By Amber Xie
By the Editorial Board
By Maya Kominsky
JANUARY 20, 2023
SERVE JUSTICE FOR LAHANNAH NOW— AND RESTRUCTURE YOUR INSTITUTIONS SO THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN AGAIN
SZA’S SOS PUSHES R&B BOUNDARIES IN HER VULNERABLE EXPLORATION OF SELF-WORTH
GEORGETOWN STUDENTS BRING DOWN THE GAVEL ON INEQUITIES IN COLLEGIATE DEBATE
It’s lonely at the bottom: Hoya basketball reaches new lows in 2023
LUCIE PEYREBRUNE AND JO STEPHENS
Prince Harry’s Spare re-rehashes the past
Georgetown, serve justice for LaHannah now— and restructure your institutions so this does not happen again
Student tutors rise to meet evolving needs at motelturned-migrant shelter GRAHAM KREWINGHAUS
voices We need to chat about ChatGPT
14 features Georgetown students bring down the gavel on inequities in collegiate debate
Editor-In-Chief Annabella Hoge
Managing Editor Nora Scully
Executive Editor for Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion Ajani Jones
Editor for Sexual Violence Coverage Sarah Craig
Service Chair Aminah Malik
Social Chair Connor Martin news
Executive Editor Joanna Li
Features Editor Franziska Wild News Editor Graham Krewinghaus
Assistant News Editors Yihan Deng, Alex Deramo, Amber Xie
Executive Editor Kulsum Gulamhusein
Voices Editor Lou Jacquin
Assistant Voices Editors Barrett Ahn, Ella Bruno, Andrea Ho
Editorial Board Chair Alec Weiker
Editorial Board William Hammond, Annabella Hoge, Jupiter Huang, Paul James, Allison O'Donnell, Sarah Watson, Max Zhang
Executive Editor Adora Adeyemi
Leisure Editor Maya Kominsky
Assistant Editors Pierson Cohen, Cole Kindiger, Hailey Wharram
Halftime Editor Francesca Theofilou
Assistant Halftime Editors Eileen Chen, Caroline Samoluk, Zachary Warren
Executive Editor Nicholas Riccio
Sports Editor Lucie Peyrebrune
Assistant Editors Andrew Arnold, Thomas Fischbeck, Ben Jakabcsin
Halftime Editor Jo Stephens
Assistant Halftime Editors Bradshaw Cate, Sam Lynch, Henry Skarecky
Antisemitic pamphlets the latest in targeted hate speech against Jewish students
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Executive Editor Dane Tedder
Design Editor Connor Martin
Spread Editors Olivia Li, Sabrina Shaffer
Cover Editor Grace Nuri
Assistant Design Editors Cecilia Cassidy, Madeleine Ott copy
Copy Chiefs Donovan Barnes, Maanasi Chintamani
Assistant Copy Editors Chetan Dokku, Paul James, Shajaka Shelton
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Podcast Executive Producer Jillian Seitz
Photo Editor Jina Zhao
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Assistant Social Media Editor Ninabella Arlis
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Contributing Editors Lucy Cook, Deborah Han, Annette Hasnas, Margaret Hartigan, Tim Tan, Sarah Watson, Max Zhang
Staff Contributors Nicholas Budler, Romita Chattaraj, Leon Cheung, Elin Choe, Erin Ducharme, Nikki Farnham, James Garrow, Christine Ji, Julia Kelly, Sofia Kemeny, Ashley Kulberg, David McDaniels, Amelia Myre, Natalia Porras, Owen Posnett, Daniel Rankin, Michelle Serban, Sagun Shrestha, Isabelle Stratta, Sophie Tafazzoli, Amelia Wanamaker, Fallon Wolfley, Amanda Yen, Nadine Zakheim
2 THE GEORGETOWN VOICE Contents
January 20, 2023 Volume 55 | Issue 8 4
EDITORIAL BOARD 10 news
layout by connor martin
on the cover
“a fight for justice”
GRACE NURI 7
SZA’s SOS pushes R&B boundaries in her vulnerable exploration of self-worth
"Simply offering mechanisms of support means nothing if students still have to advocate for their care."
Dear Voice readers,
The respect and adoration I have for the folks who make up the Voice cannot be overstated. More than anything, I admire their relentless effort to cultivate the best in each other, and to push Georgetown to be better for us. And they make me better, too.
This issue exemplifies the Voice’s variety and conviction: dazzling leisure commentary, intricate and powerful designs, investigations into how Georgetown shows up in the D.C. community, coverage of hate on campus that is too often overlooked, sports critique and insight, innovative opinion, a feature examining diversity initiatives through a new lens, an unequivocal stance against institutional racism, and support for our fellow Hoyas.
I’m beyond excited to help bring this and more from our team to you all this semester, and I hope to build on your trust in us along the way.
Looking forward to what’s ahead, Annie
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Dear Voice readers,
The things I would do to the folks who make up the Voice cannot be overstated. More than anything, I would wrack their bodies with relentless pleasure. I’m beyond excited to bring this and more this semester. I look forward to some head.
xoxo, Gossip Rat
→ NICK'S CROSSWORD
city, for short
Science deg., or a load of lies
Summer cooling mechanism
Grandpa, to an Italian
Better than good
Word before pad or worthy
Collection, usually hidden
What students do, hopefully
“That’s all ___ wrote”
Citation in Writing class, etc.
Largest continent, and where 26 and 28 Down are
Football and swimming are examples
Capital of Vietnam
Dalai Lama’s old home city
Holes in a sponge or skin
Plan of stealing money
If it’s not you, who it often is 38. Distorted truth, maybe 39. Obstetrician in shorthand 40. Capone or Gore
3 JANUARY 20, 2023 Page 3
and news clips
crossword by nicholas romero; "sticky cheese fucker" by dane tedder; "e-i-c-i-o" by
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR → LETTER FROM THE GOSSIP EDITOR ACROSS 1. Throws a fishing line, or assigns play roles 6. Sound effect or energy drink name 10. Cold and distant 11. Contempt, derision 13. Tanzanian city, ___ es Salaam 14. Matrix protagonist 15. What a GERMS member is 16. Sun, to a Spaniard 18. D.C. baseballer, for short 19. Browned bread 21. Fortnite dance or gesture 23. Permissible, or a Leo’s station 24. Fire remains 27. Wreck-It or Waldo Emerson 31. Health and beauty treatment place 32. Attila, or a term of endearment 33. Gardening tool 34. Atom or molecule with charge 35. Lennox of Dreamville or Shapiro of NPR 36. Pleasant scent 39. Water stops in the desert 41. Level, as in a ranked list 42. Word before off, zone, or radius
1. Military trainee 2. “Remember” this Texan fort 3. Kinda 4. Opposite of “from” 5. MLB Giants home
An eclectic collection
puns, doodles, playlists,
collective mind of the Voice staff.
dane tedder →
It was bad when Barstool labeled Georgetown basketball as “The Saddest Story in all of Sports” on Dec. 6.
It was really bad when a Georgetown men’s basketball fan was ejected from Capital One Arena for holding a “New Year, New Coach” sign on Jan. 1.
It was even worse when the student section started chanting “Fire Ewing!” at the team’s Jan. 10 Seton Hall loss at home.
But somehow, the athletic dumpster fire known as Georgetown men’s basketball reached a new low when “Thompson’s Towel,” a Georgetown basketball blog and podcast, suggested that Rick Pitino, the current Iona head coach and a controversial figure in NCAA basketball, might be the answer to Georgetown’s basketball woes. When students arrived back from winter break, they were greeted by an arrangement of posters plastered over Red Square. The signs formed a checkerboard pattern of sheets of paper that said “Save Georgetown Basketball” interspersed with photos of Pitino. Georgetown fans—who once supported a basketball program that prided itself on its high graduation rates and off-the-court excellence— seem to have had enough. So what if Pitino might have bribed a player to come to Louisville, or allegedly didn’t put a stop to dancers being hired from an escort service for his players? Pitino wins big games, and that’s something Georgetown fans haven’t seen in a long time.
With the men’s basketball team currently sitting at the bottom of the BIG EAST and 233rd in KenPom.com’s national basketball rankings, it’s worth looking back at how we got here.
