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