Voices is the Op-Ed and personal essay section of The Georgetown Voice. It features the real narratives of diverse students from nearly every corner on campus, seeking to tell some of the incredibly important and yet oft-unheard stories that affect life in and out of Georgetown.
Something about winter creeping up is enough to make anyone want to trade the “Hot Girl Summer” mindset for a “Settle Down Winter” one. Or better yet, a “Time to Lower my Standards” mindset, as I like to call it. The need to be in a relationship can be so completely consuming that people will be quick to view themselves as the problem and lower their standards, when it’s more about luck and timing. Furthermore, this downgrade of standards may not be setting them up for a successful and healthy relationship.
From the very beginning of this country's settler-colonialism to the most modern manifestation of Jim Crow through the prison system, these historical examples are part of larger systems upholding the white upper-class power structure. It shows us that there is an intentional inability to establish our values for all Americans. Patriotism should not find its foundation in this history, but rather in the advocates that challenged them. While exclusion is a fundamental part of American history, so too is resistance. Dissent is pivotal in dismantling these exclusionary visions of America. In particular, dissent rooted in fundamental principles of democracy, justice, and equality is one of the most American things imaginable.
Shocking. Cruel. Terrifying. Devastating. Criminal. Some say there are "no words" to describe the searing events of October in Israel and Gaza. But these words and many others accurately describe the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians at this terrible moment in the history of the modern Middle East. As scholars of the region who have devoted years of research, study, teaching, and discussion to the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy, we implore our students, administration, and colleagues to care for all humans impacted by the ongoing carnage flooding our news feeds.
For the next year, my grandmother lived with my family to help raise my sister and me. Her gentle touch and her kind eyes grew familiar, so much so that I would often mistake her for my Mamu. It only made sense that my first word was addressed to her: “Aama,” which in Nepali, means “mother” and not “grandmother.” She wore the title proudly, like a pageant sash. I’d like to think this was the beginning, that the first word that spilled out of my mouth was in my mother tongue—a phrase dedicated to the woman who meant the most to me, yet I called her the wrong name. This is a story about words: the ones that were shared, others that were lost in translation, and some that never needed to be spoken aloud.
If you want to pursue a field other than law, healthcare, politics, or business, you’re left with few options; there are few productive majors for a college student, like myself, who is interested in early education. As I browsed my options for a new major, I started to question why the options were so limited. While the school offers a myriad of options for students pursuing high-earning fields, the same kind of variety doesn’t exist for students pursuing typically low-earning fields.
GSP, Georgetown’s program for first-generation and/or low-income students, was the one organization I knew about before arriving on campus. They had reached out to me after my acceptance, assuring me of support in my first year and beyond. When I finally set foot on campus, they welcomed me with a complete bedding set, offering a warm and reassuring sense of belonging.
With test centers shutting down due to the pandemic, most colleges and universities across the country, including Georgetown, instated test-optional policies beginning in the Fall 2020 admissions cycle. While many of these institutions have maintained these policies, Georgetown has since returned to requiring prospective students to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of their application. However, this move is contrary to many of the Jesuit values that Georgetown claims to uphold, and the university should revert back to a test-optional admissions policy.
Sure, Georgetown has done some truly meaningful work, at least in my experience. It was the first American university to appoint a full-time Muslim chaplain and establish a mosque complete with ablution stations and a halal kitchen, and the resources provided by Muslim Life heavily influenced my college decision. But at the end of the day, the attention Georgetown gives to these religious and ethnic minorities on social media is not reflective of the attention it gives them with policy and action. In reality, Georgetown has a tendency to act for these minority communities only in response to student mobilization.
I always thought the phrase “music unites people” was just one of those cliché things that people like to say. However, my perspective quickly changed over spring break when I went on an immersive trip to Cuba through Georgetown Music Ministry. I realized how ingrained music is in human nature, making it something that connects us both to each other and our historical roots.
Rather than a broad range of opinions being published, they are limited to those of a group of primarily white writers hailing from elite universities. Other perspectives, more relevant to other parts of the population, are ignored. But even if these columnists weren’t the products of predominantly elite universities and were more diverse, I would still have an issue with them: they simply exist.
Instead of meticulous control or binge-eating, girl dinner is listening to what your body is telling you. Her version of girl dinner is not an every-night affair but an occasional pick-me-up. While it can be made up of snacks, it also includes small cooked plates that are discordant but somehow make sense altogether. Girl dinner is realistic: it’s a representation of the modest and uneventful ways everyone eats.
A news journalist’s job is often portrayed as reporting on the world in an objective manner. Objectivity aims to put emotions and personal beliefs aside and state the cold hard facts. This is often interpreted as showing both sides of a story, with the intended purpose of presenting readers with all the facts to draw their own conclusions. However, this emphasis on objectivity in journalism is problematic as it doesn’t require context, asks for two sides to be presented equally, and has been used to silence marginalized groups.
When many of you read the word “rural,” you already have preconceived notions of what the word means. The majority of these perceptions are less than flattering, painting people from rural areas as uneducated, uncouth white people proudly donning infamous MAGA hats and espousing bigoted ideologies regarding minority groups. This surface-level understanding of rural history and culture has permeated Georgetown, resulting in prevalent stereotypes of rural people as prejudiced and uneducated, even for individuals in higher education.
In the mainstream, various media companies, like TODAY and the Huffington Post, now dedicate specific sections of their websites to sharing good news stories. Especially since the beginning of the pandemic, people have developed a strong desire to consume uplifting news, to receive a small reminder that our world is still on the right track. However, organizations and accounts dedicated to sharing good news have subconsciously desensitized us readers to the existence of systemic problems in our society.
In my search for Georgetown’s better qualities, I like to remember why I chose to come here in the first place. While I was impressed by the gothic beauty of Healy Hall and the bright colors of the front lawn’s tulips, what I remember most about my first visit to the Hilltop is the people.
But this standard, American way of bonding can be inherently exclusionary in nature. Those who didn’t grow up watching movies certainly wouldn’t have a vast library of films to reference, which comes at the danger of being labeled “uncultured.” Yet, this apparent unculturedness only manifests when viewed through a traditional American lens—perhaps failing to adhere to American cultural expectations doesn’t suggest a lack of culture, but a different one altogether.
There was no support group to rely on, no therapy I could access, and a blatant disregard for rape, sexual assault and survivorship. Dreams of safety and freedom in my new home at Georgetown quickly faded away.
What happened to the movie intermission? Where did they go, those 10-15 minute breaks in films when the lights would rise and you could (finally) debrief the first half with your friends? Today, when you watch an old film with a built-in intermission, it feels like a relic from an era when actors spoke with mid-Atlantic accents and the credits rolled at the start of the movie.
There are certainly benefits to visually dividing up one’s day in color coordinating blocks and receiving phone notifications of events, and I fully utilize the service to keep track of myriad life happenings. But the way Georgetown students use it is borderline obsessive, perhaps straight up deviant.