In the group’s first official protest since becoming a registered student organization (RSO), Climate Justice at Boston College marched up the Million Dollar Stairs and held a vigil in front of the St. Ignatius Statue. Their message was clear and consistent with their message last year: BC should divest from fossil fuels. They said that as a Jesuit institution, University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., and the school’s Board of Directors should be doing more to fight climate change, especially in the context of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on climate change.
Since this protest was registered, CJBC’s members did not need to worry about disciplinary action and instead could focus on their message. CJBC participant Zack Muzdakis, MCAS ’17, believed that the lack of disciplinary context around the event partially contributed to the low turnout for the recent protest, but followed that it’s more the polarizing environment that CJBC provides during the protest that acts as a deterrent for many students.
For those that are looking for fervent displays of aggravation with the issues of climate change, CJBC’s protests provides an outlet for students. For those that don’t feel comfortable engaging with the intense protest atmosphere, there are programming events on campus that are there to fill the void. Last week, “Our Common Home,” an event that brought in a plethora of environmental speakers and provided activities for students to participate in throughout the day, attracted those students that were looking for a more casual environment to discuss what he or she found important. Very different from a CJBC protest, but with the same theme in mind: “Our Common Home” might have been one of the reasons that some of the air was taken out of CJBC’s tires.
Regardless, it’s admirable for CJBC to take advantage of its registered status. As much as it might be looking for bigger numbers, the organization’s new place on BC’s campus is victory enough for the recently recognized group—for now.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor