Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Editorial Off-Key to GU Music Lovers

THE HOYA’s editorial, [“Out of Tune with Georgetown,” Feb. 24, 2004, p.2] was itself out of tune with our university and its changing needs. No one can deny that Georgetown is in a state of pressing financial need and that budget assessment is the order of the day. However, THE HOYA’s unfounded attack on the hiring of a tenure-track music professor does not provide solutions for this problem, or even valid reasoning for its argument.

Georgetown needs the program in performing arts, along with all the campus student groups, to build a strong music program and attract students to Georgetown. The aim of this program is not to turn Georgetown into Juilliard, but to put it on par with other universities of our size and status. We are woefully lacking in this aspect when compared to our typical competitors. During this past GAAP Open House weekend, I met with several students who voiced their concerns about coming to Georgetown and its lack of a powerful music program. I had those same concerns myself four years ago. During my own GAAP weekend, I talked about the issue with a few other girls who were worried about the same problem. I came to Georgetown; they did not. Whether they are interested in studying art history or accounting, students sometimes pass up Georgetown for fear that their artistic needs won’t be met. We need the music program to attract and keep these students at Georgetown.

THE HOYA writes that we need not put more money into the music program because “Georgetown mainly attracts students interested in government, business and foreign service.” If you can get past the painful use of stereotype in this sentence, you can clearly see the flaws in this argument. We shouldn’t expand the music program, because most students at Georgetown don’t come here for music. Well, why not cut the budget of the classics or women’s studies departments? Most Hoyas don’t come to the Hilltop for those, either. Why not just axe the entire NHS, or cut the newly formed African American Studies minor? The majority of students don’t come to Georgetown for these.

The Jesuits who built our fine university founded it upon the call to educate the whole person, not just the parts of a person that want to study government or business. It means providing a well-rounded, liberal arts education, encompassing everything a student may want to study. In my four years at Georgetown, I have seen the creation of the anthropology major, the African American Studies minor and the constant strengthening of our music program. I defy anyone to tell me that these academic developments are anything but positive for both the academic enrichment of our students and the strength of our university. It’s true that we need to deal with the budget, and I’m sure that everyone on this campus, from New South residents to the President’s Office, has his or her own ideas of what should be cut. But the bottom line is that the music program will do great things for this university, and the hiring of a tenure-track music professor is a step in the right direction.

The Georgetown we know today was created upon the liberal arts foundations of Georgetown College. Our pre-professional programs are outstanding, and I stand behind them 100 percent. But we must not forget our duty to educate the whole person. Music has been part of a classical education for much longer than the MSB and SFS have existed at Georgetown. The use of bizarre, overextended metaphor in THE HOYA’s editorial is enough to make me nervous about the erosion of the liberal arts. We owe thanks to our university and to the program in performing arts for continuing in their mission to strengthen the discipline of music here on the Hilltop.

Ashley Fedor is a senior in the College.

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