Comments on: Plan A Hoyas rally in Healy Circle, Red Square for GAAP weekend Mon, 09 Nov 2015 02:04:23 +0000 hourly 1 By: Vox Populi » Plan A Hoyas to meet with University officials on Tuesday Mon, 29 Mar 2010 04:51:16 +0000 […] meet with University officials on Tuesday, following their high-profile GAAP weekend protests on Friday and Saturday, WTOP is reporting. Marion Cory (COL ‘10), a Plan A Hoyas leader and a board […]

By: Vox Populi » Comments of the Week: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 17:25:58 +0000 […] Jacob did not sympathize with this weekend’s Plan A protesters: “‘Georgetown Silenced Me!’ says loud obnoxious protester in public space.” […]

By: Mac Sat, 27 Mar 2010 18:21:39 +0000 So they’re chained to John Carroll now. Over/under on people who care…about three?

By: Chad Kroeger Sat, 27 Mar 2010 02:28:13 +0000 Since I am the frontman of a multiple Juno Award winning Canadian grocery store rock band, I feel compelled to let people know about my opinion. Now in Canada, the government puts birth control in the water supply and mandates that all day cares have a supply of condoms available, so we don’t really have this problem. That being said, I do believe I have some useful advice for the Plan A Hoyas:

1. Stop alienating students with your actions which get their attention. Instead, hold a Nickelback concert in Red Square. Who can argue with that? Once you have Degoia bumping and grinding with Spiros to the smooth sounds of hit songs like Photograph, Rock Star, and If Today Was Your Last Day, they’ll do anything you ask.

2. Distribute maple syrup flavored condoms. Trust me.

3. Call me up sometime and we can talk about my abs or hair bleaching styles or Olympic curling or just anything you want really. If I’m not at a concert entertaining thousands of fans that don’t throw bottles at me, I’ll answer. Please, just call. We can put Todd Olson on conference call if you want, I usually call him before I go to bed. Just somebody call. Please…

With the utmost sincerity,


By: oh no! -- @zacster Sat, 27 Mar 2010 02:03:20 +0000 @zacster

“Thank you. My favorite part of the whole paragraph was sarcastically calling us ‘the cream of the crop’ while you perform the rookie mistake of making an Ad Hominem argument by invalidly disregarding our views simply because we are ‘ineffectual, reactionary morons.'”

Oh, wow, you’re an argumentative wizard, Zacster. In case you didn’t notice, I sarcastically rebuked the arguments above (mocking the idea that we should only say positive things to prospective students rather than being honest, criticizing people for being overly vague when they talk about Plan A misfires, introducing dumb semantic arguments to appear sophisticated). The description of “ineffectual, reactionary morons” is based on those refutations and the fact that you’re not doing anything but whining on a blog about attempts to improve student life. Yes, perhaps if I had said “they are ineffectual, reactionary morons and therefore we shouldn’t even evaluate their arguments” then you could get me for the ad-hom fallacy. As it stands, it was a sarcastic and caustic post whose insult came at the end of mocking the dumb arguments that were advanced above.

“when the bitter taste of these protests have gone a LEGITIMATE group can start a dialogue with the University.”

When, precisely, has the “bitter taste” that Georgetown has toward protesters ever left? For example, even though the Living Wage protests were effective, a lot of people are still bitter and think that solidarity is a worthless organization. There’s no way that advocating for Plan A is just going to taste like sugar to everyone, and disrupting stuff tends to get things done around here. Slow and quiet campaigns don’t get Georgetown to change, not on stuff like this, anyway. And I’m unsure just why you think this group is “illegitimate” . . . because they are expressing opinions you don’t like in a way that you don’t like? It’s not like they’re physically attacking anyone or vandalizing the university, so, what exactly makes them “illegitimate”? And, anyway, isn’t implying that they are illegitimate and that we therefore shouldn’t listen to their complaints just the same sort of ad-hom fallacy that you tried to call me out on earlier?

“Holding publicity stunts and embarrassing the University in front of prospective students is not effective.”

Yes, it is. GSC did tons of publicity stunts and that got the living wage. Part of the protests that led up to the implementation of the LGBTQ resource center involved asking embarrassing questions on tours. Even if you don’t like it, making a fuss and embarrassing the university is one of the few ways that they’ll sit up and take notice of your complaints.

“I’ve never heard a tour guide lie and say that you can get condoms on campus and that birth control is offered under the Georgetown healthcare plan.”

Just how many tours have you been on, anyway? And have you ever heard one mention it if they aren’t asked? Plus, how many prospective students are going to say “hey, what about condoms?” while their parents are with them? Most people would just assume that, like most other universities, condoms are easily available at Georgetown and that birth control is covered by the insurance. A pamphlet that prospective students likely wouldn’t read isn’t at all the same as loud, noisy protests that inform them of current students’ grievances.

By: @... Sat, 27 Mar 2010 01:33:38 +0000 “This is true, but I think people are disagreeing about what constitutes a ‘serious problem.'”

