AP NEWS

Georgetown students endorse slavery reparations fund in vote

April 12, 2019
1 of 2
FILE - In this July 10, 2013, file photo, prospective students tour Georgetown University's campus in Washington. Georgetown University undergraduates have voted Thursday, April 11, 2019, in favor of a referendum seeking the establishment of a fund benefiting the descendants of enslaved people sold to pay off the school's debts. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgetown University undergraduates have voted in favor of a referendum seeking the establishment of a fund benefiting the descendants of enslaved people sold to pay off the school’s debts.

The $27.20-per-semester fee would create one of the first reparations funds at a major U.S. institution. In an early Friday statement, university administrator Todd Olson didn’t commit to the fund’s establishment, but said Thursday’s non-binding vote provided “valuable insight into student perspectives.”

The Georgetown University Student Association Elections Commission said 2,541 students voted for the “Reconciliation Contribution.” That’s just over 66% of voters. The fee was opposed by 1,304. Turnout was 57.9%.

The student-led proposal aims to atone for the Jesuit-organized sale of 272 slaves in 1838. Fees would go toward projects in underprivileged communities where some descendants live, including Maringouin, Louisiana.