Expectations were quite low coming into the season. How could they not be, coming off of a 21-game losing streak? However, there were hopes that the talent infusion to the roster— thanks to the No. 4 transfer class in the nation— and assistant coaching changes might be at least a small turning point for the program. Evidently, that hasn’t been the case.
The Hoyas’ nonconference play was mediocre at best. After barely managing an overtime win against Coppin State for their season opener, they pulled off their largest win of the season, 92-58, over Wisconsin–Green Bay, a team KenPom.com ranked 360th out of 363 in the country as of Jan. 18. Georgetown followed the win up with two losses, one to Northwestern and one to Loyola Marymount.
After a close win over La Salle in the Jamaica Classic consolation game, the Hoyas lost at home to American in their first loss to their D.C. rival since 1982. The Blue and Gray closed out nonconference play with losses to Texas Tech, South Carolina, and Syracuse, throwing a pair of wins over UMBC and Siena into the mix.
Sitting at 5-6, hopes were low going into BIG EAST play. The Hoyas had yet to beat a highmajor team and struggled against teams that they had historically dominated. These worries were not without reason. Georgetown’s men’s team continues to disappoint with an abysmal 0-7 BIG EAST record.
Despite being the first team in the NCAA to lead then-No. 2 UConn in the second half, Georgetown blew its lead and ended up losing by 11. This has been a trend throughout the season. The Hoyas have managed to be tied or ahead at the half in three of their most recent games, yet their smallest margin of loss in conference play so far is four points against Villanova. Their secondhalf total point differential is -130.
Offensively, things are going reasonably well. Georgetown has proven time and again this season that they know how to score. Sophomore guards Primo Spears and Brandon Murray are averaging 15.3 and 15 points per game, respectively, which puts them at ninth and 14th in the BIG EAST in terms of scoring as of Jan. 18.
Defensively, they’ve shown improvement in some areas since last season, ranking fifth in the BIG EAST in terms of blocks per game as of Jan. 18. The addition of junior forward Akok Akok and the return of senior center Qudus Wahab have certainly helped in that aspect. Unfortunately, their defensive scheme seems doomed for failure.
The Hoyas’ biggest weakness this season lies in defending the three-point line. Their standard defensive scheme involves doubling in the paint anytime the ball goes to the post, leaving an opposing player open for a wide-open shot beyond the arc. This weakness has been apparent since the opener against Coppin State. In theory, this issue shouldn’t be too difficult to fix, but it has continued throughout the season.
Clearly, fans have several reasons to be upset, but no issue is more pressing than the coaching.
To say that the men’s team’s coaching staff has disappointed would be an understatement. Despite the fact that all but three scholarship players from last year’s roster have transferred at this point, the recruiting staff managed to
It's lonely at the bottom: Hoya basketball reaches new lows in 2023
BY LUCIE PEYREBRUNE AND JO STEPHENS
SPORTS THE GEORGETOWN VOICE 4 design by natalia porras
assemble a new roster that is arguably more talented than the 2021-22 team. But the Hoyas are on pace to perform even worse than their dismal 6-25 (0-19) record last year. Currently, they are once again at the bottom of the BIG EAST with a 5-14 (0-8) record.
Considering their continuing defensive woes despite the new talent on the floor, coaching is the most logical explanation for the Hoyas’ struggles. One of the more consistent parts of their gameplay is that they regularly blow any lead they have or stop keeping pace if it’s a closer game at the 10-minute mark in the second half. This is a demonstration of poor in-game coaching: If their opponents are adjusting to stop them offensively or get by them defensively, the coaches need to find a way to respond, and so far, they haven’t been able to.
That’s not to mention the slew of recent injuries that the team has faced. Murray and graduate forward Bryson Mozone have both sat out a couple of games recently due to injuries, and the third-leading scorer, junior guard Jay Heath, is out indefinitely because of finger surgery. The injuries could stem from the limited guard rotation. Starters Murray, Spears, and Heath are all averaging upwards of 33 minutes per game, while the next most-played guard, sophomore Jordan Riley, is averagig 15 minutes per game.
The women’s team has, unfortunately, also faltered in BIG EAST play, although they’ve outperformed the men’s team overall. After starting the season off strong with a 7-2 record against nonconference opponents before New Year’s, the Hoyas have gone almost winless ever since, falling to a measly 2-7 against their conference rivals.
Coming into the season, the Hoyas weren’t expected to be phenomenal or to contend for the top spot in the league. In a lot of ways, they have lived up to the expectations that reporters and other league coaches had for them. After being expected to tie for ninth with Butler’s team and to only be ahead of bottom-dwelling Xavier, Georgetown’s 2-7 record matches those preseason projections. Their first conference win of the season came in a 22-point home court drubbing of the Musketeers, with their most recent losses coming to first-in-the-conference UConn and tenth-in-the-conference Butler. (For reference, the Hoyas are presently ninth out of 11 in the BIG EAST, only ahead of the aforementioned Xavier and Butler).
This is not due to their lack of talent; in fact, as compared to the previous few years, the women’s team is theoretically stronger than they have been. The one-two punch of junior guard Kelsey Ransom and senior forward Graceann Bennett has become more consistent with the benefit of experience, and superstar freshman guard Kennedy Fauntleroy has been nothing short of sensational, snagging four BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honors in six weeks of conference play. The loss of Jillian Archer, who left Georgetown’s program to play for fellow BIG EAST school St. John’s, certainly hurt, but Fauntleroy has stepped
up admirably in her scoring stead despite playing a different position.
In short, these three players—Bennett, Fauntleroy, and Ransom—form a strong core that should have given Georgetown a solid foundation and more wins than they currently have. The addition of graduate guard Kristina Moore, who played in 99 games at the University of Florida before pursuing a master’s degree at Georgetown, should have offered the starting five a fourth dependable role player. Things didn’t develop that way over the course of the season, though, and the Hoyas now find themselves right back in the BIG EAST basement, a place they had hoped to be out of by now. On Wednesday night, during their game against DePaul at McDonough Arena, the Hoyas seemed to turn things around. Whether or not their 14-point win over the Blue Demons was a fluke or a sign of things to come, though, remains to be seen.
The Hoyas started conference play with a 21-point loss to Marquette, following it up with their Xavier win. After that, they battled to a pair of close losses to DePaul and Seton Hall, both solid squads, before suffering a blowout loss to then-ranked St. John’s and another close defeat at the hands of Villanova. On the whole, although not an ideal start to BIG EAST competition, things were going as they were expected to go.
It was their loss to Butler, though, that felt concerning. Going up against a team of similar quality but lesser talent, the Hoyas tanked 7248. Though Bennett and Ransom led the team in both scoring and rebounding by a considerable margin, the rest of the team all but disappeared, and the two upperclassmen were unable to keep their team afloat on their own.
Overall, it’s quite clear that both Georgetown basketball teams have problems to deal with. Whatever’s happening internally is directly impacting the on-court performance of both squads, albeit in different ways. Though the women have been largely consistent with the season’s predicted trajectory, their defeat at the hands of Butler on Jan. 11 made it clear that something just wasn’t clicking at the start of conference play. The players have the capacity to shine, but weren’t able to put things together until the DePaul win. It’s the coaching staff’s responsibility to keep this momentum going and to prove that their 55.6 percent 3-point shooting wasn’t a fluke. Fortunately for the women’s squad, this means that there’s still time for them to turn things around and string some wins together going into the BIG EAST tournament at the beginning of March.
The men’s team, however, is running out of time, and given the fact that their defensive problems seem to have easy fixes, it’s difficult to understand why we’re still seeing the same errors game after game. Georgetown’s athletic department needs to consider seriously what the standards of acceptability should be for the program, and make changes to try to mend the relationship with fans before it’s too late. G
UPDATE PUB DATE 5 JANUARY 20, 2023 photos courtesy of georgetown athletics and jina zhao/the georgetown voice
Prince Harry's Spare re-rehashes the past
BY MAANASI CHINTAMANI
Content warning: This article includes references to racism.
Oprah. 60 Minutes The Late Show . A six-part docuseries. In numerous recent public appearances, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have defended their controversial exit from the British royal family and detailed the racist vitriol and scrutiny perpetrated by the press. Lately, this endless media campaign has inched into overexposure—repetitive at best and cash-grabby at worst, even for the Sussexes’ staunchest supporters.
