Boston College Disorientation Guide - 2007-2008


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Boston College Disorientation Guide - 2007-2008




Boston, MA

extracted text

the freshmen disorientation
Boston College freshmen, your disorientation begins here. This is a free resource provided to you by the Global Justice Project with the purpose of
offering and nurturing an alternative perspective of your experience at Boston College. In these pages you will find important information that
you did not receive during your official, administration- designed summer orientation.
As you will quickly discover, every part of your life in school—from the price of your books to your personal dorm life, from the availability of
classes to the diversity of the professors that will teach them—is all tightly controlled by a small number of mostly-white and mostly-male administrators. As students we have virtually no say in our own lives. The administration would prefer that we accept this grossly undemocratic system
and forget times of student empowerment.
We can’t let that happen, so read the first section to learn what has really gone down on campus over the past couple years. In reading this you
will learn not only of the struggles of the marginalized at Boston College but also in the global community through first hand accounts from GJP
The second section provides you with alternative, progressive, and radical resources to utilize in developing a critical understanding of society.
Over the past several years, BC students have compiled extensive lists of recommended courses, books, movies, magazines, and blogs.

the global justice project
The Global Justice Project was born in 1999 at the “Battle of Seattle”—an enormous anti-corporate globalization protest of the people that brought
the World Trade Organization (WTO) to its knees. A group of Boston College students and faculty who took part in the demonstrations returned
to BC and formed the Global Justice Project to educate and advocate for justice and democracy on campus and off.
Seven years later, the Global Justice Project is Boston College’s largest education and action organization of the progressive left. We work to
create a community of educational, political, and social thought—-one that brings together liberals and radicals, activists and scholars, students,
faculty, and workers. We have a vision of a just and democratic society, where the people have control of the decisions that affect them and
the resources to which they are dependent. And of course our vision is both global and local—we work to make BC a model for society, in which
the people—the students, faculty, and workers—make the important decisions instead of a few detached and unrepresentative administrators.
Through education and direct action, we seek to affect just and democratic change at every level of economic, political, and social organization.
In putting forth a progressive agenda whose methods embody a vision of justice and democracy, we hope to promote the active participation of
students in the creation of a movement to build a society free from war, poverty, oppression, and economic exploitation.
We are a consensus-based and non-hierarchal organization committed to participatory democracy, meaning that all members have an equal say
in forming agendas, plans, and tactics. Being a member of GJP does not entail a political obligation or ideological adherence. There are no cards
to carry, registers to sign, or dues to pay. If you consider yourself a member of the Global Justice Project, then you are a member. We ask only
that you participate in our struggle for democracy and justice on campus and off. Join us.

GJP meets every-other monday at 6pm in McGuinn, 3rd Floor Lounge
(check website and GJP listserv for exact dates)
all students welcome
power to the students
printing partially donated by Red Sun Press ( printed on postconsumed, recycled paper.

what’s inside

bc honors lies and torture...............................................................................................3-4

a recent history of glbt issues @boston college..........................................................................5-6

everday racism............................................................................................................7
evidence proves that venus orbits mars....................................................................................8

ugbc reform...............................................................................................................9

peacemakers program...................................................................................................10

know your rights.........................................................................................................11

safe sex at boston college................................................................................................12
the corporatization of education.........................................................................................13

reflections from an immersion trip.......................................................................................14

drunkalachia and white messiahs........................................................................................14


the religious left.........................................................................................................17

summer dispatches from gjp members................................................................................18-20

globalization glossary................................................................................................. 21

courses and professors...............................................................................................22-24


The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions, yet made to her august
claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for
the time being putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle,
there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want
crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean
without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one,
or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand.
It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact
amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue ‘til they are
resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of
those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must pay for all they get.
If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We
must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.

bc honors lies and torture
Generally, Boston College announces its graduation speaker during the earlier weeks of April, but last semester was quite the exception. The BC community
was forced to wait until the end of the month for the final decision amid flying rumors. Finally, during the last week of April 2006, BC announced the commencement speaker for that year—none other than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the chief architects of the Iraq War. The moment that choice
was made public, the storm began brewing among BC students, parents, faculty, Jesuits, alumni, and community activists who were enraged at Boston
College’s decision to honor Condoleezza Rice with an invitation to speak at commencement and receive an honorary degree from BC. It was a shocking and
hectic state of affairs (as the BC community was frantically brainstorming ways to convince BC to rescind its invitation with only three weeks left) when two
Theology professors took the center stage in this heated debate and began what became a nationally-recognized, campus-wide movement to resist honoring
Condoleezza Rice. Their letter to the University, which received more than 150 faculty signatures reads, in part, as follows:
We, the undersigned members of the faculty at Boston College, strongly disagree with the decision of the university’s leadership to
grant Condoleezza Rice an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and to invite her to address the 2006 commencement. On the levels of
both moral principle and practical moral judgment, Secretary Rice’s approach to international affairs is in fundamental conflict with
Boston College’s commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that
inspire the university’s work.

On the level of practical judgment, Rice helped develop and implement the strategic policies that have guided the United States in the
tragic war in Iraq. Pope John Paul II and the United States Catholic bishops opposed initiating this war on ethical grounds. We also
believe the policies that have shaped the war’s ongoing conduct cannot be justified in light of the moral values of the Catholic tradition
or the norms of international law.
…We object to Boston College honoring Condoleezza Rice at its 2006 commencement. Doing so contradicts the university’s Catholic,
Jesuit, and humanistic identity.
Fr. David Hollenbach’s and Fr. Kenneth Himes’ letter opposes honoring Secretary Rice on the basis of Catholic and Jesuit teachings and is significant because
leaders in the Church itself were reclaiming the Catholic identity [see article on censorship] of Boston College in the name of peace and social justice.
Shortly after the faculty petition began to gain momentum, a faculty coalition formed and students started to mobilize quickly around this issue. Students
started an online petition for members of the BC community who opposed honoring Condoleezza Rice, which gained over 1,600 signatures in only a few short
weeks. A letter circulated by the faculty stated that, “Rice has actively promulgated deceptions that led this country into an illegal and immoral war in Iraq.
Her role in administration activities that involve torture, deception, and detentions occurring outside the rule of law is far from admirable. The awarding of a
Doctorate of Laws is thus inappropriate.” In the online petition, students declared that,
“While we are not in favor of censorship, we feel that the gift of an honorary degree
extends beyond the limits or invocation of free speech and into the realm of acclamation
and endorsement by Boston College.” Furthermore, many students and faculty members
felt that this form of endorsement ran completely contrary to the integrity and dignity
of our university. Together, BC community members organized a highly publicized rally
on May 8, 2006 in O’Neill Plaza, where more than 20 individuals spoke out against BC’s
invitation to Dr. Rice. The University Administration’s reluctance to consider the requests
from the broad coalition opposing Rice underscored the hypocrisy displayed by Boston
College administration as it selectively chose which Catholic teachings to uphold (ones
opposing the GLBT community, for example) and which teachings to ignore.
Students and faculty were further angered by the rationale presented as justification for
Secretary Rice’s visit and receipt of an honorary degree: her status as an African-American woman. Boston College spokesperson Jack Dunn argued to the Washington Times
that Dr. Rice is worthy of emulation because “she is an individual who overcame racism
in the segregated South to aspire to leadership positions in education, diplomacy and
public service.” In response, student leaders of the AHANA (African-American, Hispanic,
Asian, and Native American) community called attention to the university’s lack of commitment to racial justice.


bc honors lies and torture
Students highlighted the lack of diversity at some of the highest levels of Boston College, which currently have less than five tenured faculty of color and a
fully endowed Nelson Chair that was left vacant for more than ten years. In a letter to the University Administration, they “ask that the BC administration stop
touting Secretary Rice’s race and gender as justification for her invitation. We ask that the BC administration stop mistaking tokenism for diversity and start
taking action in addressing the many concerns of the AHANA community.”
On May 12, 2006, Steven Almond, then adjunct professor of English at BC, wrote an open letter of resignation published in the Boston Globe titled “Condoleezza Rice at Boston College? I Quit.” He began with:
“Dear Father Leahy,
I am writing to resign my post as an adjunct professor of English at Boston College. I am doing so -- after five years at BC, and with
tremendous regret -- as a direct result of your decision to invite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the commencement speaker
at this year’s graduation.”
Some of the criticisms he stated regarding Rice included the fact that “she has lied to the American people knowingly, repeatedly, often extravagantly over
the past five years, in an effort to justify a pathologically misguided foreign policy. The public record of her deceits is extensive. During the ramp-up to the
Iraq war, she made 29 false or misleading public statements concerning Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda,
according to a congressional investigation by the House Committee
on Government Reform.” If prior to this some members of the BC
community saw this movement as a small cry or a fringe view,
Professor Almond’s resignation displayed the gravity of the situation and the opportunity BC had in front of it to make a powerful
statement about U.S. foreign policy, the war in Iraq, and integrity.
While the broad coalition of students, faculty, alumni, and parents
hoped the administration would reconsider their decision, it became increasingly clear that the coalition would need to plan for a
peaceful, yet powerful, action to take place on graduation day.
On May 22, 2006 hundreds of Boston College students and faculty members demonstrated against the awarding of an honorary
Doctorate of Laws degree to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
In an effort to show their disapproval, students and faculty stood
silently and turned their backs while Dr. Rice was awarded her
honorary degree by University President William Leahy, SJ. Participants proceeded to hold signs saying “Not In Our Name” while Dr. Rice spoke. Hundreds of faculty members remained standing during the speech. In addition to the actions of concerned students and faculty, parents and other audience members showed their solidarity with the students and faculty by standing,
holding signs, and wearing peace armbands and stickers that were distributed in the days leading to graduation.
Additionally, Boston area activists made their voices heard to Condoleezza Rice and Boston College. Outside the gates of BC, community members held a
protest rally while the commencement was occurring. Also, community activists dropped a large banner from the stadium stands that read: “Boston College
Honors Lies and Torture…” While this sign was confiscated after several minutes, it was a powerful message asking BC to be accountable for the decisions it
makes in honoring individuals.
Jessica Woodward, a student demonstrator and graduating senior in the College of Arts and Sciences said, “after four years of Jesuit, Catholic education, I
have learned that standing up for peace and justice is not something to do just when it is convenient or when it fits in your schedule, but it is a lifestyle and
a full-time commitment. That is why I feel the need to make my voice heard on a day that is supposed to be one of celebration.” Although Condoleezza Rice
may have spoken at commencement, she herself was even forced to recognize the opposition to her in her speech. And although Boston College may have
failed to uphold the values of social justice and moral responsibility in this instance by awarding her with an honorary degree, it will always be known that
the BC community did not stand idly by; students, faculty, staff, and alumni were loud and clear.


a recent history of glbt issues @ boston college
Boston College Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) issues,
like race issues, have historically been difficult and uphill battles with
the university administration. Whether it is official recognition of a GLBT
student organization, tenure and hiring of gay and lesbian faculty, the
addition of the words “sexual orientation” in the University’s non-discrimination policy, a GLBT resource center, a GLBT dance and fundraiser,
or GLBT art, the university has at one time or another resisted. It would
be inaccurate to suggest that this is entirely due to BC being a Catholic
institution, as the GLBT community at other leading Catholic and Jesuit
universities has not encountered such obstacles. Some members of
the administration, especially those at the top, remain ignorant of the
needs of the GLBT community. In 2002, Boston College embarrassingly
appeared at number two (out of 345) in the Princeton Review’s list of
American colleges and universities where an “alternative lifestyle was
not an alternative.” BC’s ranking has fluctuated over the past several
years, and finally after the dedicated efforts of BC GLBT students, staff,
and faculty, BC is no longer a member of this notorious list. While there
have been improvements in the GLBT community at BC, many challenges
still remain.

students, faculty, and even UGBC, organized a counter-event for that same night.
Over 150 students attended the beginning of Cameron’s lecture, and then in the
middle of his hateful speech, collectively and silently staged a massive walk-out of
the event to attend the counterevent to discuss specific GLBT issues they hoped to
work on during the coming year. The most prominent issue was the full and equal
inclusion of “sexual orientation” in BC’s official notice of non-discrimination. This
landmark discussion ultimately launched the Movement for Equality.
In October 2004, student activists entered into a dialogue with top university
officials about adding “sexual orientation” to the university’s official non-discrimination policy. Students contended that the university was intentionally retaining
their right to discriminate against students, faculty, and staff based on their sexual
orientation and this bias towards GLBT individuals was completely unrepresentative of the BC community at large. Students asked the administration to revise
the policy to include “sexual orientation” in equal standing with other protected
categories (race, sex, age). The university president rejected the request by student leaders. Despite this rejection, students continued to regularly meet with
university officials about the unfair policy for the next several months.
By early 2005, little progress had been made,
but student organizers scored a victory by securing a face-to-face meeting with Leahy. By the end
of the meeting, Leahy had rejected the request
to include sexual orientation in equal standing
with other protected groups, but he agreed to let
students meet with the university’s legal counsel
to discuss rewriting a separate sentence that addressed sexual orientation.

The longest GLBT battle at BC
centers on gaining official university
recognition for LGBC (Lesbian, Gay,
and Bisexual Community) as a student organization now called Lambda. This recognition would allow the
student group to apply for funding
and office space from the university
like any other student organization.
Since the university continues to
deny recognition to LGBC/Lambda,
it is currently under the domain of the undergraduate student government’s GLBT Leadership
Council (GLC). After years of petition and struggle, in 2002 the University
officially recognized a different group—Allies (basically a Gay/Straight
Alliance) as an official student organization. The continued recognition
of Allies is contingent on the condition that the group never engage in
any form of protest or advocacy (they are the only student organization
with such a restriction). The 2005-06 school year marked the inaugural
year for GLC. Previously, the undergraduate government simply has had
one student position for all GLBT issues.
In addition to the constant battle over official recognition of GLBT groups,
the GLBT community and their many straight allies have too often had to
react to anti-gay hate speech and vandalism on campus. In September
2004, the Saint Thomas More Society (a student group claiming to support traditional Catholic values) hosted a lecture by Paul Cameron of the
Family Research Institute. Because Cameron has altered data to support
his anti-gay conclusion, he has been kicked out the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association. Despite the
fact that Cameron is a fraud, he was invited to speak at BC to push his
anti-gay agenda. In reaction, GLBT students, supported by progressive

By February many students remained wholly
committed to revising the policy to equally protect GLBT individuals from discrimination and rejected drafting a flowery sentence
that would still allow the university to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Students decided they would add a referendum question (which is non-binding) to
the upcoming undergraduate election ballot. In one week, several dozen student
organizers collected over 2,100 undergraduate student signatures, well above the
1,200 needed to get the referendum question to appear on the ballot. On the
day of the election, over 200 faculty and staff signatures, including several department chairs, a university Vice President, and a dozen Jesuits, appeared in a
full-page ad in the The Heights, endorsing the policy change. The referendum
passed with an overwhelming 84% (more than 3,400 undergraduates) and the
largest voter turnout in BC’s history. The referendum effort caught the eye of the
national media, and the Associated Press ran a story on the results. Jack Dunn,
the University’s spokesman, suggested students had oversimplified the issues and
aggressively stated, “If they [the students and now 250 faculty, staff, and administrators] understood the complexity of the issues, we’re confident they would
have voted differently.”


With the momentum gained from the huge referendum victory, the Movement
for Equality quickly gained speed and visibility. Student organizers, joined by
top members of UGBC, began to more actively organize the student body for a
full campaign.

a recent history of glbt issues @ boston college
Organizers began hosting large, open meetings often attended by more than
150 people to discuss further campaign plans. The movement decided to plan
for a one-day strike, rally, and march in the event that progress could not
be made in ongoing negotiations with the administration. After five meetings with top administrators and the university’s legal counsel, no agreement
could be reached. Students decided that on April 15, 2005 the Movement for
Equality would call for a one-day university wide strike in support of the BC
GLBT community.
Dozens of students spent several days preparing for the event by painting
signs and banners, distributing flyers around campus, e-mailing their professors and classmates, and working with the media. On the morning of the
strike, several students hung a large banner reading “Strike for Equality”
from Gasson Hall. The noontime “Rally for Equality” in the dustbowl consisted of several students and faculty speaking to a crowd of over 1,500 supporters. It was estimated that several dozen faculty members either cancelled
their classes or made them optional in support of the strike. Over a thousand
students wore blue “Gay? fine by me” t-shirts, while hundreds more carried
signs and displayed “students for equality” buttons. University officials and
long-time faculty members suggested that this was the single largest rally
to take place at Boston College in at least the past two decades. Following
the rally, students and faculty marched throughout campus and up Commonwealth Avenue, passing Fr. Leahy’s College Road office. The rally and strike
received front page coverage in the Boston Globe, as well as stories in almost
a dozen other newspapers.

step forward, not an end. The new policy, while more welcoming to all communities, continues to unfairly single out “sexual orientation.”
The 2005-2006 year saw a dramatic increase in GLBT events, awareness campaigns, and community building. The GLC hosted nationally renowned GLBT
speakers including Maya Keyes (the lesbian daughter of arch-conservative
former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes) and Anthony Rapp (actor from Rent and prominent gay leader). GLC also distributed 850 “Gay?
Fine By Me” shirts to members of the BC community in April during “Gay?
Fine By Me” week. The awareness week also included an outdoor screening
of The Laramie Project, as well as a viewing and discussion of “In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick’s Journey of Faith.” The successful year was
marred by at least two discriminatory and unfortunate events for the GLBT
community. In the fall of 2005, after months of planning, the administration
informed the GLC that they were canceling their safe-space dance and AIDS
fundraiser to take place in December. Many students involved in planning
the dance cited BC’s upcoming fundraising drive, which the administration
believes depends on older, more conservative alumni, as one of the primary
reasons for the cancellation of the dance. In response to the administration
censorship [see article on censorship], GLC and supporters organized a rally
attend by more than 300 people. Second, and equally as disappointing, was
the vandalization of a freshman’s dorm room on Newton campus by three
individuals. The offenders believed the BC student was gay. In response to
this hate crime, GLC organized an awareness campaign to promote increase
understanding and respect for BC GLBT students.

After a decade long battle with the administration over the wording of the For more information on GLBT events on campus, stay tuned. And be sure to
non-discrimination policy, the university president finally approved a policy check out for info about the GLBT community here at BC.
change following the one-day strike. Many involved in the Movement for
Equality recognize that the new statement is vastly improved, but it is only a
Coming Out
Many GLBT youth use college as a time in their lives when they choose to come out. It is important to know, however, that there is no one right or wrong
way to come out. In fact, “it is a lifelong process of being ever more open and true with yourself and others — done in your own way and in your own time,”
according to the HRC, a leading GLBT organization. While coming out is incredibly personal, it is also very political because doing so directly challenges the
oppression that keeps GLBT individuals ashamed of their sexuality (and unable to be honest with themselves and their family, friends, and community). There
are many resources available for GLBT individuals and youth who are considering come out and need some advice.
Out Proud Guide (gay):
Out Proud Guide (lesbian):
Coming Out: (includes advice and guides for people of color and a Spanish language versions).
The Trevor helpline: (866) 4U-TREVOR A national 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hotline aimed at gay and questioning youth.
BAGLY: The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth provides weekly and monthly social activities and special events for people ages
22 and under. Also be sure to check out BAGLY’s Queer Activists College:
Fenway Community Health’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Helpline and The Peer Listening Line are anonymous and confidential phone lines that
offer gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults and youths a “safe place” to call for information, referrals, and support.
Peer Listening Line: 800-399-Peer (7337) and GLBT Helpline: 888-340-GLBT (4528)
For a comprehensive list of other GLBT community resources in Boston see:


everyday racism

written by two students of color

In addition to institutional racism, BC’s social environment makes it difficult for
students of color to feel comfortable. The alienation experienced by AHANA students cannot be attributed to the transition into college life, rather, the alienation
stems from the fact that students of color are marginalized. In the classroom,
students of color are expected to speak on behalf of all people of color. Our
opinions are mostly valued for the “unique perspective that they bring,” or our
opinions are devalued for being biased. Because our opinions are not valued in
and of themselves, they are pigeonholed, pushed aside, and ignored until the
appointed time to discuss ‘diversity.’ For example, at orientation, all things falling under the umbrella of diversity are discussed
merely as theoretical issues, not as the reality
experienced by people of AHANA descent. When
we are set aside as issues to be discussed, we are
depersonified. People of color are grouped into
categories, losing their individuality, while whites
are perceived more independently. Whites are
compared to other whites, and they are the only
race perceived as complete individuals. People
with blonde hair are not compared solely to
other blondes, nor brunettes to other brunettes or
redheads with redheads; each person maintains
their individuality without physical appearance
instantly grouping them together. The stereotypes “dumb blonde” and “fiery
redhead” are not comparable to the pigeonholing of racial and ethnic groups.
These stereotypes based on hair color are generally only centered around one
quality of personality while stereotypes of racial groups are much more multifaceted and include typecasting of behavior and extracurricular activities. At
the end of the day, when students leave a class discussion or workshop on race,
we, as people of color, continue to be reminded of our racial identity within the
context of the racial hierarchy. Meanwhile, white students who leave discussions
on race have the choice of whether or not to think about the meaning of their skin
color and the privilege it affords them.

Everyone agrees that racism is wrong and that they do not practice it. People
think that by condemning unequal hiring practices, racial slurs, and hate crimes
that they are not racist. Surely if someone has a Latino friend, an Arab coworker,
or an Asian brother-in-law, they are not racist. This understanding of racism, however, falls short of depicting the whole story. Racism is more than prejudices; it
exists in everyday life in less glaring ways. Racist notions are ingrained in everyone, and with that comes the understanding that white is better because white is
normal. When white is understood to be the norm, then color is necessarily seen
as deviant. This hierarchy has its roots in over 500 years of white oppression carried out through colonialism, slavery, and imperialism. In the popular understanding of the colonial
period, whites conquered new lands and civilized
barbaric people. To be more historically accurate,
whites stole land from indigenous populations and
marked these people as barbaric (less than white)
because of their different cultural practices. Notions of a racial hierarchy did not exist before this
time. White colonizers created the paradigm by
which race is now understood. Whites, the conquerors and missionaries, were seen as superior
to blacks, who were imagined as sub-human and
animal-like. Between these two extremes exists a
spectrum where the color of one’s skin determines her or his worth. This understanding of race allows racism to exist in less obvious ways. At Boston College,
people of color experience racism in every part of their lives.

“Racism is more complex and
deeply rooted than prejudice
based on skin color – racism is
racial prejudice combined with

Boston College fails to live up to its desire to be “culturally diverse” in academics. As first year students, you will find that the courses which fulfill the core
curriculum are Eurocentric. For example, the History core is only fulfilled by
Modern History I and II, which focus on Europe and its conquests of the rest of
the world. The Philosophy core is fulfilled by a few different courses, all of which
are required to focus on what BC (and most of the Western world) considers to
be the fathers of philosophy—the Greeks—while failing to recognize that at the
same time other civilizations were developing different philosophies. Even the
cultural diversity core itself is problematic. It is only a three-credit requirement
that can count both as cultural diversity and another core. In a one-semester
course, students are not adequately versed in “examining the concepts of cultural
identity and cultural differences,” as the rationale for the cultural diversity core
states. Furthermore, there exist no official standards to determine which classes
fulfill the cultural diversity core. The University Core Development Committee,
which decides which courses fulfill the requirement, is composed of only ten white
faculty/administrators. Another example of BC’s lack of cultural diversity is that
the works of people of color are not prevalent in required reading lists. Not only
does BC fail to include the perspectives of people of color in the curriculum, the
number of faculty of color at this university is atrocious. The lack of faculty of
color contributes to the fact that BC does not have departments for Asian Studies,
Asian American Studies, Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, and Latin American
Studies, which are merely interdisciplinary minors. While African and African
Diaspora Studies has a department, it too fails to become a full-fledged major
because of the lack of resources given by BC. One of the reasons that BC has
a hard time developing these departments and retaining faculty of color is that
the dominant culture at BC is white. These are cases of institutional racism that
exist in a multitude of forms in public schools, workplaces, the government, and
the media.

These are just a few examples of racism at BC that also reflect larger societal
problems. Racism is more complex and deeply rooted than prejudice based on
skin color – racism is racial prejudice combined with power. Get involved in the
struggle for racial justice by joining the AHAHA Leadership Council and politically
active culture clubs.
AHANA who?
In your four years at BC, the term AHANA will probably be the most misunderstood and
misrepresented word on campus. AHANA is an acronym referring to persons of African
American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent. AHANA is not a noun or a club
that a person belongs to; it is a term used to describe people of color. Therefore, you
will see the acronym used as an adjective or prefix – like “AHANA Leadership Council.”
Some of you might wonder, why the big fuss – why create this new term? Twenty-six years ago Valerie Lewis and Alfred Feliciano, two BC students of color,
were dissatisfied with the use of “minority” to describe persons of color. They
felt that the word “minority” does not affirm the dignity of their identity and
also observed that it clearly misrepresents them – people of color are not in the
minority of the world. So Alfred and Valerie created the acronym “AHANA” to
describe people of color at Boston College (other universities have since adopted the term) in a dignified and affirming manner. Can you imagine constantly being defined as the negation of something, “minority” or “non-white?”


evidence proves that venus orbits mars!

-deconstructing gender paradigms-

How can men and women ever understand each other? While the United States is obsessed with answering this question, it proves too elusive and will remain
unanswered so long as our ideas about gender are based on myths. From a young age we are taught that though men and women may be equal, they are different. While men are rational and assertive, women are emotional and passive. Women are described as the nurturing sex, naturally making them the more
capable parent in a heterosexual relationship. In such assumptions, the difference between sex and gender is taken for granted. Sex is biologically constructed
whereas gender is socially constructed. Men and women are indeed biologically different. Gender does not, however, exist in the same binary as sex; it is fluid.
It is not uncommon for women to display both ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ characteristics and to pursue interests that are traditionally understood as masculine.
Men, on the other hand, are more restricted in terms of the characteristics they display and the interests they pursue. For example, it is generally not acceptable
for a man to cry or become a librarian. The gender hierarchy limits both men’s and women’s displays of gender, with the dominant form of masculinity perched
at the top. This dominant form, or hegemonic masculinity, is understood to be superior to all other forms. Not only does it define what is socially acceptable
behavior for men, it also creates the norm and framework for perceiving all other behavior. The relationship between
masculine and feminine is even more complex than the gender hierarchy; it is like the relationship between a planet
a new kind of club
and its orbiting moon.
Society was built on a foundation of patriarchy, allowing each generation of males to settle comfortably in a position
of cultural dominance. While women have been successful in challenging institutionalized sexism (i.e. gaining the right
to vote), it is exponentially more difficult to change the ingrained popular perception that men and their displays of
hegemonic masculinity are the core of society while women, who are associated with femininity, are on the margins;
they are the “other” voice in social dialogue. This relationship of female/feminine otherness and the gender hierarchy
is recreated in simple, overlooked ways. For example, our language reinforces the masculine paradigm. When we
speak of sexual intercourse, it is equated with male activity, or penetration. Sexual intercourse is never understood as
female activity. The subtle difference in the manner in which young girls and boys are treated also recreates a more
stiff definition of gender. Boys are given blocks and trucks from a young age that encourage their spatial awareness,
whereas young girls are given stuffed animals and dolls, further ingraining the idea that their sphere is indoors and
their role is to nurture. Boys are scolded when they cry and fear being called a sissy (and thus equated with a girl) while
girls are free to cry and are consoled. The way children are often treated fosters the differences that we see as innate.
These practices, combined with the gender hierarchy, implicitly guide each new generation of females into positions of
alienation and subordination. As women continue to fight for equality, they discover a much larger task than lobbying
the government. They must undermine the hidden roots of patriarchy that continue to plague our society and create a
new culture representative of everyone, not just men.
The creation and perpetuation of these imbalanced gender roles also runs deep in the political realm of the United States.
In a capitalist society, we can assume that power rests with those who control the government and big business. These
dual forces create the societal norms, by example, through the media, consumer spending, and countless other elements
that are the basis of culture. The government of the United States, setting policy for the rest of society, is problematic
in its composition of the executive branch (never a female president), the legislative branch (13 female Senators out of
100; 61 female House members out of 435), and the judiciary (1 female Supreme Court justice out of 9). We must ask
ourselves whose voices are represented in our government and whose agendas are getting pushed? Similarly, only 12 of
the companies listed in the Fortune 500 have female CEOs. Consequently, the creation of our culture is male centered.
The lack of female representation in creating policy, social norms, and culture presents obvious dangers such as antiwoman public policy, sexist marketing, and unequal pay. Perhaps more disturbing is that males’ continual cultural
dominance is not seen as male, it is simply seen as culture. Masculine is the norm. People are so used to women being
the other sex that we regard the male voice as the objective voice and the female voice as the female and irrational
The most important result of male-centered culture is the structure of the heterosexual nuclear family within the United
States. While second-wave feminism made great strides for women’s economic independence, the family still bears
the hallmarks of patriarchy: domestic violence, father-daughter incest, and spousal homicide. The staggering rates
of violence against women cross all racial and socioeconomic boundaries. Until young girls are raised to believe that
they are as an integral, central part of society as their brothers and fathers, patriarchy will continue to keep the US in
a chokehold. So how can men and women ever understand each other? Maybe women have the answer, and everyone
should start to listen.


