Hoya vote stalls fight for independence

Georgetown’s student newspaper voted not to oppose a university effort to trademark their name Tuesday – hindering the paper’s long-term campaign to become an independent entity.

The Hoya, Georgetown’s largest student newspaper, is funded and sponsored by the university but has tried to become an independent corporation for many years. Georgetown applied to trademark The Hoya’s masthead logo this fall, which would prevent the paper from leaving the school owning “The Hoya” name.

The Hoya’s board of directors voted 4 to 3 not to file an opposition with the U.S. Patent Office to legally contest the trademark of “The Hoya” masthead, editor in chief Jonathan Swan said. Wednesday was the final deadline for legally opposing the trademark.

The board did not contest the trademark because they feared the university would retaliate by altering previously negotiated terms of their proposed independence, Swan said. These terms were not yet accepted because the paper insisted on keeping the name.

Swan, who voted to contest the trademark, said they will try to keep pressuring the university to negotiate leasing the name from the paper. If one cannot be negotiated, he said, the paper will most likely leave without the name.

“Independence is the ultimate goal no matter what,” Swan said. “We will get there.”

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