Chained to the statue of Georgetown’s founder, members of Plan A Hoyas continue protests in front of prospective students

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Updated 8:10 p.m.: After receiving a letter from Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson, the protesters unchained themselves from the statue. Plan A would not release the letter, but said they will be meeting with the administration “as soon as possible.”

Update 5:15 p.m.: The protesters are demanding that President John DeGioia respond to them by 8 p.m. tonight.

On Saturday afternoon, as hundreds of prospective students visiting Georgetown for GAAP weekend strolled by, three students from Plan A Hoyas taped their mouths shout and chained themselves to the statue of John Carroll in Healy Circle in their most high-profile protest yet of the University’s refusal to acquiesce to their demands.

About fifteen members of Plan A, the coalition movement started by H*yas for Choice and United Feminists to demand more dialogue about and access to sexual health care, participated in the demonstration at Healy Circle, stating the organization’s demands and singing chants. Plan A caught the attention of dozens of prospective students and their parents, despite the best efforts of GAAP tour leaders to avoid lingering near the protest.

“You need to know what’s up. Your sexual health is in danger!” a Plan A member shouted at a nearby tour group.

Local TV news channels filmed their activities, where members of Plan A were joined by representatives from two other on-campus organization, MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana de Aztlán) and Georgetown’s chapter of the NAACP.

“Reproductive justice would benefit the female community of color because it’s usually women of color who can’t afford contraceptives and don’t have access to information. That’s the history of our community. Plan A really brings that to the forefront,” said Frances Davila (SFS’ 10), co-chair of MEChA.

“I just think it’s an extension of part of the hypocrisy of Georgetown of not caring for the whole person, cura personalis…I think this is a good way to fight for social justice in regard to sexual health, specifically at Georgetown—a privileged, majority white upper class institution. I just think we can open up this dialogue,” said Jheanelle Brown (SFS ’10).

After half an hour of protest in Healy Circle, the demonstrators briefly moved to Red Square. They then returned to sit in front of the statue in silent protest.

Associate Director of Student Programs Bill McCoy arrived soon after, informing Plan A that the organization was in direct violation of the University’s free speech and expression policy by staging the demonstration in Healy Circle.

Although Department of Public Safety officers declined to comment, McCoy said that he was hoping to find a solution that would not require forcible removal of the three students chained to the statue.

As of 2 p.m., the students have refused to move from Healy Circle are still chained to the statue. Plan A member Kristina Mitchell (COL’10) said that they were unsure of their next move.

—Additional reporting by Will Sommer

59 Comments on “Chained to the statue of Georgetown’s founder, members of Plan A Hoyas continue protests in front of prospective students

  1. There’s a false dichotomy being presented here: disruption and silence. Many seem to believe that the only way for Plan A to engage in meaningful dialogue is to do crazy, disruptive things in an attempt at getting attention. It’s not like there’s not forums for these discussions. Table in Red Square, write letters to the editor, hold events, heck even the guerrilla theater seemed to mostly draw shrugs of “well, it’s stupid, and they’re bad actors, but whatever.” However, the correct recourse when people aren’t interested in changing things isn’t to force yourself upon them, grab them by the metaphorical shoulders and scream “pay attention to me!” They had their outlet to express their views. People talked for a bit, but it seemed there wasn’t exactly the groundswell of support for rebellion they were expecting.

    So it seems people are talking past each other. One side is saying “these are necessary issues to be debating! Georgetown’s policy is bad!” and the other side is saying “these actions are too radical and unnecessarily disruptive!” So my question to Plan A is this: Why do you think that this topic can’t be handled by conventional avenues of dialog? If the answer is “that didn’t change anything,” then I’d say we disagree about the purpose of dialog.

    Side note: someone at the circle was holding up a sign asking “Georgetown: what’s your plan A?” My guess is that the university’s answer is exactly that: “A”bstinence

  2. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner:

    Side note: someone at the circle was holding up a sign asking “Georgetown: what’s your plan A?” My guess is that the university’s answer is exactly that: “A”bstinence

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  4. While in agreement with Plan A’s message, this student wishes they would have chosen a different day for their protest. The pr0test came in the middle of a GAAP weekend (Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program: weekend opportunities for accepted students to check out the University before agreeing to attend). Many students put their entire year into planning GAAP weekends, to hold this kind of a protest during a SATURDAY of the event is disrespectful to those students. The protest was meant to anger the University, not to engage current Georgetown Students. I understand and respect Plan A’s frustration, and their desire to ‘stick it’ to the university administration, but to do so at the expense of other student’s hard work, and to do so with so little support from current students, strikes me as irresponsible and, to be frank, quite rude.

    Again: Plan A’s demands are both honorable and just. This writer agrees with them on nearly every point. The medium of their message this Saturday, though, was disrespectful and has cost them at the very least this one student.

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