Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Georgetown Students Vote to Pay Annual Slavery Reparations Fee

Georgetown Students Vote to Pay Annual Slavery Reparations Fee

As a result of the resolution, students will now be charged an additional $27.20 per semester.

According to the Georgetown University Student Association Elections Commission, 2,541 students - 66 percent of voters - approved the measure while 1,304 students voted against it, according to CBS Voting ended Thursday night.

The student-led referendum was organised by the group Students for the GU272.

In 2017, the institution formally apologised for selling the 272 slaves, and renamed a campus building after Isaac Hawkins - the first enslaved man listed in the 1838 sale.

Undergraduate students at Georgetown University have voted in support of a fee to benefit descendants of enslaved people sold by the university almost 200 years ago, ABC News reports. "We choose to do more than simply recognize the past - we resolve to change our future".

The university is not bound by the student vote, but if it were to implement the fee, it would be the first college in the establish a reconciliation fund. They went on to labor "under awful conditions", according to a September 2016 Georgetown report that called on university leaders to demand "reparative justice" for the institution's actions.

Students at Georgetown University passed a referendum this week that seeks to address the fact that the institution once owned slaves. The effort by Georgetown to create a fund also comes as some Democratic presidential hopefuls including Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker throw their weight behind reparations, an idea that is estimated to cost trillions of dollars.

The Descendant Community, the Society of Jesus, and Georgetown are working together towards reconciliation and transformation regarding the legacy of slavery.

"Reparations will never bring one life back, and it's totally inadequate to the terror of the [past], but having a meaningful symbol of reparations is a good thing, not just for recipients but for the people who provide it", Craemer said.

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