Tag Archives: hillary clinton

Here’s Why Michael Dukakis Thinks Clinton Lost in 2016

As the final speaker in the Hellenic Society’s Greek America Lecture Series, Michael Dukakis, former Democratic presidential candidate and the longest-serving governor in Massachusetts history, spoke to a crowded Devlin 008 on Wednesday night. Dukakis delved into the personal and political, discussing his Greek roots and his hopes for the Democratic Party.

Stavros Piperis, member of the Hellenic Society and MCAS ’19, introduced Dukakis and his wife, Kitty.  

“The idea behind the series was to somehow connect our community here on the Heights to the home nation that we hold dear,” Piperis said.

The child of two Greek immigrants, Dukakis was born and raised in Brookline, Mass., where his political career began in town hall meetings. In 1960, he was elected chairman of Brookline’s Democratic organization, and steadily worked his way into the state legislature. By 1974, he was elected governor of Massachusetts.

In 1988, Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for the presidency, but was defeated by George H. W.  Bush. He spoke about two faults he saw in his campaign—not responding to Bush’s attack campaign and not focusing on grassroots, precinct based politics.

“I am a huge believer in precinct-based, grassroots organizations because that’s how I was elected to the municipal office, that’s how I was elected to represent the town of Brookline in the state legislature, that’s how I was elected governor three times,” Dukakis said.

The former governor’s only campaigns not grounded in precinct-based, grassroots movements—his first gubernatorial reelection campaign and his presidential bid—were the two political races Dukakis lost.

A voting precinct is a district into which a city or town is divided for voting. Dukakis sees the precinct as the basic election unity of the United States. There are approximately 185,000 precincts in the United States, with 2,157 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“What’s serious about a precinct-based, grassroots organization is that it requires a precinct captain and six block or neighborhood captains,” Dukakis said. “Doing what? Making personal contact on an on-going basis with every single voting household.”

By personal contact, Dukakis was not referring to a casual hello or 10 second phone call. Rather, he emphasized the need to find out the questions and concerns of voters, and responding to voter needs in an effective, personal way.

“It’s important, lasting, and makes a huge difference, especially in a world where we’re so unconnected to people in many ways,” he said.

Dukakis went on to emphasize the need to de-polarize American politics. He urged Democrats to renounce the red state-blue state dichotomy, and instead invest time, energy, and money into precincts across all states.

“Once you buy into this [narrative], you essentially say to half the country, ‘we’re not going to spend any time on you,’” Dukakis said. “In fact, you end up, as we’ve seen repeatedly now, campaigning in the same six or seven states in the last few months of the campaign while the rest of the country is spectating.”

To illustrate his point, Dukakis explained a pitfall of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. With a month to go in the campaign, Clinton and Donald Trump were tied in the polls in Texas. Additionally, polls indicated that Clinton was slightly ahead in Georgia, and down a few points in South Carolina.

“All winnable states,” Dukakis said. “What happened? No field operation. They were written off as red states.”  

Clinton went on to lose to Trump in all three states.

“The Democratic Party isn’t going to win by slicing and dicing the electorate,” he said.

Moreover, Dukakis explained that by writing off several states as “red” and therefore unwinnable, Democrats allow Republicans to funnel all resources into seven key states instead of all 50.

“Now, these guys can outspend us, but I don’t think they can outwork us,” Dukakis said. “But the question is, will we do the work?”

Throughout his career, Dukakis has been an advocate for education and adequate, affordable healthcare. His passion for health care is, in part, rooted in his wife’s battle with depression.

“I believe government needs to play a positive and constructive role in making this a better society,” Dukakis said.

Former governor Dukakis and his wife remain active within the Democratic Party. They work with current policymakers like Senator Elizabeth Warren to make sure party members are making personal connections with voters across the nation.

“In my view, the Democratic Party is committed to the kind of government and leadership that’s essential if we’re going to make this country and this world a better place,” he said.