The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)
was created for all students who are
concerned about the status of women’s
health issues in America and are committed to advancing and protecting
these fundamental rights. WHI seeks
to educate and advocate in the fight
for women’s equality, serving as a nonjudgmental resource for those seeking
to educate themselves and outreach
into the surrounding community.
During the course of its initial year,
the WHI held a vigil to remember the
thousands of women’s lives lost due to
unsafe and illegal abortions, for which
a permit was freely obtained, was met
with hostility. The official kick-off
event, a panel discussion on Justice
Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court and what it might mean
for the future of reproductive rights,
included professionals from diverse
fields of academia speaking objectively about the future of women’s health.
This event was censored by the administration (see cesnsorship article).
WHI’s adversaries say a pro-choice club
has no right to exist because we attend
a Catholic university. WHI, however,
believes a university is a place of free
exchange of ideas. It will continue to
exist for students who understand
that women’s rights are human rights
regardless of political or theological affiliation. In the coming year we hope
to focus more on issues facing women
around the globe and to advocate for
women who have been the victims of
sexual assault.

ugbc reform

There are several significant changes that UGBC and ODSD should consider this year to better meet the needs of undergraduate students. The following suggestions, if implemented, would not only allow for a more accountable, effective student government but also create an organization that would be better
attuned to the needs of undergraduate students and student organizations.
Replacing the UGBC Senate with the Undergraduate Assembly: The Undergraduate Senate is an outdated, ineffective, and isolated
body that should be replaced by a direct democracy system that better serves BC undergrads. At best, senators meet weekly to discuss and debate issues
in a vacuum removed from the scrutiny of the wider undergraduate body. At worst, they are popular students looking for power and to add a line to their
resume. While many senators may care deeply about BC or UGBC, Senate elections are popularity contests and not reflections of a senator’s policies or desire
to produce lasting change at BC. Furthermore, the vast majority of students never interact with the Senate, remaining unaware of their policies, initiatives,
and voting records. While the Senate may be working this year to improve its public perception on campus, this does not address the fundamental problem:
their body is unnecessary and ineffective. Instead of having an isolated body of ‘representatives’ meet to set UGBC policy and theoretically hold UGBC executives accountable, this power and responsibility should be given back to the undergraduate students in a direct democracy system. Weekly senate meetings
should be replaced by the Undergraduate Assembly—biweekly student meetings open to all undergraduates. The Assembly would be run by an elected chair,
and any undergraduate student could submit a motion to be considered by the entire assembly. The motion would be debated and discussed, then voted on
by all present at the meeting instead of 20 ‘representatives’ debating policy, isolated in a small conference room somewhere in 21 Campanella Way. It is this
body, not the Senate, that would then hold the undergraduate government accountable. UGBC officials would be expected to give updates at the forum, as
well as field questions from any student present. This Assembly would also hold the power to submit a motion of censure against elected and appointed UGBC
officials, as well as a vote of no confidence of the UGBC president and vice president. Perhaps if this system was in place last year, UGBC would have been
more productive and responsive to student needs and this year’s Senate would be less concerned about improving their PR image. Not only does this direct
democracy system increase accountability and transparency of the undergraduate government, it restores power over UGBC decisions, policies, and priorities
to the students. This model has worked for decades at other universities, and it is time for it to finally be implemented at BC. 20 senators might be out of a
job (and a line on their resume), but if they actually care about creating change and improving BC, they will be the first to show up and participate in the
new Undergraduate Assembly.
Election Changes: Two easy, yet significant, changes should be made to the UGBC election code. First, in an effort to draw the best and most qualified
students to run for UGBC president and vice president, UGBC and the Election Commission should fully fund the campaigns of the final two presidential and
vice presidential candidates and lower the expenditure limits for all campaigning. Currently, no financial assistance is provided to help cover campaigning
costs, yet competitive candidates must be prepared to spend $1,000 of their personal income to realistically and fully participate in elections. Lowering the
expenditure limit and funding finalist candidates will help to ensure that the UGBC president and vice-president are selected on their qualifications and commitment, not their financial status. Second, the Election Commissions should eliminate their ban on student organization endorsements of UGBC candidates.
This restriction, by its nature, limits student involvement in elections and prevents student voters from fully understanding the issues, policies, and programs
the candidates support (or don’t support). Allowing all student groups to formally endorse candidates can widen participation in elections and works to keep
candidates focused on the needs and priorities of undergraduate students. Student newspapers are currently allowed to endorse candidates, as they should
be, but these publications do not speak for all students and certainly not for all the different issues and causes undergrads are involved in at BC. Why not
expand endorsements to all student organizations?
Student Funding: The Student Organization Funding Committee (SOFC), a ten-member student organization, is charged with the responsibility of allocating approximately half of all undergraduate student activities fees to more than 150 BC student organizations. This powerful group, however, remains
unaccountable to the undergraduate body—the very people that are funding the organizations. In 2003, the head of SOFC told the Heights: “It is the students’
business to know what the clubs are doing, what events they are having. It is not their business to know how much each individual club is getting.” Three
fundamental changes are necessary to better ensure accountability and transparency of SOFC. First, SOFC members should be elected at the newly created
Undergraduate Assembly. Currently SOFC members apply directly to ODSD, and the student body has no accountability in who ultimately ends up on SOFC,
yet they decide the funding priorities for student activity fee. Second, SOFC should be required to release and present their funding recommendations before
the University Assembly once a semester. Third, the Assembly, not SOFC, should have the final say in funding decisions. The budget allocation should therefore
be approved once a term at Assembly meetings. SOFC clearly has relevance and their work with student organizations throughout the year is important, but
this alone should not afford them so much unchecked power.


peacemakers program
For decades, students around the country have worked to kick ROTC off their campuses. In the 1970s, antiwar students often protested their university’s participation in the Vietnam War through their support of ROTC programs. Student demonstrators rightly contended that their university’s willingness to support the U.S.
military did nothing to end the horrendous war in Southeast Asia. More recently, after the signing of the infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevents only
gay and lesbian men and women from serving in the U.S. military, students around the country have again demanded that their universities kick ROTC off their
campuses because of the military’s discriminatory policy. With the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, yet again students around the country, including here at Boston
College, have protested the presence of ROTC on their campuses. Their logic is simple: The illegal, unjust war in Iraq will end when Americans, especially people
and institutions of faith, stand up and say enough is enough! We will not support weapons manufactures. We will not allow recruiters on our campuses. We will not
enlist. And at every opportunity we will raise our voice for peace, including directly in front of ROTC recruitment tables when they set up shop on our campuses!
These anti-war demonstrations directed at BC’s ROTC program spawned a rapid-fire response from ROTC supporters including a military Lieutenant, a BC Jesuit,
ROTC alumni, and even an editorial from the BC Heights supporting ROTC on campus. But opposition to ROTC has continued. In October 2005, Jesuit priest Fr.
John Dear spoke at Boston College and told students interested in practicing non-violence, as quoted in the Heights, to “stand up publicly, hold vigils, [and] start
making a stink and shut down this ROTC program” that teaches “students how to kill.” More than a decade before, Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J., the former President of
the University of Central America who was martyred in 1989, boldly proclaimed that “every Catholic and Jesuit School in the United States that sponsors ROTC is
living in mortal sin because you are supporting the forces of death that are killing humanity.”
Comparing quotes from Army manuals posted on BC’s website and used by the BC ROTC program with the mission of Boston College easily illustrates the inherent
and fundamental conflict.

• “Firepower is the capacity of a unit to deliver effective fires on a target. Firepower kills or suppresses the enemy in his positions, deceives the enemy, and supports maneuver. Without effective supporting fires the infantry cannot maneuver . . . Leaders must know how to control, mass, and combine fire with maneuver.”
• “Leaders use engagement areas to concentrate all available fires into an area where they intend to kill the enemy. When conducting ambushes, units refer to
the engagement areas as a KILL ZONE.”
• Soldiers “must be experts in the use of their primary weapons.”
• “M60 (7.62-mm) and M249 (5.56-mm) machine guns are the platoon’s primary weapons against a dismounted enemy. They provide a high volume of lethal,
accurate fire . . .”
But in the opening sentence of the university’s mission statement, BC declares its commitment to “the pursuit of a just society through its own accomplishments,
the work of its faculty and staff, and the achievements of its graduates.” Meanwhile, ROTC graduates and military leaders are expected to “use engagement areas
to concentrate all available fires into an area where they intend to kill the enemy” and be “experts in the use of their primary weapons.” But is anyone asking,
“Are the leaders that BC wants to train?”
What would the world look like if BC was training warriors for peace and justice instead of warriors for death and destruction?
While it would be a great achievement for BC to finally kick ROTC off our campus in defense of the values of peace and justice that are so central to our university’s
mission, it unfortunately appears that BC is unwilling to do this. BC still has a chance to be a leader in the struggle for peace and justice by fully supporting a
Peacemakers program—the peace and justice alternative to ROTC.
Boston College is the perfect university to pilot this unique program. Here is how it would work: BC would actively recruit 10 to 15 high school seniors who excel
in academics and are leaders in social justice activities. The program would specifically target high schools and neighborhoods that are high priorities for U.S.
military and ROTC recruitment. Qualifying students would be offered similar benefits to ROTC (tuition, room, and board costs) in exchange for their enrollment
in the Peacemakers program. The program, like ROTC, would meet regularly, but instead of teaching students about war strategies and how to kill with machine
guns, the Peacemakers program would teach students about leadership, peace, justice, service, and solidarity. Students would be actively involved in service and
solidarity projects instead of military trainings. The Peacemakers program would combine service, reflection, academics, and leadership into a comprehensive four
year program that will train a new generation of peace and justice leaders. Finally, students that successfully complete the program would be required to hold
public service jobs for three years following graduation from BC. (Similar to ROTC students that are required to serve in the military in exchange for the financial
benefits they received for college). These jobs could be through programs like Catholic Charities, Americorps/VISTA, or the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. While ROTC
students are entering the battle fields of Iraq and Afghanistan to advance the U.S. military machine, Peacemakers graduates will be entering the fields of poverty
and oppression in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S to advance the struggle for peace and justice. Those are the battles that BC students
should be fighting.
If BC is unwilling to shut down ROTC in defense of peace and justice, they should at least consider offering an alternative program that more clearly aligns with
the mission of the university. Not only will this program work to advance a more just society, but it will also directly challenge ROTC programs on universities
around the country. BC has a chance to be a pioneer, and piloting this program could lead to other Jesuit, Catholic, and even secular universities to adopt similar


know your rights
-what to do when it all goes downThe following is a general overview of your legal rights when dealing with the police. We also tried to comment on university policy and your rights as a
student of Boston College.

encounters with the police:
• If you are approached and questioned by the police, you are not required by law to speak to them. You always have the right to remain silent.
• State law does not require that you carry any form of ID unless you are driving. Therefore if a police officer asks for your state issued ID or even your
name, you are not required to give it to them. (note: BC policy requires that you carry your BC ID with you at all times on campus. The policy also requires
that you show your BC ID to any university official, including BC police, when they ask to see it).
• If a police officer is questioning you, and you don’t want to answer his/her questions, you should ask “Am I free to go?” If they say yes, you should
calmly walk away. If they say no, you are being detained, but you still have the right to remain silent. You may also want to say that you will not answer
any of their questions until after you have spoken to your lawyer. You are never required to speak to police, but not cooperating may result in longer detention or arrest. (i.e. not giving your name, etc, may turn a routine stop into an illegal arrest).
• Police have the right to do a pat-down search of you without your consent. However, if the search is beyond a pat-down (a search of your backpack, dorm
room, car, etc.) your consent or a warrant is required. If you do not want them to search you or your property, you should clearly state: “I do not consent to
this search” (they may continue anyway). Should the police continue with the search without your consent, you should continue to loudly repeat that you
do NOT consent to the search. However, apart from refusing consent, interfering with a police search can result in very serious charges.
• Immediately after any incident with police write down any relevant notes (what was said, names of witness, police officer names and badge numbers).
• If you believe your rights have been violated, contact an attorney. You will have the chance at your trial to make the argument that your rights have
been violated by the police.

Remember that the rights you have under the law do not always mean that you will enjoy those rights in reality! You should not expect police
to honor your legal rights! The only ‘right’ that you can really count on is your right to remain silent, because whether you speak to police or
not is up to you. You can expect police to threaten you with stiff sentences, lie to you, and otherwise try to manipulate you into talking, but you
always have the right to remain silent.
encounters in your dorm room:
The RA or Police can enter and search your room whenever they want, but they cannot search beyond what is in plain view unless:
• They have a University Search Warrant issued by the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee, or they have a duly authorized search
warrant from a local court, or you consent to the search (you are not required to give consent for any search).
BCPD also has full rights to access any student’s email account, and has been known to gather information from individual email regarding campaign planning to deter students from acting out a campaign. We recommend that you use BC email only for class related correspondences. For all other needs, use a
gmail or riseup account. And remember, even if you are sending from an external email server, BC can read any email if you send it to anyone with an “@” address. So be careful when planning! As you will soon find out, the BCPD is just a waste of money at best, and a menace at worst…but do not take
any confrontation with the BCPD lightly. For your own safety and well-being, both legally and physically, make sure you know the few rights that you have
as a student at Boston College.

And for more information regarding your rights, check out the following websites:
• The National Lawyer’s Guild:
• BC Law School Chapter of NLG:
• The American Civil Liberties Union:
• The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:
This document is for general information purposes only and is not, in any way, an attempt to offer or give legal advice. For specific legal advice consult an attorney.


safe sex at boston college
Important Facts about Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections (STDs/STIs):
• More than half of all people will have an STD at some point in their lifetime.
• Every year, there are at least 15 million new cases of STDs, some of which are curable.
• Less than half of adults ages 18 to 44 have ever been tested for an STI other than HIV/AIDS.
• Each year, one in four teens contracts an STD.
• One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD by age 25.
• About half of all new STDs in 2000 occurred among youth ages 15 to 24.
• Over 6 million people acquire HPV each year, and by age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. Most people with
HPV do not develop symptoms.
• Cervical cancer in women, while preventable through regular Paps, is linked to high-risk types of HPV.
• Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are the only two vaccine-preventable STDs.
• Each year, there are almost 3 million new cases of Chlamydia, many of which are in adolescents and young adults.
• Consistent condom use provides substantial protection against the acquisition of many STDs, including statistically significant reduction of risk against
HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, and Syphilis.
The Boston College administration, citing Catholic tradition, advocates only abstinence and denies the simple fact that many BC students are sexually active.
BC, unlike most other top universities, does not provide access to either condoms or birth control prescriptions for safe sex or contraceptive purposes.
It is important, however, that sexually active individuals be aware of the risks associated with their choices, as well as the methods and practices to limit the
risk of infection or spread of STDs. While having physical and sexual contact with another individual always carries some risk of getting or transferring a STDs,
practicing safe sex dramatically reduces the risk.
Common Safe Sex Recommendations:
• Always discussing practicing safe sex before engaging in sexual activity with your partner(s). Share information with your partner about any STDs you
know that you have, including HIV.
• Proper use of a condom (male or female) for any sexual activity has been proven to be highly effective (though not absolute) in providing protection
against STDs.
• For contraception, a condom should be used in conjunction with a birth control prescription.
• All sexually active individuals should be regularly (at least every six month) tested for STDs.
• Contact a healthcare professional (recommended organizations listed below) for specific advice or counseling.
Boston Area Resources:
Massachusetts General Hospital – GID/STDClinic 55 Fruit Street (Charles/MGH stop- Red Line) 617-726-2748
Walk in hours: Monday through Friday: 8:30 to 11 am and Monday and Wednesday: 1 to 3 pm.
Services: The unit provides screening, treatment, and counseling for the prevention and treatment of most sexually transmitted infections. Preventive hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines are available. Everyone is welcome. Patients can be seen regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, although a voluntary
sliding scale of payments is suggested. Although services are confidential, a blue hospital registration card is still required for check-in.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) 1055 Commonwealth Ave. (Babcock St., Green B Line)
(617) 616 1600
Hours: Monday: 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM; Tuesday to Friday, 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM; Saturday, 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Services: Free condoms; inexpensive birth control; emergency concentrative; confidential STD/HIV testing and counseling; pregnancy options counseling
Fenway Community Health Center (GLBT friendly) 7 Haviland Street
617-267-0900 or 888-242-0900
Free walk-in services: Wednesdays 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Services: Hepatitis A & B vaccinations; HIV testing and counseling; Hepatitis B & C screening.
Sliding fee scales apply for these services. No one is turned away because of his or her inability to pay.
These statistics and facts are from the American Social Health Association, a non-profit organization has advocating on behalf of patients to help improve public health
outcomes (


the corporatization of education
-open your wallet, shut your mouthFollowing the temporary euphoria of matriculation, most college graduates
these days are sure to be knocked back down to reality by the loans and
mounting debt accrued after four years of fun, self-discovery, and ‘higher’
education. Between payments, part-time jobs, and begging Big Brother
through those pesky FAFSA applications, we never stop to ask why our education has been fixed with such a high price and, subsequently, why our universities have devolved from agorae of intellectual growth into mere factories
of knowledge.

However, the percentage of the university’s budget awarded in the form of
need-based financial aid has dropped from 42% in 2003-2004 to 40% in
2004-2005. While the endowment has grown by almost a third of a billion
dollars in the past three years, financial aid has seen little expansion and
seems far-off from the endowment’s current growth track. Boston College
will unveil its Institutional Master Plan this fall. Under this pretext, it has become increasingly apparent that the university will continue to exact higher
costs on the present undergraduates for the prospect of future growth. There
is no doubt that the current student body will suffer on multiple levels as a
result. Furthermore, it begs the question, what kind of a student body is the
university fostering with such policies? Boston College currently maintains
a payment option through which incoming students can shell out four years’
worth of tuition in one lump sum. In so doing, these students are able to
avoid future hikes in tuition and expenses that leave an indelible mark on
the average student’s finances. The program only serves to benefit the few
who can actually afford such an incredible sum. Meanwhile, the majority of
students are left gaping at surging costs, inadequate financial aid, and government cuts in funding for higher education. For an institution that prides
itself on need-blind admissions, employing this payment method (to benefit
the wealthiest few) is simply unacceptable.

