Join us every Monday for a wrap-up of the week’s hottest stories! For this week’s “Mondays With Melanie” podcast, we begin with Clayton Kincade’s (SFS ’25) article about Georgetown’s first ever Slavery Remembrance Day. He then provides us with a sneak peek at the GU Politics Fellows’ discussions for this fall. Next, the conversation shifts to legacy admissions at Georgetown with Asher Maxwell (CAS ’26) and Ethan Henshaw’s (CAS ’26) guest opinion piece about their petition to end this longstanding tradition. Finally, the podcast wraps up with Jasmine Criqui’s (CAS ’26) recap of her album review for Olivia Rodrigo’s “GUTS.”
Melanie Elliott (ME): Hello Hoyas! And welcome back to this new podcast series, titled “Mondays with Melanie.” Through this series, I will be bringing on the authors of each week’s top stories to discuss their articles and provide a brief synopsis of their topics. This week, that of Sept. 4 to 10, has been filled with reexaminations of Georgetown’s troubled history. From petitions regarding legacy admissions to an event recognizing the role of slavery in Georgetown’s past, these fascinating articles provide a nuanced perspective on Hilltop history, as well as a glimpse into Georgetown’s future.
ME: Firstly, we will hear from SFS junior Clayton Kincade about his article covering the first ever slavery remembrance day at Georgetown.
Clayton Kincade (CK): Hi everyone, my name is Clayton Kincade, and I’m one of the Hoya’s Senior News Editors. This week, student organizers hosted the first ever Slavery Remembrance Day event on the Hilltop. Hoyas Advocating for Slavery Accountability, the Black Student Alliance, the GU Black Leadership Forum and the Georgetown University Student Association hosted the event in collaboration. Fully student-run and organized, the event honored the indomitable spirits who endured the hardships of slavery and served as a tribute to Slavery Remembrance Day in late August — which commemorates the arrival of the first enslaved individuals who were kidnapped and transported to Virginia from Africa on August 20, 1619. The event takes special importance to the Georgetown community as in 1838, the Jesuits of Maryland, who ran Georgetown University, sold 314 enslaved people to pay off crippling university debt. The event, held in Gaston Hall, opened with an acknowledgement of William Gaston’s connection to the institution of slavery. Gaston enslaved at least 163 people and rejected the principle of equal citizenship.
ME: Clayton was also kind enough to speak with us about his article discussing his conversation with the Fall 2023 GU Politics fellows.
CK: Also in news this week, I had the chance to sit down with the Fall 2023 GU Politics fellows to discuss the upcoming presidential elections and their career advice for students. This semester’s fellows include Cristóbal Alex, former Deputy White House Cabinet Secretary for the Biden administration; Brenda Gianiny, a Republican pollster; Joe Hack (COL ’09), former U.S. Senate Chief of Staff; Nia-Malika Henderson, CNN senior political analyst; Emily Horne, former National Security Council spokesperson for the Biden administration; and Craig Minassian, former HBO producer. Alex could not attend the conversation with The Hoya. All fellows will host discussion groups of students throughout the semester to discuss modern political issues and will gather advice from students. These sessions will start the week of Sept. 25. For a sneak peek at our conversation, when asked what the biggest political issue facing Gen Z was today, Gianiny said that polarization was definitely the biggest issue. Hack said that the future of democracy is somewhat in question — what that looks like and what the country will look like in a couple of years. And Henderson worries about what America is supposed to represent, what it’s supposed to look like — is this an inclusive country? And the issues of diversity and inclusion and pluralism are all at the core of polarization today.
ME: Thanks to Clayton for that sneak peek, and I can’t wait for the coming GU Politics fellows discussions. The Hoya’s Multimedia editor Emily Han (CAS ’26) was also able to interview two sophomores in the college, Asher Maxwell and Ethan Henshaw, about their petition regarding legacy admissions at Georgetown.
Emily Han: Hi, this is Emily, and I’m here with Asher Maxwell and Ethan Henshaw to talk about their recent op-ed in The Hoya about ending legacy admissions at Georgetown.
Asher Maxwell (AM): Yeah, so the article is laying out our case and our reasoning behind the petition to end legacy admissions at Georgetown. We see Georgetown is in this moment after the affirmative action decision this summer where they can choose to implement policies that will protect racial, socioeconomic, geographic diversity on campus, and to ensure that Georgetown can play a really powerful role in providing an opportunity for socioeconomic mobility for tons of kids. Or they can, you know, ignore what their own reports have said is what they should do and risk undermining one of the greatest values that Georgetown offers to its students, which is community and diversity, the Jesuit value that’s part of the spirit of Georgetown that says that when we are in an environment with people who do not come from the same background as us, and have different experiences, that enriches our education, and so the op-ed really lays out our case for why we think ending legacy admissions is core to protecting diversity on campus and to ensuring that Georgetown can provide the best opportunity it can to its students.
Ethan Henshaw (EH): Yeah, so we’re going to spend the near future still just drumming up [sic] trying to get more signatures trying to get more attention to the, you know, the movement on campus. But once we submit the petition, that’ll depend on how the university responds, obviously, we want to have good faith negotiations with the administration and with the admissions office, regarding policies on legacy admissions. But if we find that they’re not responsive, if they ignore our request to meet or our submission of the petition, it’s very likely that you know we have a lot of people on campus who are very interested in this that we’ll be drumming up our, you know, our campus activism, and stepping it up, and we also probably will be getting involved with city council to ban it on the city level. We think that’ll be a good step, first of all, creating a precedent for hopefully for other schools and putting pressure on the administration to do what’s right and follow our Jesuit values of community and diversity, and accessibility, on this campus.
ME: It’s so great to hear about Georgetown students trying to make a difference and change the Hilltop for the better! Thank you to Asher, Ethan and The Hoya’s Emily Han for conducting this interview.
ME: For our final story this week, we are getting out our headphones and turning up the volume for an exciting album review. Georgetown sophomore Jasmine Criqui discusses her article about Olivia Rodrigo’s newly released sophomore album, titled “GUTS”.
Jasmine Criqui (JC): Hi, my name is Jasmine Criqui, and I’m a Senior Design Editor for the Hoya. This week, I wrote about “GUTS” — the latest album from Olivia Rodrigo. Two years after the breakout success of “SOUR,” “GUTS” tackles familiar themes of infatuation, heartbreak and coming of age, with new maturity and stylistic confidence from Rodrigo. Though still unmistakably poppy, the resulting album’s rock and punk influences make for a mix of melancholy acoustic-driven ballads like “making the bed,” “logical” and “teenage dream,” alongside the uptempo cheekiness of “bad idea right?” “get him back” and “ballad of a homeschooled girl.” With a promising foray into new musical genres and a slightly edgier twist on classic themes, Rodrigo makes a compelling case for continued relevance even if she leaves her teenage years behind. That takes guts.
ME: It certainly does. Thanks for that review Jasmine! And happy listening to all the Olivia Rodrigo-loving Hoyas.
ME: And that concludes another hectic week here at the Hilltop. Thanks so much for tuning in! I’m Melanie Elliott, and this has been “Mondays with Melanie.” Be sure to check back in next week for another round of top stories. And until then, have a great week!
ME: This podcast was edited by me and produced by Amna Shamim and Emily Han.