Georgetown University Students Arrive Friday, Next Week

At the main entrance: Students are returning to Georgetown University for the fall semester. Courtesy Georgetown University.

New students will be arriving Friday, Aug. 25, at the main campus of Georgetown University on the west side of D.C.’s oldest neighborhood. Returning students will arrive Sunday or Monday. Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 30.

During the move-in weekend, the university’s Office of Neighborhood Life will operate the Student Neighborhood Assistance Program (SNAP) from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Sunday and Monday. The university adds that it “is also running a move-in drive for students and will collect bulk trash from students moving into off-campus houses.”

Expect heavier than usual traffic along 35th Street as well as Prospect Street. The university said it “is strongly encouraging employees to adjust their travel patterns on Friday by not driving to work and is consolidating move-in activities on campus.”

Residents are encouraged to call the University Helpline at 202-687-8413, 24 hours a day, for any noise, trash or other neighborhood concerns.

To start the new academic year, a Mass of the Holy Spirit will be celebrated 4 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 29. on Copley Lawn, just inside the main gates to the university at 37th & O Streets NW. All are welcome.

Also upcoming is Georgetown Community Day on Healy Lawn, just inside the main gates, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. The annual event brings the neighborhood and university together for music, free burgers and hot dogs, face painting, a moon bounce, an inflatable obstacle course — and photos with GU’s mascot, Jack the bulldog. The community fair portion will include tables from local schools, churches, businesses, community organizations and university departments. Those who would like to host a table for their organizations should email by Friday, Aug. 25, to sign up.

Georgetown University was founded in 1789 in Georgetown, Maryland, before the City of Washington existed. It is the oldest Roman Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States. As of a few years ago, the total student body totaled 17,849 (7,636 undergraduates; 10,213 postgraduates). A majority of its students are not Catholic.

The following is part of a letter by Georgetown University President John DeGioia to begin the new academic year:

“Over the past few years our community has been deeply engaged in developing new responses to persistent issues of racial and social justice. We have sought to address the challenge of health disparities and to promote health equity; to provide new educational opportunities and to support stronger pathways to college for first-generation and underrepresented students; to address injustice in our criminal justice system; and to better understand our history and the legacy of slavery in the United States.

“This year, as we prepare to return to campus, however, we are faced with the tragic events in Charlottesville — a painful reminder of the enduring legacies of slavery and segregation in our nation, and of our obligation to reject hatred, racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all ideologies and manifestations of white nationalism and white supremacy.

“This moment in our nation demands the very best of each of us and all of us, and ‘the best’ is what we should demand of ourselves. Our universities serve our nation in singular ways.

“No other institution performs the role that universities do in providing the foundation for our common life together. We are committed to the disinterested pursuit of truth and we sustain a community that supports, in the words of Stefan Collini, ‘the ungovernable play of the inquiring mind.’ And for Georgetown, with our Jesuit heritage, we accept the responsibility articulated by Pedro Arrupe, that ‘the education imparted in Jesuit schools will be equal to the demands of justice in the world.’

“We need to embrace this moment and engage our imaginations in ways that enlarge and deepen our commitment to the common good, building from the work we have started and exploring new and creative ways of contributing to it. Much is required of us.”

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