No, that’s not what people are disagreeing with here. People are arguing that it’s irresponsible to protest Georgetown policies on GAAP weekend because it gives people a bad impression of the university. My argument is that it’s not irresponsible because, insofar as the protests are based on truth, then it’s a problem with the university and it’s the administration’s responsibility (even if they can justify it). If the protests aren’t based on truth, then that’s the fault of the protesters and they should be blamed for that. So far, it looks to be a mix of the two and, with the major exception of sexual assault data, it looks like most complaints are based in fact. If students don’t come here because they are made aware of the policies Georgetown implements because of its attempt to adhere to Catholic doctrine, then I don’t see what the problem is. If it’s well-within Georgetown’s right to establish those policies, as you say, it shouldn’t be afraid to advertise them to prospective students. Are you advocating that Georgetown withhold information about its beliefs and policies to prospective students so that they make their decision on bad information? Maybe there are qualified students out there who are pro-choice and think that Georgetown, like most universities with some respect for free speech, allows pro-choice students to express their views in an institutional setting. Should they not be made aware that they won’t be allowed to do that anywhere but red square? Should a low-income student who can’t afford birth control if it’s not covered by student insurance not be made aware of those policies and have the option to choose a competing school whose insurance policy covers it?

People can debate whether or not the university’s stance on birth control constitutes a “serious issue” elsewhere (I don’t have a huge desire to get into it), but there’s no reason why protesters shouldn’t be able to protest and no reason why they should not tell prospective students about their grievances with university policy. If you think that the university’s policy is justified and the protesters are wrong, then get out there and make your case to the potential students.

By: ... Fri, 26 Mar 2010 23:49:32 +0000 “GAAP weekend shouldn’t be some university-wide fantasy circle-jerk about how awesome Georgetown is, especially if the university has serious problems.”

This is true, but I think people are disagreeing about what constitutes a “serious problem.” I’m not aware of a rash of pregnancies occurring because no one can get access to condoms or birth control. The University is entirely within its bounds to prohibit the sale of birth control on campus – especially since that policy does almost *nothing* to impede access to birth control.

When we debate “conscience clauses” with regard to pharmacists and Plan B, one of the most relevant factors is whether the woman seeking the Plan B pill has reasonably easy access to it if one pharmacist refuses to sell it. That principle applies here as well. Georgetown students do indeed have easy access to birth control – they can get condoms for free in Red Square or from H*yas for Choice members in the residence halls. Or they can walk 10 minutes to CVS.

To me, this seems like a reasonable compromise: the University allows the distribution of free birth control on its campus without directly funding its distribution, so it gets to remain faithful to its values (whether you agree with those values or not). And students can STILL get condoms on campus, for free, and in convenient locations. Additionally, there is a drug store less than 10 minutes away that sells other methods of birth control. So the students get access to birth control if they choose to be sexually active.

I think a large portion of the student body would agree that this is a fairly sensible compromise, and what bothers people is that Plan A and its supporters are attacking their opponents as backwards, reactionary, closed-minded, censor-happy, and against sexual health, among other ridiculous things. This is an issue that could be worked out, as others have suggested, with constructive dialogue. But there’s no spectrum of outrage for the Plan A protesters (who, as far as I can tell, are the “usual suspects” when it comes to protesting outrages both great and silly at this school): everything is a Massive Crisis demanding loud and obnoxious outcry of the unsubtle and uncompromising variety.

So it’s not hard to see how they could rub some people – even those inclined to be allies – the wrong way. There is something shockingly (but characteristically) self-righteous and myopic about the protesters’ (or at least @brosef’s) attitude that those who agree with but aren’t joining them are beneath courting because they lack real conviction. Perhaps those people are just reluctant to be identified with protesters whose behavior they find immature, whose statements are misleading, and whose politics are predictable, closed-minded, and irritatingly smug.

By: @agree Fri, 26 Mar 2010 23:13:37 +0000 Students should be able to protest whenever they want, GAAP weekend or not. The information they present should be truthful, but there’s no reason potential students shouldn’t know that Georgetown doesn’t let condoms be sold on campus, that it doesn’t include birth control in the student health plan, that it doesn’t allow pro-choice groups to be sponsored by the university, and so on. If those truths dissuade talented, qualified students from coming here, then, yes, Georgetown loses out — but that’s because of the administration’s policies, and the administration bears responsibility for that, not the people publicizing that information. If the information the protesters are spreading is false, then they bear responsibility for that. GAAP weekend shouldn’t be some university-wide fantasy circle-jerk about how awesome Georgetown is, especially if the university has serious problems.

By: agree Fri, 26 Mar 2010 22:58:37 +0000 I agree with Zacster’s original post- GAAP was one of the big selling points for me. At the same time, I was looking at Duke, which was in the midst of the Lax scandal. It would be a lie to say that the negative sentiments on THAT campus didn’t affect my decision. And if these protestors are truly spewing misinformation… that’s deeply troubling. Really crappy if it has a negative impact on students’ GAAP experience. All the protestors could possibly achieve is potentially damaging Georgetown’s yield, damaging the quality of future students, etc. It’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.

By: Zacster Fri, 26 Mar 2010 22:41:05 +0000 @ @brosef

Uniting a large portion of the student body and alums pushing for dialogue is much more persuasive to the Georgetown Administration than 10 people outside with bull horns being annoying. For example, a child throwing a temper-tantrum when he doesn’t get his way is much less effective than a child rationally and consistently discussing the issues with the parent.