Is Georgetown Guitly of an -ism? Student Loses Scholarship over Objections

Yesterday I reported on the case of Jarrett Roby, the young incoming freshman at Georgetown University who was suspended from his summer scholarship program because of his refusal to attend an “LGBTQ Sensitivity Training” on religious grounds. The workshop was mandatory for scholarship students from the Community Scholars program at the center for MultiCultural Equity and Access and was not revealed in the original contracts/course materials that went out to students before they arrived on campus. It was only after they arrived that they were notified they would be required to take the workshop.  Roby says a number of students felt uncomfortable about the workshop. “It wasn’t so much that everyone was conservative, but a lot of us just weren’t comfortable, but they were like ‘well, it’s mandatory’ so most of us just went along with it because nobody wanted to get written up”. When young Mr. Roby objected to the training session he was told he was close-minded and if he didn’t attend there would be disciplinary action. “I went to one of the program RA’s directly because I wanted to have some type of order, as opposed to just skipping it and sleeping. I said I have no problems with anyone. I have no animosity toward anyone. I’m already tolerant. I don’t think I need to go to a seminar when I could spend that time studying [the course material]. She told me I can expect a write-up. Later that night the RA’s tried to diffuse the conversation we were having as students about the issue. The RA’s were focusing their attention on me . The next morning the administrators came to me and said the RAs felt physically threatened by me and I thought that was strange because I’ve never intimidated anyone or raised my hand. I’m not that type of person, so where did they get this information? The program leaders said,’This may not be fair, but we’re not going to take the time to do an in depth investigation. They (RAs) felt physically threatened so we take this seriously.’ I felt this was not about physical violence but about my views as a conservative. I’m 100% certain that my peers in the program would vouch for me being a peaceful guy. I don’t get into conflict, I’m outspoken, I’m charismatic. I had to wonder if I was 5’6″, 130lbs and a different race would they feel physically threatened? But of course I’m African-American, 6′ and 240lbs. They called the Georgetown police and they were in my room the entire time I was packing, which I felt was complete nonsense. Then they escorted me to the car taking me to the airport. The RAs couldn’t even provide a legitimate reason why they felt threatened by me. I really believe it was all about me not going to the seminar.”

 Could Roby’s race and stature play a big part in what made the RA’s feel threatened?  Perhaps the “tolerance” police at Georgetown need a sensitivity training course in race themselves.  And religion for that matter. At the CATHOLIC university!

Witnesses corroborate Roby’s story and say at no time was he threatening or physical in any way, shape or manner. One witness  (who prefers to remain anonymous) stated they wanted to stand with Roby and others objecting but in the end they were simply too frightened of losing their scholarship money and went along with the class, which had absolutely no academic purpose. ”At no point was there any violence or aggression. Jarret is naturally a big guy and has a very deep voice. He was just trying to defend his point, but I guess his size and voice is what the RAs saw as aggressions. They kept making comments about him, that he was close minded and ignorant. A lot of derogatory comments. They were trying to get rid of him from the beginning. Some students were in fear of their scholarships if they stood up for Jarret so they just didn’t say anything. Jarret’s not a bad kid. He’s a great kid. He’s had many recognitions. The Governor of IL recognized him!”

 

 

And here is Mr.Roby at the Urban Prep Academy ceremony announcing the Hoya class of 2016. He’s at about the 6:00 mark.

 I like the way Talitha McEachin breaks it down on her blog at CainTv. She plays the race card with impressive skill in her post about Jarret: Race Card Usage 101.

“Since liberals are so great at detecting “coded language” here’s a translation we all can agree with: He’s black, somewhat large in stature, black, a Christian, black, a Conservative…black…a teenager…black…so we need to call the police and have him thrown out…Did I mention that Jarrett Roby is black? These “tolerant” people who threw this teenager out with police escorts are the type of people who rail against alleged conservative intolerance but refused to even hear Jarrett out completely.”

I’m not sure if we mentioned yet that Jarrett is black. And also, black.

Given that the scholarship program is run by the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, it is not surprising that they offer this type of workshop. What is surprising is that program leaders told the students that it was to help increase “tolerance” and encourage students who may be closeted or afraid of exposing their sexuality. What about the students who have other religious or political views on homosexuality and it’s practices? What about students who express conservative views and values? Students are now saying they are afraid to express their views in the program. They are afraid to speak freely. So the “tolerance” program that was designed to make students less afraid has actually created more fear, not less.

Despite the dust-up Roby says he is looking forward to attending GU in the fall. He has lost his scholarship through the Community Scholars Program but has been able to secure other scholarships to help with the cost. Roby says he still respects GU as a great institution and doesn’t want to punish anyone; he only wants to be treated fairly.

Officials at Georgetown University and the Community Scholarship Program could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Roby will join the Dark Side with Kira Davis tonight to discuss his case.

