The beautiful thing about being a student of a university as remarkable as Georgetown is that we are all encouraged to voice our opinions. However, these freedoms do not give anyone, especially those writing for a newspaper, the right to make unfair judgments. Unfortunately, this code of conduct was breached in the editorial last week (“Give Class Gift Back to Seniors,” THE HOYA, April 18, 2008, A2) regarding the senior class gift.

The Editorial Board cites events like the Run for Rigby and the student-led initiative to address intolerance and homophobia as “real gifts.” These are certainly examples of great services that make Georgetown a fundamentally better place. The trouble is, the board then sets these initiatives against what we as a class are trying to do with the senior class gift, as if Run for Rigby and philanthropic donations are mutually exclusive endeavors; it goes on to summarily claim that a contribution to our class’s efforts is “not a gift; it’s a token.” Why is raising money for improved fire safety through Run for Rigby a gift, while collecting money as a class is not? Any system of giving hinges upon donations! While our committee understands that this was the Editorial Board’s opinion, the readers of THE HOYA deserve salient debate, not baseless criticism.

Aside from faulty logic, the misrepresentation of the class gift is more disturbing. The Editorial Board says, “The senior class gift must be restructured. Seniors should once again be given the opportunity to designate how their gift money is spent,” implying that they do not have the ability to do that right now. Our committee restructured the giving format so that this process was as inclusive as it could be every step of the way. While we are looking to highlight the Georgetown Fund, the pledge cards give every student the option either to donate their money to the fund or to any other designation of the individual’s choosing on campus. Unless the Editorial Board is calling for the ability to give to The George Washington University, this campaign could not give our class more freedom over how its money is spent.

Regardless of what has been done in the past, this year we have been working to see that each student has a voice and that his or her money can make a difference.

Patrick Sivertsen (COL ’08)

Co-Chair

Senior Class Gift Committee

April 23, 2008

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