Opinions, Letters To The Editor

LTE: Climate Justice At BC’s RSO Application Unjustly Rejected

Fighting for a cause that requires radical change is always difficult. It requires unwavering dedication and the refusal to give up, even against the strongest of resistance. Its fuel is an intense passion that gives power to the reason to keep fighting. Most of all, fighting requires a cohesive team of diverse individuals. Climate Justice at Boston College, formerly known as BC Fossil Free, has this team: a group of ardent, hard-working, concerned students.

Even with this incredible group of people, however, CJBC has twice been refused recognition by the administration as a registered student organization on BC’s campus.

The administration has identified CJBC as having the qualities of passion and dedication, a notably kind gesture for which we thank their recognition. We want to take these characteristics and make a difference in the world. Already, CJBC has worked toward many positive accomplishments: having John Kerry devote most of his 2014 commencement speech to addressing climate change, educating BC students on the urgency of climate change, and raising awareness of the social injustices that accompany a warming world. The Office of Student Involvement, perhaps unaware of our 2-year fight, stated in their rejection, “your ideas may be best executed through a few events per year rather than an effort that can be sustained for the entire year and in years to come.” This is not the case, however, as the fight for climate justice is a constant battle. It will be ongoing for years to come and thus the issues we’re confronting will be prevalent throughout our future.

BC’s campus could benefit from CJBC because our goals are much more oriented toward the future. Though BC has made tremendous efforts to immediately reduce its carbon footprint on campus, we need people to be concerned with the longevity and expanse of this global problem. On-campus changes are important and necessary, but what CJBC wants to do is foster change on the global scale. This is a public interest that concerns the life of every person at BC—we refuse to let it be a forbidden topic.

As an additional reason for our second rejection as an RSO, the administration claims it does not approve of us working alongside alumni and graduate students to accomplish our goals. We believe, however, that a wide base of support further defends our purpose; that there are dedicated people from all walks of life who care about BC’s views on climate change, and want to urge the administration to make the right choices. Out of the other major college campuses in Massachusetts, we are facing the most opposition in terms of becoming a registered student organization. MIT, Suffolk, BU, Northeastern, and Tufts have not had issues with this.

We can only hope that students will understand the mission of CJBC: We are fighting for our own futures, for every student’s future, as well as every other person’s on this planet. Our determination will not be diminished by a second refusal to be recognized as a student group. We will continue our movement towards a just and stable future. We will look back in 20 years and call ourselves lucky and proud to be part of a group that helped to save the world.

Maggie Stack

Member, Climate Justice at BC

A&S ’15

September 24, 2014

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