In a lengthy email to the senior class late last night, Senior Class Committee chair Chris Butterfield (MSB ’12) defended the controversialdecisions of the Georgetown Day planning committee. Butterfield placed the responsibility for the scaled-back nature of the event on Georgetown students and our behavior. The full email is available after the jump.
In the email, Butterfield suggested that the expansion of the security barricades from just surrounding the beer garden to enclosing the entirety of Copley Lawn is an acceptable response to inappropriate behavior by a few students in the past.
Butterfield simultaneously rejected and employed, in the space of a few words, the logic that the actions of a few represent the entire Georgetown undergraduate community:
Often it is these students whose behavior neighbors showcase and hold up as representative of “the whole”. And that is simply not true; we are better than that. Last year at GU Day, a Port-O-John was pushed over, a security officer was punched, and people were throwing full beer cans at others at an on-campus party. As a student community, we have to address these incidents; they are a part of our behavior we have to own.
While scolding Georgetown students, Butterfield also said the decision to forgo the beer garden was supposedly made out of a sense of community. “We entertained the idea of having a beer garden, however seniors agreed that seemed to work more against the idea of community than toward it, segregating those who were 21 from those who weren’t,” Butterfield said. Earlier this semester, the administration claimed that the beer garden and inflatables were taken away because students hadn’t become involved in the planning process sooner.
The changes made to Georgetown Day will divide the student body much more than the beer garden supposedly did last year, for it will push the celebrations back into dorm rooms and off-campus townhouses. If Hoyas are celebrating Georgetown Day together anywhere, it will be on Leavey Esplanade, not Copley Lawn.
Wednesday night at 10pm, “Saxa Silence Dogood” and “Cura P. Workinggroup”—ostensibly Georgetown students—created an event called “Georgetown Day Study Group on Leavey Esplanade.” Within the span of three hours, 1,000 had clicked “attending.”
Although the maximum capacity of the Leavey Esplanade remains unclear, it was probably not calculated to include a sixth of the student body—plus kegs and kiddie pools. Or kiddie pools filled with beer. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. If nothing else, Georgetown Day roamers have the will to study.
In any case, given the administration’s resolve to kill all the fun hamper the Georgetown Day festivities, a thousand students and counting are in the market for an alternative to the nostalgic fun-fest fostered by inflatables on the lawn.
Submitted for your enjoyment, dear readers, are some highlights from the “Study Group” wall:
The event creators refer to themselves as “The Committee.”
After recent emails and articles telling us what’s important about Georgetown Day, Vox decided we want to know what our readers think makes Georgetown Day so neat. It’s time to find out what the people really like. So, neighbors, administrators, professors, people who work at Kitchen No. 1, inflatable moon bounce peddlers, and even students, what does Georgetown Day mean to you?
Friday is not Georgetown Day. On Friday, there will be free food and drinks, an awards ceremony, and performances by various student groups, but it will not be Georgetown Day.
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.
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.
Despite not actually accomplishing its titular goal, Take Back Georgetown Day, the College Republicans’ annual lecture-fest, will not be returning this year. That news comes from GUCR president Erika Barger (COL ’10), who said in an email that the Republicans will focus their energies on individual events instead. Hoyas raised on a steady ironic diet of Rush Limbaugh and Townhall.com are understandably anguished.
It didn’t happen last year, either, but Barger’s email just started my grieving. To mourn an event that always had the potential to make a lot of people mad, but never lived up to those expectations, let’s remember TBGD the way it would want to be remembered–angsty about women, and through the recollections of some crazy Catholics:
A busy line-up of prominent conservative speakers and workshops ran from 9:30AM to 4:30PM. In the lobby, representatives from various Washington, D.C. think tanks displayed literature and shared information. Members of TFP Student Action had their own table and were engaged in lively discussion during the greater part of the day. Many students promptly joined the TFP’s petition against the immoral “V-Monologues” scheduled to play again at Georgetown on February 17-18.
Flickr photo from user Decaf used under a Creative Commons license