News & Politics

The Blogger Beat: Vox Populi

The Blogger Beat goes to college this week with Georgetown University’s Juliana Brint, blog editor for the Georgetown Voice.

Juliana Brint in the Voice's headquarters. Photograph by Chris Leaman

Juliana Brint joined the staff of the Georgetown Voice, the university’s weekly newsmagazine, two years ago when she was a freshman. She’s worked her way up through the newsroom ranks and finally became blog editor in April. “I like blogging because it allows you to really engage your audience and respond to things as they’re happening,” she says.

The magazine’s blog, Vox Populi, is Brint’s domain. It’s a site for Georgetown students and alumni to keep up with the news and events around campus—everything from sports to crime to concerts. Brint updates the site several times a day with her own posts as well as content from other Voice reporters.

 We caught up with the 20-year-old California native to find out about campus life. We got her top three tips for freshmen, her take on campus architecture (Lauinger Library, anyone?), and whether she thinks the $37,536-a-year tuition is worth it. Read on for her answers.

Let’s get this cleared up right off the bat: What exactly is a hoya?
“A hoya is Abbott and Costello’s idea of a perfect college mascot—the word ‘hoya’ literally means ‘what.’ It comes from Georgetown’s signature cheer, ‘Hoya Saxa,’ translated ‘What Rocks.’ The phrase is a combination of the Greek word for ‘what’ and the Latin word for ‘rocks.’”

Catholicness of Georgetown students on a scale of 1 to 10—one being “What’s communion?” and 10 being “We go to the Vatican for spring break”:
“I’d say overall it’s at about 3 or 4. There are crucifixes in some classrooms and a fair number of Jesuits on campus, but it’s not overwhelming or imposing. Some students are very devout, and some are die-hard atheists. Most are somewhere in between, though.”

Five words to describe Georgetown students:
“Masters of academics and alcohol.”

Three reasons Georgetown is worth the $37,536-a-year tuition:
“(1) Great academic offerings; (2) world-class professors who are focused on undergraduate education; and (3) at the very least, you know you’re spending $4,074 less than your friends in Foggy Bottom.”

The difference between the Hoya, the Voice, and the Independent:
“With the exception of an embarrassing showing last year, the Voice regularly wallops the Hoya in our annual softball game. (The Independent’s not invited to play.)”

Best Georgetown sports team:

The Voice softball team. I have also heard good things about our basketball team.”

Georgetown’s biggest rival:
“There’s no love lost between us and Syracuse. In fact, there’s a whole blog written by Syracuse fans, Hoya Suxa, that’s entirely devoted to Georgetown bashing.”

Three tips for freshmen:
(1) Don’t bring your laptop to class unless you have superhuman self-control or you’re in one of the many classrooms without wireless access; (2) there is no greater joy in life than seeing one of your pranks in the Department of Public Safety’s daily blotter; (3) get involved with on-campus organizations, but don’t go overboard with joining clubs’ listservs. You’ll be getting more than enough junk mail from the university.”

Best on-campus organization:
“Probably the Medieval Club—they have stocks!”

Best item on the dining hall’s menu:

Lauinger Library: eyesore or architectural genius?
“I’m with the Washington Post (and pretty much everyone with eyes) on this one: eyesore.”

Thoughts on the sleek new business-school facility:

“Very impressive if somewhat incongruously modern. I think the best description I’ve heard is ‘Death Star knock-off.’ ”

Most fitting and outlandish stereotypes of Georgetown students:

“Most fitting: We’re politics geeks. It makes for an interesting student government—there are few debates more heated than Student Association discussions of whether or not to use Instant Runoff Voting. Most outlandish: We all dress in Vineyard Vines and make dents in our trust funds by getting hammered six days a week.”

School you would have attended if Georgetown was off the table:
“UC Berkeley—great school, wonderful location, and much cheaper.”

Number of DC neighborhoods you’ve explored besides Georgetown:
“Probably about seven. I know that’s a humiliatingly low number—if only there were a Metro stop closer to campus!”

A place we’d be surprised to find Georgetown students:
“In prison. Georgetown has a very strong commitment to social justice, and one of the programs the University runs is Georgetown Prison Outreach, a program that provides inmates with one-on-one tutoring.”

Favorite local blog besides your own:

“It’s almost embarrassing how much I love the Washington City Paper’s City Desk blog. Mike DeBonis, if you’re reading this, the Voice misses you!”

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