GUSA seeks Academy apology

By the

March 15, 2001

The Georgetown University Student Association passed a resolution Wednesday night calling on members of The Georgetown Academy to issue a full apology for what the association deemed “insulting, slanderous and racist comments” printed in their most recent issue.

Assembly members Jamal Epps (CAS ‘01), Aaron Kass (CAS ‘02) and Brian Walsh (CAS ‘02) sponsored the resolution that passed the assembly by a vote of 14 to 2.

The March 2001 issue of The Georgetown Academy included fictional quotations by Georgetown students, and GUSA members asserted the issue contained offensive remarks about gays, Jews, African-Americans and Hispanics as well as unwarranted attacks against individual students. The Georgetown Academy is a non-University sponsored publication and claims to be “Georgetown’s Independent Journal of Satire and Opinion.”

GUSA President Tawan Davis (CAS ‘01) said that, at first, he did not agree with the resolution, but in the end he believes the assembly made the right decision. Davis said he worried the resolution could be viewed as an attempt to silence free speech, and that it was a hasty response. The new issue of the Academy was distributed Wednesday afternoon.

“We don’t want to say that the Academy doesn’t have the right to their opinions,” Davis said. “But we must say, that as an institution, we do no tolerate, support or wish to engage in intimidating, slanderous and bigoted messages.”

GUSA was criticized several times in the March Academy and so were GUSA assembly members, Georgetown Voice editors and individual students. Davis said it is possible that the assembly’s decision was personally motivated.

“I’m a realist,” Davis said. “[The resolution] may be somewhat personally motivated. If it had been my name in the Academy instead of [Epps’s] I don’t know what I would do.”

Walsh said the resolution had nothing to do with personal motivation.

“In the constitution of the Student Association the assembly is charged with defending students,” Walsh said. “We are the sole representative of the student body, and we have a sincere obligation to stand up when members of our community are unneccesarily slandered.”

Walsh said he was worried a GUSA resolution would give the Academy extra attention. He said GUSA did not act before because the assembly tried to dismiss statements in the Academy.

“We don’t want to give them what they want,” Walsh said. “But we owe it to the student body which is overwhelmingly and vehemently against this crap.”

According to Walsh, the Academy crossed the line by making comments outside of the public sphere. He said he would like to see alternative publications where conservative views can be expressed. Conservative viewpoints are vital to healthy student discussions, Walsh said.

“We’re not trying to stop their speech,” he said. “but I am trying to defend my fellow students who I have been elected to represent.”

Paul Dotto (SFS ‘02 ), a senior editor at the Academy and Robert Swope (CAS ‘01 ), the Academy’s Editor-in-Chief were reached by phone Wednesday night and referred all questions to Eric Wright (SFS ‘01), the journal’s publisher. Wright could not be reached for comment.

Read More

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments