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

Present Campus Atmosphere Fairly

Since returning to the Hilltop this fall, I have noticed a disturbing trend on these pages.

Each headline and editorial seems to denigrate our university further. I cannot deny that much of what is being said and happening at Georgetown saddens and disappoints me. But what distresses me even more is that the vast majority of what has been covered in THE HOYA lately is negative.

While I would not go as far as to say that the mood on campus has been pessimistic, I do find that more often than not the topic of conversation is on the negative happenings around campus. Of course, issues like the back-to-back alleged hate crimes, the alcohol policy crackdown, the lack of news coverage about the Jena Six, President DeGioia’s stance on the boycott of Israeli universities and the demands of the LQBTG community deserve attention. And a campus newspaper has an obligation to report the truth, however ugly it may be. Like any other school we have faults, and everyone who calls the Hilltop home should be aware of them and work for positive change.

But while these faults exist, there is plenty to be proud of here. You just wouldn’t know it from recent coverage. Of late, these opinion pages have become the battleground for opposing groups and ideologies, highlighting that which divides us, and ignoring the many things that bring our community together. There are students out there doing good in the community, professors pushing the limits of their fields and administrators who are supportive of student’s efforts. We need to celebrate the students who volunteer their time to help in D.C. schools and honor professors like Dennis Lockhart, who in March was named president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Even some of the consequences of the events of this past fall have been positive. Awareness of previously ignored issues was raised, bringing various groups on campus together. The two alleged hate crimes forced many students to recognize the need for increased sensitivity and support for the LGBTQ community. This arose from two regrettable events, but people around campus have yet to focus on the positive effects of this LGBTQ discussion, which becomes lost amongst the pervasive dismay surrounding it. At the start of the semester, there was outcry over the new alcohol policy. Instead of violent, disrespectful protests, students exhibited class and maturity in the way they went about voicing their complaints. Again, this aspect of the protest was overlooked and students tended to focus only on the negative policy implications instead of lauding student behavior.

A friend recently commented to me that he would no longer be reading THE HOYA because he did not wish to depress himself twice each week. Like all collegiate newspapers, THE HOYA needs to be cognizant of the role that it plays in influencing the atmosphere on campus.

The opinions section of a newspaper is intrinsically designed as a forum to air complaints. It is only natural that each issue is often populated with complaints about various university policies, and editorials can be drivers for change and progress, which means they tend also to focus on negative characteristics of a school. Those who write in to THE HOYA are well intentioned, but now and again, we should take the time to consider that Georgetown really is a pretty great place to spend four years. We cannot afford to lose sight of this. It is a privilege to attend such a university, and despite its flaws, I still consider myself lucky to be a Hoya.

As a Blue and Gray tour guide, I find myself no longer recommending that those on my tour grab a copy of THE HOYA as we walk around campus. I do this not from a desire to gloss over Georgetown’s weak points, but rather I do not wish them to get a misperception of our university.

Despite the events of the fall, I remain proud to call the Hilltop my home. I am confident that the student body, the faculty and the administration will come together and make progress on the issues that we face. When I look around, I see a university that, although flawed, is a university that we should be proud of – a university steeped in tradition and memories both good and bad.

I just do not see that same university when I read these pages.

Jeff Bailin is a sophomore in the McDonough School of Business.

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