The University is really pushing you to RSVP to the engagement party.
President John DeGioia announced via email this morning a new initiative with the vague title “Designing the Future(s) of the University.” Vox isn’t quite up on her string theory, but she’s pretty sure you can only have one future. In any case, the goal of the initiative is to address the questions: “What do we value about Georgetown that we don’t want to lose? What do we believe we should give to our students? And what could it look like to expand the formal boundaries of education?”
“This effort will engage the whole Georgetown community in an exploration of issues facing higher education and active experimentation with new ways to deliver the education we value into the future,” DeGioia wrote. The first part of the initiative will take the form of a “candid conversation” with DeGioia and Provost Robert Groves on Nov. 20 in the Fisher Colloquium, which is apparently in Hariri. Other events will include public talks from higher education experts. Aside from that, the email neglected to give any specifics on the sort of engagement students will participate in.
Campus media has been invited to interview University President Jack DeGioia this Thursday as he returns from his trip to Rome to attend the inaugural mass of Pope Francis. The topic of the interview is the first Jesuit pontiff and DeGioia’s trip to Rome as part of the US presidential delegation. Yours truly will have the opportunity to ask a few questions, but Vox wants to know: What would you ask DeGioia about Catholicism or his trip to Rome?
Photo: Left, Huffington Post UK. Right, Courtesy Georgetown University
The White House announced earlier today that Georgetown’s very own President Jack DeGioia will be part of the exclusive presidential delegation to attend the mass for the inauguration of the Pontificate of His Holiness Pope Francis. The Mass begins at 9:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, on the feast of St. Joseph.
Among the other Catholics in the delegation is former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, herself quite pro-choice as well. When she met with Pope Benedict in 2009, he reportedly took the time to lecture her on her duty as a Catholic to use her political clout to limit the use of abortion. “His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators,” the Vatican wrote. For her part, Pelosi shrugged it off and emphasized their discussion about poverty and climate change.
The inclusion of Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez makes the delegation bipartisan. Unlike the rest of the delegates, the pro-life Martinez’s reputation remains untarnished in the Church. Sitting Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner declined the White House’s invitation, citing the need to focus on his work in D.C. and (probably) to avoid another opportunity for public crying.
While it’s fitting that the president of the first Jesuit university in the United States will attend the inaugural mass of the first Jesuit Pontiff, with such a controversial group of people, there’s bound to be some awkward conversations. It doesn’t help things since the last time Pope came to D.C. in 2008, Benedict snubbed Georgetown for a visit, instead, to Catholic University.
In this week’s issue of The Atlantic, President John J. DeGioia is featured as a Brave Thinker of 2012, alongside Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts, punk-rock collective Pussy Riot, and a whole bunch of Catholic American Nuns.
21 total “Brave Thinkers” were selected for this list that is a “guide to the people risking their reputations, fortunes, and lives in pursuit of big ideas.”
“DeGioia held fast to his decision, again casting his school as a sentinel for the free exchange of ideas—and reminding us why an institution like Georgetown exists in the first place,” TheAtlantic description read.
Georgetown’s Licensing and Oversight Committee recommended Friday that the University terminate its sportswear contract with Adidas no later than December 15, due to the company’s mistreatment of workers at an Indonesian factory.
The LOC is a board of students and administrators who make recommendations to the president president “regarding the University’s relationships with the collegiate products and apparel industry stakeholders.” The group gave the recommendation three weeks after members of the Georgetown Solidarity Committee delivered a letter and petition to President John J. DeGioiaasking the University to put pressure on Adidas by ending the contract.
172 students signed the second petition. This is not the first time GSC delivered a letter and petition to President DeGioia, and the second action was part of an effort to remind the University that students are not stepping down from the issue.
“This is an important step in a campaign that has been going on for over a year in response to Adidas’ mistreatment of workers at a factory in Indonesia,” GSC announced in a press release. “Adidas violated Georgetown’s Code of Conduct for Licensees, as well as Indonesian labor law by failing to pay $1.8 million in legally owed severance to the factory workers of PT Kizone.”
Cornell University decided not to renew its contract with Adidas as well in mid-September. The university’s president David Skorton released a letter stating, “We believe that severance is a basic worker’s right as are a living wage, freedom of association and safe working conditions,” according to the Cornell Sun. Last week, Oberlin College also agreed not to renew its contract. Oberlin and Cornell are the only universities as of yet in the country to sever their ties with Adidas.
