A2_CartoonThe historic $50 million donation announced Tuesday is the largest monetary gift in Georgetown’s history to focus on athletics and will be used to renovate Multi-Sport Facility and expand a three-year-old leadership program designed for students engaged in intercollegiate athletics.

This donation, in conjunction with the university’s $62 million commitment to constructing the John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletics Center, illustrates a fiscal preference toward athletics at the expense of other deserving programs at Georgetown. Although this momentous donation will undeniably enrich the student-athlete experience at Georgetown, future donors should consider valuable but underfunded programs as potential avenues for donation in order to ensure balance on the Hilltop.

Georgetown’s severely underfunded music program exemplifies this trend. The recent emergence of the live music community GU Jam Sesh alongside student-run record label Clock Hand Records demonstrates a passion for music among Hoyas. Nevertheless, the music department’s budget could be expanded to increase the amount of programming and practice space on campus.

Increased funding could also uphold students’ fundamental interests on campus. Last year, the university considered merging the LGBTQ Center, the Women’s Center and the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access into a blanket diversity conglomerate in the interest of budget constraints. A donation meant to support diversity at Georgetown could cement the independence of these sites of identity as well as allow for new diversity initiatives, including the establishment of a disability cultural center, interpretation services for deaf students and students with partial hearing loss and support for the potential African American studies major.

Ultimately, the university’s principles must inform how it values different resources — and only a change in the interests and priorities of alumni, encouraged by the university, can effectively change Georgetown’s allocation of money. Georgetown is home to a diverse student body that spans a spectrum of interest and identity. Hoyas deserve equal access to well-funded facilities and initiatives geared toward their intellectual pursuits.

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3 Comments

  1. One of the apparently unexpected aspects of giving gifts is that the giver gets to decide to whom to give. Those observing or noticing the gift really have no say in the gift. This concept should be easy to comprehend for students
    the caliber of Georgetown students.

    I look forward to the editors of The Hoya getting a job, making some money and making gifts of their own – to whomever they want.

  2. Another alum says:

    There are 750 student athletes on the hilltop, and I would bet the student-athlete population is far more diverse than the whole of the university. Further, Georgetown athletics has been traditional underfunded compared to our peers, so this is much needed. These are well deserved gifts for our student athletes, and arguing otherwise is just complaining. If other programs want more money, they should start a campaign targeting alums of their own programs.

    As a former student-athlete, I give to the sports and facilities that I hold dear.

  3. The fact that this is an actual published piece is hilarious. The obvious fact is that the Editorial Board apparently doesn’t understand how a gift works- Hint: If you’re donating $50 million to a school, you get to decide what its spent on.

    Lets start here. The idea that there is a “fiscal preference” towards athletics is hilarious. Ask any club or varsity athlete, and they’ll tell you in detail how the opposite is true. Most teams rely on fundraising and alumni to not only cover costs for their own team, but to help other teams as well.

    Furthermore, Georgetown’s athletics facilities have been neglected in the past, and are sorely outmatched by facilities at schools Georgetown competes with regularly. Student athletes represent 10% of the student body, yet Mcdonough is ancient, Yates is not equipped properly, and the fields used by both varsity and club sports on top of Yates are not just old and decrepit, but are actually incredibly dangerous to play on. The center of our campus, the multi-sport field, is a half finished embarrassment.

    All this article amounts to is “Hey, you didn’t donate to stuff we care about (but will directly benefit 10% of Georgetown students) and now we’re mad”

    I’m sure the Hoya, if they actually cared about funding either the music or diversity programs, could put the time and effort, that everyone involved in athletics at Georgetown does, to network and raise money to support them.

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