The Hoya controversy draws whispers of disciplinary actions, GUSA ire

Hoya staffers after Thursday’s sit in

The Hoya‘s now-infamous April Fools’ Day issue caused a lot of angry vocalization last week, and even prompted a sit-in of over 40 students in The Hoya‘s office following an emotional and indignant town hall which at least 100 students plus a Jesuit and several faculty attended.

(Asked if the University was preparing a statement about The Hoya‘s April Fools’ Day issue, spokesperson Julie Green Bataille referred me to Olson’s office. Check back later for their response.)

When it convenes again after Spring Break, the GUSA Senate will undoubtedly join the fray, perhaps by passing a resolution that GUSA Senator Nicholas Nelson-Goedert (COL `10) drafted over the weekend (full text after the jump).

In the email in which he announced to several student organizations that he would be introducing his resolution, (curiously, Nelson-Goedert told me he hasn’t yet informed the whole GUSA Senate), he also said he was working on legislation that would make “students’ actions while on a newspaper endorsed by the University” subject to Student Code of Conduct.

So is this GUSA Senator pursuing disciplinary action?

Well, student groups are already subject to the Student Code of Conduct under the Center for Student Programs’ Student Organization Standards. Discovering this, Nelson-Goedert decided to investigate further, for now. He wrote in an email, “Would this mean that there is already a mechanism in place to resolve the situation? This question, along with others are being answered now with the diverse group addressing The Hoya issue.”

Students at last week’s town hall also discussed reprimanding The Hoya, but to my knowledge, have yet to make actionable plans. However, a source tells me that a “list of grievances” is in the works and that student groups who The Hoya’s April Fools’ issue offended will issue their grievances collectively, along with a list of yet-unspecified demands.

N-G continued,

“The students addressing The Hoya, myself included, would like to resolve the situation and come to a mutual understanding before even considering punitive measures. Having said that, we are leaving nothing off the table for the future.

“My main objective is to ensure that such an irresponsible and divisive edition of the paper never comes out again on the Hilltop. The group and/or GUSA may pursue the disciplinary route, but we must have a dialogue first to explain our grievances, and that happens to be what we are doing.”

So for now, GUSA only Nelson-Goedert’s tongue-lashing to consider. N-G says his resolution has found support with Senators Tim Swenson and K’sean Henderson, as well as “large sections of the Black and LGBTQ communities along with MECHA and GUSJP (Justice for Palestine) as of tonight.” GUSA Prez and VP Calen Angert (MSB `11) and Jason Kluger (MSB `11) have got his back as well.

A RESOLUTION Regarding The Hoya


Whereas The Hoya abused its right to free speech, the Senate here assembled:

  1. Calls upon the The Hoya to apologize in person for the damage inflicted upon campus cohesion and the reputability of the Georgetown institution.
  2. Requests that The Hoya actively seek input from the larger student body throughout a self-assessment process; and
  3. Thanks the numerous Jesuits, faculty, campus organizations, and concerned students for calling attention to this offensive conduct.

Therefore be it resolved, the Georgetown University Student Senate condemns the Hoya for its April 1st publication.


We hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was duly considered by the Senate at a meeting at which quorum was present and that the same was approved by a vote of ____ in favor and ____ opposed, this ____ day of ________, ______.

__________________ ___________________ Speaker Vice-Speaker

Photo by Helen Burton for the Voice.

6 Comments on “The Hoya controversy draws whispers of disciplinary actions, GUSA ire

  1. wow, that is mad intense. i guess we know now what it takes to get GUSA to take action on an issue …

  2. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They haven’t voted on the resolution yet (although I expect they’ll pass it). But if what’s catching your eye is disciplinary action, remember that that’s very much in the works.

  3. Goofiest part: “The group and/or GUSA may pursue the disciplinary route”. Since when did GUSA or any student group get disciplinary powers over other students?

    Nelson-Goedert not realizing newspapers were already subject to the Student Code of Conduct shows how half-baked his idea is.

  4. Let’s separate the resolution to the question of punishment, which is not raised in the resolution.

    As to the resolution itself – well, other than the fact that Section I incredibly poorly written (what the heck does damage to “campus cohesion and the reputability of the Georgetown institution” mean? Sounds very PCU) and the fact thatthe Hoya has already apologized, it’s pretty standard fare, tame resolution.

    As to the actual punishment under the Student Code of Conduct, my question is…. for what? They haven’t violated any policies. At worst, they’re guilty of being poor humorists.

    Let’s stop bandying around threats of punishment anytime an individual or group gets offended. There’s no right to be free from offense.

  5. Stop sensationalizing the issue. I haven’t seen this degree of yellow journalism since William Randolph Hearst. The only ones who should be facing disciplinary action are the Voice staff who trespassed into the Hoya’s office last week.
    Get a grip Voice. It seems like you spend more time covering the Hoya than writing your own news section, which is consistantly inferior to the Hoya’s.

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