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Georgetown students endorse slavery reparations fund in vote

Georgetown students endorse slavery reparations fund in vote
Prospective students tour Georgetown University's campus in Washington on July 10, 2013. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

Georgetown University undergraduates have voted in favor of a referendum seeking the establishment of a fund benefiting the descendants of enslaved people sold to pay off the school's debts.

The $27.20-per-semester fee would create one of the first reparations funds at a major U.S. institution. In an early Friday statement, university administrator Todd Olson didn't commit to the fund's establishment, but said Thursday's nonbinding vote provided "valuable insight into student perspectives."

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The Georgetown University Student Assn. Elections Commission said 2,541 students voted for the "Reconciliation Contribution." That's just over 66% of voters. The fee was opposed by 1,304. Turnout was 57.9%.

The student-led proposal aims to atone for the Jesuit-organized sale of 272 slaves in 1838. Fees would go toward projects in underprivileged communities where some descendants live, including Maringouin, La.

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