Alumni decry University action against The Georgetown Voice

Photo by The Georgetown Voice
The Georgetown Voice
The Georgetown Voice

In an open letter run as a full-page advertisement in Georgetown University publications, alumni of The Georgetown Voice student-run news organization including The Washington Post's noted blogger Mike DeBonis criticized the University for downsizing Voice facilities in the wake of the arrest of three of its journalists. The journalists were arrested during Hurricane Irene after campus security officers ordered them to vacate a University building.  The students attempted to evade officers, apparently resulting in $1,500 in property damage, according to media reports.

The University evicted the entire staff from the paper's newsroom into smaller facilities that the alumni call "inadequate."

"Simply put, it threatens the soul of the paper," DeBonis wrote in a letter to University officials shared on DCist. The Voice ,  with a circulation of approximately 8,500, was founded in March 1969 during the Vietnam War, when a group of senior editors at The Hoya, the University's main campus news source, founded an alternative organization to comment on topics off as well as on campus. The Voice also publishes the popular Vox Populi blog.

(Disclosure: Molly Redden, the talented former managing editor of The Voice, was an intern at The Georgetown Dish.)

An open letter from Voice alumni follows:

We get it: You can’t have people falling through the ceiling. But punishing people who don’t fall through the ceiling—and the 42-year-old newspaper they work for—isn’t fair.

The three students who caused $4,000 in damage by crawling through the ceiling on the fourth floor of the Leavey Center to evade Department of Public Safety officers certainly deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law and the University Code of Student Conduct. But moving The Georgetown Voice to smaller, inadequate office space penalizes the rest of the paper’s staff, who were not involved in the incident, and jeopardizes the future of a critical University institution.

That institution has launched the careers of the 57 alumni and alumnae signed below—and many others. Some of us work in journalism; some of us took other career paths. But for all of us, having adequate space to meet and work together as reporters, editors, writers and staff nurtured the reporting, editing and management skills that Voice alums are known for. Our ability to forge those careers—just as many Voice alums before us—has bolstered the University’s reputation as an academic powerhouse and a seedbed for reporters, editors, lawyers, academics and more.

Taking away that space cripples the paper’s ability to do the reporting that makes it an integral part of life on campus—not just for the Voicers of today, but for the students who come after them.

We’re disappointed that you have chosen to evict the Voice from its long-time home on October 3. We urge you to consider the long-term implications of this decision— something the three ceiling-crawling students failed to do—and let the Voice remain in 413 Leavey so that future Hoyas will have the opportunity to express their creativity and talent at one of higher education’s best weekly student-run newsmagazines.

Respectfully,

Rob Anderson (CAS ’05)

Marco Asencao (CAS ’05)

Anna Bank (CAS ’09)

Jennifer Ernst Beaudry (CAS ’02)

Kathryn Brand (CAS ’07)

Juliana Brint (SFS ’11)

Mike Bruns (CAS ’07)

John Cantalupi (SFS ’08)

Selene (Steneck) Carey (CAS ’00)

Kevin Casey (CAS ’99)

Jorgen G. Cleemann (CAS ’02)

Will Cleveland (SFS ’04)

Perry Collins (CAS ’07)

Scott Conroy (CAS ’05)

Julia Cooke (CAS ’05)

Gilbert Cruz (CAS ’03)

Jessie Dalrymple (MSB ’99)

Deirdre Davidson (CAS ’97)

Mike DeBonis (CAS ’04)

Danielle J. DeCerbo (CAS ’03)

Liam Dillon (CAS ’05)

Tim Fernholz (CAS ’08)

Cindy Fisher (CAS ’04)

Samantha Friedman (SFS ’05)

Kate Greenberg (CAS ’03)

Peter Hamby (CAS ’03)

Shira Hecht (CAS ’10)

Matt Hopkins (CAS ’03)

Brendan Kredell (SFS ’01)

Clare Malone (CAS ’09)

Noreen Malone (CAS ’07)

Peter McLaughlin (CAS ’07)

Kate McCue (MSB ’00)

Blake Tyler McGee (SFS ’03)

Will Mitchell (CAS ’06)

Eric Mittereder (SFS ’08, LAW ’11)

Chris Norton (CAS ’07)

Kazuo-Joseph Oishi (NUR ’05)

Gina Pace (SFS ’03)

Phil Perry (CAS ’08)

Jeff Reger (SFS ’10)

Kim Rinehimer (CAS ’06)

Donald Sherman (CAS ’02)

Brandon Sloane (CAS ’06)

Doug Smith (SFS ’97, LAW ’02)

Sonia Smith (SFS ’06)

Bailey Somers (SFS ’05)

Will Sommer (SFS ’10)

Chris Stanton (CAS ’07)

Mike Stewart (CAS ’08)

Dave Stroup (CAS ’06)

Shaun Tandon (SFS ’99)

Garrett Therolf (SFS ’01)

Nancy Trejos (CAS ’98)

Sarah Trice (CAS ’03)

Christopher Trott (SFS ’03)

Emily Voigtlander (CAS ’10)