One club on campus is working to educate and initiate the Boston College community on a globally important yet controversial topic.
BC Fossil Free is a part of a network of more than 320 universities and 39 cities, including Cambridge, Mass., that are urging fossil fuel divestment.
From letter writing campaigns to participating in a Cambridge banner-drop with other local universities, this group of students is working continuously on and off campus to spread awareness of the concerns that continued dependence on fossil fuels is likely to bring.
Founded in early 2013, BC Fossil Free is rooted in efforts for increased on-campus sustainability. Club member and cofounder TJ Buckley, A&S ’16, explained that though the University has both many eco-centered groups and has recently made stronger moves toward becoming greener, BC Fossil Free “recognizes the need for more to be done on BC’s campus.”
BC Fossil Free views divestment as an answer, and aims to have the University both stop all new investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies as well as divest from current stocks held in them throughout the next five years.
Since last winter, BC Fossil Free has worked on both making the Boston College community aware of the topic of divestment, as well as getting people involved with a push for BC to divest.
One of their most successful campaigns has been “Class Raps” which are brief, two to five minute announcements members make at the beginning of classes in order to introduce the concept of divestment and the ways which BC factors in to the subject.
“We want to be the first major Jesuit institution to divest from fossil fuels,” said Buckley, who recognizes the significance of a major institution divesting from the use of fossil fuels.
In addition to spreading awareness, BC Fossil Free urges involvement in their goal of University divestment through encouraging interested students, alumna, and faculty to sign a petition asking for BC to divest.
“We understand the issue of climate change as an issue of justice and moral obligation,” said Cofounder Bobby Wengronowitz, GA&S ’19. “We are inheriting this climate and instability. This issue is falling on us to change.”
The group of now over 20 students, and growing, has been working with other BC organizations with environmental goals such as Ecopledge to make sustainability a more approachable and accessible topic on-campus.
The groups are planning to host a divestment panel, to take place during Green Week, that would combine local financial, climate, and political experts speaking on the benefits of divestment.
In addition, BC Fossil Free is working on their “Save the Mods” campaign that centers on increased global rainfall and the continual flooding of Boston College’s favorite housing option, creating a link between a common BC concept and the potential harm climate change, due to increased use of fossil fuels, could bring to it. “For this issue to catch on it needs to hit home a little more for BC,” Buckley said.
Although they have outgrown their previous meeting space, BC Fossil Free currently holds general, biweekly meetings on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and encourages anyone interested in their mission to attend and participate.
“We want people to know that we can take a stand, be leaders, and make a statement,” Buckley said.