Demand for higher education first surged after World War II, amidst a flood
of new applicants and beneficiaries of the G.I. Bill. Competition and credibility became factors of opposition between universities as the postwar
economic boom brought heavy investment into academia. According to
sociologist Stanley Aronowitz, this “knowledge machine that was mobilized
during the war was not dismantled; rather, it became the key adjunct to
the permanent military economy of the Cold War.” The university’s mission
became redefined within the context of the military-industrial complex, with
a higher emphasis on government-sponsored research (much of it conducted
for the military), adapting its students to the U.S. labor market, and meanwhile spurning outlets for more esoteric knowledge. Today, as government
funds for higher education continue to diminish under the demands of foreign policy, universities across the country are exacting the price on their
students. As a result, families’ and students’ finances are stretched thin, college degrees become judged based on their marketability (not the student’s
intellectual aptitude), and the academic environment is cut and manipulated
in the name of prestige, power, and profit-making.

What will happen this April, when the Board of Trustees will undoubtedly
announce yet another increase? Will we sacrifice our time and money for
an institution that values its ranking above the needs of its students? Will
we demand more financial aid? Will we insist on a just payment policy that
benefits the many and not the few? In the spring of 1970, the students
of Boston College brought these very questions to the forefront of campus
dialogue. Frustrated over issues of censorship and racial discrimination, the
announcement of a tuition increase drove students over the edge, and on
April 13, 1970, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College met and
declared a university-wide strike. While students occupied academic buildings, paraded outside the President’s house, and balked at negotiations with
administrators, the university shut its doors early in April, effectively ending
the tuition battle and authorizing further campus-wide action in solidarity
with the national strike against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The action
proved cohesive, galvanizing, and highly effective in mobilizing countless
members of the BC community.

Such is the current atmosphere at Boston College, where our endowment
continues to expand while heavier costs are incurred on students in an annual cycle of exploitation. Perhaps the blame can be passed onto soaring
energy prices, but the trend has been persistent. This year’s increase, while
expected, still does not lessen its impact on students and their families. After
billions of dollars were cut from student loans by the federal government
earlier this year, one would expect the university to accommodate its undergrads by increasing financial aid. Boston College took measures to achieve
just that, but the effort was not nearly enough. When the Board of Trustees
announced this past spring’s 6.2% hike in tuition, it announced a subsequent
5.8% increase in financial aid. Boston College also unveiled a $49 million
increase in its budget for the 2006-2007 academic year. According to University Spokesman Jack Dunn, “the tuition increase accounted for $22.4 million
or 46 percent of the total increase [in the University’s budget],” with the rest
coming from the school’s endowment and other resources. The percentage
numbers detailing the changes to BC’s budget seem adequate enough in
closing the gap between rising costs and those students struggling to meet
them. The reality is far from it. This year’s increase exacts a cost of $22.4
million on undergraduate students for tuition, fees, and boarding. Financial
aid, however, was only increased by about $5.5 million. Thus there exists
a veritable 17-million-dollar gap between the costs incurred on students and
the financial aid provided to them. BC’s endowment, the 39th largest in the
nation this past year, provides a strong source for furthering financial aid to

While looking back on this chapter in our school’s past, will we question our
own future at BC or simply acquiesce to the university’s annual demands?
When we receive our degrees, will their significance be grounded in academic
prowess or will their value be governed solely by money and marketability?
These questions are imperative to our school, our students, and the academic
community at large. In asking them, we can hope to create a community of
shared learning: a true university governed only by the intellectual power
within. In failing to pursue this line of dialogue and action on our campus,
the basic principles of our university will be lost. As a result, we undoubtedly
and unhesitatingly resign each other and ourselves to the mandates of a cold
and unyielding factory of knowledge.



drunkalachia and white messiahs

-reflections from an immersion trip-

-build a social movement, not just a social network-

capitalism from its inception, and in all the
ways it has grown and spread its tentacles
across the world to take the lives and the
natural resources of the global south, has
been exploitative. the system is pervasive. it grows on the blood of conquered
peoples, on the natural resources—such
as gold, water, and oil—stolen from
indigenous lands, and on the labor of the
poor. not only does the system grow, we as
members of the so-called developed world
benefit through its expansion. in the case
of fair trade, the work of farmers benefits us. for the organic goods we want,
we pay a small price in exchange for workers’ labor, for their lives.

Every year, Campus Ministry and various academic departments send groups
of BC students on a number of international service and/or immersion trips.
Usually these trips include a dozen or so students who travel to various
countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. During Spring Break,
organizations such as Appalachia bus hundreds of undergrads to different
rural areas throughout the East Coast to build houses, paint fences, and pick
up garbage. Take these trips for what they are -- amazing opportunities
to interact with politically disenfranchised and socially marginalized men,
women, and children, and to tie their daily economic and social hardships to
the broader, structural injustices and institutions (i.e. World Bank, IMF, WTO,
US Government) that dictate the lives of millions from the Global South.

our government is exploitative. as citizens who benefit from the government’s
decisions, we are a part of the exploitative system. if we believe in justice,
then we must separate ourselves from this system. furthermore, as citizens
of the united states, we have the privilege to remain silent and not question
our government’s decisions in a more proactive way. we, who benefit, are
so ignorant of the issues that we generally fail to question and act against
the system. how many issues are we ignorant of? how many of us will take
it upon ourselves to educate ourselves? how many of us called/wrote our
senators about CAFTA? where were the protests against CAFTA? how many
of us went to protest the SOA? how many of us will go next year? how many
of us know about the role the SOA plays in the u.s.’ paternalistic, imperialistic
and by paternalistic, i mean treating the global south and people of color as
if they are helpless children, incapable of making their own decisions and
incapable of self determination. it is the way the u.s. elite deals with the rest
of the world--by installing puppet governments through coups and economic
and military support.
paternalism is racism. we play a role in this too by wanting to help, to remain
in our comfort and tell our government what the global south needs. we—as
a part of this oppressive system—we as oppressors have no right making decisions for the people we exploit. this is another way of exploiting. we blindly
take their stories and their voices, and we capitalize on their lives in our fight
for justice.
9 the poor, the global south, the exploited have a right to shape
their own future. we, through centuries of colonialism, slavery, and capitalism, have interfered in their lives for too many centuries.
we, as a part of this system, are privileged--and it is this privilege from which
we must separate. what does it mean to separate ourselves—to fight for
justice in a non paternalistic way? it means adopting a new ideology centered
on revolutionary humanism. it means that we have to love our sisters and
brothers so much that our hearts break when we witness exploitation. it
means that the system will always make us angry and sick to the point where
our lives are dedicated to the struggle. we have to give up comfort, coke,
consumerism, and everything else. this is how we can separate ourselves
from paternalism, racism, and exploitation. this is a long process, and a hard
process, but this is what dedicating ourselves to the struggle means.


Unfortunately, however, these trips often turn into voyeuristic excursions jam
packed with romanticized interpretations of poverty and dozens of photo-ops
of BC students with poor, Spanish-speaking children. Remember, ‘helping’
these people does nothing to liberate them from the violence of their reality,
but rather only serves to reinforce the structures that keep the impoverished
dependent on the alms of the rich. Learn from the people you meet, don’t try
to solve their problems for them. Small farmers in Guatemala and laid-off
textile factory workers in North Carolina can show you how free trade affects
their lives a lot better than some academic writing from her or his office on
the 182nd floor of the Ivory Tower.
So go on these trips. But go on them to further your education and critical
understanding of society, economics, and foreign policy. Don’t go on them to
take pictures and get wasted with your group the night you get back. Go for
justice, not charity. Go to learn, not to fulfill some messianic dream of saving
people from their plight. And go during your first two years of college, so
you’ll have a couple of years to digest what you’ve experienced and apply
it to what you study and pursue. Let these trips help you better perceive the
problems of the world, don’t let them be the solution.
drawing connections
For a school so rooted in the Jesuit tradition of Social Justice-- a community that
boasts sending over 750 volunteers around the Americas to aid the impoverished and marginalized-- BC should have been able to tout the sending of 500
students to the Boston anti-war march and rally. It is a disgrace that BC students
were unable to connect the problems of those we served over break to their ills
of the war on Iraq. Students, however, are unable to make the important connections between war and poverty.
If this were the case, many of our Appalachia volunteers would realize the
implications of spending $248 billion on war instead of jobs, housing, and education for the poor they serve each year. Instead it was apparent that most of
these Appalachia groups were more concerned with parties on St. Patrick’s Day
than with rallying against the war on Iraq that deeply affects the communities
visited by Appalachia. It is this inability to make connections to our daily lives
that seems to hinder the social justice work started on service trips. We have
just as much power to work for justice in our communities and our country as
we do in service and immersion trips. It is more comfortable, however, to take
part in economic tourism and romanticize the poor in other communities than to
confront the inequality and injustice that is present in front of our faces.

ing the views of their students despite their policy on student demonstrations
which reads in part: “No greater injury to the intellectual climate of an academic institution or the academic freedom of its members can occur than the
curbing of the free exchange of ideas by imposition of fear or repression. The
tactics of intimidation and coercion are never more repugnant than when apFor the past two years, members of the Global Justice Project (GJP) have pro- plied to stifle the reasoned partisanship of opinions.”
tested the presence of Raytheon Corporation—a leading weapons manufacturer—at the BC Career Fair. The university explicitly prohibits family planning Only a few months later, in early December 2005, the opening line of a Heights
organizations (because of contradictions to select Catholic teachings), yet they article read: “citing a conflict with church teachings, the university cancelled
invite and recruit corporations that profit from the sale of deadly and destruc- an AIDS benefit dance designed to be a safe zone event for GLBT students.”
After months of planning, the GLBT Leadertive missiles and bombs used in war to
ship Council (GLC) was informed by ODSD,
attend the annual BC Career Fair. In Seponly several days prior, that the dance had
tember 2004, students from GJP met with
been unexpectedly cancelled by the adthe Career Center and requested that they
ministration. Jack Dunn, the university’s
uninvite Raytheon because of the firm’s
spokesman, told the Heights that “the
glaring contradictions with the university’s
university’s policy is that students apply for
mission and heritage. The Career Center
permits for events through the Office of the
refused, and on the day of the BC Career
Dean for Student Development, and upon
Fair, 10 students demonstrated in front
reviewing the request, ODSD and Student
of the Raytheon recruitment table. Some
Affairs concluded, appropriately, that they
held signs that read “Raytheon—No place
could not endorse an event that advocated
at a Jesuit university” while others knelt
a position that was in conflict with church
in prayer with pictures of Iraqis pinned
to their backs. One student demonstrator
told the Heights, “‘as a Jesuit university,
Dunn’s comments highlight an alarming
we must ask whether or not companies
‘justification’ for censorship of studentlike Raytheon are working to build the
organized events on campus: (perceived)
Kingdom of God or creating weapons to
contradiction to select Catholic teachings.
destroy it.’” The BCPD and several Deans
This logic has become pervasive to student
from the Office of the Dean of Student Delife and academic experiences over the
velopment (ODSD) informed demonstrapast several months. As one GJP student
tors that they were not allowed to be there and must disband or face disciplinary action. Only two student demonstrators remained and were subsequently wrote in a Heights opinion piece in March 2006, “Censorship of student-led
inquiry and limitations to student expression also contradict the very purpose
disciplined by ODSD for their peaceful protest.
and premise of a university that claims to respect the ‘quest for truth.’ SeIn September 2005, students from GJP met with staff from BCPD and ODSD to lect Catholic teachings alone cannot determine whether students can hold an
negotiate a demonstration permit for the upcoming BC Career Fair in an effort event—this must be balanced with the need for this institution to be true to its
to avoid similar problems with the previous year’s demonstration. ODSD re- mission as a university.”
fused to grant a demonstration permit for students to gather directly in front
of the Raytheon table but agreed to allow student demonstrators to set up a Students have not been silent or complacent in the face of censorship on camtable near the entrance of the Fair. Only an hour before the demonstration pus. After the censorship of the Raytheon demonstration, students and faculty
(and Fair) was scheduled to begin, the Dean for Student Development noti- hosted a panel on censorship and academic expression at Boston College. A
fied demonstrators that their permit had been revoked because the planned political science professor who was on the panel said, “‘relatively marginaldemonstration was too elaborate (despite the fact that the students planned ized people with relatively few resources essentially have the streets as a place
to always remain within the demonstration permit guidelines they agreed to). to express their views, so if people are unable to protest they are unable to
ODSD wanted control over the content of the protest in addition to the logistics call into question the dominant culture and dominant political system . . .they
of the demonstration. When students approached the Dean at the Fair and are essentially left voiceless.’” Students also organized an event in O’Neill
asked for an explanation, he threatened to immediately suspend any student Plaza where they distributed materials about censorship. A few days after the
demonstrator that approached the Fair. He even went as far as waving suspen- censorship of the GLC dance and AIDS fundraiser, more than 300 BC students
sion forms in the face of student organizers. An armed BC police officer stood gathered in the Dustbowl to hold a Unity Rally. Reflections and speeches ultiguard at the Raytheon recruitment table for the duration of the Career Fair. mately turned in celebration as students danced and sang in the snow.
Only a few weeks into the academic year, the university succeeded in censorThe 2005-2006 academic year witnessed an alarming increase in censorship
of student-organized events by the University Administration. While the rationale for the university’s censorship varied, the threat to students’ freedom of
expression and academic exploration is frighteningly clear.

“No greater injury to the intellectual climate of an academic institution or the academic freedom of its members can occur
than the curbing of the free exchange of
ideas by imposition of fear or repression.
The tactics of intimidation and coercion
are never more repugnant than when applied to stifle the reasoned partisanship
of opinions.”


