The Voice Turns 40!

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Published March 26, 2009

The Voice has reached middle age. This month, after decades of free exercise of our free speech, Georgetown University’s weekly newsmagazine turns 40. To celebrate, we’ve collected some of the best, most controversial, and most entertaining work of our young history.

It all began with one young man and his beer. In the 1960s, Georgetown’s dormitory hallways were frequently filled with students sipping brews from the common room keg and mingling with faculty and administrators. At one such party in the second floor of Ryan Hall (now Maguire), which used to house both students and Jesuits, Director of Student Activities Robert Dixon approached Raymond Schroth, S.J., about a student named Stephen Pisinski (COL ’71) who was dissatisfied with writing for the Hoya. After Schroth and Dixon corralled Pisinski into his dorm room, the three decided that a second publication would be a healthy addition to the Georgetown community.

They envisioned the Voice as a more progressive publication which would cover more issues beyond the Georgetown campus.

“We decided that something needed to be said about the outside world,” Schroth said, “because the outside world was burning down.”

And thus the Voice was born.


By the Editorial Board

March 4, 1969-Just as new consumer product evokes the skepticism in people, a new publication raises doubts in the minds of prospective readers. What slant will the publication’s editorial policy assume? What will be the content of the paper? What will it emphasize?

Our editorial policy will view and analyze issues in a liberal light. We shall not limit our editorial content to campus topics. There are more important matters to be discussed than parietals and the fate of the 1789, and there are journalistic gaps to be filled at Georgetown.

We promise to present and analyze national and local issues of concern to the student, whose concern should spread beyond the campus. We promise not to neglect the student-the student, that is, who is not the committee member, the class representative, or the sports hero, although those persons certainly merit attention.

We shall attempt with all our energy to inform the community, to make the community conscious of controversial subjects by an open presentation and discussion of the relevant issues, to communicate a culture, and to entertain our readers.

Henle Inaugurated as Georgetown’s 45th President

By Joe David Berg

October 14, 1969-The Rev. Robert J. Henle, S. J., was inaugurated last Tuesday as Georgetown University’s 45th president, amidst an assembly of intellectual peers and a small band of dissatisfied students. He pledged in his inaugural address to continue to “make Georgetown the center of all higher Catholic education.”

During the inaugural ceremony while the symbols of power-the charter, seal, and mace-were being received by Fr. Henle, a group of about 50 students quietly stood and marched out. The group of students representing the “radical caucus” chose to leave during the ceremony as a symbolic gesture against the “false neutrality” of the University on the Vietnam war. The protest was also directed toward the University’s involvement in the ROTC program and the International Police Academy.

Save the SFS

By the Editorial Board

November 11, 1969-The crisis of the School of Foreign Service has been a fact for almost a decade. It has only been during the last three years, however, that the deterioration of the school has been brought before the University community. The problems are staggering indeed.

The School of Foreign Service can hardly be called a school. It has no faculty of its own, no budgetary control, and no control over admissions.

We believe that a core faculty is the quickest and most efficient cure for the ills of the School of Foreign Service….We believe that you first need a school before you can debate its purposes and aims.

Heroin Use Increasing at GU

By Rob Holt

December 8, 1970-John wakes up, stretches and attempts to get out of bed so he can trudge down to the communal facilities on his floor in New South. Suddenly he becomes aware that he probably isn’t going to make it the first time around. His head is pounding, his stomach feels like molten lava is running through it, and his whole body aches with the “hot and cold sweats.”

Methodically the boy returns to his room, searches through his desk and comes up with a small wax-paper packet. Despite his visibly shaking hands he manages to divide the packet into two neat piles, and then “snorts” the contents up through his nose in a straw rolled from a one dollar bill. The whole talcum-like powder disappears, and shortly thereafter the aches subside; it’s a new day.

At Georgetown an estimated 40 to 80 persons use heroin on a regular basis, that is, in excess of three times a week.

Contrary to public feeling, heroin is a problem at Georgetown. The users are predominately undergraduates in their sophomore and junior years.

Local Phenom to Rebuild Hoyas

By Dan Bukovac and Bill Conti

March 14, 1972-John Thompson was named Georgetown’s head basketball coach yesterday by Robert J. Henle, S.J., president of the University.

Henle announced that Thompson’s contract is for four year. The former Boston Celtic, currently head coach at St. Anthony’s High School in the District, succeeds John F. Magee who resigned Feb. 8. Thompson becomes the fourteenth coach in Georgetown’s 65 years of basketball.