UPDATE: Stacy Kerr from the Georgetown Communications office sent this statement to me earlier today regarding the Roby case.

All new students at Georgetown University participate in programming and orientations to prepare them to be successful in a university environment that is inclusive and respectful of diverse groups of people. During orientation all news students participate in Pluralism in Action, a session exploring issues related to diversity and tolerance.

 Some specific programs, like the Georgetown Community Scholars Summer Program, give us the benefit of time over the summer to address issues in more depth. In addition to diversity, some examples of this in-depth programming include sessions on financial literacy and healthy relationships.

 In the instance that students make administrators aware of religious or personal objections to any trainings or programs, the university works to provide alternative approaches to fulfill these requirements in concert with students’ beliefs.

10 Comments

  1. Mia says:

    Both blogs are good. Talitha did a great job on CainTv and Conservtive Introspection http://conservativeintrospection.wordpress.com/

    You ladies are really awesome I have not read this anywhere else or seen it on the news at all!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is really sad how blown out of proportion this is getting. The sources are faulty and biased. I’m a Community Scholar and I am witness to the situation that night. Jarrett was in fact, loud and aggressive. These articles on the situation overly-victimize Jarrett and throw dirt on people who do not deserve it. They explained to us that he was dismissed not because of that incident, but because of a series of other incidents that he has been involved in. He was on probation in regards to the higher authorities of the program. He was not removed because of his beliefs nor was he singled out because of his beliefs. His approach was extremely aggressive and inappropriate and it left many people hurt, in fear, and upset. Of course, his best friends will “attest” to what they claim happened and it is unfortunate how it is being portrayed.

    Jonathan Espinoza, the other “conservative” involved, hid behind the shadows of Jarrett as Jarrett went off on a rage that night. Espinoza said things like “I’m going to get my lawyer!” Espinoza is the recorder of the video shot during the LGBTQ workshop (WORKSHOP NOT TRAINING).

    These articles are out of line and exemplifies how unreliable the media is. It is unfortunate how quickly Jarrett bit the hand that fed him. The very least he could do is own up to his mistakes, learn from them humbly, and go on with life. Exaggerating, falsifying information, and completely sugarcoating his way to sympathy is pathetic and childish. 100% of us could not and WILL not vouch for him because his antics were very offensive, uncalled for, and frightening (not because of what he believes, but how far he would go verbally to make them clear).

    This has nothing to do with race. There are two white kids out of 52 of us. We are all minorities, including the higher authorities of this program with whom made the decision that Jarrett had to leave.

    Campus police being called is normal protocol for someone who is being dismissed. They are ensuring the safety of everyone on campus by escorting him out of the front gates. By being dismissed, he no longer had a reason to remain on campus, therefore STOP VICTIMIZING HIM AND SUGARCOATING THE SITUATION. So sad how someone can bash their own school, especially in order to avoid learning from one’s mistakes. Humble YOURSELVES!

  3. Jack the Bulldog says:

    There’s only 1 white person in the program.

  4. Hoya Saxa says:

    I’m so entertained by the idea that Georgetown should not address the LGBTQ issues of its current and prospective students.

    I’d like to clarify that my alma mater is of the Catholic JESUIT identity, and NOT Roman Catholic. Also, just because my University has a religious affiliation whose doctrines and practices do not align with the lifestyles of all of its student body, it doesn’t mean it should ignore them or choose to not address them. If that were the case, there would be an amendment to the University’s mission noting exactly WHAT types of students are welcome at Georgetown.

    Don’t be hypocrites, we’re living in the 21st Century.

    Hoya F-fing Saxa

  5. Hoya Saxa says:

    Oh, and for the record… Urban Prep can KEEEEEEEP Roby… and I mean, forever.

Trackbacks for this post

  1. [...] Kira Davis was scheduled to interview Jarrett Roby on her internet radio show “The Dark Side” on 7-24-12 however, he changed his mind & declined the appearance not wanting to ruffle anymore feathers. Kira received the following emailed response from Stacy Kerr from the Georgetown Communications office earlier today regarding the Roby situation: [...]

  2. [...] Kira Davis was scheduled to interview Jarrett Roby on her internet radio show “The Dark Side” on 7-24-12 however, he changed his mind & declined the appearance not wanting to ruffle anymore feathers. She did however, replay a portion of a recorded telephone conversation and read/discussed the various eyewitness statements, here is the recording. Kira received the following emailed response from Stacy Kerr from the Georgetown Communications office earlier today regarding the Roby situation: [...]

  3. [...] Roby is at the center of a controversy at Georgetown University regarding his political beliefs and religious affiliations. After agreeing to come on my show to [...]

  4. [...] is at the center of a controversy at Georgetown University regarding his political beliefs and religious affiliations. After agreeing to come on my show to [...]

  5. [...] KiraDavis.net » Is Georgetown Guitly of an -ism? Student Loses Scholarship over Objections. [...]

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