Recently, I organized a letter that 232 Georgetown alums signed after campus police removed a small group of students representing H*yas for Choice from a public sidewalk. You can read a copy of that letter here.
Today the administration sent me the following response:
Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the recent incident with H*yas for Choice. We are responding on behalf of the University to the petition you presented on September 29, 2014.
As you know, on September 22, 2014, a Georgetown Department of Public Safety (DPS) officer asked a group of students representing H*yas for Choice to relocate from the public sidewalk at 37th and O Streets to a location on campus. The students relocated to a location on Copley lawn. The officer should not have asked the students to move, this was a mistake and should not have occurred. Upon realizing the mistake, the DPS officer informed the students that they were free to move back to the original location at 37th and O Streets if they so chose.
In response, Georgetown University Police Chief Jay Gruber, reached out to the students to offer an apology for the mistake the next day. He has also scheduled additional training for all DPS command staff and officers on the Georgetown University Speech and Expression policy in an effort to prevent this from happening again. In addition, students have raised this incident with our Speech and Expression Committee and the Committee is planning to respond appropriately.
Georgetown University is committed to our Speech and Expression policy, which guarantees the right to all members of our community to express themselves freely and to foster the free exchange of ideas and opinions. We share Chief Gruber’s regret in how our DPS officer responded in this case and please know that we will work to prevent it from happening in the future.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Vice President for Public Affairs