[Update]: According to a confidential source from the University, Queen Rania was here to discuss her son, the prince of Jordan, and his future at Georgetown as an incoming freshman. Prince Hussein bin Abdullah is about 18 years old and the eldest child of the royal family. In 2009, Hussein became Crown Prince of Jordan and went to King’s Academy for high school. Although without a citation, Wikipedia says Hussein is said to be a 44th-generation direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad. Vox can only hope he’s reading the blog and taking notes on all our wise prefrosh preview advice.
[Original Post] Around 2:30 p.m. today, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and President John J. DeGioia shook hands in front of Healy Hall. The two were presumably meeting to discuss important state matters, or probably just which Whole Foods they frequent for groceries. The current King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, her husband, attended Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1987. King Abdullah II married Queen Rania in 1993. President DeGioia awarded King Abdullah II with a Doctor of Humane Letters in 2005 on behalf of the university for the king’s “skillful statesmanship, outstanding achievements in modernizing Jordan, and his extraordinary leadership in promoting inter-faith understanding.”
A relatively under-explored topic throughout Vox‘s coverage is on the question of expansion. In the agreement, there is a brief reference to establishing a satellite campus for School of Continuing Studies. This change is projected for next December (2013), with the intent to move 1,000 SCS students “at one or more satellite locations not within zip code 20007. The exact phrasing is to “identify and develop next 100 acres” as one of the long term goals for the university.
Inspired by a recent GM post, our minds began to tinker. Where will Georgetown find these 100 acres? Not only that, but who’s moving? Presumably students in SCS, but the vague language indicates the possibility of pushing other graduate students out as well.
At 6 p.m. on Monday evening, GUSA held the first-ever conference-call town hall, providing students with the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions on the recent campus plan agreement. In an effort to make up for the lack of student representation in campus plan negotiations, GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) organized the discussion as a formal way to provide information to students about the effects of the plan on student life. Gustafson began by introducing President John J. DeGioia, followed by remarks by Vice-President of Student Affairs Todd Olson. After a brief presentation, students were asked for their questions. Here are the highlights.
DeGioia: The undergraduate program will stay on the main campus. We learned of the long-term plans for Georgetown to build a satellite campus from the agreement last week. According to the documents, the University will locate at least 1,000 students in the School of Continuing Studies at one or more satellite locations “not within the zip code 20007” by the start of 2014. It was unclear, however, whether undergraduates would eventually be housed or take classes at another location. DeGioia explained that, for Georgetown to grow, it would need to expand past the main campus, but he emphasized that the main campus would be the locus for undergraduate life at Georgetown. “We believe that our undergraduate experience best can take place on this historic campus,” he said. “Our vision prioritizes development of an enhanced living-and-learning campus focused on undergraduates on the main campus, on this plot of ground.”
Olson: New noise rule not a radical departure. According to the campus plan agreement, the University will adopt a policy for off-campus conduct by fall 2013, which adheres to the standard that if noise can be heard across the property line, it’s too loud. Olson, however, said that he regards the new policy more as a change in specificity more than in substance, saying that both the new policy and the current one are based on principles of being respectable neighbors. He noted that George Washington University has the same standard.
Two years and a few months later, Georgetown and neighborhood leaders concluded the longdrawnoutbattle over the Campus Plan 2010. After yesterday’s announcement that the negotiating parties had reached an agreement, President John J. DeGioia, Mayor Vincent Gray, and ANC 2E Chair Ron Lewis joined hands in celebration of the moment-we’ve-all-been-hoping-would-come-but-didn’t and now we still don’t know what the future will hold. Lewis said at the event that the details on the agreement will be released some time today.
Although details on the results of the campus plan are still unknown, both parties expressed a very positive outlook on the agreement and are confident that the new platform for negotiations will be productive.
Yesterday, the petition created last week by the Cardinal Newman Society, a conservative watchdog group, was sent to President DeGioia with 26,000 signatures. Additionally, last week, the Cardinal of Washington D.C., Donald Wuerl, wrote an editorial expressing disapproval of Georgetown’s decision to host Sebelius. “Secretary Sebelius’ vision on what constitutes faith-based institutions presents the most direct challenge to religious freedom in recent history,” Wuerl wrote in the editorial. He stated that Georgetown’s decision was “disappointing, but not surprising.”
In the statement, DeGioia explained and justified Sebelius’s presence on campus for the Tropaia awards ceremony, asserting that “the Secretary’s presence on our campus should not be viewed as an endorsement of her views. As a Catholic and Jesuit University, Georgetown disassociates itself from any positions that are in conflict with traditional church teachings.”