Despite student’s clear demands for freedom of expression and academic freedom at Boston College, the administration continued their censorship of student-organized events. As the Boston Globe
reported on March 2, 2006, “a new abortion rights group [Women’s Health Initiative] at Boston
College, with the aid of a professor, rebelled against university officials and held its first major event
this week, a panel discussion featuring the public affairs director for Planned Parenthood and three
academics who are abortion rights supporters. The event irked school officials, who initially canceled
the student-organized function and later announced plans to reexamine rules governing sponsorship
of campus events.” The administration, which had previously approved the event, cancelled the
academic discussion at the last minute, citing contradictions with select Catholic teachings. Jack Dunn,
the university’s spokesperson, was again out front defending the right to censor an academic event
and told the Globe that “‘the students from the Women’s Health Initiative, in essence, were being
duplicitous in trying to sponsor a pro-choice event at a Catholic institution.’” The event was only able
to take place with the aid of faculty members who are not under the jurisdiction of ODSD like all
undergraduate student organizations are.
The University Administration cites Catholic teaching as justification for censorship of events at BC.
Pro-choice student groups are unable to sponsor academic lectures and GLBT students are prohibited
from hosting a “safe-zone” dance. Yet, by actively inviting and recruiting weapons manufactures to
campus, not to mention honoring Condoleezza Rice (a chief architect of the Iraq war) with an Honorary Degree, university officials fail to consistently follow the Catholic values they espouse. It has
become obvious that the administration selectively abides by Catholic teaching.
While BC guarantees academic freedom to BC professors, they deny these same benefits to students.
One ODSD Dean told the Heights “‘faculty have a freedom that students do not have, but students
are completely within their right to partner with faculty to make use of their freedom and diversity
of ideas.’” Academic freedom is essential for a university’s faculty because it is fundamental to the
mission of any leading university. There is, however, no reason to believe that students should only
enjoy the benefits of academic freedom inside the classroom (with faculty) and not outside the classroom through student-organized events. Doing so limits students’ accumulation of knowledge, and
the exchange of ideas to a traditional, outdated classroom setting. Student organizations should be
encouraged to organize events without dependence on an academic department.
Even faculty are facing increased repression by the administration, as both ODSD and the Provost have
stated that faculty will not be permitted to sponsor events on campus outside of their expertise.
Regardless of the supposed justification and hypocrisy of the university, the implications of censorship are the same. A university, by its nature, is meant to foster an environment that supports the
free exchange and expression of ideas and opinions. To selectively silence the voices of faculty and
students on this campus, to censor the perceived content of their speech, threatens the very ideals
that an institution of higher education is based on. In such a climate of repression, it is important
to remember how intellectuals, activists, immigrants, people of color, and the GLBT community have
been subject to assault and repression, often on college campuses in the past. When Hitler first came
to power he created associations of faculty and student groups that would review the loyalty of their
colleagues to the Nazi regime. In the era of McCarthyism, the same sentiments brought university
professors to Congressional hearings. Standing in the present, it is easier to see the errors of the past
than recognize the threats to the future. The early signs of repression are here at BC. If BC seeks to
be an institution founded on higher learning and academic integrity, then the University Administration must promote a climate of true freedom of expression. Scholarship and academic exploration
should take priority, as the alternative guarantees that BC will become a narrowly defined Catholic
establishment and no longer a premier academic institution.


repression from the right
This past academic year, campus conservative groups
including the College Republicans, were organizing
to challenge the ‘liberal slant’ they perceive on campuses across the country. Some of the highlights have
included the offensive “Affirmative Action bake sales,”
as well as a group of conservative University of California Los Angeles alumni offering to purchase students’
tape recordings of lectures given by alleged liberal
professors in an effort to “expose UCLA’s most radical
Our own Boston College Republicans proposed to create a “Council on Intellectual Diversity.” Despite its
open-minded-sounding name, further analysis reveals
its true purpose was anything but an appreciation for
diversity. This seven-member council would have been
charged with the task of evaluating student claims of
faculty discrimination based on “political, religious, or
ideological views.” The failed measure attempted to
mask the efforts of the College Republicans to exert
control over our faculty and university.
This proposed council is part of the dangerous conservative movement that has been sweeping the nation in
an effort to turn typically non-partisan organizations,
such as public schools, churches, and institutions of
higher education, into structures that further a conservative ideology. Ideological conservatives have been
successful at dominating religious institutions in this
country and have made progress in influencing public
schools as well. A prime example of this phenomenon
is the recent failed efforts to have “intelligent design”
taught in science classrooms around the country as a
competing “scientific theory” to evolution. Similarly,
conservative groups, led by David Horowitz’s Students
for Academic Freedom, have been pushing for national
and state legislators to examine and reduce the influence of “liberal” professors at public universities. In
doing so, they often code the language by calling it
something positive such as “academic freedom” or in
the case of BC “intellectual diversity.”
And let’s face it, if you suggest in your final exam that
global warming is a myth and intelligent design is a
fact, you deserve to fail your science course anyway.

Excerpt from 2.16.06 Heights op-ed by a GJP member

the religous left
Today in America, it seems we on the left (and anywhere on the political spectrum but the right) are under increasing assault from Christian conservatism.
Somehow, the religious right has managed to convince Americans that their
version of Christianity is indeed the only true version. These people stand for
imperialism, homophobia, patriarchy, and the completely nonsensical idea
that accumulated wealth is a reflection of God’s favor. They stand against
common sense, scientific progress, peace and justice for the poor.

a US military training school for Latin American soldiers, which still operates
Established in 1946 in Panama, for nearly six decades the school has instructed soldiers in counterinsurgency and methods of torture. Rather than
fighting communists, as the Cold War era military program decreed, these
soldiers often ended up torturing, killing and “disappearing” innocent and often poor dissidents. After the November 1989
murder of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and
the housekeeper’s daughter in El Salvador, a
group of Jesuits founded the SOA Watch vigil
outside the gates of Ft. Benning, GA, home
to the SOA since 1986. Each November thousands gather at the gates of Ft. Benning to
commemorate the murder and to demand the
closing of the SOA (BC sends a growing delegation of students each year. Watch for announcements in September for information,
or contact campus ministry).

However, is this truly what the Word of God
tells us? Are these hateful “family values”
what any religion truly teaches us? We on
the religious left say no, and we are out to
reclaim faith from those who use it for hate.
Here at Boston College the most prominent
religious left movements you will come
across are obviously Catholic. One of the
oldest progressive Catholic organizations
(predating Vatican II by over 30 years) is the
Catholic Worker Movement, founded in 1933
by Dorothy Day, a leftist journalist and Catholic convert and Peter Maurin, a Catholic leftist scholar and worker. The Catholic Worker
Movement draws on anarchist philosophies,
articulating the idea of personal responsibility to others as the concept of personalism.
With the idea that each individual has the
duty to work for the good of all others, Catholic Workers have founded communities across
the country to fulfill the most important of
Christ’s commands: feed the hungry, clothe
the naked, shelter the homeless, heal the
sick, and visit those in prison. In addition to these works, the movement is
focused on attacking the roots of militarism, capitalism, racism, sexism, etc,
through education and often through nonviolent direct action. These communities are run in a completely democratic, consensus-based manner, and
attract people of all faiths and backgrounds. We have our very own Catholic
Worker house of hospitality here in Boston. Haley House relies heavily on
volunteers from BC to help run its soup kitchen and other services. To learn
more visit:
In the late 1960s and early 1970s a new Catholic theology developed in Latin
America. Named Liberation Theology by Father Gustavo Gutierrez in 1973,
this radical new doctrine was based on the idea that Christianity should serve
as a force to liberate the oppressed peoples of the world, rather than continue
to serve as the imperialistic tool of oppression it had been since the imperial
age began. While this school of thought remained a minority position in the
Church, Liberation Theologians were highly influential champions of the poor
in the tumultuous years of the 60s-80s in Latin America. As such, progressive
priests were often the targets of right-wing death squads in Latin America.
An astonishing number of Catholic priests along with thousands of poor laypeople have been murdered by graduates of the School of the Americas,

These are some of the progressive Catholic
movements you will come across here at BC.
However, the religious left extends well beyond Catholicism and we will require a much
broader coalition of faiths to counter the assault from the right. The theft of religion by
the right is, in fact, a fairly recent development. Religion played a strong role in the
American labor movement during its height in
the early 20th century, giving rise to figures
such as Dorothy Day. Both Christian ministers
and Muslim clerics were of course leaders in
the civil rights movement. Baptist ministers played a key role in organizing
safe underground
abortion rings before the days of Roe v. Wade. Jewish Americans, aside from
the Israel-Palestine issue, have a longstanding legacy on the left.
The basic tenets of most major religions stand for peace, justice, and a preferential option for the poor. People of common sense must return faith to these
progressive goals. In the words of Steve Biko, a South African freedom fighter
who died in detention in 1977:

Theology...shifts the emphasis of man’s moral obligations from avoiding
wronging false authorities...not stealing food when hungry and not cheating
police when he is being committed to eradicating all cause for other words it shifts the emphasis from petty sins to major sins in a
society, thereby ceasing to teach the people to “suffer peacefully.”
These are the true principles that all faiths should work towards. No longer
can we allow faith to be hijacked. We must reclaim our faith!


summer dispatches from gjp members

The following dispatches and photos are from three current and former GJP members. Each of these student activists independently took a month this summer to
visit and work with a community struggling for justice.
From Palestine (August 4, 2006): This month I will be traveling to Palestine with the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). Here’s the latest from
my delegation leader... “The good news is that, for the most part, although they are only a few dozen miles away from the places we’ll be visiting, Gaza and
Lebanon are really a whole world away. The current violence that we are seeing in the news (as opposed to the continuing violence that has been ongoing for
decades and that the news doesn’t report) is really not having much of an impact in the southern West Bank at all. Since the beginning of the Hebron team
project, many mini-conflicts have sprung up and died down, but the work of the team or the team members has never really been in jeopardy because of
them. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that we will, as always, be careful and try to remain as safe as possible, and I don’t think that the region in which
we’ll be staying will be any more dangerous when we arrive than it was when you all signed up to come on the trip.”

I woke up this morning to find a dozen Israeli soldiers lining the roof opposite my window. I’ve been here for weeks and I still can’t get over their M-16s. I don’t
think it’s a good idea to have 18 year-old boys – boys who are either scared out of their minds or bored enough to invent sadistic entertainment - walking
around with enough live ammunition to eradicate a small village. Nevertheless, I’m becoming accustomed to the realities of occupation and decided to brush
my teeth and go on with the day.
A few hours later, my afternoon tea was interrupted by a team of new Israeli soldiers being trained on walking the streets. They crept through the marketplace
as if stalking an enemy through the jungle. At times they would peer deeply into stores or tea rooms as if there were something hidden within. I confronted
the lead soldier, who bumped into me and demanded, “Don’t touch me!” As the soldiers crossed the marketplace, they pointed their rifles at the children and
older men, then disappeared. Crowds of worshippers flowed out of the mosques and enjoyed tea and treats together in the streets.
This evening, as we finished dinner, our guest speaker talked about the difficulty of explaining to his young children that not all Jews are evil. This is something
that we have heard from a number of Palestinian parents. To most of us this seems crazy, but since the Palestinian children interact almost exclusively with
Jewish settlers and Jewish soldiers - who are seen as careless occupiers at best and tormenters or murderers at worst - it is hard to break the cycle of hate and
violence. With his 5 year-old son sleeping at his feet, our speaker explained
that even at this young age the boy knew that Israeli soldiers had shot and
abducted his father.
As he continued to speak on this subject, someone noticed a squadron of
soldiers entering a nearby Palestinian home. The mother was outside with
her daughters. I began to film the situation and some CPTers made their
way to the home. It’s not unusual for Israeli soldiers to occupy a Palestinian house. Sometimes they’ll destroy the home or kidnap one of the men.
Other times they just put the family in a room for a few hours or until
the next morning. We watched the door, waiting for it to open so that we
might catch a glimpse of what was happening inside. At around 10pm the
soldiers left. The next day the mother of the Palestinian family said that
the soldiers left because of the international presence. For more information on CPT’s work, visit:
From the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans (June 5, 2006): Internet access, like many other basic utilities, is not an option for much of
New Orleans nine months later. The area I have lived in for the past 5 days, the 9th Ward, seems to have been forgotten by the state. It is shocking to see such
a level of destruction; debris, caved in roofs, rust, gutted cars, etc. all exist a full nine months after Hurricane Katrina struck. Block after block of destroyed
homes attest to the government’s neglect, but what has been even more disturbing to see is the level of outward hostility displayed by the state towards its
black, poor citizens.
But, despite the absence of the state, many organizations and residents persist in creating something out of nothing. This was my first weekend here and I
felt hopeful to see a number of families, driven in from Baton Rogue, Houston, and elsewhere to work on their own homes, trying to salvage something out
of the rubble.
I’m now living and working with the Common Ground Relief (probably the most “solidarity-like” organization I’ve ever seen), which is based in a number of
areas around the 9th Ward but is active in many parts across the city. CG’s real purpose seems to be making it possible for residents to come back so that


summer dispatches from gjp members
they can participate in the political process and start fighting the state’s moves to turn their homes into “green space.” It’s like the Ella Baker style of activism,
find someone locally who is doing it and support them. CG was started by locals, but it is overwhelmingly white, educated, young people from outside of the
city. While this can certainly be problematic, they seem to be doing a good job of making sure it remains a support organization. The government is truly
making it as hard as possible for people to come back, so CG is trying to subvert that. Centers like the one I’m in now provide free internet, phones, and faxes;
distribution centers supply food, clothes, tools, information; small dorms house single parents and couples while they work on their homes; and of course, the
main activity, gutting and repairing homes.
I’m living in “St. Mary’s,” a private catholic school in the middle of the 9th Ward that houses, feeds, and coordinates close to 250 general CG volunteers, in
addition to whichever community members come by for meals. The school itself served as an emergency shelter during Katrina, as its three floors provided
some of the only dry ground during the flood. Over 200 people stayed for over a week until they were finally airlifted away. One person died. We sleep in the
classrooms where bunks are stacked up. On the third floor there is a message written on the chalkboard of a Math-room turned Bed-room:

“September 2nd, 2006 9:13am We are sorry for the school but the shelter was a blessing. We had to bring over 200 people here with no help from any Coast
Guard boats. People died and are still in their houses, we had to leave them. We asked the C.G. for help and got NONE. Thanks to Mick, McKinley, Eric, Phil,
Tyrone, Karl B, Cori, Richard, Cedric, Jeff D., Jeff, Ben, Big Greg, Rick, Lance, and 10th Ward AL. We saved the whole project. THEY LEFT US HERE TO DIE.”
Every morning we are up at 5:30 for breakfast and then we break into work crews for various projects. I’ve been working with 7 others on a house in the
Lower 9th Ward which we just finished cleaning out and gutting yesterday. We met the owner, Ms. M. very briefly on the first day, but learned more about her
family as layers of her life peeled away while we cleaned the house: a complete set of New Testament cassette tapes, a water-stained photo of a daughter’s
prom, a family bible, a letter from the ACLU (dear friend of liberty...). It was a very sobering experience and I can understand why Ms. M. did not want to be
there while we carted out her life. But we do much more than gut houses...

“We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.” - Richard Baker,
Republican Representative from Louisiana (Baton Rogue)
“We have to escalate the struggle, we can’t keep it dormant.” -resident of the St. Bernard Housing Development
On Friday I went with a dozen CGers to the St. Bernard’s Development, one of New Orleans’ massive housing projects, which the federal and state government
are now keeping fenced off from the residents. These residents have not been allowed into their homes since Katrina, and now return from afar to find a tall
barbed-wire fence (rumored to cost $300,000) surrounding the entire project. But a movement is growing to reclaim their homes and to save them from urban
“development,” which is why we were there on Friday.
The residents of St. Bernard’s decided to set up a tent city outside their homes, dubbed “Survivor’s Village.” There was food and music and kids playing
around, but the police kept cruising around in circles, not letting their presence be forgotten. In a
press conference the residents announced that they would be staying there for a month, building
up strength in numbers, and then on July 4th, whether in agreement with the city or not, they are
going to get into their homes.
It is astonishing to see the level of government hostility aimed at preventing these poor, black
residents from coming back. Someone said the other day that if you don’t understand racism, the
series of city policies really won’t make any sense, and I think that it’s generally true. The residents
of the Lower 9th Ward were kept out of the neighborhood by National Guard guns until December
while the residents of equally-destroyed, and all-white St. Bernard’s parish downriver went in with
no problem.

It seems to be a battle now, between the people trying to move back into their homes and the state,
both the federal and local governments (federally, FEMA who keeps empty trailers miles away
from needy residents and HUD who is responsible for fencing off the projects; locally, through
mayor Nagin’s “Bring New Orleans Back” commission which is staffed entirely through appointed
members of the business community and is essentially a “Gentrify New Orleans” commission). At
our orientation the other day, one of the lead CG organizers said of this battle, “we aren’t winning,
but we aren’t losing either.”


summer dispatches from gjp members
From the U.S./Mexico Border (August 2006): Six days they
had been in the desert. I hand the woman an alcohol pad, and she begins to
clean the dirt-smudged face of her 10 month-old baby, loosely fastened to her
back with a towel. Her two children, their clothes reeking of urine, remain
disturbingly quiet and still for 5 and 7 year-olds. They sit down on the curb
and begin to unpack their remaining Red Bull and Doritos. Both children wear
open toe sandals for the six-day journey--their feet have been ravaged by the
hot desert days and cold rainy nights. As we wash the children’s feet, I ask
the boy in broken Spanish where they are from. Chiapas, he tells me, which I
learn is over 1,500 miles from our camp in Nogales. Now they sit here, 1,500
miles away from home, their only possessions packed in small Spongebob
Square Pants and Little Mermaid backpacks. Hundreds of flies crawling in and
out of their cut feet, we try to dress the blisters as best as possible, hand them
some new socks, and send them off. Most likely, the family will meet up with
a coyote (a paid smuggler) and try the perilous journey North again. I get
a sickening, helpless feeling in my stomach as I watched them walk further
down the road into Nogales, thinking that they too may join the season’s rising toll of migrant deaths.

