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.
"For all students, Georgetown’s complicity in the prison-industrial complex is also our complicity. We have a direct interest in Georgetown’s actions and reputation, making us stakeholders in our university."
D.C. statehood is not an issue of just taxes or borders. Civil rights, racial justice, and democracy are at stake. Statehood would open up pathways for the 700,000 residents of D.C., 54 percent of whom are people of color, to advocate for themselves and access the same democratic processes that people living in states do.
Speaking out against racism is more than an action. It is a process of recognizing the ways in which white people contribute to and benefit from institutional and societal racism. It is a process of realizing feeling guilty is a privilege—that Black people and other people of color have been living with the effects of this racism for their entire lives.
By supporting a tuition decrease, we put countless faculty and staff members at risk. We deplete already-scant resources that help level the academic and social playing field for socioeconomically disadvantaged students like myself who depend on tuition revenues for funding. Ultimately, we risk undoing much of the progress made over the last five decades towards creating a more diverse and inclusive Georgetown community.
"In light of these struggles, the COVID-19 pandemic has made me question the university’s real commitment to the global character it parades around."
"My classmates would walk around with thousand-dollar winter coats, wear designer bags, and avoid Leo’s at their every convenience. Meanwhile, I added three jobs to my plate and was juggling more than I could handle. Going from classes in Walsh to shifts in Reynolds (a hike), I often found it near impossible to ever leave the Bubble or even to discover any clubs I was passionate about."
"Georgetown and its students say survivors are not alone. We write it on the walls of our buildings and host rallies and shout together, but what will you do when the perpetrator is your friend or partner? What will you do when rejecting them means a major change in your life? What will you do when empowering a survivor is inconvenient for you? What will you do when your student organization is enabling abusers? What action will you actually, truly take to make sure a survivor is not alone?"
In discussions about COVID-19, it is the military metaphors that are the most dangerous. War metaphors related to COVID-19 are overused and often inaccurate, and descriptions of the pandemic should instead turn to non-violent metaphors that emphasize the need for community and perseverance.
No matter the answer, my previous “cure” for my hair was one of many small things I took for granted, and one of the many small habits that I, like many others, didn’t realize I valued until they were gone.
College campuses create an environment where LGBTQ+ students can live openly, build a community, and finally accept themselves. If Georgetown forces students to continue taking virtual classes this fall, Georgetown strips queer students of the experience they signed up for. This would stifle the thriving LGBTQ+ community, of all races and classes, that I have been able to learn, live, and grow with. LGBTQ+ students need the support a college campus provides.
Stay home. For most of us, it’s the one thing we can do to save lives from the reach of COVID-19—to do our part for society when so many others are risking their lives by going to work for us. For some, however, staying home is more dangerous than contracting the disease. Due to this pandemic, as well as the financial strain many families are facing, domestic violence cases have spiked nationally. This is how we can begin to help.
I’m tired of Black lives not mattering. I’m tired of seeing people who look like me die. I’m tired of having to educate our “allies” on how to show up for our community. I’m tired of knowing my children will have to modify every aspect of their behavior and mannerisms to ensure they aren’t misconstrued as threatening. They’ll have to grow up too fast and give up pieces of their childhood for their own safety. I’m tired of your complacency. I’m tired of wondering if I’m next.
"The stressful process of grocery shopping and coronavirus-induced anxiety, in general, may reduce our ability to think clearly, but Buddhism can provide insight into managing our thoughts and actions."
I’ve rarely studied meditation in a formal sense, but the basis of mindfulness critical to its practice have always been an important part of my personal philosophy. For someone who has often struggled to feel in control in uncontrollable environments, mindfulness is an essential tool.
That night, I became one of the one-in-three women who has experienced sexual assault or coercion—without even realizing it. Yet despite our prevalence and the gravity of our circumstances, policymakers—like Betsy DeVos' new Title IX policies—continue to neither recognize nor support survivors of sexual assault.
"In February, I accepted the Tombs’ annual challenge for seniors. On every one of the last 99 days of senior year, I planned to descend into the Tombs and hand the bartender my ID as proof of my attendance. I found the cheapest items on the menu and set aside enough money for all the checks. If you make it, they’ll put your name on a plaque, and how can you put a dollar value on that?"
Last week, I finished my second year at Georgetown. As much as I wish I could provide some eloquent update about how, despite the obstacles created by COVID-19, I made the most of this semester and learned a lot, that simply isn’t the case. The reality is I’m tired. I’m really tired. I’m tired because I’ve spent every day for the past two months thinking about the fact that Georgetown doesn’t seem to consider me, a first-generation student, valuable.
"With the rise in anti-Asian sentiment, I can’t help but feel uneasy in the rare times I do leave my house since the stay-at-home orders began. I wonder if the man who pushes his cart past mine in the supermarket sees me and feels hate. I worry if today might be the day some crazed stranger passes me or my family and reacts violently. "