Featured Image by Jake Evans / Heights Staff

LTE: A Response to Conservatism After Trump’s Win

In the wake of Donald Trump’s win, there are undoubtedly many competing explanations for such a shocking electoral upset. While I agree with the assertion that the election hinged on the political voices of the disillusioned, it is inaccurate to characterize Trump’s win as a crowning triumph of the conservative movement. In fact, Trump’s platform defies traditional conservative principles in almost every way. The United States didn’t collectively embrace conservatism overnight. The idea that America somehow chose a conservative federal government has no basis in what actually happened on Nov. 8th.

As it turns out, that is the opposite of what happened. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes. Trump performed worse than Mitt Romney in 2012. To say nothing of the irresponsibility and incompetence of Clinton’s campaign for letting this happen, a clear majority of the country rejected Trump. This was not an empowering victory for the conservative movement, regardless of whom President-elect Trump surrounds himself with. I can understand the system was intended to make the federal government work with respect to the will of the minority, as well as the majority. That being said, the Democrats will have virtually no voice in the Republicans’ decision to strip 20 million people of their healthcare.

In your opinion, you fail to acknowledge the irrationality of a man winning an election by a 2.5 million-vote deficit. People aren’t rejecting fairness—they are outraged by its absence in this election. The Electoral College allowed the president to be chosen by a quarter of the population of the United States. Clinton’s ineptitude throughout the election does not negate that basic fact. Conservatism was not legitimized as the true way forward by this election.

In light of everything that was at stake in this election, on top of the fact that Trump lost the popular vote by a huge margin, you cannot dismiss the protests of the outcome. Kneeling to the prospect of Trump’s presidency would normalize the objectives on which he campaigned—very few of which are actually conservative. He advocated for the largest forced deportation since the Holocaust and a national registry for people of a certain religion. Protest is the rational response to an election result that is starkly irrational. Aside from voting, there is no other way for people to voice their outrage.

Andrew Vaccaro, MCAS ’20

Featured Image by Evan Vucci / AP Photo

LTE: Faculty Members Respond to Trump Win

.To the Boston College community:

In the aftermath of a highly contentious presidential election with unprecedented levels of negativity and uncivil rhetoric, our community is unsettled. While some are pleased and optimistic about the election’s outcome, others are distressed, fearful, and apprehensive. In this time of uncertainty, it is essential that we come together as a community and work to heal the divisions that have intensified over the last few months.

Boston College’s Mission Statement closes by underscoring our community’s “deep concern for all members of its community, with a recognition of the important contribution a diverse student body, faculty and staff can offer, with a firm commitment to academic freedom.” In keeping with the spirit of this statement, we encourage students, faculty, and staff to discuss and engage with the many issues raised by this election. We must respect different viewpoints—however strongly held—and not allow our differences to devolve into intolerance, bullying, or intimidation. We must create and maintain a respectful dialogue that reflects our values of diversity and inclusion and helps us learn from one another.

As faculty at Boston College, we remain committed to diversity, inclusion, and civil discourse, and, in the words of our Mission Statement, “the pursuit of a just society.”

Signed,

Heide Abelli, CSOM – Management & Organization

Allison Adair, English

Lillie R. Albert, Lynch School of Education

Treseanne Ainsworth, English

Alexis Anderson, Law School

Jim Anderson, Economics

John Anderson, English

Mary Armstrong Art, Art History and Film

Karen Arnold, Education

Lara Ayad, Art, Art History, and Film

Sarah Babb, Sociology

Karl Baden, Art, Art History and Film

Kathleen Bailey, Political Science

Betty Bagnani, Carroll School

John Baldovin, S.J. School of Theology & Ministry

Ali Banuazizi, Political Science

Jean Bartunek, Management and Organization

Christopher F Baum, Economics

Ethan Baxter, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Sarah H. Beckjord, Romance Languages and Literatures

