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

Student Guards Protest Stalled Pay

Georgetown student guards threatened legal action in a letter written to administration officials Oct. 24, alleging that they had not received pay for their work since September.

The group of 15 student guards sent the letter after paychecks had not been delivered for six weeks. Lisa Gallo (COL ’06), a student guard who said she had not been paid since she started work in September, organized the group that drafted the letter.

“Our greatest concern is the failure of the university to properly distribute paychecks to many student guards [over] the past six weeks,” the letter from the students said.

“Many students have been unable to pay for food, bills, medicine and other vital expenses.”

The tensions between student guards and university safety officials came during a period of increasing concern about security near campus, and less than a month after a public dispute between Georgetown and several of its subcontracted residence hall guards.

Over a dozen of the professional guards, who are contracted through Allied Barton Security Services, sent a petition to Georgetown officials claiming that the university had failed to fulfill its promise to increase their total compensation to at least $13 an hour. Administrators have disputed the claims.

Gallo said that she had sent emails to other guards to gauge the severity of the situation, and that roughly 30 out of over 100 student guards had responded to the emails, saying that they too had not received monetary compensation for recent shifts.

University spokeswoman Julie Bataille said that there had been “administrative problems that . caused some student guards not to get paychecks.”

“I hope the administration is more receptive to solving this problem,” Gallo said. “Right now [a strike] is our last resort, but if it came to that I don’t think anyone would be opposed to doing that.” More tension arose between student guards and administrators after the replacement of student guards with contracted employees of Securitas Services in east campus buildings, including Nevils, LXR and Walsh, beginning Oct. 14.

Bataille attributed the change to increased security concerns.

Gay Student Assaulted On Campus

The Hoya reported Oct. 4 that Kevin Bowles (COL ’09) was assaulted by three males near Lauinger Library in September for being openly gay.

Daniela Abatelli, Bowle’s friend from George Washington University, said that one of the men asked Bowles, “What are you, a fag?” after an altercation began.

Bowles and Abatelli said that the men yelled anti-gay slurs at Bowles, and one pushed him.

Abatelli said that she ran to a nearby GERMS ambulance and called for help.

“In my eyes this is clearly a hate crime,” Bowles said. “It was obviously based in hatred for homosexuals. It was really clear to me that it was just because I was gay.”

Walk Celebrates

Student’s Life

Approximately 36 Georgetown students and faculty members participated in the Walk for Lydia on Oct. 6, in memory of Lydia Ngonyi, an NHS senior who was diagnosed with lymphoma in October 2004 and died the next July after a long battle with her illness.

The walk was part of Light the Night, a nationwide program sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise awareness of blood cancers.

Thousands of walkers began their trek at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C.

Kathryn Chiu (SFS ’06), Ngonyi’s former roommate and friend, said that the walk was an appropriate way to honor Ngonyi’s life.

“If she were here, I think she would be so proud of all the people taking part in the walk, just because not only does it work toward raising money for a good cause, but because it helps bring people together and shows unity for a problem that will persist for a long time if we don’t do anything about it,” Chiu said.

Concert Aids Asian Earthquake Victims

Students raised over $37,000 with a benefit concert held in Gaston Hall on Oct. 13 for the victims of the earthquake that rocked areas of Pakistan and India the previous week.

Several Georgetown musicians, comedians and speakers were featured during the concert, along with George Washington University’s Bhangra Dance Team and Georgetown a capella groups Superfood and Phantoms.

Student organizers planned the concert within two days of the earthquake that took an estimated 25,000 to 35,000 lives, devastated the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan and left approximately 2 million people homeless.

“What we’ve seen today is the most amazing thing I’ve seen at Georgetown,” Saad Omar (COL ’07), a concert coordinator, said. “This is what happens when students wake up.”

Corp Reverses

Decision on Darnall

Top student managers at the Corp retracted their bid to open a restaurant in the vacant space in Darnall cafeteria during the first week in October.

A week earlier, the Corp had announced its intention to bid for the space, which could be converted into a restaurant and bar.

Corp Chief Financial Officer Chirag Dedania (SFS ’06) met with GUSA Housing and Facilities Secretary Eamonn Carr (COL ’06) to discuss the Corp’s bid for the space. Dedania said that he got the impression from the meeting that the student association did not want the Corp to submit the bid.

Carr denied exerting pressure on the Corp, although he said that Student Association may have been more accommodating if a bid had been submitted earlier.

GUSA President Pravin Rajan (SFS ’07) said that vendors were still being considered and would all be evaluated equally.

Kerry Calls for Iraq Troop Phase-Out

The United States should gradually pull its troops out of Iraq over the course of the next several months, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) said in an Oct. 26 speech in Gaston Hall.

Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, criticized the Bush administration’s approach to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, claiming that “the country and the Congress were misled into war.”

He cautioned, however, against withdrawing all troops from the country immediately, distancing himself from members of Congress who advocated such a course of action.

“A precipitous withdrawal would invite civil and regional chaos and endanger our own security,” he said.

Kerry added that the U.S. must set a clear timetable of specific benchmarks for troop withdrawal, and identified the Iraqi elections in December 2005 as the first benchmark that could reduce the number of servicemen and women in the country and help quell the insurgency.

“We must move aggressively to reduce popular support for the insurgency fed by the perception of American occupation,” he said.

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