Monday, March 29, 2010

Recap: Weekend Actions

Over the past two months, Plan A has sent President DeGioia two letters outlining our campaign demands; the most recent of which we delivered on Thursday, March 4th after a speak-out in Red Square. President DeGioia has never directly responded to any of our letters, and has not given us a meeting time to discuss these issues with him or other administrators. We sent letters, short notes, and emails requesting a meeting during the week of March 15, and held a call-in/email-in day to try to get his office to respond on March 23. He still refused to respond.

We held a picket on Friday afternoon (March 26) in Healy Circle to actively advocate for a meeting with President DeGioia about the issues we have raised. That evening we received a letter from Todd Olson which did not address most of our issues, repeated outdated facts, and did not respond to our request for a meeting.

On Saturday at noon, three Plan A students chained themselves to the statue of John Carroll, Georgetown's founder, with tape over their mouths and a sign that read, "President DeGioia: Take the tape off our mouths and the chains off our bodies." The message is simple: Georgetown's policies are chaining us to the past and silencing our ideas.

Students rallied around the statue in Healy Circle to show their support of Plan A. Student leaders fromH*yas for Choice, United Feminists, MEChA, NAACP, Georgetown Solidarity, and GU Men Creating Change spoke about why they have joined the Plan A coalition for reproductive justice. Students joined in chants and held signs showing their support of Plan A and demanding that Georgetown change its policies.

After requests from Public Safety to quiet down, we engaged in a silent action where students sat around the statue to show their support of the chained students and Plan A's cause. After an hour, most students left, but the students chained to the statue remained. We sent President DeGioia an email and informed University administrators that they had an 8:00pm deadline to respond to our letters and engage in true dialogue.

Around 7:30, a University administrator delivered a letter to the protesters that promised Plan A students a meeting to discuss their concerns with administrators. In a show of good faith and commitment to dialogue with the University, the chained students symbolically unchained themselves after almost 8 long hours.

We are very much looking forward to our meeting. Check back later this week to find out how it went!

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