News, On Campus

CJBC Asks Leahy, Boston College to “Break Up” with Fossil Fuels

Climate Justice at Boston College (CJBC) urged the University to “break up” with fossil fuels in a Valentine’s Day–inspired divestment protest on Thursday and Friday.

“Until Boston College aligns itself with a more sustainable and more just future, we will protest and deliver Valentines to Father Leahy,” Cece Durcan, vice president of CJBC and MCAS ’23, said to a crowd on Friday.

CJBC invited students to join them in writing Valentine’s cards about divestment to University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., which were delivered in a walk to Leahy’s residence Friday afternoon.

Durcan said CJBC does not intend to give up on its divestment fight any time soon.

“Our desire for climate justice has not faded,” Durcan said. “Our numbers have grown.”

CJBC member Stephanie Robinson, MCAS ’23, said this protest is a play on writing love letters.

“We have done it for a couple of years now and had a really great turnout for this event in 2020, but because of COVID we could not do it last year,” she said.

Robinson believes the event is a favorite because of the open and casual nature of the letter-writing itself.

“[CJBC members] really like this event because it’s fairly casual so people who have an interest and want the school to divest and want to air their desires can casually write it down,” she said.

One participant, Paola Rosario Gracia, MCAS ’24, stopped by to write a card.

“As a person who is studying biology and is learning about climate change, 97 percent of scientists agree that most climate change is due to human-related causes,” Gracia said. “If we are the cause of climate change, then we also have to be the ones to fix this issue, and if that can start with BC divesting, then I am all for it.”

On Friday at 3 p.m., protestors met together on the lawn near St. Ignatius and headed toward Leahy’s front door to deliver the letters.

“What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now,” protestors chanted.

CJBC Social Media and Outreach Coordinator Gabby Levitt, MCAS ’24, said CJBC and protesters’ physical presence when delivering letters reflects the urgency of the crisis.

“We have been tabling for the past two days, collecting valentines from the entire student body, so going and dropping these off at Father Leahy’s house, where we will read a prayer by Pope Francis, is showing that everybody here wants BC to divest from fossil fuels,” Levitt said.

Finally, Durcan criticized the University not only for failing to acknowledge the pleas of the students about divestment, but also those of the Catholic Church.

“The Catholic Church has explicitly and repeatedly identified climate change as a moral issue,” Durcan said. “The consequences of climate change are disastrous. They affect the world’s most vulnerable citizens—the very citizens that Boston College calls on us to defend, protect, and serve.”

Featured Image by Vikrum Singh / Heights Editor

February 13, 2022