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

Tap Into Your Revolutionary Spirit

The blue and gray bulldog stood out unmistakably. I bobbed and weaved through the urban masses of Freetown, Sierra Leone, targeting the 20-something-year-old man wearing the Georgetown T-shirt. Images of a pristine campus filled with friends flooded my mind as I jumped over broken sewers, surrounded by people mostly unfamiliar to me. I missed home so much!

I finally intercepted my mark and eagerly greeted him. “Hey man! I like your shirt. I go to school there, in the U.S.” I struggled a bit more to make the connection before he cut me off. “Oh, OK, cool boss. Thanks!” he responded, clearly bewildered by my introduction. He was delighted to have the clothes on his back, but had no idea what could have excited me so much about his shirt, no comprehension of the extraordinary privilege and opportunity associated with his tattered hand-me-down.

In my time at Georgetown, I’ve often considered what I find most special about this place. Sure, we have solid academic departments, meaningful traditions, a beautiful campus and a bunch of guys willing to grab a few drinks and bro out if you ever feel so inclined. But so do most other schools, including the one from which I transferred. I consider Georgetown unique because of its commitment to consider and serve the world in so many ways. I’ve had professors who have tried to pressure me into entering conflict zones to effectively access a social enterprising opportunity, and others who have challenged me to think in ways totally foreign to me. I’ve had jobs in D.C. and opportunities abroad that have opened my eyes to the diversity of the human experience. And, most importantly, I’ve encountered countless friends from vastly different backgrounds who constantly challenge my beliefs and force me to scrutinize even the most fundamental of social conventions.

I’m sometimes pleasantly surprised that my Georgetown experience has encouraged such an engaged and discerning perspective. After all, many Georgetown students have earned a reputation that involves a wide-armed embrace of convention and a devoted commitment to self. But, as Fr. Otto Hentz of the theology department says, “Even a dead body floats downstream.”

Indeed, in its truest form, Georgetown embodies the Jesuit pursuit of social justice and encourages each of its students to be a revolutionary for this cause. The word “revolutionary” probably evokes images unpalatable to many. It’s like the word “socialism” for Americans today. But consider the founder of Georgetown, the founder of the Jesuits, the founder of Christianity; each was a revolutionary. Each worked beyond the constraints of popular opinion and overwhelming social pressures to achieve something great. In its role as a Jesuit university, Georgetown attempts to pull its students from complacency and to encourage them to change the world.

That said, as we leave, I look forward to many changes at Georgetown. In particular, I hope to see this school leverage its remarkable student body and develop a powerful community in diversity. I cannot imagine a place with more potential than Georgetown. We cannot afford to squander this potential with a fragmented campus. I encourage undergraduates and graduates alike to pursue significant reform in the Office of Student Affairs. We should administer the school as we do our intellectual development – with frequent reflection and ceaseless efforts for innovation and improvement. We must move beyond frivolous bureaucratic concerns and disengaged agendas to connect students so that, in these formative years, each Hoya can really access what this school has to offer.

I feel very lucky that my Georgetown experience unfolded in such a positive manner. I want any student walking through the front gates to encounter the same opportunities. I want anyone who comes to this campus to understand why I get so excited when I see the name Georgetown on a T-shirt.

Chris Murphy is a senior in the School of Foreign Service.

To send a letter to the editor on a recent campus issue or Hoya story or a viewpoint on any topic, contact opinionthehoya.com. Letters should not exceed 300 words, and viewpoints should be between 600 to 800 words.

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