Sharon Beckman, Law School

Lauren Bell, English

Dianne Berg, English

Pam Berger, Art, Art History and Film

Suzanne Berne, English

Caroline Bicks, English

Mary Sarah Bilder, Law School

Sheila Blair, Art, Art History and Film

Richard A. Blake, S.J., Art, Art History and Film

Jonathan Bloom, Art, Art History, and Film

Amy Boesky, English

John Boylan, Capstone & Chemistry

Cheryl Bratt, Law School

Ben Braude, History

James T. Bretzke, S.J., Theology & Ministry

Hiram Brownell, Psychology

André Brouillette, SJ, School of Theology and Ministry

Patrick H. Byrne, Philosophy

Donnah Canavan, Psychology

Francine Cardman, School of Theology and Ministry

Claude Cernuschi, Art, Art History, and Film

Elizabeth Chadwick, MCAS Honors Program

Ryan Chahrour, Economics

Mary Ann Chirba, Law School

Paul Christensen, Political Science

Paul Cichello, Economics

Judy Clair, Management & Organization

Richard J. Clifford, S.J., Theology & Ministry

Peter Clote, Biology

Alston Conley, Art, Art History and Film

Shawn Copeland, Theology

Sara Cordes, Psychology

Donald Cox, Economics

Mary Crane, English

Timothy W. Crawford, Political Science

Marla De Rosa, English

Tiziana Dearing, Social Work

Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Theology

Thomas Dodman, History

Eileen Donovan-Kranz, English

Dominic Doyle, School of Theology and Ministry

Rebecca K. Dunn, Biology

Nicole Eaton, History

John E. Ebel, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Jennifer Erickson, Political Science and International Studies

Silvana Falconi, Romance Languages and Literatures

Wen Fan, Sociology

Donald Fishman, Communication

Robin Fleming, History

Laura Foote, Management and Organization, Carroll School

Solomon Friedberg, Mathematics

Richard Gaillardetz, Theology

Kim Garcia, English

Brian J. Gareau, Sociology and International Studies

Tara Pisani Gareau, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Env. Studies Program

Jane Gionfriddo, Law School

Lisa Goodman, School of Education

Judith Gordon, Management and Organization

Elizabeth Graver, English

Paul S. Gray, Sociology

Carol Hurd Green, English, ret’d

Ani Ross Grubb, Management and Organization

Michael Grubb, Economics

Angela Kim Harkins, School of Theology and Ministry

Franklin T. Harkins, School of Theology and Ministry

Brad Harrington, Carroll School of Management

Spencer Harrison, CSOM Management and Organization

Lori Harrison-Kahan, English

Dayton Haskin, English

Penny Hauser-Cram, Lynch School

Andrea Heberlein, Psychology

Frank R. Herrmann, S.J., Law School

Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Sociology

Kristin E. Heyer, Theology

Gene Heyman, Psychology

Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger, Law

Kenneth Himes, OFM, Theology

Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM, Theology

Lindsay R. Hogan, Communication

Gail Hoffman, Classical Studies

Anne Homza, Lynch School of Education

Jeffery Howe, Art, Art History and Film

Marjorie Howes, English

Aeron Hunt, English

Peter Ireland, Economics

Penelope Ismay, History

Régine Jean-Charles, Romance Languages and Literature

Andrew Jorgenson, Sociology and Environmental Studies

Marilynn Johnson, History

Tom Kaplan-Maxfield, English

Sanford Katz, Law School (emeritus)

Daniel Kanstroom, Law

James F. Keenan, S.J., Theology

Christopher Kelly, Political Science

Melissa M. Kelley, School of Theology and Ministry

Christopher Kenaley, Biology

Kevin Kenny, History

Elizabeth Kensinger, Psychology

Lisa Kessler, Art, Art History and Film

Oh Myo Kim, Lynch School of Education

Gail Kineke, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Dan Kirschner, Biology