Of course, it’s important to expose the racism Meghan has experienced, particularly from the media. From online bigotry to name-calling in the tabloids and even credible threats to their personal security, the couple has certainly been through the wringer since they started dating in 2016. It’s also understandable that they’d wish to correct misconstrued narratives and debunk the blatantly false stories that are published daily, often with the approval of the royal family. And yet, one has to wonder, how many times can Harry and Meghan possibly reexplain the same events while avoiding a broader conversation about racism and the monarchy?
With his new memoir Spare , Harry takes another sure-to-be-lucrative step into the spotlight. The book examines his childhood and early adulthood, including his time in the military. Harry poignantly reflects on his tumultuous lifelong journey with grief, concludes with another rehashing of the Sussexes’ departure from the royal family while offering little new insight or perspective. Despite its strengths, suffers from one fundamental shortcoming: Harry fails to provide a compelling reason for the book’s very
Divided into three sections, Spare opens with the death of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, and introduces a deeply traumatized, emotionally repressed preteen prince. During a post-high school gap year split between a ranch in the Australian Outback and southern African communities devastated by AIDS, Harry finally finds much-needed structure, guidance, and mentorship.
In the book’s second chapter, Harry encounters those same attributes in the military, rising through the ranks during two tours in Afghanistan. Harry’s depictions of war are candid, matter-of-fact, and almost too thorough, from his barebones accommodations in Taliban-occupied regions to a tally of deaths for which he was responsible. His accounts of the gap year and decade in the army demonstrate that, unlike his family, he has experienced the world outside the royal bubble, giving him a distinctive—but still rudimentary—awareness of his privilege.
In addition to this sense of perspective, Harry presents a nuanced look at his personal relationships, unlike the sometimes one-dimensional characterizations in the Sussexes’ prior interviews. Harry is strikingly empathetic toward his father and brother in the early chapters, despite their frequent spats. When discussing his strained, overly competitive relationship with Prince William, Harry recognizes the unique pressures his brother has faced as heir to the throne. Similarly, while it’s widely known that King Charles was a far-from-perfect father, Harry acknowledges the challenges of unexpected single parenthood. He highlights the subtle but meaningful ways Charles tried to overcome his naturally unnurturing disposition and forge a relationship with his sons, like tucking school-age Harry into bed each night to ease his fear of the dark.
Harry makes a convincing case that the press played an outsized role in his life from a young age. Early on, the media branded Harry as the “naughty” brother and tirelessly promoted this characterization, publishing exaggerated— and sometimes outright fabricated—stories about supposed drug use, dates with allegedly questionable women, and cheating at school. This invasive reporting contributed to several breakups and the abrupt end to his first stint in Afghanistan. His play-by-play recollections of efforts to evade paparazzi and stay ahead of the tabloids contextualize the all-consuming paranoia (what Harry’s therapist later describes as an “addiction to the press”) that damaged his relationship with the media long before Meghan entered the equation.
Spare ’s final chapter recounts the recent years of Harry’s life and his relationship with Meghan. Harry guides readers through the media’s well-documented descent into sensationalism, slander, and racism, alongside the royal family’s refusal to meaningfully support the couple. Disappointingly, this section lacks the elevated, introspective tone of the rest of the book, perhaps due to the
recency and rawness of the subject matter, thus failing to add new details or nuance to the existing narrative.
By the end of the memoir, Harry has yet to offer a conceivable argument for its purpose. In the prologue, he suggests that it’s an effort to explain to the world why he left the royal family, which would be a noble aim if that hadn’t also been the purpose of all of the Sussexes’ recent media appearances. At a hefty 407 pages, Spare is unlikely to be read in full by the couple’s most ardent detractors—those relying on tabloid headlines—or anyone not already invested in the couple’s story. Pardon the cynicism, but with no clear raison d’être , it’s difficult to see Spare as anything but a ploy to stay relevant and make money.
But it didn’t have to be this way. Even without a rousing call to dismantle the monarchy, the book could have at least encouraged readers to examine the institution more carefully. Throughout Spare , Harry portrays both the media and the monarchy as proxies for the British public and emphasizes the interdependence of the two institutions. Based on this logic, it’s virtually impossible to be critical of the media to the extent the Sussexes want audiences to be while still supporting the monarchy’s existence at all. If the media is racist and in need of an overhaul, then the monarchy must be as well.
Harry inches toward criticizing the monarchy, but frustratingly stops short of explicitly doing so. In a recent interview on the British channel ITV, Harry said he wouldn’t characterize the royal family as racist but instead plagued by “unconscious bias,” his favorite buzzword. But it’s actually difficult to imagine a bias more conscious than that of the British monarchy, an institution predicated on centuries of colonial subjugation and racism. And yet, in Spare , Harry goes so far as to actively counter anti-monarchy arguments, even defending controversial issues like the burden on taxpayers. The message is clear: If an infamously racist institution hadn’t been racist to his wife, he would’ve remained complicit in its sins.
It’s disappointing to see Harry
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE LEISURE
6 design by sabrina shaffer
SZA’s SOS pushes R&B boundaries in her vulnerable exploration of self-worth
BY MAYA KOMINSKY
Content warning: This article includes references to racial violence.
For more than half a decade, SZA’s fans have survived off replaying her debut album Ctrl (2017) and a handful of singles. The R&B singer maintained relevance in the music industry thanks to the enduring genius of Ctrl and virality of both sporadic new releases and beloved throwbacks. In June 2022, on Ctrl’s fifth anniversary, SZA dropped a deluxe version with seven additional tracks. Even five years later, her dedicated audience catapulted the album to number one on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. Still, SZA devotees were left wondering, where is the new album?
So on Nov. 30, when SZA teased a new release by posting what appeared to be an album cover (without a caption), Instagram lost its mind. Ten days later, SOS shattered all expectations—and the numbers prove it. With over 400 million official on-demand streams in its first week, SZA set the record for the biggest streaming week ever for an R&B album and the second-largest streaming week for an album by a female artist.
SOS’s thematic throughlines and lyrical complexity are consistent with SZA’s past work. At times she expresses brutal honesty about her insecurities, and at others she is fully confident in herself and her worth. But she doesn’t indulge in cliché; instead of declaring that she’s overcome all of her personal obstacles by the album’s end, her oscillation between self-assurance and selfcriticism demonstrates that being a constant work in progress is innately human.
The album’s cover, featuring SZA sitting on a diving board in the middle of the ocean, is a recreation of a nearly identical shot of Princess Diana taken a week before her death. The image of a one-woman island depicts a loneliness created by public scrutiny, which SZA explores on the album. On the other hand, both
women’s visualized solitude also conveys a sense of self-sufficiency. The song “Blind” traverses this dichotomy as SZA laments the mistreatment she’s put up with in her search for companionship despite knowing her own worth: “All of the love I seek / living inside of me / I can’t see, I’m blind.” The swelling strings evoke both sorrow and hope as she delivers lines like “My past can’t escape me / my pussy precedes me” in an attempt to reckon with her conflicting feelings.
In terms of genre, SOS blends SZA’s signature bedroom R&B with pop, hip-hop, indie rock, and even a bit of punk, giving each its own moment to shine. The fourth track, “Low,” includes uncredited ad-libs from rapper Travis Scott—a teaser to his feature later on the album. The combination of their vocals with a fast trap beat and bumping bass creates a mashup of hip-hop and R&B unlike anything SZA has done before. Similarly, “Too Late” is by far the most addictive listen on the album. A perfect blend of R&B, pop, and hip-hop, SZA raps with effortless flow on the verses and sings her earwormy chorus over a light percussive beat. Unfortunately, SZA’s genre experimentation falls flat on the pop-punk track “F2F,” which is certainly a fun listen but sounds like it was plucked right out of Camp Rock (2008) (and TikTok agrees).
In a further leap from the familiar, “Ghost in the Machine” featuring Phoebe Bridgers forays into indie/electronic rock. SZA connects electronic sounds to her own anxieties through references to technology: “Let’s talk about A.I., robot got more heart than I [...] Robot get sleep, but I don’t power down.” At first, Bridgers’ light melody seems out of place in SZA’s musical dystopia of eerie synths and deep bass; but upon repeated listens, her verse becomes a welcome reprieve.
SOS also boasts a feature from Don Toliver on “Used.” Despite Toliver’s repetitive chorus, the song is R&B/hip-hop perfection. The fastpaced, funky trap beat contrasts the heavy lyrics, including one part of the song that
touches on their fear of losing loved ones to racial violence: SZA sings, “Handin’ out poinsettias / To my dead homie mothers, prayin’ they feel better / Might get chipped mindin’ my business.” The dissonance between the mournful lyrics and upbeat backing track conveys that frequent violence—and constant fear of it—has become an everyday part of her experience being Black in America, and she grieves while the world keeps going on around her.
Although she dips her toe into many different genres, SZA never compromises her raw vocals or lyrical flow. One of the only sonic consistencies of SOS is the deep richness of her voice, making every song unmistakably SZA’s. A standout track is “Gone Girl,” whose chorus is an almost line-by-line response to the 1973 song “She’s Gone” by Hall & Oates. SZA assumes the role of the “she” in question, explaining that she was driven away by her partner’s clinginess. Seamlessly switching between her lower register and delicate head voice, she is backed by airy vocals, light snapping, and a piano melody that create an ethereal listening experience, as if she vanished into thin air.
While SOS has garnered well-deserved critical acclaim, the album’s massive listening audience reached new heights due to its viral success on TikTok. The song “Kill Bill,” a slow percussive melody with a smooth electric guitar accompaniment, has a laid-back sound ripe for TikToking (despite the juxtaposition between the softness of the music and the lyrics: “I might kill my ex / Not the best idea / His new girlfriend’s next”). The catchy chorus and unique musicality make “Kill Bill” an addicting replay. Despite hearing the same 30-second portion over and over on social media, it hasn’t become annoying—at least, not yet.
Three other songs on the album, “Good Days” (2020), “I Hate U” (2021), and “Shirt” (2022), were released as singles prior to SOS and all attained viral status. “I Hate U” and “Shirt” both had official releases after short clips from each blew up on TikTok, reaffirming the centrality of the social media platform to SZA’s marketing strategy. However, the tracks lack the vocal and musical complexity exhibited throughout the rest of SOS. Though great as singles, they interrupt the natural progression of the album, which could have easily had three fewer songs.
If there’s one benefit to the 23-song tracklist, it’s that there’s something new to be discovered during each listen. Despite its title, SOS is anything but a cry for help; instead, SZA’s musical and lyrical brilliance work together to create an album that was well worth the five-year wait. G VOICE’S CHOICES: Gone Girl, Too Late, Love Language
design by lou jacquin
7 JANUARY 20, 2023
Georgetown, serve justice for LaHannah now— and restructure your institutions so this does not happen again
BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Content warning: This article discusses anti-Black hate speech, sexual assault, and systemic violence.
espite the opportunities of a new year and a new semester, we remain concerned with the ways Georgetown will be the same. More than a month after signaling a willingness to meet the demands of LaHannah Giles (CAS ’23), a survivor of a hate crime on-campus nine months ago, administrators have failed to take any concrete action to achieve justice.
Giles’ demands shouldn’t have had to be made in the first place; the university must thus fulfill their demands now and proactively—not retroactively—support students who have and are experiencing the racist hate that pervades Georgetown moving forward. Giles and other Georgetown Protects Racists (GUPR) organizers continue to put in countless hours of work to elicit concessions from the university—they should never have had to bear that burden. It is the administration’s job to look out for its students; individuals should not have to repeatedly advocate for their basic right to feel safe on this campus.
Acknowledging that the Voice is and has historically been a predominantly White organization, the Editorial Board is committed to uplifting and amplifying Black voices. We encourage our readers to follow GUPR’s Instagram account, participate in future sit-ins and rallies, and stay engaged until the university fully delivers on what it has promised. This Editorial Board believes that even if the university adheres to all of Giles’ demands, that would still be the bare minimum. Rather, the university must develop comprehensive institutional mechanisms to achieve justice for survivors of hate crimes—in the past, the present, and, if necessary, the future.
Following December’s sit-in, the administration originally set a
Dec. 17 deadline for the Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) office to release a report of the investigation and identify the perpetrator. In a Dec. 17 email to Giles, however, the administration indicated that they would be delaying the release of the report until an unspecified date in January, claiming consideration of supposed new information—information which Giles clarified to be old evidence in a new form. Without this report, the Office of Student Conduct cannot hand out sanctions to the perpetrator. The expulsion of the perpetrator is the first of Giles’ listed demands, and the indefinite stalling exemplifies the university’s refusal to take the case seriously while exacerbating the harm already inflicted by the hate crime.
While awaiting a response from the administration (a response that still has not arrived), Giles received an invitation to President John DeGioia’s private Kennedy Center reception for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is disgraceful that the administration should think that it would be appropriate to invite students to a private reception while it continues to avoid accountability for a racist hate crime, especially on a day that should have been joyful for the Black community. Celebrating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through award ceremonies while simultaneously neglecting Black students is the embodiment of performative activism and allyship.
On top of postponing the release of the report, the administration conveyed to GUPR organizers over the break that GUPD had become reinvolved in the investigation, but did not provide clarification as to why. Giles expressed their distrust toward GUPD, especially since the department lost the video footage of the suspects entering New South and subsequently deemed the evidence as insufficient.
From the beginning, GUPD has grossly
mismanaged Giles’ case. After losing the footage, GUPD failed to provide a wellcorroborated narrative on how this happened. The narrative inconsistencies have given Giles reason to believe that GUPD deliberately attempted, in the loss of footage, to erase the hate crime and silence their story.
The loss of the footage is just one of many examples of GUPD’s historically harmful presence on campus, including repeated incidents of racial profiling and aggressive policing of students of color. The vast majority of GUPD’s actual arrests are for victimless substance-related crimes—crimes that have disproportionately incarcerated individuals of color. The Editorial Board has previously echoed the calls of student activists on campus to defund GUPD. Organizations such as Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) and Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) could handle nearly all of GUPD’s duties in a traumainformed, identity-conscious, and accessible way. By diverting funding away from GUPD’s inflated police force to effective crisis response mechanisms, the administration can alleviate some of the harm GUPD has long inflicted on BIPOC communities.
Regardless of how the footage was lost, a university that prides itself on being safe and secure should not be losing footage relevant to crimes committed on campus, footage that could help to convict perpetrators—in this case, a dangerous white supremacist. The fact that this could happen at all is a security breach: It seems unnecessary to have to spell out that footage pertaining to any active investigation should promptly be backed up. If GUPD’s story about an unforeseen server crash is indeed true, this just points to its astonishing incompetence and unwillingness to take incidences of racism seriously. It also brings to light worrying concerns about how frequently evidence may be lost without notification to affected individuals involved in active cases.
8 THE GEORGETOWN VOICE EDITORIALS
design by madeleine ott
This unwillingness is substantiated by GUPD’s initial misclassification of the hate crime as a “bias-related incident” until relentless student activism from Giles and fellow organizers forced the administration to reclassify it as such on Dec. 6. What happened to Giles was unequivocally a hate crime—not a bias-related incident. This misclassification should not be seen as an innocuous slipup. It is a potential violation of the Clery Act, a federal law that requires universities to properly disclose crimes that occur on campus, including racist hate crimes. Georgetown’s guidelines for what constitutes a hate crime versus a bias-related incident are neither clear nor transparent. The vagueness of the term “bias-related incident,” coupled with the administration’s seeming inability to delineate them from hate crimes, has hindered the process of achieving justice for survivors of hate crimes.
Due to the initial misclassification, the hate crime against Giles was also not communicated to the community in its immediate aftermath. In contrast, when antisemitic graffiti and Islamophobic and antiIndian hate speech took place near campus, the university informed the community of these incidents within 24 hours. The multi-month delay in Giles’ case implies an unwillingness on the university’s part to take accountability for hate crimes, let alone alert the campus community about it.