Thompson realizes that Georgetown is not ranked among the big name basketball schools.  He does not believe this will hurt his recruiting program. “Most inner city ball players don’t know about Georgetown. They don’t have a negative feeling towards the school; they have no feeling.” Thompson said he will be able to use Georgetown’s reputation as a good academic school to his advantage in attracting first-class talent.

Student Frustrations Piled with 6,000 Sour Lemons

By Carmen Gastilo

February 6, 1973-Six thousand lemons piled in front of University President Robert J. Henle’s door Friday testified to the fact that a majority of Georgetown students feel that their education is apparently not worth as much as the Board of Directors thinks it is.

In a letter to the Board, [Student Body President] Kennedy stated: “While you could dismiss ‘Lemon Day’ as a funny student stunt, I think I speak for the student body when I say that the connotation … that our education is going sour, is a very real feeling on the part of every student. They are the ones sitting in a so-called ‘seminar’ – with 66 people; or in a senior year English elective – with 80 others. They are the ones questioning whether Georgetown is worth $2,500 per year.”

Hit the Road, Dick

By The Editorial Board

Oct. 30, 1973-Richard Nixon must be impeached.

His terrifying actions in the past week have underlined his total disdain for the legal processes of this country and the Constitution which supports them. He has given the lie to the entire White House line of defense in the Watergate affair.

In deciding to abolish the office of Special Prosecutor, the president was either not aware of the prevailing will of the American people, or else he did know and didn’t care.

Because of his systematic trampling of the Constitution which he was sworn to preserve and protect, and because of the moral climate resulting from it, there must no longer be any hesitation.

Nixon must be impeached.

GU Nazis Protest Forum

By Steven J. Ping

February 14, 1979-Last Friday four members of the Young National Socialists (Nazis) of Georgetown picketed the University Forum on the Ethics of Homosexuality in front of the Forum’s meeting place at the 1789 Restaurant.

March organizer Ted Nugent explained the motives behind his group’s protest: “We white students are shocked by the recent actions of ‘Catholic’ Georgetown University in reorganizing a homosexual student group while simultaneously denying recognition to an anti-abortion students’ group. We believe these actions are a Jesuit declaration of war on the healthy white family unit and on the already insufficient white birthrate. Therefore we are going to picket.

“It is no secret that black women get paid welfare to mass-produce black babies, but white women are encouraged to seek business careers and abort their white babies. To top it all off, white males are encouraged to sleep with their own sex, which is obvious perversion. Thus, the white race, which made our America great, is becoming a minority in our own land.”

Clinton draws a Blank

By Dedee Hellegers

April 15, 1980-“The dean of the nursing school,” “a presidential candidate,” “a judge,” were some of the responses in a game of “What’s My Line,” as randomly polled students attempted to pinpoint the identity of William Clinton.

Clinton is, in fact, the governor of Arkansas, the youngest governor on the country, an SFS graduate of the class of ’69. … [H]e will give this year’s commencement address.

One senior echoed what appears a widespread dismay, stating, “I was hoping it would be someone famous so that when I’m old and gray I can say so-and-so spoke at my graduation. I’m probably not going to remember the guy’s name a week after graduation.”

Scientists Test Cancer-Detecting Bra

By Todd Rowe

October 28, 1980-The device, called the Breast Cancer Screening Indicator (BCSI), measures heat patterns in the two breasts which can be compared for abnormalities.

The BCSI consists of a round foam rubber pad with three temperature sensitive foil inserts. It folds into a cone and fits easily into a brassiere. … Screening is done once a month and individual patterns recorded for future reference.

Bummed Out? Tuckered Out? Get Tucked In

By Jonathan Garino

November 18, 1980-If you suffer from acute homesickness and insecurity, or feel deprived on loving tenderness and attention, Georgetown finally has what you need. This year marks the establishment of the Hoya Tuck-In Service.

States [co-founder Bill] Lautman, “A highly selective staff of male and female ‘tuckers,’ all of whom abound in social graces and glow with physical attractiveness, will be tucking-in between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday evenings.” Individuals may call 24 hours in advance to make an appointment for their friends or even themselves to be tucked-in. The ‘tucker’ will arrive wearing a night cap and carrying a teddy bear to share with the tuck-in recipient. He/she will read a fairy tale, sing a short bed-time tune, and kiss the recipients good-night.