This past May, President Bush deployed an additional 6,000 National Guard
for further support. Further militarization appears on the horizon, as plans
for 700 additional miles of fencing has the government soliciting bids from
military contractors including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon for the
rights of providing military technology along the border.

One afternoon at the camp in Nogales, I meet Rosie, a 12-year-old girl from
the faraway southern state of Oaxaca. Rosie, her two sisters and mother looking in concern, has been vomiting after 3 days in the desert. Only bringing a
few empty milk cartons of water, the family ran out shortly into their second
day and was forced to drink water from the cow tanks in the desert, infamous
for parasites and bacteria. Noticing her father is absent, I come to find out
that they left their home in Oaxaca in hopes of meeting him in Atlanta, where
he has been living for 3 years. Young children and mothers trying to reunite
with husbands and fathers is commonplace along the border. An unintended
consequence of Operation Gatekeeper and the increased resources dedicated
to boundary enforcement is that unauthorized migrants are staying in the
U.S longer. Before 1994, many of the seasonal migrant workers would make
the journey North and then return home after a few months. Yet with the inStories like these are all but uncommon along the border--400 to 500 deport- creased risk and danger of reentering the U.S., many of these workers are ulees are received daily in Nogales alone, one of the dozens of border cities and timately separated from their families and communities. Rosie is one of the
merely a fraction of the estimated one million immigrants deported annually. countless children forced to risk life merely to reunite with family members.
Immigration between the United States and Mexico is not a new development
and can only be expected in societies of great wealth alongside great poverty. We cannot divorce current immigration conversations from the United States’
The sharp increase in immigration flow, however, and the subsequent rise of long history of racism and rejection of “the other”- a history that is tied to a
border deaths is a recent phenomenon--one that can be traced back to 1994, context of severe exploitation and marginalization of people of color. Border
the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To under- enforcement and current repressive anti-immigrant legislation is an outgrowth
stand why NAFTA caused this acute surge in migration patterns, it is necessary of this structural racism. The current debate must be one that recognizes
to confront a median often purposely absent from immigration discourse; that the historical weight of white supremacy and subjugation of people of color.
is, why do people leave families and communities to literally risk their lives in Around the country, people who have been living in the States for 10 to 20
years are picked up and deported for minor violations. Gilberto, a deportee
hopes of cleaning toilet bowls or washing dishes for 10 hours a day?
at our camp, lived in San Jose for 25 years with his four children who will
Alfonso, a 28 year-old from Mexico City, was one of the thousands forced to remain in foster care until he is able to return home. In Tucson, Border Patrol
head North, leaving his wife and 2 year-old daughter. “There are no jobs and police arbitrarily ID anyone resembling Latino descent; my first night in
here,” he tells me, “we cannot survive on 50 pesos (roughly $5) a day, it is not Nogales I hear the story of a pregnant woman who was stopped by the police
enough.” Alfonso is one of the thousands of victims of NAFTA who will make and deported that night as she walked home from the grocery store, unable
the dangerous journey North in hopes of merely finding minimum wage work even to call her husband and two children. Fear is widespread among imin the States to send back home. “I don’t want to leave -- my family, my life, migrant communities—no one, even families who have settled for upwards of
it’s all here.” With the implementation of NAFTA, migration for the working 20 years, is safe from deportation. These people are being criminalized for
trying to seek a livelihood and survive poverty.
poor like Alfonso becomes an act of desperation and survival, not a choice.

Not coincidently, with the signing of NAFTA the U.S has dedicated billions in A just border policy means first addressing the structural roots of not only
militarizing the border, to increase border enforcement and ‘security.’ Opera- migrant deaths but immigration itself. We must first recognize that first world
tion Gatekeeper, one of the many efforts to enhance border enforcement, has comfort and privilege is largely possible because of the exploitation caused by
been scrutinized as the leading cause of death for crossing immigrants. Gate- institutions like the IMF and WTO and their respective free trade agreements.
keeper heavily increased enforcement among the more popular urban routes Border and immigration policies that continue to deny people the ability to
of migration, channeling immigrants to more rural and lesser-known areas. escape poverty and reunite with family members must be critically examined
Hoping to discourage people by forcing them into more dangerous areas, the if we are to truly respect the fundamental rights and dignity of all.
opposite has happened: a steady increase in migration with a disturbingly
massive rise in deaths. A conservative estimate suggests that at least 4,500 This GJP student worked with the group No More Deaths, for more information
people have died in the Sonoran Desert since 1998. Since that time, the visit:
number of border agents has more than doubled, now approaching 10,000.


globalization glossary

Since the 1999 Seattle protest against the World Trade Organization, the anti-corporate globalization has continued to grow and transform. From continued
protests and massive demonstrations across the globe to expanded discourse on corporate globalization issues, individuals and organizations have worked to
stop the social and environmental destruction caused by corporate-dominated globalization.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Signed in 1994, NAFTA links Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Farmers in Mexico have opposed NAFTA because the heavy agricultural subsidies for US
farmers put a great deal of downward pressure on Mexican agricultural prices, forcing many out of business. Because farming is no longer a sustainable practice, people are moving closer to the Mexico-U.S. border to work in maquilladoras. Though it promised job gains in both the US and Mexico, NAFTA has been
at fault for the estimated 766,000 jobs that have disappeared in the US since 1994 because companies have relocated to Mexico to take advantage of weak
labor standards and low wages. Mexico was forced to devalue the peso to attract the foreign investment needed for a free trade, export-oriented economy,
devastating the Mexican economy and pushing 8 million families out of the middle class into poverty.
Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
Negotiated among the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras and Nicaragua, CAFTA is part of an effort by the US to expand
a doctrine of “free trade” across the hemisphere. This trade strategy is
designed to break down barriers to trade and open up opportunities for
US businesses. CAFTA will undermine workers rights, drive innumerable
family farmers off their land, and expose communities throughout Central
America and the U.S. to privatization of essential public services like water,
electricity, health care, and education.
Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
Negotiations for the FTAA began in 1994 between all the governments
of the Americas and the Caribbean (except Cuba). Though negotiations
are currently suspended, it would extend an open market zone across the
entire hemisphere, much like the one that exists between Canada, the US,
and Mexico. The FTAA would strengthen and extend the North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the entire western hemisphere. This
is one of the newest manifestations of the unfair trade rules benefiting
multinational corporations and increasing hardship for the poor.
International Monetary Fund
Created at the Bretton Woods Conference shortly after World War II, the mission of the IMF is to supply member states with money to help them overcome
short-term balance-of-payments difficulties. The IMF offers loans to governments that are unable to pay off their debts to foreign banks and creditors. In
exchange for loans, the IMF demands economic ‘reform’ policies called structural adjustment programs. With voting rights awarded according to financial
contributions, the IMF is dominated by rich countries of the Global North.
World Bank
Created in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference, the original mission of the World Bank was to help Europe rebuild after the destruction of World War II. 60
years later, World Bank development projects have come under increasing fire because of large payouts to multinational corporations at the expense of those
living in poverty. The World Bank has also come under pressure for their policies that force developing countries to privatize public services including
water, education, electricity, and healthcare. Because dozens of developing nations remain in crippling debt to the World Bank, they are forced to divert funding from social services to pay wealthy institutions like the World Bank and IMF.
World Trade Organization
Formed in 1995, it calls itself an international body that establishes and enforces global trade rules. Under the false pretense of expanding trade to ‘help’ developing countries, WTO policies place corporate interest above working families, the environment, and local communities. Surprisingly, developing countries
have little say in creating policies that affect them. The WTO has worked to systematically increase the power of multinational corporations over democratic
governments and local communities.


courses and professors
What’s the purpose of the university? Is it to produce creative, critical, intelligent, and moral people? Or to produce an annual batch of corporate drones
for Microsoft, JP Morgan, and General Electric? Sadly, the university today – Boston College included – acts more like a corporate boot camp than a place
of higher learning.
We believe that the university and a college education should contribute to personal and society betterment, not to the development and benefit of a few
corporations and their wealthy shareholders. To avoid being molded into a lifeless limb of corporate America, for your own good and the good of society,
check out some of these classes listed below. They were selected because they are justice oriented and focus on social awareness.
We cannot promise you that the following classes will teach you how to exploit workers or destroy the environment (that’s what the Carroll School of
Management is for), but we can promise that they will be eye-opening, motivating, fun, useful, and very much worth your time.
Some of these classes are offered every other semester or every other year, so hang onto this disorientation or go to our website for an electronic version.
african and african diaspora studies
African American Women Leaders in Civil Rights
Professor Lydia Peters
A multimedia class where Black women are “presented as their own liberators
rather than appendages to their Black male counterparts.”
Eyes on the Prize
Professor Derrick Evans
A comprehensive look at the Civil Rights Movement that focuses on the less famous
members of the movement using discussion and video footage.
History and Development of Racism
Professor Horace Seldon or Professor Paul Marcus
The goal of this course is to increase participant awareness of the various forms of
racism and to deepen participant understanding of how to combat racism today.
Introduction to Black Aesthetic, Music and Empowerment
Professor Lawrence Watson
Taught by a Berkeley music professor, this courses uses music as a base for examining the rich tradition of black cultural resistance to the white power structure.
Mass Communication Theory
Professor Jamel Bell
With a good mixture of theory and practical knowledge, this course introduces
students to the many critical perspectives on media.
Media and Popular Culture
Professor Jamel Bell
With a critical eye on popular culture, this course analyzes the many influences of
media on everyday life in the U.S.
Popular Music and Identity
Professor Roberto Avant-Mier
Seeing music as culture, this course interweaves concepts of identity and power as
they relate to he U.S. and international community.

How literary worlds reflect or transform contemporary attitudes towards such topics
as racial violence, domestic abuse, and poverty.
Queer Theory
Professor Kevin Ohi
Studies texts that combat structures of sexual oppression.
Writing for Social Change
Professor Paula Mathieu.
Advanced creative nonfiction workshop that explores advocacy-based writing.
film studies
Irish Political Film
Professor John Michalczyk
From the post-World War I struggles to the current return of paramilitary prisoners
into society, this course traces Ireland’s evolving socio-political history with a focus
on conflict resolution.
Political Fiction Film
Professor John Michalczyk
Explores the dual components of drama and politics in a chronological manner
through readings, discussions, and screenings of such films as Birth of a Nation and

Alternate Globalizations
Professor Deborah Levenson-Estrada and Professor Davarian Baldwin
This course looks at alternate views to globalization from Third World countries,
studying thought from Havana to Paris to Port-au-Prince.
Biographies of Power in Latin America
Professor Sergio Serulnikov
Taught in Spanish, this class analyzes the ideas and deeds of Latin American men
and women who had a significant impact in shaping politics and social movements
in Latin America.
Cultural Studies/Cultural History
Professor Davarian Baldwin
Introduction to Feminisms
Examines culture as a tool to analyze and critique history and historical narratives.
Professor Ellen Friedman or Professor Connie Griffin
Ethnicity and Rebellion in Latin America
The class studies such issues as women’s history, feminist theory, sex roles, social- Professor Sergio Serulnikov
izations, gender and health, religion, work, and literature and essays by and about Through case studies of Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Brazil, and Guyana, this
course explores social unrest in Latin America from the late 18th century to early
Introduction to Postcolonial Literature
20th century.
Professor Kalpana Rahita Seshadri
Gender in American History
Examines colonial domination and the issue of representation of the so-called Third Professor Cynthia Lyerly
World through reading literature and culture theory produced out of the condition Focuses on how various constructions of gender have served the interests of a race,
of colonialism.
ideology, or class in American history.
Literature and Social Change
History of US Foreign Policy
Professor Laura Tanner


Professor Seth Jacobs
This course analyzes conflicting interpretations of America’s role in the world.
Introduction to Black Urban History
Professor Davarian Baldwin
This class explores “the” black experience in Boston, Harlem, Chicago, and LA in a
way that flawlessly incorporates literature, sociology, and history.
Professor Paul Breines
Studies the history of gay and lesbian people, movements, consciousness, and styles
over the past century in the United States and Europe.
Modern History I and II
Professor Stephen Schloesser, SJ
BC’s “Modern History” generally ignores the non-European world, but it’s required
– so take it with one of BC’s best professors, Stephen Schloesser. His course doesn’t
just focus on dates and who fought in what battles, it’s more of a cultural and
philosophical history.
Revolutionary Cuba: History and Politics
Professor Frank Taylor
Focuses on Cuba’s foreign and domestic policies since 1959.
Social Action in Urban America
Professor Marilynn Johnson
The history of social action in the United States from the 1890s to the present, with
case studies on such movements as Populism and the community organizing movement of the 1970s.
Social Justice in Meso-America
Professor Deborah Levenson-Estrada and Professor Michael Malec
Examines the struggles for social change and justice in Central American and Southern Mexico and also looks at the role of Christians in these movements.
Text and Context: Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and the
Black Modern Experience
Professor Davarian Baldwin
Combines a single work of fiction with historical and cultural analysis and examines
themes in African-American life from 1899-1950 such as migration, urbanization,
and black nationalism.

Professor Oliva Blanchette
Examines different philosophies of liberation with a focus on four writers: bell
hooks, Paulo Freire, Frantz Fanon, and Malcolm X.
political science
Comparative Social Movements
Professor Paul Christensen
The class begins by covering theory and terms that are used in talking about social
movements, then moves on to spend a good amount of time on separate movements including: the labor movement, women’s movement, 1989 revolutions in
Eastern Europe, and the anti-war movement.
Professor Paul Christensen
This course covers corporate globalization, its institutions (the World Bank, WTO,
IMF, etc.), and its social consequences.
Protest Politics in Latin America
Professor Jennie Purnell
Explores the origins, evolution, and impact of contentious politics and social
movements in contemporary Latin America through applied case studies of specific
Rise and Rule of Islamic States
Professor Kathleen Bailey
Looks at the nature of Islamic political systems from the Arab caliphates, Mongol
Khanates, and Turkic conquests to the problems and prospects faced by Muslim
states today.
Culture, Identity, and Asian American Experience
Professor Ramsay Liem
Focuses on the contemporary and historical experience of Asian Americans and self
and ethnic identity.