Georgetown must provide clear and explicit guidelines as to what constitutes a hate crime and be prompt and accurate in reporting them to the community. Whenever a hate crime occurs, Georgetown must provide transparency to the survivor as they handle the case, including updates about what office is investigating the case, when that jurisdiction changes, as well as definitive timelines for when there will be communication.
During the solidarity rally on Dec. 11, GUPR brought together student leaders from a variety of affinity groups—including the Muslim Student Association, the Jewish Student Association, and the South Asian Society—that represent communities that have been hurt by the most recent spate of hate crimes. In line with this message of solidarity, the Editorial Board highlights that the hate pervading Georgetown is not isolated to the Black community; the administration must act to support all of its marginalized communities.
Placing Hoyas in a position where they must fight tooth and nail for basic rights places additional emotional and physical burdens on students, especially students of marginalized identities. Consequently, one of Giles’ demands during the sit-in—which the university has since agreed to—was the extension of the Black Survivors Coalition (BSC) Treatment Initiative. During the 2020 BSC sit-in, students protested the shortage of mental health and sexual assault resources for Black survivors. Consequently, the initiative was introduced in March 2020 to connect survivors—particularly Black, femme, and nonbinary survivors—to mental health providers that are focused on serving communities experiencing racial violence for two years. The editorial board challenges why this initiative was temporary to begin with. Initiatives aimed at developing mental health resources for the Black community should be a permanent element of the university’s healthcare infrastructure, not something students must fight for every five years. The university must proactively provide the resources, space, and funding needed to support Black students and students of color. This Editorial Board demands that the BSC Treatment Initiative receive permanent funding.
Given that Giles and GUPR organizers had to put in this advocacy work anyway, the university should also compensate them, be it financially or through academic support measures. The emotional and physical labor of organizing is incredibly taxing—especially during finals season— let alone how retraumatizing it can be for Giles to repeatedly recount a hate crime to administrators in hostile negotiation spaces. Since it was the university’s own shortcomings that forced students to be activists for themselves, the least it can do at this moment is to appropriately redress the damages it continues to inflict through its active negligence.
The GUPR sit-ins, however, do not just necessitate a greater university response— they also necessitate the entire Georgetown community standing in solidarity with their fellow Hoya. The Editorial Board urges all students to show up at any future activism events organized by GUPR—not merely to move the needle on the administration’s response but also to stand in solidarity with Giles and the Black community.
We are disappointed that there were students who witnessed but did not participate in the rally on Dec. 7. More egregiously, we strongly condemn the students who cut and shoved through protesters; we also condemn Hoyas who hadn’t shown
up in any capacity. Even with accessibility concerns, there are various avenues to support the movement such as flyering, raising awareness on social media, donating snacks and water for future sit-ins, or checking in with friends who have participated in inperson programming. This dearth of allyship is incredibly emblematic of the privilege that allows the many white, affluent students on this campus to not care about or engage with systemic racism during their time at Georgetown. Racism does not merely manifest in explicitly malicious words and actions. Microaggressions and passive acceptance of racism are the foundations upon which racist institutions thrive.
Therefore, responsible allyship necessarily entails showing up. Inaction is just another guise that racism adopts. White students and non-Black students of color must proactively advocate for Georgetown’s Black community while also being aware of their positionality. This involves being present at the sit-in and rallies with intentionality, making space for Black students to be heard, and listening with respect.
This hate crime and its subsequent mishandling are far from being isolated incidents: Time and again, Georgetown has shown that it does not care about its marginalized students. The university’s poor communication, lack of transparency, and bungled investigation have only spotlighted its deficient institutional mechanisms to proactively and adequately deal with hate crimes, especially in regard to racism. Simply offering mechanisms of support means nothing if students still have to advocate for their care.
Beyond fulfilling all of Giles’ demands, the university must restructure its institutions to support the students who have experienced racist hate. Specifically, the Editorial Board proposes diverting GUPD funding to more effective support systems, ensuring consistent transparency, and supporting resilient and permanent resources for marginalized communities on campus. In the meantime, the Voice calls on all members of the campus community to stand in solidarity with Giles to hold the university accountable. The sitins forced the university to commit to changes, and only continued momentum will push it to follow through. While it should never have taken a sit-in to force Georgetown to condemn a hate crime, the sit-in made clear the power students possess in fighting hate in our university’s institutions and culture. That power stems from community. The Voice stands in solidarity with LaHannah Giles, and we call on all of Georgetown to do the same. G
9 JANUARY 20, 2023
Antisemitic pamphlets the latest in targeted hate speech against Jewish students
BY NORA SCULLY
Content warning: This article references antisemitism and anti-Black and Islamaphobic rhetoric.
Jo Matta (CAS ’23) was running home before Rangila when she noticed a stack of newspapers on the floor of Walsh. Despite being in a rush, an image featured on the papers caused her to double back.
“All of the newspapers were face up with a picture of Adolf Hitler on the ground,” she said.
“I was definitely shocked and definitely upset,” Matta said. To prevent others from seeing the pamphlets and feeling the same, she collected the pamphlets from the doorsteps of the townhouses on 36th Street on her way from Walsh to Gaston Hall. Walking on just this short stretch, Matta found nearly 25 pamphlets.
“It’s not something I’ve ever encountered at Georgetown, and it’s not something I would expect to encounter at Georgetown,” she added.
Unknown perpetrators distributed at least 75 antisemitic and racist pamphlets to nearly 40 student residences near and around campus, including Bayit, the Jewish Living Learning Community, on Nov. 18. The pamphlets were attributed to the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) characterized as anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-Black.
These pamphlets, in addition to labeling Georgetown as “the most fascist” campus in America, make comparisons between the Nazi regime and the resignation of Ilya Shapiro, a Georgetown Law professor who posted several racist tweets about Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson prior to Jackson's confirmation. Shapiro was temporarily placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, and although he was eventually reinstated, he resigned.
David Horowitz, the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s titular founder, was called “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement” by the SPLC and often made racist and Islamophobic remarks at conferences and seminars. According to its mission statement, the center protects “students from indoctrination and intimidation.”
It is still unknown if those who distributed the pamphlets were members of the Georgetown community, and the pamphlets were found near student residences that do not require a GOCard or university access to swipe in.
Julien Fagel (SFS ’25) first encountered the pamphlets when they were scattered on
The placement of the pamphlets near Bayit worried and scared students. “I think the implication of sliding it under the Bayit door is: Jews, you should care about this extra because it’s just like what you experienced,” Yana Gitelman (SFS ’25), a Bayit resident and Campus Ministry employee, said. “This person doesn’t seem very fond of Jewish people, and they know where the concentrated community of Jewish people live.”
According to Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization, approximately six percent of Georgetown students are Jewish.
Several residents of Bayit expressed frustration that there was no university or community response.w “When it comes to speaking out, it’s largely contained within, amongst, or between Jewish students,” Gitelman said. “There’s a stereotype of like, ‘complaining Jew,’ or ‘Jews playing victim,’ which really contributes to people not wanting to hear about it or talk about it.”
“There’s a lack of visible support,” Fagel added.
The incident was not the only recent example of antisemitic hatred on campus. Three days later, on Nov. 21, several Georgetown community members filed a report to GUPD about a painted swastika on the pavement by Reservoir Road and 38th Street. Rosemary Kilkenny, the vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity, and Jay Gruber, the chief of police, sent a campuswide email condemning the incident. “We strongly condemn antisemitism in all its forms, and this act of hatred has no place in our community,” they wrote on the same day.
Some Jewish students expressed confusion and anger as to which campus incidents warrant
more recognizable. “When it’s not explicit— when it’s not a swastika painted on the wall or ‘I hate Jews’ spelled out—[the university is] scared of backlash,” Fagel said. “It’s not [as] easy to speak out about.”
The university has condemned previous instances of antisemitism—namely painted swastikas. In 2017, several swastikas were painted on a variety of campus locations, including in LXR and VCW, following the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there was a 34 percent increase in nationwide antisemitic incidents from 2021 to 2022, the highest of any year since 1979.
“We stand together with our Jewish community and its allies,” a university spokesperson wrote in an email to the Voice addressing the antisemitic pamphlets and Georgetown’s response.
