Georgetown University students voted overwhelmingly on Thursday in favor of creating a $27.20 tuition increase to benefit the descendants of slaves sold by the university in the 1800s.
More than 66 percent of the student body voted in favor of the increase, which would be steered into a reparation fund for descendants of slaves the institution sold to pay off debts. The resolution must still be approved by the university to go into effect.
The university sold 272 slaves in 1838 to pay off debt, saving the school. Georgetown has a memorial for the slaves sold and offers admissions preference for their descendants.
The results of the referendum are as follows: 66.08% for yes (2541 votes), 33.92% for no (1304 votes). This means that the referendum passes.— GUSA Elections (@GUSAElections) April 12, 2019
The move by the university comes as politicians, notably several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, have proposed ideas of reparations for slavery. Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.) this week introduced legislation to study granting reparations to African-Americans.
Fellow 2020 candidates Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisLive coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris Australia's COVID overreaction could come to US MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Boston set to elect first female mayor Progressive groups call for Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board to be abolished MORE (D-Mass.), as well as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), have also signaled willingness to look into the issue further.