African World Perspectives
Professor Zine Magubane
Through lectures, discussions, and film, this course covers the conflicts in South Afphilosophy
rica, Sudan, Nigeria, and Rwanda and also explores sexuality in Africa and tension
The Challenge of Justice
Professor Matthew Mullane, Professor Stephen Pope, Professor Shawn Copeland, or between African-Americans and Africans.
American Economic Crisis and Social Change
Professor Kelly Brotzman
Professor Charles Derber
This course covers principle understandings of justice that have developed in the
A look at US-style capitalism, its social costs, and the movement for change.
Western philosophical and theological traditions, relating theories to concrete,
Deviance and Social Control
practical, and political problems.
Professor Stephen Pfohl or Professor Aimee Van Wagenen
Introduction to Feminist Philosophy
What is “normal” and what is “deviant?” This course explores dominant structures
Professor Marina McCoy
Dives into the multiple dialogues on feminism from radical, liberal, environmental, of power and the struggle between forms of social control and what these exclude
and marginalize.
etc. standpoints and raises very thought provoking questions about gender and
Inequality in America
Professor Eve Spangler or Professor Jeffrey Langstraat
Person and Social Reponsibility (PULSE) Program
1% of Americans own 40% of the country’s wealth and 50% of all stocks and bonds
Numerous faculty
– learn what this concentration of money means for our society.
The PULSE program combines the philosophy and theology core requirements into
one course that requires 10 hours of community service and three classes per week. Introduction to Postcolonial Studies
Highly recommended for learning more about social and economic justice from the Professor Zine Magubane
Discusses the issues of gender and sexuality, diaspora, nationalism, race and class,
personal experience and reflection.
hybridity, and identity formation.
Perspectives on War, Aggression, and Conflict Resolution
Legal and Illegal Violence Against Women
Professor Matthew Mullane and other professors
Professor Lynda Holmstrom
This course is a lecture series with different professors covering different topics
relating to war and aggression. Some topics include the just war theory, sociological Examines how violence perpetuates the system of gender stratification by focusing
roots of war, military-industrial complex, positive/negative peace, nonviolence, and on such issues as rape, incest, and spouse abuse.
Peace or War: United States and the Third World
Professor Charles Derber
Philosophy of Liberation


This course analyzes the role of the US as a hegemonic power in the world, focusing
on post-WWII US foreign policy and imperialism.
Queer Communities and Social Movements
Professor Jeffrey Langstraat
Every activist student should take this class. This class follows the history of the
movement, as well as the history of the identity of a homosexual and the history of
the institution of the closet.
Race, Class, and Gender
Professor Shawn McGuffey
How the social identities of race, class, gender, and sexuality are shaped by wealth
and poverty, education, family, and social policy.
Race, Representations, and Myth of Colorblindedness
Professor Chiwen Bao
Asks how racial inequality exists while colorblindedness is the supposed new
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Professor Juliet Schor
Don’t be fooled, no shopping involved…relating consumerism to history, politics,
psychology, and the environment.
Social and Political Economy
Professor Charles Derber
Examines globalization and the corporate world order.
Sociology of Revolutions
Professor Sarah Babb
This class is taught in a comfortable learning environment and goes over the Russian, Cuban, and Mexican revolutions as well as touching on subjects like guerilla
warfare theory, the Zapatistas, and the future of revolution.

The Challenge of Peace
Professor Matthew Mullane
This course explores topics such as the origins of violence, use of force, just and
unjust war, pacifism, and ways of preventing and resolving conflicts.
HIV/AIDS and Ethics
Father Jim Keenan
Analyzes the ethical issues rising from HIV/AIDS including questions of prevention,
discrimination, shaming, homophobia, the function of religion in public health,
poverty, etc.
Liberation Christology
Professor Roberto Goizueta
A course examining the person of Jesus Christ as foundational for Latin American
Liberation Theology, as well as exploring the relationship between faith in Christ
and human liberation, the implications of a liberation Christology in a North American context, Christ in feminist thought, etc.
Liberation Theology
Professor Roberto Goizueta
An introduction to Latin American Liberation Theology, this course discusses what it
means to practice theology from the “underside of history.”
Professor Francis Kilcoyne
Focuses a great deal on social justice and the misuse of the Bible in Christian fanaticism.
Prophets and Peacemakers
Professor Stephen Pope
Through studying figures such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day,
Oscar Romero, and Aung San Suu Kyi, this course examines attempts to relate faith
to issues of peace and justice.
Religious Quest
Professor Harry McDargh
A comparative exploration of Christianity and Buddhism, with an end of the semester focus on Israel and Palestine.

Suffering, Politics, and Liberation
Father Bruce Morrill
Examines the political ideologies of J.B. Metz and Dorothee Soelle in addition to the
Liberation Theology of Gustavo Gutierrez as applied to case studies of Rigoberta
Menchu, Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X.
Individualizing your Institutionalization
With four years at a massive institution like Boston College, it can be all too easy
for students to feel like raw materials that are simply traveling through a machine
and being churned out into a standardized product. While students are mostly free
to design their schedules (see course guide for recommendations), here are five
additional ways to individualize your academic experience at Boston College. Much
of this is for students after their freshmen year.
1. Advanced Study Grant: These summer grants are awarded to first and
second year students for scholarly student-designed projects. The grants usually
range from $500 to $2,000, and about one out of four students who apply get some
form of funding. Students must be nominated by a faculty member to apply, though
students are welcome to request a nomination from a faculty member. For more
info see:
2. Readings and Research: This non-classroom course is centered on independent research on a topic mutually agreed upon by the student and a professor.
This structure not only allows for the student to work on an area of research that
interests them, but it also allows for the student to work much more closely with a
faculty member.
3. Study Abroad: According to the 2006 US News and World Report edition
of America’s Best Colleges, only 40% of BC students study abroad. Studying abroad
gives students an opportunity to enhance their academic and personal development
by traveling to other parts of the world for a semester or year of study. Consider
“external programs” and not just BC affiliated programs. Also consider going for
a year, as this will allow for students to become more integrated into their abroad
experience. Students interested in combining social justice, service, and study
abroad should consider SIT Study Abroad Programs. Check out the large number of
SIT programs at:
4. Summer Internship Grant: Students that have completed their junior
year and are interested in interning for a nonprofit are eligible to apply for one
of four $3,900 stipends from the Career Center. The application process can be
competitive and unfortunately is only open to rising seniors (though we wish they
would offer more grants to students in all classes!). AHANA Career Services also
offers three stipends to students with unpaid summer internships in fields where
they are underrepresented. These grants from AHANA Career Services are open to
freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Internships are a great way to gain important
skills, contacts, and expand your knowledge.
For grant information see:
For a list of nonprofit internships and public service fellowships see: www.idealist.
5. Write a Senior Thesis: Writing a thesis senior year is a perfect way to
culminate a student’s academic experiences from the previous three years into an
in-depth, original project. Students are expected to propose their own thesis topics
based on their interest and academic experience. The thesis is typically a three
credit course in both the fall and spring semesters of senior year and counts towards
the student’s major credit requirements. Top students may want to consider Scholar
of the College as well. Check with your major department for specific guidelines.


Control Room *: A critical analysis of Al-Jazeera and CNN – two types of corporate-owned news services and propaganda machines and their influence
on shaping perceptions of the United States’ war with Iraq.

* asterisk denotes movies available for free in the media center

And the Band Played On *: A 1993 fictional portrayal of the discovery and
spread of HIV/AIDS. Based on the book written by Randy Shilts, the film
also places special emphasis on alleged government indifference to what
was initially perceived as a “gay disease.”

The Corporation: A Documentary *: A powerful examination of the modern
corporation that traces its evolution as a legal entity from its genesis to its
unprecedented legal protection.

Arlington West: The film allows all to
witness the poignant conversations, dramatic revelations, silences, and personal
experiences of those who are paying the
highest price for the war in Iraq. Includes
opinions from active duty soldiers and
marines, military families, and veterans.

Crash *: This Oscar-winning film explores race in
Los Angeles through interwoven stories.
Dirty Pretty Things *: The story of illegal immigrants in Britain working at a hotel, trying to
make living while evading immigration services.

Bamboozled *: A 2000 satirical film
written and directed by Spike Lee about a
modern televised minstrel show. Expressing rage and grief at media representations of black people, the script delivers
powerful racial commentary about
contemporary US culture and society.

Do the Right Thing *: Another compelling film by
writer/director Spike Lee that explores urban interracial hostility. The film tells a tale of bigotry
and racial conflict in a multi-ethnic community in
Brooklyn, New York.
Ethnic Notions *: A fascinating and disturbing
picture of the misconceptions circulated in popular culture regarding African-American culture.

The Battle of Algiers *: 1966 depiction
of the Algerian War of Independence
against the French occupation. Reenacted
events that occurred between November
1954 and December 1960, during which
the actions of small revolutionary cells
transformed into a national liberation

Eyes on the Prize *: An epic 14-part video series
of primary footage from the Civil Rights and
Black Power movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
You have 4 years to see this – make sure you do.
Fidel: A must-see for anyone with any interest in
the history and realities of Latin American, not just Cuba. It cuts through the
packaged press we have always been fed and presents the Fidel Castro that
we never see or hear of.

Birth of a Nation *: An early 20th century silent film depicting the Ku
Klux Klan as the heroes of post-Civil War southern US. A critical film for
understanding the pervasive and evolving nature of racism in US history
and culture.

Ford Transit: A Palestinian taxi driver’s attempts to navigate around the
numerous checkpoints and barriers set up by the Israeli Military in the West
The Big One*, Bowling for Columbine*, Fahrenheit 9/11*, Roger and Me *: Bank.
Four well-known films by Michael Moore.
The Fourth World War: An intense documentary about the anti-corporate
Born into Brothels *: An award-winning documentary about the children of globalization movement, from the streets of Buenos Aires to the fields and
prostitutes in Sonagachi, the red light district of Calcutta, India.
jungles of Chiapas.
Bread and Roses *: A movie about a successful janitor strike in Los Angeles.
The film follows the struggles and ultimate successes of workers trying to
The Future of Food: Offers an indepth investigation into the disturbing
truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered food that have
quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade.
City of God *: The life of gang warfare and the drug trade in one of the
most violent and poor areas of Rio de Janeiro.
Gaza Strip: The film crew follows around a young Palestinian boy in Gaza
City, showing the incredibly powerful and stirring footage of the daily huThe Constant Gardener *: A widower is determined to find the secret behind miliations, hardships, injuries, and deaths that the Palestinians suffer under
his wife’s murder, big business, and corporate corruption. Based on the
Israeli military occupation.
novel by John le Carre.


Hearts and Minds *: A documentary on the disastrous social, political, and
economic effects of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
Hotel Rwanda *: The true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager
who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the
Hutu militia in Rwanda in 1994.
Jenin Jenin: A documentary of the deadly Israeli siege upon the Palestinian
city of Jenin during the beginning of the 2nd Intifada.
The Killing Zone: British Channel 4 News goes into the Gaza Strip to retrace
the deaths of two international peace activists killed at the hands of the
Israeli Military.

and revolution. Based on the book by Che Guevara.

The Murder of Fred Hampton *: Great primary footage of the Black Panther
Party, focusing on Fred Hampton – the visionary leader of the Illinois
chapter who was murdered in his bed by the pigs at age 21.
Murder on a Sunday Morning: This Oscar-winning documentary is about the
murder trial of a 15 year-old African-American who is wrongfully accused of
robbing and murdering an elderly white tourist at a Florida hotel. The film
follows the defense team as they build their case, showing the prejudice and
incompetence of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Life and Debt *: The devastating and heartbreaking effects of the International Monetary Fund and neo-liberal free trade on the people and economy
of Jamaica.

No! The Rape Documentary: Through testimonies from Black women survivors, commentaries from acclaimed African-American women scholars and
community leaders, and impacting archival footage, NO! unveils the reality
of rape, other forms of sexual violence, and healing in African-American

The Life of David Gale *: The fictional story of a life-long campaigner
against the death penalty who finds himself on death row after being found
guilty of the rape and murder of a fellow anti-execution campaigner.

Occupation: Documents Harvard students during the 1999 occupation and
sit-in of administrative buildings for the campaign to win a living wage for
university workers.

Loose Change: This documentary presents an alternative explanation of the On the Ground: Witness, Resist, Rebuild: This startling film features the
events of September 11. The film attempts to compensate for the perceived
building of the Beit Arabiya Peace Center for Peace and follows Israeli activinadequacy of the 9/11 Commission Report and government investigations. ist Jeff Halper to Jerusalem house demolitions, culminating in his arrest for
(available on Google Video)
civil disobedience in a multinational effort to save
the Jabari family’s home.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of
the Ring of Free Trade: The ring is free
Outfoxed: A documentary exposing the consertrade, Mordor is capitalism, elves and men
vative bias of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox
News Channel, which promotes itself as “fair and
are the People, Orcs are riot police, and
Gandalf is Chomsky – a short and entertaining 6-minute film combining actual
film footage with subtitles. (http://www.
Paradise Now *: Two close friends in Palestine
are recruited by an extremist group to be suicide
bombers. One friend maintains his determination
to carry out the attack, while the other begins to
doubt the action.
Maria Full of Grace *: The moving story
of a pregnant Colombian teenager who
becomes a drug mule to make some
Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land *:
desperately needed money for her money.
This film exposes how the foreign policy interests
of American political elites work with Israeli public
relations strategies to influence news reporting
Monkey Dance: This documentary follows
about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that
the lives of three teenagers in Lowell,
Massachusetts who are children of Camseverely undermines the Palestinian cause.
bodian refugees. They inhabit a tough,
working-class world shadowed by their
The Pianist *: A Polish Jewish musician struggles
parents’ nightmares of the Khmer Rouge.
to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto
Traditional Cambodian dance links them
during World War II.
to their parents’ culture, but hip consumerism often pulls harder.
A Place Called Chiapas *: A documentary about the ongoing Zapatista revoThe Motorcycle Diaries *: The legendary revolutionary Che Guevara takes
lution in southern Mexico. The film includes interviews with Subcomandante
his first trip across Latin America on an old motorcycle with a close friend.
Marcos, Noam Chomsky, and Zack de la Rocha.
During this adventure, he begins to form his thoughts on guerilla warfare


Rabbit-Proof Fence *: This film is based on the true story of how the Australian government forced Aborigine children to be re-educated and introduced
into “white” Australia in an effort to phase out the Aboriginal race.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A filmed account of the street protests
against the World Trade Organization Summit in Seattle, Washington in
1999. Another inspiring project from “Big Noise Films” that will make you
want to get out in the streets and raise your fist.

Rebels with a Cause: The Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam war protests of
the 1960s told through the eyes of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Trembling Before G-d *: Built around intimately-told personal stories
of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the documentary
Romero *: The life and death of Oscar Romero – archbishop of El Salvaportrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma – how to reconcile
dor during the civil war. The US-backed El Salvador junta was killing his
their devotion to Judaism and God with the Biblical prohibition that forbids
people…when he spoke up against the government and US military aid, he homosexuality.
paid for it with his life.
V for Vendetta: In a futuristic London, a freedom fighter known as “V” uses
Same Sex America: A 2005 look at same-sex marriage through the eyes of violent tactics to fight against the oppressive, totalitarian government. Upon
several couples facing dilemmas raised
rescuing a young woman from the police, he
by the uncertain state of American laws
gains an unlikely ally.
in this regard.
Waking Life *: Are we sleepwalking through
Sankofa *: Life and rebellion for
our waking lives or wake-walking through
African-born slaves in the US plantation
our dreams? A movie of philosophy, dreamsystem.
ing, and what we perceive to be reality.
The Spook Who Sat by the Door: An
African-American goes undercover in
order to gain access to CIA training,
and then he uses that knowledge to
train a street gang into a guerilla army
for the attempted overthrow of the US

The Weather Underground: A documentary
following the Weather Underground – a
guerilla organization of young middle-class,
white Americans that went underground to
oppose US imperialism, capitalism, and racism through violent means.
West Beirut *: Tarek and Omar are two teenage friends enjoying life in Lebanon when
a civil war breaks out – a coming age tale
set in their home of Beirut, now partitioned
along religious lines.

Steal this Movie!: The life and times
of Abbie Hoffman, 60s-era activist,
founder of the Yippie Party, and
cultural revolutionary.
Syriana *: A politically-charged film
about the state of the oil industry in the
hands of those personally involved and
affected by it.

The Yes Men *: A documentary following the
shifty shenanigans of the Yes Men, a pair
of anti-corporate activists who travel from
conference to conference and impersonate
members of the World Trade Organization.

The Take: In suburban Buenos Aires,
thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out
sleeping mats, and refuse to leave. Armed only with slingshots and faith in
shop-floor democracy, the workers face off against bosses, bankers, and a
whole system that sees their beloved factories as nothing more than scrap
metal for sale.

