The Hoya’s executive editorial team rescinds The Hoya Editorial Board’s endorsement of the Camber Vincent (SFS ’24) and Alyssa Hirai (SFS ’24) Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Executive ticket.
Full disclosure: Vincent previously served on The Hoya’s Editorial Board in Fall 2021.
Around 4 p.m. on Nov. 10, The Hoya’s editorial leadership received a tip that Hirai had attended social events put on by the Georgetown chapter of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW), an organization that describes themselves as “community for conservative women to come together to learn, grow, and encourage each other as like-minded women.” Hirai is featured in a photo on the NeW website from a Nov. 14, 2021, gathering.
The post said the individuals pictured were chapter members, and that the group gathered for its first official event to discuss the chapter’s goals for spreading conservative beliefs and fostering a safe community for conservative women on campus. Hirai also attended a NeW Welcome Back Brunch on Sept. 18, 2022. Hirai confirmed to The Hoya her attendance at both of these events.
On Nov. 14, NeW will host transphobic, conservative activist Riley Gaines on Georgetown’s main campus. Gaines has been an outspoken critic of transgender women’s participation in women’s and girl’s sports, including at a recent speech she gave at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) alongside former president Donald Trump. Hirai has not attended an event for NeW since Sept. 18, 2022, and therefore had no involvement in planning this event.
Hirai said she was never an official member or on the board of directors of the Georgetown NeW chapter.
“I am not a member or on the board of the Network of enlightened Women,” Hirai told The Hoya.
The Hoya’s Editorial Board was aware that Hirai had involvement in conservative organizations on campus — such as the Georgetown University College Republicans — at the time the endorsement came out. Her political affiliation is not the reason for this rescission.
The Hoya was not aware, however, of her attendance at social events for a club that has now invited a transphobic speaker to campus. Because The Hoya cannot complete an independent investigation into the extent of Hirai’s involvement in NeW before GUSA polls close Nov. 12, The Hoya’s editorial leadership has chosen to rescind this endorsement.
When asked if she would denounce the Georgetown chapter of NeW or denounce her attendance at the social events, Hirai did not personally condemn the event or her previous attendance at NeW events. Instead, she repeated that she and Vincent, as a ticket, denounce the Nov. 14 event.
“Camber and I, as a ticket, condemn the event,” Hirai told The Hoya.
Hirai also apologized for any harm she may have caused.
“I regret any harm that I caused to the transgender community or any other affinity group on campus,” Hirai said.
When asked if Hirai’s presence in the GUSA Executive could negatively impact transgender students on campus, Vincent responded that he understands the way Hirai’s involvement in GUSA may upset LGBTQ+ students.
“I recognize, unfortunately, that her presence in the executive may have that impact on students,” Vincent told The Hoya. “And for that, I apologize.”