The students voted in favor of establishing a per-semester fee that would go toward a reparations fund.
By Breanna Edwards, Essence
Undergraduate students at Georgetown University have overwhelmingly voted in favor of setting up a fund that will benefit the descendants of the enslaved people who were then sold by the school to pay off its debts.
According to the Associated Press, the referendum approved by students would mandate a $27.20-per-semester fee to create the fun that would go to the descendants of the 272 slaves that were sold to pay off Georgetown Jesuits’ debts. It would also make history as one of the first reparations funds at a major U.S. institution, the AP notes.
The results of the referendum are as follows: 66.08% for yes (2541 votes), 33.92% for no (1304 votes). This means that the referendum passes.
— GUSA Elections (@GUSAElections) April 12, 2019
The report notes that although about 2,541 students voted in favor of the “Reconciliation Contribution,” it was still a non-binding vote which university administrator Todd Olson said provided “valuable insight into student perspectives.”
Still, there has been no move yet to commit to the fund’s establishment.
According to ABC News the university promised that it would “carefully review the results of the referendum, and regardless of the outcome, will remain committed to engaging with students, Descendants, and the broader Georgetown community and addressing its historical relationship to slavery.”
This article originally appeared in Essence.