In an email to the student body that would make Orwell proud, the “Georgetown Day Planning Committee” announced that Copley Lawn will be barricaded on Friday. No liquids will be allowed to pass through the metal barriers, which will be monitored by
the fun police hired security guards, DPS officers, University administrators, and student volunteers. Presumably the barricades are to keep fun in, not out.
While Coca-Cola is a sponsor of the event, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to bring their products onto Copley Lawn. Woe betide anyone who attempts to drink a carbonated beverage on Copley Lawn Friday afternoon. The Committee also gleefully warned that anyone who attempts to climb over a metal barricade to access Copley Lawn will receive a citation from the fun police.
While the “all-student planning committee” sent the email, this group has existed for less than a month, and the email itself was sent from The Division of Student Affairs’ email address. It was the head of Student Affairs, Jeanne Lord, who expressed concern in March about the transformation of “a celebration of the campus community” into “a celebration by…the student community.” Students can celebrate the end of the school year, but only in University-approved ways. Even if the University has approved of the standard Georgetown Day celebrations for several years, they’re not going to fly this year.
The metal barricades and the University’s recent decision to eliminate the fun parts of Georgetown Day notwithstanding, the Committee insists this year’s celebrations will be the “best ever!” and the “best yet!”
Our ultimate aim is to celebrate Georgetown – its ideals, values, institutions, its teachers, staff and students.
Until this year, Georgetown Day did celebrate Georgetown. At the end of a long year, community members came together to have fun and celebrate their accomplishments over the previous two semesters. When GAAP weekends have coincided with Georgetown Day, potential students were attracted, not put off, by the carnival-like atmosphere.
Originally a memorial celebration launched by students after the death of David Shick (MSB ’01), who was killed in an altercation with a fellow student, Georgetown Day has transformed over the past decade into what it has been for the last several years, with the administration’s acceptance. If the administration would like to return Georgetown Day to its roots, then it must face its own demons.
This year’s Georgetown Day will celebrate the other side of Georgetown: an administration that, except for a few sterling individuals, maintains a fundamental disconnect with the student body. An administration that punished the student found responsible for the assault that led Shick’s death with a 10-page reflection paper and a suspension that was never carried out. An administration that fought Shick’s parents tooth and nail to prevent any information about the “punishment” from becoming public.
On Friday, Hoyas will allowed to be on Copley Lawn, but they will be surrounded by metal barricades, subject to arbitrary inspections, and barred from bringing any liquids into the funclosure. Congratulations, administration, Georgetown Day has successfully been scaled back.