In Favor of Reparations
Susan Svrluga, April 12, 2019, The Washington Post
Georgetown University students voted overwhelmingly for a proposal to create a fund to help descendants of the enslaved people sold in the 19th century at a time when the school struggled to pay off debts, results released Friday show.
Two-thirds of undergraduate students who voted in the student government referendum supported the measure, one that is not binding but still sends a message to university administrators and beyond.
The vote comes at a time when reparations have been an issue nationally, promoted by some Democratic presidential candidates, and as a growing number of universities are exploring the role of slavery at their institutions.
Student activists who came up with the idea and campaigned for it gathered early Friday, waiting for vote results to be announced on social media by student government leaders. They were holding their phones, and Karla Leyja, a senior who had pushed for the measure, suddenly saw everyone jumping up and down, cheering and hugging. She felt proud, she said. “We did succeed in our mission to get students to talk about this and care about it,” Leyja said. “It felt incredible.”