Global Zero of Boston College (GZBC) has made significant strides in its first semester at BC and is on track to continue its mission to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide. Though the main goal of Global Zero chapters such as the one at BC is to raise awareness and collect signatures on petitions to end proliferation, GZBC is also working on expanding Global Zero in New England.
This month, GZBC participated in Global Zero’s first ever student summit, which was held at Yale University. Over 350 students from Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and the United States attended the summit. Among the events during the summit were panel discussions about various facets of the nuclear proliferation issue, including one led by Iran’s former secretary of state.
“There was a lot of discussion on these sensitive topics, letting students get a better grasp of what the situation is like and why we’re doing this now, reiterating that right now we’re at a crossroads,” said Andy Hu, GZBC president and A&S ’14. “There’s only two roads that we can go on. One is toward proliferation, and once there is widespread proliferation, we can’t stop it. There’s the other road, which is disarm right now and stop proliferation. If we go on that road, we can still make things right.”
This semester, GZBC will be participating in a NATO campaign for the removal of 200 U.S.-owned tactical missiles currently set up in Western Europe. These tactical missiles, though originally intended to be dropped on Russia, can logistically only be dropped on former USSR countries that have now joined NATO, such as the Ukraine and Belarus.
“We’d be bombing our own allies, which won’t happen,” Hu said. “There’s no refueling plan, so there’s no way for these planes to reach Russia at all, and really, who wants to get into a war with Russia? These are absolutely useless bombs.”
Hu stressed that the money currently being used to maintain these bombs could be redirected to other programs if the bombs were dismantled. “I’m actually applying [for a] study-abroad scholarship, and a week before its deadline, they said it was cancelled because of budget cuts,” Hu said. “I can still go to school, but a lot of kids can’t go to school because of cuts in education.”
On campus this semester, GZBC will be working hard to promote itself to all types of students. The group will host a photography contest open to all BC students to showcase the “beauty of life’s colors.” During the annual Arts Fest, students’ entries will be exhibited in Bapst Library alongside black and white photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bombs were dropped on them during World War II. The photos will be judged in part by professors and in part by student votes on Facebook.
“I feel like contrasting the two scenarios of a colorful world and a black and white world that’s dead and just ash is going to be powerful, and remind us of what we have to lose and how important this topic really is,” Hu said.
GZBC hopes to make Boston the center of Global Zero in the United States. “In New England in general right now, the only two established chapters are our chapter at Boston College and a smaller one at MIT,” Hu said. “We’re going to have intercollegiate events in April … Boston is the center—there are so many schools and so many students here, so there’s so much potential.”