Suntae Kim, Management and Organization

Hideo Konishi, Economics

Marvin Kraus, Economics

Richard Lennan, School of Theology and Ministry

Stephanie C. Leone, Art, Art History, and Film

Deborah T. Levenson, History

Paul Lewis, English

Belle Liang, Lynch School of Education

Ramsay Liem, Psychology, Emeritus

Margaret Lombe, Social Work

Nancy Lowd, CSOM Management and Organization

Rafael Luciani, School of Theology and Ministry

Robin Lydenberg, English

Lynn Lyerly, History

Ray Madoff, Law

Kevin J. Mahoney, Social Work

Ursula Mangoubi, German

David W. Manzo, PULSE Program, Philosophy

Michael Martin, MCAS Honors Program

Robert Maryks, History

Marilyn Matelski, Communication

Suzanne Matson, English

Christopher R. Matthews, Theology & Ministry

Zachary A. Matus, History

Maia McAleavey, English

Marina McCoy, Philosophy

John McDargh, Theology

Julie MacEvoy, School of Education

Sean MacEvoy, Psychology

Francis M.McLaughlin, Economics, Emeritus

Kathleen McInnis-Dittrich, School of Social Work

Daniel McKaughan, Philosophy

David McMenamin, Philosophy

Judith McMorrow, Law School

Michele Meek, Art, Art History and Film

Shep Melnick, Political Science

David Miele, Lynch School of Education

Dorothy Miller, English

Karen K. Miller, History

Alan Minuskin, Law School

Yajun Mo, History

Babak Momeni, Biology

Juan S. Montes, CSOM Management and Organization

Franco Mormando, Romance Languages & Literatures

Sara Moorman, Sociology

Julie Holland Mortimer, Economics

David Mozina, Theology

Tim Muldoon, MCAS Honors Program

Matthew Mullane, Theology

Robert Murphy, Economics

Nancy Netzer, Art, Art History and Film

Kevin Newmark, Romance Languages and Literatures

Alice A. Noble, Law School

Joe Nugent, English

Clare O’Connor, Biology

George O’Har, English

Kevin Ohi, English

Claudia Olivetti, Economics

Kevin O’Neill, History

Tim van Opijnen, Biology

Prasannan Parthasarathi, History

Harold Petersen, Economics, Emeritus

Gorica Petrovich, Psychology

Nancy Pineda-Madrid, School of Theology and Ministry

Zyg Plater, Law

Christopher Polt, Classical Studies

Stephen J. Pope, Theology Department

Diana Pullin, School of Education

Lorenzo Alexander Puente, English

Jennie Purnell, Political Science

Joseph Quinn, Economics

Virginia Reinburg, History

Michael Resler, German Studies

Alan Richardson, English

Sam Richardson, Economics

Patricia Riggin, Theatre

Maureen Ritchey, Psychology

Susan Roberts, English

Brian Robinette, Theology

Alan Rogers, History

Karen Rosen, Psychology

Sarah Gwyneth Ross, History

Bonnie Rudner, English

James A. Russell, Psychology

Dana Sajdi, History

Natalia Sarkisian, Sociology

Robert Savage, History

Fabio Schiantarelli, Economics

Juliet Schor, Sociology

Sylvia Sellers-Garcia, History

Metin Sengul, Management & Organization

Kalpana R. Seshadri, English

Franziska Seraphim, History

Stephen Shane, English

Scott Slotnick, Psychology

Jim Smith, English

Noah Snyder, Earth & Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies

Andrew Sofer, English

Min Hyoung Song, English & Asian American Studies Program

Paul Spagnoli, History (emeritus)

Rachel E. Spector, Connell School of Nursing

Mark Spiegel, Law School

Richard Spinello, Management and Organization

Robert Stanton, English

Thomas Stegman, SJ, School of Theology and Ministry

Martin Summers, History

Eileen Sweeney, Philosophy

Meghan T. Sweeney, Theology and PULSE Program for Service Learning

David T. Takeuchi, Social Work

Laura Tanner, English

Samantha Teixeira, Social Work

Lad Tobin, English

Judith B. Tracy, Law School

Paul Tremblay, Law School

Mary Tripsas, Carroll School

Mary Troxell, Philosophy

Usha Tummala-Narra, School of Education

Esther Gimeno Ugalde, Romance Languages and Literatures

Utku Unver, Economics

Ernesto Valiente, School of Theology and Ministry

Holly VandeWall  Philosophy

Andrea Vicini, SJ, School of Theology and Ministry

Debra Weisberg, Art, Art History, Film

Eric Weiskott, English

Fr. James Weiss, Theology & Capstone

Peter Weiler, History (emeritus)

