Georgetown Divest! coalition marches to President DeGioia’s office

At 2:30 p.m., a group of approximately fifteen students marched from Red Square to President DeGioia‘s office as part of the Georgetown Divest! campaign.

Georgetown, Divest!, a coalition comprised of Students for Justice in Palestine, Georgetown Solidarity Committee, Georgetown Buddhist Meditation Sangha, and Muslim Student Association, demands that Georgetown to end their investment of endowment money in companies guilty of human rights violations in Israel and Palestine.

During the short march to Healy Hall, the group carried signs that read, “Social Responsibility: RIP 1789-2010″ while shouting “Whose endowment? Our endowment!” They were greeted by University Chief of Staff Erik Smulson, who promised to pass the group’s letter demanding divestment on to LaMarr Billups, Assistant Vice President for Business Policy Planning.

David Schwartz (SFS ’12), a member of the protest, explained that the group is opposed to an investment policy that has no mechanism for ethical oversight of endowment investments.

As covered in previous Vox posts, University officials have explained that the University does not invest in specific companies and therefore cannot control which groups benefit from its endowment money. Nonetheless, a recent press release from Georgetown Divest! once again attacked the University, claiming, “Regardless of whether Georgetown directly invests in individual companies or invests in funds through managers, its commitment to social justice binds it to ethical and socially responsible investment.”

“If the University continues to ignore our concerns,” the press release continues, “We will return [to President DeGioia’s office] each day this week to remind the administration that students will not allow the University to continue practices of socially irresponsible investing.”

The group plans to march from Red Square to Healy Hall every day this week at 2:30. “We just want the University to know we’re serious,” Sam-Geaney Moore (SFS ’12), another member of today’s protest, said.

Photo by Jackson Perry

Update, 10:34 p.m. — Vox mistakenly attributed the protest only to Students for Justice in Palestine, a group that is merely part of the Georgetown Divest! coalition.

20 Comments on “Georgetown Divest! coalition marches to President DeGioia’s office

  1. Maybe they should chain themselves to the statue.

  2. At this point, DeGioia should just get one of those “Take a number” dispensers they have in butcher shops. As a special offer, the group that can actually present an intellectual defense of “social justice” wins a free pound of chicken.

  3. Shouldn’t be too hard. All they need to do is look into the 32nd and 34th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus to find articulate affirmations of the positive duty to pursue social justice.

  4. Actually, Students for Justice in Palestine is just one of the student groups involved in Georgetown, Divest!.

  5. @ @Myself

    No where in those statements does the phrase “social justice” appear, it merely mentions that justice is worth pursuing. The other difference is that the jesuits actually paid attention in philosophy class, so they can define justice beyond “Don’t do bad stuff.”

    No chicken for you.

  6. I’m confused about the sign the guy in the hat is holding. So social responsibility at Georgetown was alive and well for 221 years and then died in 2010? What happened this year that killed social responsibility? I mean, if that sign is right, it had a pretty good run, so what’s the big deal?

  7. You’re right. The Jesuits can and did define justice beyond “Don’t do bad stuff.” Although the term “social justice” is not explicitly used, their entreaties to exert influence on economic, political and social structures in the pursuit of equality mesh well with generally accepted definitions of social justice. (4th Decre b.31)

    They also do not “merely mention” that justice is worth pursuing. The 4th Decree of the 32nd General Congregation highlight the religious duty to pursue justice through a transcendent relationship with God and the transformation of attitudes that permit inequality, in addition “promot[ing] justice and human freedom on the social and structural level.” (4th Decree, b.32)

    Not too upset about the chicken.

  8. *coughs, shuffles feet*

    I hate to break it to the guy holding the Social Justice 1789-2010… but, um, the Jesuits at Georgetown actually owned slaves.

    http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/americanstudies/jpp/

    “Can a man serve God faithfully & possess slaves? Yes. Is it then lawful to keep men in servitude? Yes. I know there is at this time a prevailing opinion in the U. States, “that all men are free; that God never made one man to serve another; that it is against the divine law to possess slaves, and that it is much more criminal to sell them.” This opinion is nothing less than a compound of Presbyterianism, Baptis[sic]m, Quakerism and Methodism.” – Br. Joseph Mobberly, S.J., ca. 1818.

    The fine Brother Mobberly then goes on to show how scripture and reason supports slavery.

  9. “Well any sort of logical statement this group ever made is completely invalid because they owned slaves”- how idiots discredit every intelligent remark made by anyone before the Thirteenth Amendment was passed.

  10. Isn’t Jackson Perry, the photographer for this post, also a member of the Georgetown, Divest! coalition? Covering the stuff that you are a part of in a news story=unethical journalism…

    From an earlier vox post…
    “Georgetown, Divest!: Jackson Perry (COL ‘12) presented the case Georgetown, Divest! is making to the Senate in the early part of the meeting. (Disclosure: Perry is an assistant photo editor for the Voice).”

    Methinks there is a little too much back and forth on this one for Perry. You gotta pick a side, man. Either you are the story or you cover it. When it comes to the news, that line should rarely be blurred.

  11. I mean, with all respect to the poster above, Jackson took a photo – he didn’t write the article. Im pretty sure that getting photos from event supporters is ok as long as they don’t contribute any editorial bias to the article. The photo seems pretty neutral to me.

  12. Fact checker, you are correct, but the Voice doesn’t give a flying f— about ethics, so they really don’t care.

  13. @factchecker @Typical

    Vox will disclose Jackson’s relationship with Georgetown Divest! in future posts about the coalition.

  14. You’re right. The Jesuits can and did define justice beyond “Don’t do bad stuff.” Although the term “social justice” is not explicitly used, their entreaties to exert influence on economic, political and social structures in the pursuit of equality mesh well with generally accepted definitions of social justice. (4th Decre b.31)

    They also do not “merely mention” that justice is worth pursuing. The 4th Decree of the 32nd General Congregation highlight the religious duty to pursue justice through a transcendent relationship with God and the transformation of attitudes that permit inequality, in addition “promot[ing] justice and human freedom on the social and structural level.” (4th Decree, b.32)

    Not too upset about the chicken.

  15. Pingback: Vox Populi » University responds to Georgetown Divest! before today’s protest

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