Hoyas Sweep NCAA Championship

By Bryan Ruthberg, Bellow McManus, and Pete Ludwig

April 3, 1984-Playing a fast-paced defensive game, our Georgetown Hoyas swept the national title last night in Seattle, 84-75, over the Houston Cougars. As John Thompson and center Patrick Ewing had predicted, it was not Ewing versus Houston All-American center Akeem Olajuwon, but rather Georgetown versus Houston.

The Hoyas and John Thompson deservedly won the national championship, but full credit should go to an outstanding Houston team. There were many heroes for the Hoyas in their conquest of Seattle. Williams earned a game MVP honors; Ewing gave his usual outstanding performance; and Graham won tournament MVP.

Maintenance worker sweeps GUSA write-ins

By Dan Shomon

March 5, 1985-Darnall Maintenance Man and air conditioning specialist Reggie King swept the write-in competition for the office of GUSA President, despite a poor showing in the overall race. Running mate Jeff LaFrance, the Resident Director of Darnall/St. Mary’s, said that “King was upset and is taking a vacation to get over his loss.”

By the Way, We’ve Taken Over

By the Editorial Board

April 2, 1985-In light of the fact that most University administrators were in Lexington the last four days, we had to wonder who was at the helm here on the Hilltop. Fr. Freeze, second-in-command, was in Lexington, as was Dean for Student Affairs William Scott.

We here at the Voice felt someone had to step in, and, of course, who could handle the job better than everyone’s favorite campus newsmagazine? So, while the Hoya was busy with their joke issue, we took control of the school in an efficient and bloodless coup.

Of course, there was no opposition; all minds were focused on basketball.

Within the first few hours, we made some drastic changes, including:

  • complete recognition of GUSA as the representative voice of the student body
  • eviction of the 1789 and F. Scott’s, both of which are on University property, and replacing them with a Corp gourmet restaurant
  • immediate tuition reduction, with lost revenues made up for by the fact that we no longer have to support Healy’s and Freeze’s tastes in catering, world travel, and Persian rugs
  • and last, but not least, complete censorship of the Hoya, by prior restraint, of course.

We hope you enjoy the new leadership.


By Ed Magarian and Dan Shomon

November 4, 1986-Two Georgetown students, including at least one undergraduate, died last school year from complications stemming from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), according to well-placed sources in the university and the Medical Center.

Dr. Neil Schram, the Los Angeles City County AIDS Task Force coordinator, said in a telephone interview that “if there are cases of AIDS on a college campus, it is just the tip of the iceberg.”

University officials have yet to release publicly the exact number of persons who have contracted or died from the disease. Kathy McDermot of the Whitman-Walker AIDS Clinic in Dupont Circle agrees the failure to admit publicly that students have contracted the disease and died, may “create the impression that there are no problems at Georgetown.”

GU’s New Alcohol Policy

By Lance Krevolich and Sean Fitzmaurice

September 9, 1987-In response to a change in District of Columbia law that raised the drinking age from 18 to 21, and an “increasing awareness on the part of the administration, faculty, and stuents of problems with alcohol,” a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy was developed for the Georgetown University community.

A May 1986 survey showed that 56 percent of students polled felt that the use of alcohol at Georgetown was excessive. In addition, the policy claims that “many Georgetown students reported that they have felt considerable pressure to drink.”

In a Voice poll of 100 students, only 75 indicated that they had read the policy. 64 percent of those polled believed that the quantities of alcohol consumed by undergraduates will remain the same as last year. Although it is illegal for freshman to drink many believe that even the freshman class will continue to consume amounts of alcohol proportional with last year.

According to the poll, freshmen shouldn’t have much trouble getting served at on-campus parties. Eighty percent of those polled indicated that they would serve a freshman if he cane to a party, in defiance of the regulation against contributing to illegal alcohol consumption.

Stewards Uncovered, Will Dissolve

By Alex Laskaris, Craig Goldblatt, Tim Lahey, Dave Cannella, Sean Fitzmaurice, Dean Brenner, Alex Xenopoulos, Elizabeth Martinez and Joe Rand

February 8, 1988-The most recent furor over the alleged existence of a secret and exclusive group called the Society of Stewards of Georgetown College has provoked a barrage of criticism and counter-charges within the student organizations and the Alumni Association. A leadership conference held this past weekend, as well as two letters published in the Hoya, brought the matter to the forefront of public debate.

After a frenzied series of encounters and exchanges, a member of the Society of Stewards has said that a press conference will be called for later today announcing the dissolution of the society.

[Rosie] Hidalgo expressed a belief that these organizations should be “open for all to participate regardless of gender or race because everyone has something to share…I stand before you all today and say that I am vehemently opposed to the Stewards,” she said. “It’s like a cancer. Unless we stop it now, it will penetrate deeper and deeper into every organization on campus.”

