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

Protesting ’90’s Style: Peace Breaks Out

Protesting ’90s Style: Peace Breaks Out

By Steven R. Sabat Special to The Hoya

When I first walked onto the second floor of Healy late Saturday night and saw the premises filled with students engaged in a sit-in, I was filled with many unpleasant memories of the sit-ins and demonstrations of my own college days in the late 60s. In a flash of a moment, I recalled the students at Kent State University who died protesting the Vietnam War. I had to spend time listening and talking with the protesting students to urge them, if for nothing else, not to allow things to turn ugly.

As a member of the faculty and the parent of a student who is involved with the issues at hand (though not among those occupying the president’s office), I have some reactions.

After having spent until 3:00 a.m. talking with a group of the students, I came away with a great deal of respect for and pride in them. What they are about seems to be “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” I see students deeply, deeply involved in an issue that has to do with preserving human dignity and standing up for principles that are grounded in matters both spiritual and ethical.

In my presence, they conducted themselves in a caring, considerate, thoughtful way, and I am proud that they are Georgetown students. They are rallying around a cause that is bigger than themselves.

Although I am not a fan of such occupations of offices per se, it does my heart good to know that these are students who care so much about principles of fairness and people they’ve never met.

Yes, they are idealists, but if not now, when?

Throughout my time with the students, there was the warm and caring presence, long into early morning, of members of the office of the dean of students. I left with a sense of peace.

It is my hope that all parties will continue the conversation and that some positive action will result.

Steven R. Sabat is an associate professor in the psychology department.

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