You Can’t Stay Neutral on a Moving Train *: The life of Howard Zinn,, radical
professor and historian. Author of “A People’s History of the United States,”
this film includes footage form his involvement in the civil rights era, SNCC,
and the anti-war movement.

Zapatista: The definitive look at the Zapatista uprising, its historical roots,
Thirst *: Is water part of a shared “commons,” a human right for all
and its lessons for the present and future.
people? Or is it a commodity to be bough, sold, and traded in a global
marketplace? This film tells the stories of communities in Bolivia, India, and
the United States that are asking these fundamental questions.


if you know, teach. if you don’t, learn.
Assata (Assata Shakur)
The story of a Black Panther, ‘70s-era revolutionary turned political exile.
The Autobiography of Angela Davis
The life of a former Black Panther and political prisoner.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The story of quite possibly the greatest revolutionary leader in our nation’s history.
Che (John Lee Anderson)
The life of Che Guevara, the guerrilla fighter who died in the battle for world revolution.
The Color of Water (James McBride)
The moving story of growing up biracial and a mother’s battle against racism.
Fidel (Tad Szulc)
An informative, interesting biography of Castro and history of the Cuban Revolution.
First They Killed My Father (Loung Ung)
An account of surviving the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Fugitive Days (Bill Ayers)
First-hand history of SDS and the Weathermen—two radical student groups of the
Heartbeat of Struggle (Diane Fujino)
The life of Yuri Kochiyama, Japanese-American activist who has worked for black
liberation, Asian American equality, Puerto Rican independence, and political
prisoner defense.
I, Rigoberta Menchu (Rigoberta Menchu)
The peasant-organizer-activist against the US-backed Guatemalan dictatorship.
Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela)
The autobiography of Mandela—guerrilla fighter, long-time political prisoner,
president and hero.
The Motorcycle Diaries (Che Guevara)
Che’s journal during his voyages across Latin America.
Mountains Beyond Mountains (Tracy Kidder)
The story of Paul Farmer—physician, teacher, and human-rights activist.
On a Move (Terry Bisson)
Biography of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former member of the Black Panther Party and
world-famous political prisoner now on deathrow.

marginalized children, and the need for radical education reform.
Deschooling Society (Ivan Illich)
How our educational systems perpetuate social and economic inequality.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Paulo Freire)
World-famous book on how modern education keeps the oppressed in subservient
social positions and what needs to be done for liberation.
A People’s History of the United States (Howard Zinn)
US History from the perspective of the People (Native Americans, slaves, women,
people of color, the working class) instead of our usual history of white upper-class
The Politics of History (Howard Zinn)
How most historians serve a propagandistic role in our society, camouflaging the
bad deeds of business and government as they claim to be objective and neutral
Rules for Radicals (Saul Alinsky)
Legendary activist and organizer lays down his guidelines for community organizing.
Savage Inequalities (Jonathon Kozol)
Exposing the vast inequalities between urban and suburban public schools.
Steal this Book! (Abbie Hoffman)
A guide for revolution—everything from starting your own newspaper to battling the
Who Owns History? (Eric Foner)
A look into the politics of history.
Biopiracy (Vandana Shiva)
The new age of imperialism – profiting from indigenous knowledge
Earth Odyssey (Mark Hertsgaard)
The environmental situation around the world and the US’s place in it all.
The Heat Is On (Ross Gelbspan)
The global warming crisis, the cover-up, and the solution.
High Tide (Mark Lynas)
The truth about the global warming climate crises and what we can do to stop it.
Pornography and Silence (Susan Griffin)
Pornography as the essence of Western culture’s need to dominate the “Other.”
Reading Lolita in Tehran (Azar Nafisi)
The story of Nafisi’s reading and discussion of banned books with other Iranian
Reviving Ophelia (Mary Pipher)
The harmful effects of Western culture on teenage women.
The Second Sex (Simone de Beauvoir)
A pre-Feminist Movement-era look at women’s place in the world and the power of
Undoing Gender (Judith Butler)
Criticizes the norms that govern gender and sexuality, Freud’s dual view of gender,
and gender formation.
Woman and Nature (Susan Griffin)
How science is fundamentally anti-woman and anti-life.

commentary on american culture
Are Prisons Obsolete? (Angela Davis)
The racist and sexist foundations of the US prison system.
Culture Jam (Kalle Lasn)
“How to reverse America’s suicidal consumer binge—and why we must.”
Declarations of Independence (Howard Zinn)
Short essays on the realities of American “freedoms” like speech, voting, and more.
Reefer Madness (Eric Schlosser)
The American black market of marijuana, migrant workers, and porn.
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (Jerry Mander)
TV as an inherently unhealthy, unreformable technology.
No More Prisons (William Upski Wimsatt)
The prison-industrial complex and the culture of fear.
Students Against Sweatshops (Liza Featherstone)
The anti-sweatshop movement in the US college scene.
Violence (James Gilligan)
How our prison system perpetuates the very violence it aims to stop.

Dying for Growth (Joyce Millen, Jim Yong)
Global inequality and the health of the poor.

Amazing Grace (Jonathan Kozol)
The disgraceful conditions of the Harlem school system, the perseverance of


Fences and Windows (Naomi Klein)
Short essays about globalization and the obstruction it creates.
Freakonomics (Steven D. Levitt)
A rogue economist explains the hidden side of everything.
The Future in the Balance (Walden Bello, Anuradha Mittal)
Corporate globalization and the resistance movements against it.
Global Village or Global Pillage (Jeremy Brecher, Tim Costello)
How multinational corporations have played different population bases against one
another, creating the “race to the bottom.”
Globalization and Its Discontents (Joseph Stiglitz)
The former president of the World Bank slams neo-liberalism and free trade.
Globalization of Nothing (George Ritzer)
The not-so-pretty-picture of short and long-term globalization.
Jihad vs McWorld (Benjamin Barber)
Discusses the relationship between terrorism, capitalism, and democracy.
Multitude (Michael Hardt, AntonioNegri)
Postmodern organizing and resistance in the face of a global Empire.
No Logo (Naomi Klein)
Examining the omnipotent presence of corporations and advertising in our daily
No Sweat (Andrew Ross)
An expose of the fashion industry—detailing the sweatshop labor that is so pervasive
in the clothing and apparel world.
The War Against Oblivion (John Ross)
A well-researched book detailing the 1994 Zapatista revolution and the years since.
Whose Trade Organization? (Ralph Nader, Lori Wallach, Patrick
Exposing the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the WTO.

Red Emma Speaks (Emma Goldman)
Writings and speeches of the famous anarchist, feminist, and revolutionary.
Revolution of the Heart (Bill Shore)
Why non-profits should form businesses to take community control of the economy.
There Are No Children Here (Kotlowitz)
Opening the eyes of suburbia to the lives of two inner-city youth.
The Wealth Inequality Reader (Betsy Leondar-Wright, Meizhu Lui, Amy
Offner, Adria Schart)
25 essays exploring wealth inequality and the prospects for change.

imperialism, colonialism, & resistance
Blowback (Chalmers Johnson)
How covert CIA operations and US imperialism are coming back to bite us in the ass.
Black Elk Speaks (John Neihardt)
An indigenous account of Custer’s Last Stand, the massacre at Wounded Knee, and
Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee (Dee Brown)
An account of the Native American genocide and the ethnic cleansing/colonization
of the American West from 1860-1890.
Chronicles of Dissent (David Barsamian, Noam Chomsky)
Interviews with Noam Chomsky in the late 80s-early 90s.
Clash of Fundamentalisms (Tariq Ali)
The United States’ fundamentalist foreign policy and the reactions its producing.
Confessions of an Economic Hitman (John Perkins)
Perkins served as an “economic hitman” for the US, helping intelligence agencies
and multinationals blackmail and coerce foreign leaders into serving US foreign
policy and business interests.
The Earth Shall Weep (James Wilson)
A comprehensive history of Native America including present-day.
inequality, economics, & class
First World, Ha Ha Ha! (Elaine Katzenberger)
Class Matters (bell hooks)
Proclamation and articles about the Zapatistas’ cause.
The prevalence of class hierarchy and the extent to which we go in denying its
Ghost Wars (Steve Coll)
The CIA’s work with Bin Laden in the 80s.
The Communist Manifesto (Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx)
Hegemony or Survival (Noam Chomsky)
The famous 100-page pamphlet making the case for proletarian revolution.
US foreign policy and the rhetoric of “democracy building.”
The Essential Wallerstein (Immanuel Wallerstein)
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Walter Rodney)
An introduction to the author’s work on the crisis of capitalism.
Comprehensive work on European imperialism.
Homage to Catalonia (George Orwell)
In the Absence of the Sacred (Jerry Mander)
Orwell’s account of the Spanish Civil War helps the reader understand the philoThe failure of technology and capitalism and the survival of Indian Nations.
sophic and tangible differences between Fascism, Communism, and Anarchism.
Killing Hope (William Blum)
Living at the Edge of the World (Pastor Bolnick)
The most comprehensive look of all US Military and CIA interventions since WWII.
A teenager’s story of survival living in the tunnels of Grand Central Station.
Read how “committed” to democracy and liberty the US government really is.
Lucy Parsons: Freedom, Equality, & Solidarity (Lucy Parsons)
King Leopold’s Ghost (Adam Hochschild)
Writings and speeches by the labor organizer and anarchist the Chicago police called Colonialism, Africa, the Congo, post-slavery, and the early human rights movement.
“more dangerous than a thousand rioters.”
The Massacre at El Mozote (Mark Danner)
Nickel and Dimed (Barbara Ehrenreich)
The story of over 900 civilians who were executed by an elite, US-trained battalion
A columnist goes undercover to become a waitress, a maid, and a Walmart emof El Salvador’s military.
ployee to learn first hand about the sham called the “American Dream.”
The New Intifada (Roane Carey, Noam Chomsky, Gila Svirsky, Alison Weir)
No Gods No Monsters (Daniel Guerin)
A description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the 2nd popular Palestinian
Classic anthology on anarchist philosophy.
The Overworked American (Juliet Schor)
Nicaragua (Thomas Walker)
How Americans work longer hours and take less vacation than other industrial
The Sandinista Revolution and the subsequent war with the US-backed Contras.
The Open Veins of Latin America (Eduardo Galeano)
Parecon (Michael Albert)
Five centuries of the pillage of a continent.
Short for Participatory Economics, Parecon outlines how a truly stateless economy
Our Word is Our Weapon (Subcommandante Marcos)
might function.
A comprehensive collection of speeches and communiqués from the Zapatista rebel
Rachel and Her Children (Jonathan Kozol)
Exposing the truth of a growing epidemic in the US: family homelessness.
A Problem from Hell (Samantha Power)
The Raw Deal (Ellen Frank)
American and the Age of Genocide, case studies of Rwanda, Cambodia, and others.
Myths and misinformation about the deficit, inflation, and wealth.


Rogue State (William Blum)
A guide and history of American state-terrorism around the world.
Savages (Joe Kane)
First-hand account of the battle between oil companies and those indigenous to the
Amazon basin.
Soledad Brother (George Jackson)
The prison letters of Black Panther and political prisoner George Jackson.
War Talk (Arundhati Roy)
Essays on war, democracy, racism, empire, and more.
We Want Freedom (Mumia Abu-Jamal)
A first-hand history of the Black Panther Party by a world-famous political prisoner.
What Uncle Sam Really Wants (Noam Chomsky)
Short book on imperialist US foreign policy in recent history and in the present.
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed
with Our Families (Philip Gourevitch)
First-hand accounts of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Psyche of the colonized and revolutionaries.
novels & poetry
1984 (George Orwell)
A vivid description of life under a totalitarian state with “thought police” surveying
our very thoughts. Frightening parallels to Bush’s Patriot Act-era America.
Animal Farm (George Orwell)
Farm animals overthrow their farmer and show how the road to revolution can lead
to totalitarianism.
Dharma Bums (Jack Kerouac)
The life of a young Buddhist living in America.
The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
Arundhati Roy’s famous novel set in late 1960s India.
Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)
Considered one of the greatest novels in American literary history, this book explores the complexity and injustice of race relations from the eyes of a black male.
Ishmael (Daniel Quinn)
Fictional novel discussing population growth, evolution, and environmental distruction in a creative way.
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel García Marquez)
A phenomenal novel by the famous leftist Colombian author.
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (Pablo Neruda)
Complete and translated collection of this Latin American poet’s works.
The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)
Passages, poems, and philosophy on just about everything.
Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)
A subversive good vs. evil novel that earned the author a death sentence.
The Stranger (Albert Camus)
A small existential novel about a man struggling with overwhelming indifference.
Without an Alphabet, Without a Face (Saadi Youssef)
The poetry of an Iraqi exile.
philosophy, social theory, & everything else
Billions and Billions (Carl Sagan)
A collection of provocative essays on just about everything.
Contested Knowledge (Steven Seidman)
Examines social theory and movements using sociologists of past and present.
The Culture of Make Believe (Derrick Jensen)
Exploring the destructive elements of civilization through narratives and history.
The Place of Tolerance in Islam (Khaled Abou El Fadl)
The argument that the Qur’an favors a conception of Islam as pacific and tolerant.
Social Theory (Steve Catalano, Charles Lemert)
An anthology encompassing the writings from a wide range of social theorists.

A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (Manuel DeLanda)
A radical synthesis of historical development.
Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
Thoreau’s famous meditations on life, society, government and more.
Asian American Dreams (Helen Zia)
Comprehensive description of the political history of Asians in American society.
Black Looks (bell hooks)
Confronting the white supremacist media, from music to film and more.
Black Skin, White Masks (Frantz Fanon)
The use of language as a colonialist, racist tool and its effects on Africans.
The Debt (Randall Robinson)
What America owes Black America—the case for reparations.
I Am Because We Are: Readings in Black Philosophy (Fred
Hord, Jonathan Scott Lee)
A collection of essays by black philosophers that articulate an Afro-centric challenge
to the self-centered European notion of “I think therefore I am.”
Race Matters (Cornell West)
Essays on race relations in America.
The Souls of Black Folk (W.E.B. Du Bois)
Life for black people in post-civil war America and the psychological effects of being
black in a white supremacist society.
Strangers from a Different Shore (Ronald Takaki)
The book for Asian-American history.
Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies & Bucks (Donald Bogle)
An interpretive history of blacks in American films.
Yellow (Frank Wu)
Race in America beyond black and white: an Asian-American perspective on race
relations in the US.
Yurugu (Marimba Ani)
An Afro-centric critique of European cultural thought and Behavior.
race, gender, & sexuality
Black Feminist Thought (Patricia Hill-Collins)
Considered the bible of contemporary black feminist thought.
Black Sexual Politics (Patricia Hill-Collins)
Offers a theory of intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality while criticizing
the vivid images of hypersexual blacks, strong black women, and weak black men.
Dragon Ladies (Sonia Shah)
Prominent Asian American women writers, artists, and activists seize the power of
their unique political perspective and cultural background to articulate an Asian
American feminist politics and to transform the landscape of race, class, and gender
in the US.
Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras (Gloria Anzaldua)
Another classic book for feminists of color.
Making Waves (Emilya Cachapero, Diane Yen-Mei Wong)
Anthology of fiction, poetry, and essays by Asian-American women that challenge
stereotypes of docility and subservience.
This Bridge Called My Back (Gloria Anzaldua, Cherrie Moraga)
The classic, groundbreaking anthology of writings by women of color on the race,
class, gender, and sexual orientation.
Queer Theory, Gender Theory (Riki Wilchins)
An introduction to postmodern theory’s impact on queer and gender studies.
Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch (Dwight McBride)
Explores the lack of a strong, distinct black gay male presence in cultural discourse.


Item sets