Ranting and Raving

By Paul Nashak

April 11, 1992-“A rave is an experience that combines music, energy, emotions, and sometimes drugs,” said raver Jim O’Brien (CAS ’95). “People rave because there’s something attractive about going to a place with thousands of people and feeling a sense of unity.”

According to Talvik, a rave is a fusion of humans and computers. Every aspect of the party is synthetic-the computerized music, the lasers, the light show, the robotic dancing, even drugs like ecstasy.

“A common rave slogan is ‘Do it for the thrills, not for the pills,” O’Brien said. “Raves are trying to shed their drug culture perception, but they haven’t been successful so far.”

Eat Free

By Andrew Rice

October 27, 1994-In the beginning, humans basically fit into two categories-hunters and gatherers. I imagine the society worked something like this: the hunters would go out with their sharp sticks and dodge sabertoothed tigers, kill woolly mammoths and otherwise exert themselves in order to provide for their families.

Most Georgetown students are well enough off to never need to scavenge for food, and therefore never realize the numerous opportunities for free eats that exist in our midst. The mission I was given was simple: eat free for a week. My only goal was to survive. Here’s how I did it.

Day 1

12:00pm – On my way to class in Walsh, spot some plaid-clad kindergartners playing in the middle of N Street. See one little girl who’s eating a box of animal crackers. She tells me her name is Anna. Ask her for a cracker. She graciously responds by giving me a handful. Thank her profusely and beat a hasty retreat before I can be scolded by the school yard matron who is undoubtedly concerned that I wish to kidnap Anna and imprison her in a small iron cage.

Day 4

12:00am – Stagger over to the tent in the McDonough parking lot. Walk in through the back door. Enjoy numerous sausages, along with some kind of dark beer. Not knowing anyone there really, I introduce myself as a junior partner at Patton, Boggs, and Blow. Leave with 17 business cards.

Day 7

7:30pm – Too fatigued from lack of nutrition to think of anything better, decide to sneak into Marriot…I am able to gain entrance through the handicapped entrance. When someone at the back of the cafeteria saw me and indignantly asked if I was handicapped, I replied, “yeah, I don’t read too good.”


So ends my journey. Was it worth it? Though many scoff at the life of the scavenger, I think it was. True, it may have been disgusting, boorish, and downright unhealthy at times. I may have lost five pounds. But it sure beats hunting woolly mammoths.

The girl who whimpered rape

By Kate Dieringer

October 24, 2002-I wanted to tell every girl that I saw to never trust, never walk alone, but most importantly, never keep quiet.

Not many victims come forward and go through the grueling adjudication process. The harsh wording in the Student Code of Conduct gave me the impression that any student who commits a crime of sexual abuse would not be allowed to set foot on this campus again. That turned out to be untrue; in dealing with rape, Georgetown fails tremendously. While reporting my story of sexual assault to Georgetown, solace and justice took the form of a long row of cold shoulders and lifetime of pain and frustration.

Suggestive figures, Grading on curves, Georgetown gets down

By Chris Norton

April 26, 2007-Everybody’s doin’ it! Or are they? Last Monday, the Voice wrapped up an anonymous web-based survey of more than 300 students, designed with the advice of the Mathematics Department’s Statistics Consulting Clinic, and the results show that more often than not, they are. 62.8 percent of the 269 undergrads who fully completed the survey described themselves as sexually active, and 91.7 percent of those sexually active have had intercourse in the past year.

Men reported engaging in any sexual activity with an average of 3.5 partners in the past year, while women reported 2.6 partners on average. Those numbers pull Georgetown slightly but significantly ahead of the national average, as calculated by the National College Health Assessment, an annual survey taken at over 100 colleges and universities, whether two-year or four-year, public or private.

Georgetown’s Secret Report Card

By Tim Fernholz

January 17, 2008-It’s hard to say who really runs the show at Georgetown. The Board of Directors leaves the day-to-day operations of the University to the President and his administrators, who tread lightly when dealing with faculty on academic issues. Students, the last of the campus stakeholders, occasionally make enough of a fuss to change this policy or that. Decisions are often made by those who step up to the plate. That is why a confidential report compiled by a group of 13 top faculty members last spring wants to significantly impact your life-how you study, what grades you’ll get, how and when you party, and whether or not you work or have an internship-and its proposals have already begun to make headway. Bad news: The report doesn’t think too highly of most of us.