Catharine Wells, Law School

Celeste Wells, Communication

John B. Williamson, Sociology

Christopher Wilson, English

Ellen Winner, Psychology

Corinne Wong, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Hao Wu, Psychology

Alfred C. Yen, Law School

Liane Young, Psychology

Tieying Yu, Management & Organization

Ling Zhang, History

Brian Zimmerman, English

Lindsey O’Rourke, Political Science

Charles Baron, Law

Aileen Callahan, Art, Art History and Film

Can Erbil, Economics

Wan Sonya Tang, Romance Languages and Literatures

Robert Savage, History

Hosffman Ospino, School of Theology and Ministry

Rebekah Levine Coley, School of Education

Elizabeth Sutherland, Classical Studies 

Laurie Shepard, Romance Languages and Literatures

Mary Jo Iozzio, School of Theology & Ministry

Laura E. Hake, Biology Department

Kendra Eshleman, Classical Studies

Catherine Mooney, School of Theology and Ministry

Maria Kakavas, Classical Studies

Sean R. Martin, Carroll School of Management

Brett Ingram, Communication

Robert Daly, S.J., Theology, retired

Dacia Gentilella, English and Learning to Learn

Ellen Friedman, History, retired

Andrew Prevot, Theology

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Staff

Following Trump Victory, a Somber Mood on Campus

Thick gray clouds loomed over Boston College Wednesday morning as students walked to class. Some students stopped to hug friends and exchange brief words of empathy and support, but most walked in silence.

The somber mood on campus followed the announcement early Wednesday morning that Republican nominee Donald J. Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Trump secured 279 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 228, as of late Wednesday night. The results shocked BC students and the rest of the nation. Most of the polls leading up to Nov. 8 predicted Clinton would win by a large margin.

Following the announcement, several professors cancelled classes. Many more students didn’t attend classes on Wednesday. Professors who did hold class invited students to engage in conversation about the election rather than discuss the day’s material. Most of these conversations elicited tears of disappointment, fear, and concern.

Resident directors also sent emails to their residents, inviting them to come talk with them. The emails also encouraged students seeking help to visit the Office of the Dean of Students, the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center, and University Counseling Services.

The Women’s Center, which has office hours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., welcomed students throughout the day Wednesday who were in search of a place to talk about and reflect on the results of the election.

Katie Dalton, the director of the Women’s Center, said that she invited students to the center on Wednesday for food and discussion because she knew students would have a strong reaction to the results of the election.

“The election has carried a lot of hostility and divisiveness just in the way in which the rhetoric was formed around it,” she said. “We felt that our students needed a place to process it.”

Dalton had expected the Center to host a day of celebration after Clinton was elected the first female president of the United States. But after the unexpected win by Trump, feelings on Wednesday were not that of celebration.

“The overall tone is a tone of disbelief, a tone of anger, and a tone of anxiety,” she said. “I think we can all make assumptions about what we think a Trump presidency will look like, but we don’t really know. I think that unknown comes with a lot of anxiety.”

Even though Clinton’s loss meant that the Center would no longer be holding a day of celebration, Dalton still welcomed students into the office.

“As Clinton said, ‘We’re stronger together,’ so I emailed my staff and asked if we could get together and start to grapple with these results and be there for each other,” she said.

When the office opened around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, the first students to arrive were graduate students. They were very quiet, Dalton said, and no one spoke because no one knew what to say. But as more undergraduates came to the office, the conversation picked up. Students spoke in small groups and watched the various speeches aired Wednesday morning, including one by Clinton and one by President Barack Obama.

Dalton understands that not all students on BC’s campus have the same political views. She wanted to bring students together so that they might come to terms with the results of the election and then learn how to talk with roommates and friends who have differing political stances.