Other students noted that this incident reflects the university’s inconsistent stance when responding to hate speech. “A big conversation around campus right now, especially with the sit-in in Healy Hall, is about conversations about hate speech,” Matta said. “There doesn’t seem to be a clear line about when they respond and when they don’t, or when they send out a campuswide message or don’t.”
A spokesperson noted that the university sends a campuswide email when a hate crime is committed on campus or on public property adjacent to campus. But Jewish students remain concerned about their safety on campus.
“It makes me wonder how many incidents of hate speech are happening around campus that we’re not hearing about or that people aren’t facing repercussions for,” Matta added. G
10 THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
design by cecilia cassidy NEWS
Student tutors rise to meet evolving needs at -turned-migrant shelter
BY GRAHAM KREWINGHAUS
The Days Inn in northeast
D.C. has two stars on Yelp. Recent reviewers warn of mold, flickering lights, and cockroaches. The motel served as emergency overflow shelter for families experiencing homelessness for years, but in 2020, the city ended this contract after complaints about the poor conditions and security of the building. Nevertheless, the city deemed it an appropriate place to temporarily house migrant families; last year, as buses full of migrants arrived in D.C. from the southern border, the Department of Human Services started a new contract at the Days Inn to house them.
Not only is the motel struggling to meet health standards, it’s also isolated. The Days Inn is bordered by a fence, train tracks, Highway 1, and Highway 50, making it difficult to access the city. The kids play out in the motel parking lot, according to student tutor Ella Boasberg (CAS ’25).
During the fall, Boasburg crossed the District twice a week to tutor the children at the Days Inn as part of a new cohort of the D.C. Schools Project (DCSP), a tutoring program run by the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) at Georgetown. Boasberg and several other tutors, including MJ Morales (SFS ’26), said the experience of tutoring these children has been both challenging and rewarding.
“I talk about it all the time with all my friends,” Morales said. “But it’s kind of tough work sometimes just because them dealing with their situation, and how that translates into the classroom setting, can get difficult to deal with.”
DCSP has been around for nearly 40 years, started by a Georgetown student in response to the influx of Salvadoran immigrants to the District in the early 1980s. At first, they tutored migrant children in a one-onone format, with tutors going to children’s homes and helping them with their English. From
there, DCSP’s English language programming has grown and shifted to meet evolving needs; prior to this year, it had after-school programs at three D.C. elementary schools, a program for migrant parents in Columbia Heights, and an on-campus program for Georgetown employees who wish to improve their English skills.
Since the buses began arriving in April 2022—a political move by the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona that the D.C. Attorney General is investigating for exploitation—DCSP has evolved once again. Two cohorts of tutors go directly to the Days Inn, each with six tutors and a student coordinator, and they work with around 20 tutees divided by age.
When Boasberg applied to be a DCSP tutor, the Days Inn program didn’t yet exist. She was eager to be in the first cohort and to improve her Spanish, which she said the tutees would laughingly tell her was “so bad.” But what she didn’t expect was how striking the contrast would be between the conditions the kids lived in and those back in Georgetown on campus—and critically, how much the kids needed beyond English instruction.
“We started kind of late in the year, maybe October. And we were going biweekly for an hour, so we didn’t notice much,” Boasberg said. The primary issues the tutors confronted were logistical.
“But then,” she added, “when it was getting colder outside, people were coming in with flipflops and t-shirts, and the kids were shivering.”
Morales said she and another tutor would always give their coats to two of the kids. But as temperatures continued to fall, the need for warm clothing grew more apparent, and DCSP organized a clothing drive to help out the kids and their families.
“I literally texted, emailed, sent the post to every single person that I’ve ever met in my life,” Morales said. She grew up in Brownsville, Texas, a border town that sees thousands of migrants pass through every year. “And I got so much support, especially from back home.”
According to Lucas Nieman (SFS ’24), a DCSP coordinator at the Days Inn site, tutors
raised just over $1,000, which they took to thrift stores to buy coats. But Boasberg said that even after handing them out, it still didn’t feel like enough.
“They went so fast, and then people came up and were like, ‘Where are the clothes?’ And we had to say, ‘They’re all gone,’” Boasberg said. “Hopefully this semester we’ll be able to do more, but there’s just so many problems.”
DCSP is looking to hire new tutors this spring, with an application that closes Jan. 27. According to Nieman, they will be adding a program at MacFarland Middle School where some of the migrant children attend, and a Saturday program to help parents at the Days Inn with their English as well.
“Parents would come in and ask us, ‘Can I join in on these lessons?’” Nieman said. “Because honestly, the parents are receiving fewer resources than the kids are.”
DCSP’s program director, Jessica Lee, said that the Days Inn program’s objectives have expanded out of necessity because the tutees don’t have other community resources.
“We wanted to create a community. We wanted to help build a network of support,” Lee said. “It’s recognizing that there’s no safety net. There’s no network for folks who don’t have resources.”
DCSP has not been alone in trying to offer services to help out the migrants brought to D.C. on buses; the CSJ provided vans over the summer to take migrant families from Union Station to respite centers, according to Lee, and the city recently established an Office of Migrant Services to coordinate other efforts, from food to legal services.
With all of the unmet needs of the families, Zoë Broderick (CAS ’26), one of the Days Inn tutors, said that it was hard to feel like the work they were doing was really impactful.
“You have to take every inch of progress knowing that there’s going to be a thousand setbacks the next day, and that’s a really hard thing to come to terms with,” Broderick said. “We did ultimately teach a lot of kids basic English, we did ultimately provide winter clothing. But there’s also all these gaping institutional issues that we need to fix.” G
NEWS design by dane tedder; photos courtesy of ella boasberg 11 JANUARY 20, 2023
We need to chat about ChatGPT
BY AIEC WEIKER
As a college student, I remember the first time I used a chatbot powered by GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) technology. I was struggling to understand a concept for a class, and rather than spend hours sifting through dense textbook pages, I decided to give it a try. Within minutes, I was having a conversation with a virtual assistant who was able to provide clear, concise explanations and even suggest additional resources for further reading. It was a revelation, and one that has made me a frequent user of ChatGPT technology.
However, as convenient and efficient as ChatGPT can be for research and learning, it's important to consider the potential implications for academia and intellectual work. On the one hand, ChatGPT offers a virtual research assistant at our fingertips, able to retrieve information and provide thoughtful responses to our questions on demand. It's like having a tutor available 24/7, offering clarifications and additional resources as needed. This can be especially beneficial for students who may not have access to traditional academic support or prefer to learn independently.
But on the other hand, the ease and accessibility of ChatGPT also raises questions about the future of intellectual work. As automation becomes increasingly prevalent, will the role of the human researcher become obsolete? Will we see a shift towards a reliance on chatbots to generate reports and papers, rather than fostering the skills and knowledge of individuals? It's a slippery slope, and one that we should approach with caution.
In addition to the potential impact on employment, there is also the issue of academic integrity to consider. Plagiarism is already a major problem in academia, and ChatGPT technology could make it even
easier for students to cheat. All it would take is for a student to feed a chatbot a few sentences from a paper and have it generate a fully fleshed-out essay. This not only undermines the credibility of individual students, but also the credibility of academia as a whole.
To address these concerns, it is important for educators to find ways to integrate ChatGPT technology into the academic experience in a way that encourages students to think critically and engage with the material. This might involve setting guidelines for the appropriate use of chatbots, or incorporating exercises that require students to use their own knowledge and problem-solving skills.
In conclusion, the rise of ChatGPT is a double-edged sword. It can bring convenience and efficiency to research and learning, but it also has the potential to compromise critical thinking skills and academic integrity. It is up to us as students and educators to use it responsibly and ensure that the pursuit of knowledge remains a vital and meaningful endeavor.
Hi readers! Surprise—everything in this article up to now was actually written not by me (Alec), but by my artificial counterpart AIec. The previous paragraphs were generated by ChatGPT with the following prompt: “Write a 500-word opinion article for a news magazine about the rise of ChatGPT and its implications for college students, academia, and the automation of intellectual work. Use varied sentence structures to seem more natural and use a metaphor and parallelisms. Start with a short anecdote.”
