Thursday, April 7, the Society gathered for the first debate following the Merrick season to discuss “Resolved: Bring back Healy Pub!” Unable to attend the debate myself, I will rely on the note-taking skills and wit of Vice President Samuel Dulik for this post.
Mr. Benjamin Snow (COL ’13) provided the affirmation keynote alongside Ms. Maggie Cleary (COL ’14), making her induction. Mr. Snow underscored the importance of the debate to student life. It would provide a safe and open space for socializing and studying. The space is being wasted now, why not use it productively? In her keynote, Ms. Cleary echoed this statement. At what other university is the center of student life the library? And a really ugly library at that. MSB is a nice place to study and socialize as long as you go after 9 pm when all of the MSBers have left for the bars. (Vice President Dulik’s entry in the Amanuensis book for Ms. Cleary’s speech is significantly longer than others…just saying.)
Mr. Patrick Spagnuolo (SFS ’14) provided the negation keynote alongside Ms. Luisa Castellanos (SFS ’13), making her induction. Excited to apply lessons from his intro English class, Mr. Spagnuolo used a heavy dose of alliteration when describing what he envisaged Healy Pub would be: “a dimly lit den of debauchery deep beneath our dearest denizen of debate.” Ms. Castellanos—who rightfully despises me for my inexplicable inability to pronounce her name—called the Healy Pub and under-aged drinking an affront to Jesuit values. If that’s true, then we should all pack up and go home now.
The Society was pleased to welcome back Mr. Chalene (COL ’84) who regaled the Society with stories of the time he spent in the original Healy Pub. He praised the Philodemic Society as integral to the history of Georgetown University and called Healy Pub an issue of student independence, integrity, and identity.
On the negation, Ms. Green replied to calls for student rebelliousness and indignation by defending Bill McCoy—a marked departure from our Treasurer’s typical attitude towards SAC. Non-member Ms. Colleen Williams (SFS ’13) described the proposal as a “$3 million pit of sin.”
Also on the negation, Mr. Downes railed against the Tombs, the current center of student drinking. Characterizing alcohol consumption as escapism, he said drinking together does not form collective memories—to which Mr. Desnick replied, Alcoholics of the world, unite!
Unsurprisingly, the Society affirmed the resolution by a vote of 34-21.