In the elections this November, Georgetown’s voters will be able to select new local representatives for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4E. Two ANC chairs are reserved for student representatives, and two candidates have stepped forward to represent Georgetown: Reed Howard (SFS ’17) and Kendyl Clausen (SFS ’16).
Howard was interviewed first. An interview with Clausen will follow later.
Voice Features Editor Caitriona Pagni interviewed Howard. Here is the full transcript.
Vox: What sparked your interest in the ANC?
Howard: The ANC is a really interesting institution because of its hyper-local nature. It’s so unique to D.C. And one of the reasons that I primarily got involved is my interest in issues in the D.C. community. Specifically, the ability to interact with neighbors on things that they’re concerned about. At the last ANC meeting that I went to, there was a mother who was really upset about the progress of construction at an elementary school in the area. And being able to work with parents and community members on issues that are important to their livelihood is something that I’m interested in.
The other thing, obviously, is the campus plan, on which the ANC is given considerable weight in their advice. And we’re seeing now how the construction is affecting student life. To be able to be a part of that planning process with the ANC is something that is rewarding and is something that excites me.
Vox: Do you attend ANC meetings regularly?
Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof joined a half-full ICC auditorium for a conversation and book signing this Sunday. The crowd, modest though it may have been, seemed enraptured by every word that came out of Kristof’s mouth.
This is Georgetown, after all. It’s not surprising that the man who was described by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as “the reporter who’s done more than any other to change the world” could gather an audience of foreign-policy obsessed youngsters.
But the breadth of some students’ devotion to Kristof astounded Vox. During a question-and-answer period, one young woman credited Kristof’s columns as providing the framework for her future plans in life. Two others said they wrote their college essays about their relationship with his writing. Two more described personal “Kristof moments,” in which they came to transformative conclusions about the world as a result of his work.
232 Georgetown alumni sent a strongly-worded letter today to the office of University President John DeGioia (COL ’79) about the wrongful removal of H*yas for Choice from the sidewalk near the front gates by GUPD last week.
Erin Matson (COL ’02), a former vice president at the National Organization for Women and a current author at RH Reality Check organized the letter.
“We the undersigned 232 Georgetown University alumni are writing to express our dismay and strong concern regarding the September 22 removal by campus police of a small and peaceful group of students representing H*yas for Choice from a public sidewalk just outside the front gates,” the alumni wrote.
Hundreds of students, faculty, and global health representatives packed into the ICC auditorium yesterday for a Symposium on the Ebola Crisis. While experts in international health, public policy, African studies, and global health development institutions attempted to explain the complexities of this crisis, a live video interview with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf brought the realities of this outbreak to Georgetown.
While experts explained the scientific, economic, and political impacts of the crisis, Sirleaf emphasized the challenge of getting through to local Liberian communities, where citizens continue to resort to spiritual and religious anecdotes over medical treatment.
“We still see some families that are not ready to turn in their loved ones, even when they see signs of the disease,” Sirleaf said.
On Tuesday night, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke at a Lecture Fund event at Gaston Hall as part of his visit to the U.S. this month. Now in his fifth year as head of state, he has a daughter, Nooryana Najwa Najib (SFS ’11), who happens to be an undergraduate alumnus.
In his remarks, Razak spoke on Asia’s future dynamics as the region grows in economic power. “It is a privilege to address you this evening and speak about a subject that will be part of your professional lives, for you are one of the first generations in many years who will live in a multipolar world,” he said. He predicts that by 2025, India and China’s combined GDP will be greater than the G7 group of nations.
He cited the proliferation of democracies and political reform as one of the reasons for the economic transformation. “A few decades ago, there were only a handful of free societies in Asia,” he said. “Today, the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, amongst others … 400 million people have joined … Asian democracies.”
A Georgetown University Police Department officer removed H*yas for Choice from the sidewalk outside the University’s front gates yesterday. The unrecognized group was protesting a ceremony occurring in Gaston Hall, where Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, was granted an honorary degree by Georgetown.
“He’s made a lot of homophobic comments in the past,” H*yas for Choice President Abby Grace (SFS ‘16) said in an interview with Vox. “Our decision to table stemmed from the dual motive of making it clear that we exist, that we’re a group of people with a voice, and that we disagree with a lot of the things that Cardinal Wuerl has done.”
The removal was a painful reminder to H*yas for Choice members of an incident last semester, when students tabling in front of Healy Hall were forced to move to the exact spot they were expelled from this Monday. In an interview with Vox, H*yas for Choice Vice President Vincent DeLaurentis (SFS ’17) said that no sufficient explanation was given for their expulsion.
The evidence is clear: D.C. voters want their weed and they want it legalized. According to a poll conducted by NBC4, the Post, and Marist, likely voters in the Nov. 4 election support marijuana legalization in a 2-to-1 ratio over those who don’t.
If passed, Initiative 71 will legalize possession, home cultivation, and the sale of weed paraphernalia. Up to two ounces of bud will be legal for anyone over 21.
Interestingly, as the Post points out, black voters have completely reversed their stance on the issue. Just four years ago, 37 percent of African Americans supported legalization, while 55 percent opposed it. Today, 56 percent are in favor, according to the poll.
This past Wednesday, Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced an emergency bill that would allow District residents to apply for a license to carry concealed handguns outside the home. It will be considered at today’s legislative session, and, if passed, will go into effect after a month.
The bill is modeled after laws that currently exist in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. It will allow D.C. residents who own registered handguns and non-residents who have state-issued gun-carrying licenses to apply to District police for permits. The new law is being proposed after years of litigation targeting the city’s relatively strict gun laws.
Under these new regulations, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier would issue permits only to applicants who demonstrate a need to carry firearms due to a specific danger. Officials said that living in a high-crime neighborhood, for example, would not be a sufficient reason. Those who would be eligible to obtain a permit include people who have been victims of domestic violence or have received death threats.
Students and diversity-oriented groups, including the Black House, the Black Student Alliance, and Georgetown University Women of Color, gathered in Copley Formal Lounge on Wednesday to participate in a discussion and panel on the events that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of unarmed, black teen Michael Brown by police.
The dialogue, unlike the earlier Reflections on Ferguson held in Gaston Hall on Aug. 28, gave students the chance to participate in the discussion and hear different perspectives.
This discussion brought to the forefront underlying issues that caused this summer’s events in Ferguson dealing with human rights, racism in society today, and how the media affects public opinion.
Late last August, Voice Editor-in-Chief Julia Tanaka interviewed Georgetown University President John DeGioia (COL ’79) about his tenure as President of the University and his thoughts on a wide range of issues.
DeGioia touched on his vision of Georgetown, the various construction projects around campus, the relationship with the neighborhood, the satellite campus, and more.
Read below the jump for a full transcript of the interview.