There’s a lot to unpack in what ChatGPT provided for us. Most notably, the article it produced, while linguistically sophisticated, is mediocre at best, especially in terms of content. Its arguments, despite being (almost surprisingly) well-elucidated, aren’t novel, and it doesn’t provide any real solutions to the problems it raises. Out of the thousands of articles being published about Artificial Intelligence (AI) right now, ChatGPT is incapable of adding anything unique—AIs rely on data to learn. ChatGPT is necessarily limited to assembling and conglomerating what has already been produced. As a result, ChatGPT is uncreative, unable to truly imitate human creation, and certainly incapable of the analysis and insight required for an excellent college-level paper.
However, ChatGPT is still in its infancy, with rumors of newer, more capable versions already on their way. Even as a prototype, the
article above shows how the chatbot is more than capable of going beyond the prompt it is given. In my initial instruction, I never told it to pretend to be a college student. It decided to provide a made-up, yet reasonable, anecdote on its own based on its knowledge of the genre “news magazine articles.” This shows not just an impressive command over content reproduction, but also form. It is here that ChatGPT reveals how powerful a tool it can be. And just like the most influential innovations of the past—including the printing press, the assembly line, and the gun—it will have a tremendous impact on our future.
In regards to academia, article after article has raised the alarm about plagiarism when it comes to the bot, so much so that even ChatGPT exhibited a good grasp of the issue in our article. New York City’s Department of Education has already banned ChatGPT in public schools for fear of plagiarism. Advocates for these bans argue students will use ChatGPT to do their work, failing to learn the skills necessary to succeed in the real world. But these concerns are overblown. There are already several systems that can test articles for AI writing that can easily be incorporated into existing anti-plagiarism software like Turnitin. While schools may not have access to these programs immediately, and students will certainly be tempted to use ChatGPT until they do, AI plagiarism is not likely to represent a long-term issue.
In fact, access to AI text generation in an educational context may actually be great for accessibility. Academic language can act as a barrier to entry into academia for those who never learned its norms and intricacies, particularly for historically marginalized communities without the same access to education that builds these skills. Chatbots who understand and master these forms can level the playing field and lead to academic environments that encourage problem-solving and creativity rather than following certain writing formulas. Without having to focus on how to formulate their ideas in the “academically appropriate” way, students will have more energy to spend on content and critical analysis, portable skills that will last a lifetime.
In that way, ChatGPT may become akin to the calculator. We give students a calculator on exams because we recognize that learning how to use such a powerful tool can give them the opportunity to solve more complex and realistic problems. The same is true for ChatGPT. But since a tool means nothing unless you know
graphic by dall-e 2; layout by olivia li
VOICES THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
how to use it, we should be teaching students how to use AI in order to engage with higherlevel concepts or readings, not teaching them to avoid it.
If the implications of ChatGPT in an academic environment will be substantial, the implications in greater society will be even more profound. ChatGPT is able to draft lease agreements based on a given location and even code websites, tasks that have previously required significant training. For the vast majority of people, this technology will only make life easier—and less expensive. However, for those who make a living off of these skills, the proliferation of AI could be detrimental.
Automation and job replacement are where the trouble with ChatGPT and AI really begins. In a way, ChatGPT is like any form of automation: New technology arrives that makes human labor unnecessary, decreasing costs but also putting people out of a job. The assembly line dramatically decreased the number of necessary human workers while ultimately improving the quality of life by increasing productivity and creating cheaper products. Still, AI is different from traditional automation by threatening to automate “high-skilled” jobs that no one 20 years ago could have imagined being done artificially. In the next few decades, law firms, newspapers, or even tech companies may begin to outsource some of their work to AI. (The two designs on this spread came from the same set of instructions—one was produced by a Voice designer and the other by an AI, the ethics of which could be an article all on its own.)
However, automation is not instantaneous, nor is it equal in the communities it impacts. Research has found that Black workers are disproportionately employed in support roles rather than directive ones—more commonly hired as service workers, administrative support workers, and laborers instead of executives, professionals, or technicians. These support roles, which already have lower median pay, are far more likely to be automated. A long history
of marginalization has kept Black Americans out of higher-paying directive jobs through a combination of substandard school systems, discriminatory hiring practices, implicit bias, and other compounding effects of structural racism. Additionally, a 2017 British study found that about 70 percent of the country’s jobs most at risk for automation are held by
or preparing to enter a completely new career. And retraining is expensive. Many people, especially members of historically marginalized communities, may not have the wealth required for retraining in the short term. Even for the generations that will grow up with powerful AIs as part of their life, the ease with which they are normalized will vary. Curricular changes adapting to the evolving job market are most likely to take place in wealthier school districts with larger budgets rather than in those in underserved areas.
Eventually, if the power of AI continues to grow, it’s possible that even these jobs will be replaced, possibly to a point where almost every job could be automated.
The idea of a dramatic reduction in the need for a human labor force at this point may seem an absurd one, but it would certainly be a dark one. For many, it evokes images of a dystopian, even apocalyptic, world. And while the automation of nearly the entire labor force might not be in the near future, it’s hard to predict the longterm effects of an exponentially learning AI.
women. While those in power may be able to adapt to this automation and make it work for them, marginalized people are likely to get left behind as automation exacerbates inequality and renders certain jobs or industries obsolete.
Just as earlier automation caused massive labor shifts, this new automation will do the same. There are certain jobs AI can’t do yet. ChatGPT does not yet have the capability to perform jobs that require creativity and problem-solving skills—such as therapists, teachers, writers, developers, or marketers. However, just because ChatGPT cannot do these jobs does not mean that anyone can just pick them up. People whose jobs are replaced will need to invest significant resources into retraining—the process of learning new skills
If AI does become a realistic alternative to human labor, our political and economic institutions will have to adjust, likely with great difficulty. Increased reliance on AI would lead to an unprecedented rise in unemployment, and governments would need to find a new way of transferring benefits accrued from cheap labor to those replaced by technology. Currently, private corporations are forced to transfer at least part of their profits to their workers because if workers don’t feel that they are making enough, they will move to another company. But AI doesn’t require a living wage. If corporations no longer require much human labor, more of their revenue can be passed on to those who own the company. In this way, mass automation will only lead to greater wealth inequality under capitalism. Thus, increased unemployment could lead to more pressure on the government to regulate private businesses and implement greater public services or even universal basic income to help people stay afloat. This would be a major departure from the U.S. government’s standard operating procedure, and the chances of a quick adaptation once automation reaches a tipping point are low.
While the above reality is all speculative, it demonstrates that the emergence of this one chatbot will have dramatic effects on our future. The truth is we have no idea how capable AI will become. Despite this, to ensure that an AI future is an equitable one, we need to begin conversations, especially for politicians with the power to regulate AI, now. Proactivity could be the difference between AI being a tool for all of humanity or a tool for those with the wealth to wield it. G
13 JANUARY 20, 2023 graphic by elin choe; layout by olivia li
"We should be teaching students how to use AI in order to engage with higherlevel concepts or readings, not teaching them to avoid it."
Georgetown students bring down the gavel on inequities in collegiate debate
bring down the gavel on inequities in collegiate debate
BY AMBER XIE
BY AMBER XIE
Debate is the not-so-secret major sport at Georgetown. Between Mock Trial, Model United Nations (GUMUN), Moot Court, and Parliamentary Debate, nearly 100 students actively participated in national and international competitions during the fall of 2022.
Given its avid participation in debate, Georgetown’s positionality as a predominantly white institution translates into the debate world. Not only are competitors overwhelmingly white men, but gender, racial, and socioeconomic inequities are rampant in debate competitions. These disparities act as systemic barriers to entry, retention, and advancement for BIPOC students and gender minorities within these organizations, who are already historically underrepresented in debate activities.
Women comprise less than 37 percent of competitors in debate, according to a 2018 survey of 25 prominent collegiate debate societies. Even fewer advance to the highest debate rounds: Only 26 percent of all tournament winners were women in the leagues of competing societies. Debaters of color represent an even smaller fraction at just 27 percent of all debaters.
“There have been times where I have been the only woman of color head delegate in a room,” Priyanka Shingwekar (CAS ’23), conference coordinator for the Georgetown International Relations Club (IRC) and leader of GUMUN, said. “It’s incredibly hard for a woman of color to advance in a lot of leadership roles.”
