Faculty Senate passes a resolution condemning The Heckler
The Georgetown Heckler isn’t out of the woods yet. Following a letter from Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, and two campus-wide e-mails—one from University President John DeGioia and one from Provost James O’Donnell—the Georgetown University Faculty Senate has issued some excoriating words of its own about the December incident involving Heckler articles that some students found offensive.
On Friday, January 22, the Senate passed the following resolution:
We, the Georgetown University Faculty Senate, within the framework of respect for the right to free expression, as determined by the law, and to academic freedom, as determined by the Georgetown community, unequivocally condemn the abuse of such rights. We declare it our common view that the December 12th Georgetown Heckler article, “The Hoya holds annual cross lighting ceremony in Dahlgren quad,” was such an abuse because of its use of egregiously hurtful visual and verbal images that emphasized hate and dehumanization.
We urge President DeGioia and the rest of the University community to join us in condemning this abuse and in reaffirming Georgetown’s commitment to the Cura Personalis, with its “individualized attention to the needs of the other” and its “distinct respect for his or her unique circumstances and concerns.” (Georgetown University Mission & Ministry Statement) In violating those principles, this article was an affront to our entire community, particularly its African-American members, who were the specific targets of its bigotry. Claims of innocent intent do not lessen the impact of these racist images, which rub salt in wounds still fresh in the minds of many Americans, of all races.
We further condemn the unconscionable assault on common decency made by the inclusion of a fully identified child in this article. No possible intent can justify such a disgraceful debasement of our common discourse. We urge the author and editors to apologize to President DeGioia and his family for this outrage.
The offending article is still available on the Heckler‘s website here.
Reporting by Will Sommer
Image from the Georgetown Heckler blog