“The election has carried a lot of hostility and divisiveness just in the way in which the rhetoric was formed around it,” she said. “We felt that our students needed a place to process it.”

Katie Dalton, Director of the Women’s Center


“This isn’t a time where we just cut that off and create new friendships or form new rooming situations,” she said. “We really need to be able to mourn ourselves so that we’re in a place where we can come together.”

Dalton noted that not all BC students voted for or supported Clinton.

“The best part of our country is that we can vote and we have the free will to be able to do that, so we also need to be able to recognize that not all students are feeling the same way,” she said. “And how do they feel being in spaces where perhaps they can’t identify as Trump supporters?”

The Women’s Center will continue to hold its normal office hours throughout the week with the understanding that students will want to come in to talk about their reactions to the election.

Caroline Davis, assistant dean for student outreach and support in the Office of the Dean of Students, held an open house for students in the conference room in the office Wednesday afternoon. She initially invited members of the LGBTQ community to engage in dialogue but welcomed all BC students and faculty. She hoped to give students a place to talk about their reactions to the elections.

“It’s more about affirming that students have a safe space on campus to talk about whatever they need to talk about,” Davis said.

Students and faculty talked among each other in small groups. Some students in the room had tears in their eyes.

Jupiter Yao, a third-year student studying abroad from Peking University, said he would have voted for Clinton if he had the right to vote. He believes that Trump won because he is not part of the political elite, and he was more honest and candid during the campaign. He does not see Trump’s win as troubling.

“It’s just fine—it’s not a disaster,” Yao said.

He does see that students are upset with the results. But no matter who you voted for or who you wanted to win, he said, Americans should still be thankful for their right to choose their leader.

“You still have a very good, solid, strong democracy,” he said.

Cora Ives, MCAS ’17, had a different point of view on the election. She was disappointed in Americans and unimpressed with the new president of the U.S.

“Do you already have ‘disgusting?’” she asked in reference to other BC students’ reactions to Trump winning the election.

Many students at the LGBTQ open house on Wednesday did not want to comment on their feelings on the results of the election.

In order to support continued conversation on the elections, Davis said she will host support groups and other programmings, which she already hosts each week, throughout the week.

The Undergraduate Government of Boston College will also hold events throughout the week. On Wednesday night, the Diversity and Inclusion Programming Board of UGBC held a “Recovery and Processing” event to provide a space for students to take a step back and reflect on what a Trump win means for the country.

Students of all backgrounds came together in Higgins 310 to meditate, color, sip tea, and vent. Ives, president of the Buddhist club at BC, held a group meditation for students. Then, Collin Pratt, the director of Diversity and Inclusion and MCAS ’17, led a group examen for students to think deeply about what affects them in today’s political age.

Pratt said it was important for students to have a safe space on campus to express their feelings. By meditating, Pratt hoped students would become grounded in the present.

Before leaving, students were asked to write down affirmations and swap them with each other to confirm each other’s importance in society, regardless of the election results.

Throughout Trump’s campaign, the president-elect made derogatory statements toward people of color, Muslims, and women. Pratt felt it was necessary for Diversity and Inclusion, a group on campus dedicated to representing marginalized groups, to have a space for students to share their frustrations.

“I think to see him win has a lot of people in very dire straits about the future of this country and their livelihood within it,” Pratt said.


“The election has carried a lot of hostility and divisiveness just in the way in which the rhetoric was formed around it,” she said. “We felt that our students needed a place to process it.”

Nathan Dahlen, member of the Eagle Political Society


Pratt said that his conversations with students have ranged from angry to disgust to shock. He stressed, however, that the work that college students are doing is vital for future elections.

“We have the ability to speak on the national stage,” Pratt said. “This election showed that we had the responsibility to step up and speak out and we didn’t do that. It was really to the detriment of the rest of the country.”