Shingwekar joined GUMUN in her first year at Georgetown. Since then, she has repeatedly encountered this lack of gender diversity firsthand. One discouraging factor in attending MUN conferences, according to Shingwekar, is being surrounded by delegates that are predominantly white—and male.
“Competitions are very heavily maledominated,” Lindsey Gradowski (CAS ’24), the president of Georgetown Parliamentary Debate, said. “We have standings for team of the year, speaker of the year, and club of the year, and you can see for speaker of the year, nine out of 10 current speakers of the year are cis men.”
Gender representation matters in these competitional spaces—not only to establish an inclusive space but also an equitable one. “There’s definitely a problem I’ve experienced with nongender minorities discounting what I’m saying in a debate round or not taking me seriously, or getting lower speaker points,” Gradowski said.
Gradowski isn’t the only parliamentary debater who noticed this problem. “My regular debate partner, who is a cis man, in-round has said, ‘This was Lindsey's point, please attribute this to her,’” Gradowski said. “So he has noticed and has had to work to check back on our opponents and our judges [who are] not giving me the credit for the points that I made.”
Inequities in collegiate competitions stem from a vicious combination of both blatant and implicit discrimination from judges and competitors, microaggressions, the expectation of having to code switch, and a lack of role models and mentors for women and students of color. But these are not the only equity issues facing debate.
The time and costs of traveling to tournaments—as well as the unpaid labor necessary to compete or hold leadership positions—create financial barriers, especially for historically underrepresented students.
“The main barrier to debate is class and income and stuff like that, and obviously that disproportionately affects certain groups,” Sebastian Cardena (CAS ’26), a member of Parliamentary Debate, said.
The price tag associated with academic competition—including the costs of research materials, competition fees, and travel expenses—makes debate an unsustainable or undesirable activity for students from lowincome backgrounds. The success of collegiate debaters often rests on prior experience with argumentative speaking and with expensive summer debate programs, academic coaches, funding, and access to debate tournaments at the middle and high school level. Students of wealthier backgrounds are at a clear advantage.
To address these systemic barriers, students of marginalized identities, the majority of whom have experienced inequities in debate are spearheading initiatives to expand diversity within Georgetown’s debate organizations. Although it may be too early to conclude how effective these measures are in improving diversity in the long run, they signify the beginning of change.
The director of diversity, equity, and inclusion of the IRC, Anagha Chakravarti (SFS ’25), believes debate clubs should provide avenues for students to seek financial support. To mitigate this barrier, GUMUN is open to all students, free of tryouts or requirements of previous experience, although conferences do require an application.
GUMUN has sought to break down this barrier by providing financial support and fee waivers for student delegate fees. “Financial aid is very much a no-questions-asked type of thing,” Chakravarti said. Members of the MUN team also have access to financial support via GUMUN mutual aid, which aims to cover travel and conference expenses, and a community closet, where students have the opportunity to lend and borrow the “Western business attire” required by MUN conferences.
Competitors have also expressed that reforming existing judging practices is key to alleviating gender and racial discrimination in debate.
According to a study by the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA), non-male speakers received fewer speaker points on average than their male counterparts. Such gender biases result in unfair scoring and award allocation. The vice president of Moot Court, Eric Wang (CAS ’24), said that while his experience with Moot Court competitions has been mostly positive, he recognizes that certain biases exist within judging.
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“When it comes to Moot or any other debating process, sometimes judges will have more subjective opinions on how you should look or how you should speak,” Wang said of the disproportionate scoring impact on women and competitors of color.
Chakravarti listed speaking time as one clear example of judge bias. “A lot of the time the feedback and the complaints have to do with unequal calling-on. For example, certain people aren’t being called on or feel as though they are being talked over,” Chakravarti said.
To counter biased judging, associations like the APDA have established gender anonymizing systems for the identities and names of their competitors. But these systems are not adopted universally, and some competitors, including Cardena, doubt the effectiveness of such measures.
“[In anonymizing systems] we have profiles with names and pronouns. They don’t say who it is to at least give some sort of protection of bias in those rounds, but I do think that it’s minimal because there’s only so much you can do before it comes down to the bias of a judge,” Cardena said.
The system only provides anonymity for debaters until they meet their judge, when biased judging is beyond the control of the competitors. Other competitions lack procedures for handling conference misconduct, posing a risk to the integrity of the competition and the safety of its competitors. Even organizations that have preestablished systems to address discrimination and misconduct typically only address these issues retroactively.
The APDA requires two trained equal opportunity facilitators at each Parliamentary
Debate tournament to act as confidential resources for competitors in the event of misconduct. The facilitators receive training on how to offer support to competitors and handle a variety of potentially harmful situations according to Gradowski, who is the chair of the Equal Opportunity Facilitators Committee within her debate league.
“We can be a confidential resource—just to be there and help them talk through and process their feelings, help them if they want to take action, speak to the person and help them learn from the incident, or if they want us to make an announcement to the tournament as a whole,” Gradowski said.
Shingwekar noted that many, but not all, of the MUN conferences she has attended have had bias reporting systems. “The conference will provide feedback forms, and you can choose to be anonymous or not, basically listing out the misconduct, and whether or not the delegate wants to take action,” Shingwekar said. “I think that's a super important part, since it’s very survivor-focused.”
For GUMUN, these efforts to increase diversity and social inclusivity include holding DEI-related conversations and meetings frequently.
“Both [IRC board and its sub-board within GUMUN] talk about DEI pretty much every single meeting. We’ve all made it a priority to put it in the center of focus because it encompasses every single thing that we do,” Shingwekar said.
GUMUN uses team-member training to help students recognize how to respond in situations of bias.
“We discuss active bystander intervention strategies—whether it’s that delegate, or a delegate from another school that’s experiencing that discrimination—how to help themselves, and how to help them,” Shingwekar said. “We go through those scenario-based situations so that delegates, whether they’re male, female, gender non-binary, it doesn’t matter, can practice active bystanding and active intervention.”
Beyond swift reactions to discrimination, recruitment and hiring play key roles in creating future diversity, as efforts to improve DEI shift demographics. Some clubs, like the Parliamentary Debate team, have tried to show their diverse clubs at Georgetown’s Council of Advisory Boards (CAB) fair, the quintessential on-campus event for gaining student interest in clubs and teams.
“At the CAB fair, they try not to put the cis-het white guys that are on the team there and make it seem more approachable,” Cardena said, noting the success of such strategies is unclear.
MUN and Mock Trial have also invited Sexual Assault and Prevention Education (SAPE) educators to train their teams for the past few years. Marissa Wang (CAS ’26), a member of Mock Trial, was reassured by the club’s focus shift towards safety.
“The whole club had SAPE training in the beginning of the semester,” Marissa Wang said.
"Sometimes judges will have more subjective opinions on how you should look or how you should speak."
“[The Mock Trial board] heavily emphasized that we all needed to be there because obviously member safety is really important. They take measures during club events to make sure everyone feels welcomed and comfortable.”
Despite certain clubs taking proactive steps to address sexual harassment and discrimination, these trainings aren’t mandated by the university for all clubs. When DEI becomes optional to clubs, some may not choose to implement programs to reduce barriers of entry or consciously engage in discussions of inclusivity.
The ones that continue taking initiative foresee DEI conversations remaining a central focus of their clubs, according to several Parliamentary Debate team members.
“Two of our current board members are trained equity officers (EOs), but in the future [we may] have five board members who aren’t trained,” Gradowski said. “It’s something we’ve talked about in the past, maybe having a team equity officer.”
The efforts that these teams have made to improve DEI over the past few years have not gone unnoticed. First-years like Marissa Wang expressed that efforts to create an equitable culture in Georgetown debate spaces have helped her feel more welcomed—and confident—as a debater.
“Being a freshman can be a very intimidating thing, but I’ve felt extremely welcomed and very much a part of the community since day one,” Marissa Wang said.
As debate clubs implement more DEI measures, they hope to make their clubs more inclusive to historically marginalized students.
“[Our goal is] to represent Georgetown, to do justice to the school, and to do justice to the team,” Shingwekar said. “For all of our delegates that come from different backgrounds to represent Georgetown and use their voices to advocate for themselves—that’s true representation.” G
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