protesting or sitting in front of DeGoia’s office was instead spent at a local soup kitchen, or aiding in D.C. clean-up projects, or at disease centers in local hospitals, or in comforting and supporting domestic abuse victims?
Or if one is unable to leave the campus, what if the time was spent brainstorming new solutions for non-profit success or writing letters and preparing care packages for kids in childrens' hospitals who are suffering from devastating diseases, or brainstorming about new ways to address food insecurity and homelessness rates?
Ladies and gentleman, we have a unique opportunity during our stay on the Hilltop. We have time, our youth, and a troubled city right outside our gates. Students here are incredibly smart, and if we were collectively less entitled and instead turned our passion and energy outwards and projected it onto the world, just think about the impact we could have.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t seek to make our school as great as it can possibly be, but rather that we need to be able to recognize there might just be something more important in this world to fight for than a name on a building. For in the end names are nothing more than symbols. It is what we do that makes us who we are.
If you would like to get involved in this city or the surrounding area there are some great volunteer opportunities available:
Check out this Washington Post article for 25 great ways to volunteer.
Or help kids with disabilities stay active.
Do you like kittens? Then why not rescue some?
For dozens of more opportunities click here.