Georgetown University

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Georgetown University Approve Slavery Reparations Fee for Students

April 11, 2019

Georgetown University undergraduate students approved a bill that would create a campus-wide fee for all students benefiting the descendents of slaves who were sold to help the school pay its debts, the Associated Press reported.

The Board of Trustees still has to approve the fee.

In what the university senate is calling a “Reconciliation Contribution,” students would be charged $27.20 beginning fall 2020 to honor the 272 slaves the university sold in 1838. If approved, students would have to pay the fee each semester.

The proceeds would be “directly benefiting the descendants of GU272 and other persons once enslaved by the Maryland Jesuits,” the proposal says. Some of the money would be used to support descendants living in communities such as Maringouin, Louisiana.

[Related: Cory Booker Introduces Bill for Slavery Reparations]

The proposal says the university only implemented some of the recommendations from 2016’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. It accuses the university of failing to establish financial aid for the descendant community.

"The university values the engagement of our students and appreciate that they are making their voices heard and contributing to an important national conversation.," Georgetown said in a statement. "The university will carefully review the results of the referendum, and regardless of the outcome, will remain committed to engaging with students, Descendants, and the broader Georgetown community and addressing its historical relationship to slavery."

The proposal comes at a time when senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker is planning to introduce a senate bill aimed at evaluating slavery reparations, USA Today reported.

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