Several reforms that came out of the late 90s process surely helped improve undergraduate life-a better New Student Orientation, increased undergraduate research and the John Carroll Fellows Program all arose from the report’s recommendations. But when the MCEF created a 13 member committee to revisit intellectual life in 2005, the new committee came to the conclusion that not much had changed. The Voice obtained their March 2007 report, confidential and circulated only among certain faculty and administrators. The reason for the new report? “The intellectual life of undergraduates … was at a crisis stage.” In fact, “no progress has been made in some areas identified as critically important 10 years ago, including grade inflation, number of hours students study in courses, and the amount of time spent partying at Georgetown.”

Free Unclassifieds Hall of Shame

I’m pink, therefore I’m Spam. (10/18/83)

We are in search of GU men who are NOT gay, married, Euro, preppy, nerds, dents, “beautiful” people, or hung-up on their mothers. (9-18-84)

She dresses just like my father and smells just like my mom. (2-4-86)

I wonder how the Hoya can afford to come out with two joke issues in one week? (4-7-87)

Best advice for NSO weekend: open wide and swallow. (8/27/92)

Everyone is born naked, screaming, and covered with blood. If you live properly, this doesn’t have to change (10-29-92)

Oh mortification … it is the last time we get to see the men of our dreams and the boys of our nightmares (9-10-98)

To the sickly one: heal yo’ ASS! (10-1-98)

Mmmmm … pleeeaaaaaaaasssssssuuuuuuuuuuuuuure … (11-5-98)

Corey-I never knew how grand being locked in a bathroom with you could be. We’ll share a bond forever-Danielle (12-3-98)

Anonymity is so subjective. (12-10-98)

I don’t hate this place. I just want to take off my shoes, get naked (OK, maybe not all the way) and run around screaming … You won’t let me! (4-18-99)

I suppose the evidence-photographic and otherwise-is against me. (4-25-99)

Former Staff Tells All

“The Voice wasn’t so much an anti-war or counterculture paper, but more of a skeptical, provocative voice on a variety of subjects. We were the scrappy new kid who worked hard to be creative and challenge the accepted wisdom.” –Brian Kelly (COL ’76), former Editor-in-Chief

“My favorite hijinx was when we intercepted the car carrying the Hoya April Fools’ issue on the way to the printer, and told the driver that we discovered a mistake that needed to be fixed. We added a bit of copy on the front page that said something like: “The Hoya sucks. Happy April Fool’s Day from the Georgetown Voice.” We thought that was absolutely hilarious. Funny, they didn’t. Go figure.” –Craig Goldblatt (COL ’90), former Editor-in-Chief

“We were sorta the sloppy joe team and they [The Hoya] were the fillet mignon guys.” –Dan Shomon (COL ’87), former News Editor

“By spring 1990, I heard that Resident Affairs was going to start instructing incoming freshmen on the use of condoms by having a nurse demonstrate placement of condoms on bananas (I am not making this up). So while a student still couldn’t buy a condom on campus, at least we knew that there would be no unwanted fruit pregnancies.

So an idea was born. Most people didn’t get the joke.” –David Cannella (COL ’90), former Editor-in-Chief

“There were several guys who chewed and left dozens of bottles of spat chew all over the floor. Someone drank it once, thinking it was soda. Good times. A certain Voicer-turned-Manhattan-lawyer who shall remain nameless did something very naughty out the third-floor window onto a passersby’s head.” –Elizabeth Musselman (SFS ’92), former Editor-in-Chief

“I thought of the Voice as the functional equivalent of a fraternity—a somewhat closed group of people with its own weird rituals … and a non-trivial amount of drinking, but which also delivered a tangible product every week.” –Rob Pegoraro (SFS ’93), former Leisure Editor

“As a general rule of life, two papers is better than one…It makes them both better.” –Raymond Schroth, S.J., first moderator of theVoice.

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Comments 5

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    Congratulations, Voice!

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    …there were Georgetown Nazis in 1979?

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    Apparently there were. Oh, how times change …

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    I thought we were the first Georgetown Voice editors to play an April Fool’s prank on The Hoya’s April Fool’s edition. In 1985, a certain editor (whose name I’m withholding due to his prominent legal career) called The Northern Virginia Sun (which printed both The Hoya and The Voice) and pretended to be the editor of The Hoya. We had them print the first page upside down. The premise was that it added to the April Fool’s theme.

    Avery Vise (aka Dan Falcon)
    College, ’85

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    No page 13 references, so clearly fake news!

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