THE WAR ON TOYOTATHON
It’s that time of year yet again. The weather is getting colder, the sun is setting at an unreasonably early time, and your normal depression is being supplemented by your seasonal depression. Despite all of that, it is, according to A Charlie Brown Christmas, the time “that children call their favorite time of year.” And I would agree, as the coming of winter also means the coming of something that many of us hold near and dear: getting the new 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport with 0% APR for the first 15 months. That’s right, it’s Toyotathon, and you can feel the joy pulsing through the veins of every little child. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the students at Georgetown University, where a debate on political correctness has come to ruin our celebration of amazing time-exclusive deals on some of the best new cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Early this November, Georgetown administration released a statement urging students and faculty to be more inclusive in their acknowledgement of the time of year in order to not exclude certain students who may not drive Toyota-brand vehicles. A small proportion of our undergraduate population attend the Happy Honda Days sales event and have apparently felt neglected with all the talk of Camrys and RAV4s in the air. Because of this, administration has instructed staff to tell students to have “a happy winter vehicle sales event,” instead of explicitly mentioning one brand or another. They have also decided to rename the off-period between the fall and spring semesters “Winter Break,” replacing the previous, less inclusive name, which I will not write here for fear of being cancelled.
While many have readily agreed to follow the instructions, provided that they take no effort and do not detract from anything significant, a few outspoken students have made their voices heard in opposition to inclusivity. One such student, Jimmy Lastname, known for almost always having the top of his mask below his nose, has even started a petition to “End the War on Toyotathon.”
“This is ridiculous,” he told me when I tried to interview him. “It’s always the best time of year, and I just want to wish that same joy I always feel upon others. But no, just because a few students feel 'sad' because we’re delegitimizing their way of life, we suddenly have to stop excluding them and say a slightly altered phrase when talking about the holiday. We’re the ones who are really oppressed. My family has been celebrating Toyotathon for generations, and now, suddenly, I can’t.”
I then asked Lastname about why he thinks Georgetown should continue to let him put Toyotathon above other winter vehicle sales events, to which he replied: “I celebrate Toyotathon. My friends celebrate Toyotathon. The vast majority of Georgetown students celebrate Toyotathon. Why should we have to change for a small group who doesn’t? Georgetown is a Toyotathon school. That’s why we have lowercase Ts on the walls of every classroom.”
I also reached out to president John DeGoya on the issue and was able to get a short interview. Here’s what transpired:
Me: “What do you think about the student response to your decision to stop using Toyotathon-based greetings?”
Me: “How do you feel about the movement against greetings and descriptions that also include students who celebrate Happy Honda Days and other winter vehicle sales events?”
DeGioioia: “Is this article just some allegory for the war on Christmas?”
At this point I ended the interview, too embarrassed to tell DaGaga that I didn’t know the definition of allegory.
Overall, I learned essentially nothing from this except that there is a substantial portion of Georgetown students who feel that only their point of view should be represented, which we already knew. Anyways, I wish you all amazing endeavors in your car-buying experience, whatever brand of vehicle you may be purchasing.
Jackson Foran is a senior studying Philosophy, Math, and Psychology. He has since learned what allegory means thanks to the song “Jekyll Jekyll Hyde” from PBS’s Arthur.