Georgetown students vote for slavery reparation fee

Georgetown students vote on historic proposal to pay reparations to slave descendants

Students at Georgetown University students have approved a referendum to add a reparation fee to their tuition that will go to descendants of slaves the school sold almost 200 years ago. If approved, that money will go toward helping under privileged communities where some of the descendants live including in Louisiana. "This means that the referendum passes", GUSA Elections tweeted Thursday. The student activists have pushed, through student government, a bill that would create a new $27.20 fee every semester for all Georgetown undergraduates, CNN reports.

A statue of John Carroll, founder of Georgetown University, sits before Healy Hall on the school's campus August 15, 2006 in Washington, DC.

The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) said 2,541 students voted in favor of the measure while 1,304 opposed it.

"Our students are contributing to an important national conversation and we share their commitment to addressing Georgetown's history with slavery", Olson said in a statement.

The move comes as Democratic presidential candidates debate whether the U.S. should provide compensation to the descendants of African-American slaves.

"There are many approaches that enable our community to respond to the legacies of slavery", Olson said. In 1838, the university sold the slaves to pay off its debts.

But several 2020 Democratic hopefuls, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, have come out strongly in favor of reparations.

After the passage of the bill, Georgetown sophomore Eliza Dunni Phillips, a member of the GU272, told CNN: "The vestiges of slavery are still so evident, and so numerous African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved are still so disenfranchised".

Students at Georgetown University passed a referendum this week that seeks to address the fact that the institution once owned slaves.

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