The BC Eagle Political Society (EPS) held a discussion Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. in Stokes 103N. Like so many other events, it aimed to provide students with a space to talk about their reactions to the election. There were 10 students in attendance, all of whom were members of EPS. The students discussed Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office and forecasted which of Trump’s policies would pass the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“Really, we are just trying to help each other see a way forward for the country,” Nathan Dahlen, member of EPS and MCAS ’17, said.

UGBC will host an open house Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in its offices in Carney. The event is open to all students who want to share their thoughts with one another about the election, Meredith McCaffrey, UGBC executive vice president and MCAS ’17, said.

Matt Sanborn, co-president of the BC Democrats and MCAS ‘17, does not believe that Trump can accomplish all that he claims he can as president. When the American people realize Trump’s inabilities, he said, the Democrats will welcome them with open arms.

Although Clinton did not win the election, he said, the Democrats will continue to work toward achieving their goals.

“The country may have elected the most sinister man to ever run for president, but Democrats are the ultimate winners,” Sanborn said. “Progressivism faces an uphill battle, but we’ve always known this. Tonight’s results just mean working harder than ever before these next few years to realize our goals.”

Mariella Rutigliano, president of the College Republicans and MCAS ‘17, said that Trump’s election shows the country’s desire to remove the political elite and return to a smaller, transparent, and accountable government.

“The people have spoken and this election is proof that our democracy is alive and well,” Rutigliano said. “What we saw unfold tonight was unpredicted and unthinkable. This victory proves that Trump’s message and appeal was grossly underestimated throughout his campaign.”

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

Continuing the Fight After the Presidential Election

The nation woke up Wednesday morning to the news that Donald Trump—a businessman and reality TV mogul who has said women should be punished for abortion and Muslims should be part of a national registry—had been elected president of the United States of America. The sky was gray and flat over a quiet Boston College campus. Professors cancelled class, or devoted the entire time to comforting students about the ramifications of a Trump presidency. Groups huddled in corners. Everywhere, people hugged.

Snippets of conversation floated between people on their way to class, in the Chocolate Bar, and in the Rat: “It’s like we’ve gone back 100 years,” and “all I’ve learned today is that people are so much more selfish than I could have imagined.”

According to a Heights survey, 75 percent of BC students indicated that they supported Hillary Clinton. Tuesday morning, The New York Times indicated that Clinton had an 84 percent chance of winning the presidency. But Trump dominated rural counties in middle America, in the majority of cases surpassing Mitt Romney’s vote totals of four years ago.

He earned 279 electoral votes, outpacing Clinton’s 228, based on electoral votes awarded as of late Wednesday night. As votes began to roll in Tuesday night, shock reverberated around the political establishment and in the mainstream media, neither of which had even considered the possibility of a Trump presidency.

All over campus, the words came up: How did this happen? How could this happen? In one class, after the professor spent 10 minutes discussing the implications of Trump’s foreign policy, one student raised her hand: “What do we do now?”

This is what we do. We don’t stop fighting. Change comes slowly, in fits, in bursts, with one step forward and, maybe, a four-year leap backward. But the motivation to make this country better is still there. If the only people who voted in this election were between the ages of 18 and 25, 44 states would have been blue. And, in two years, the midterm elections will reshape the House and the Senate.

But first, there is the period of shock and mourning. All across campus, groups opened their doors to allow students a space to work through their anger and emotions.

UGBC’s Diversity & Inclusion branch hosted meetings, as did the Office of the Dean of Students and the Women’s Center. And, less formally, students worked out their feelings in classes and with each other. This is important, and the University is right to carve out space for these thought processes. For change to come, it must be intentional, thoughtful, and targeted.

BC students volunteer abroad and in the city. This campus takes service seriously and takes pride in its well-bred “men and women for others.” Understand that political activism is a form of service. It’s serving those who will really be affected by Tuesday’s outcome. It’s serving those who are looking for an ounce of positivity under a leader who speaks mostly of hate and exclusion. It’s serving people who will lose family members, benefits, or, even more devastating, hope.

It’s okay to mourn. It’s okay to be in shock. But soon, it’s going to be time to spark an era of change.

Already, in Boston, thousands of protesters surged into Boston Common Wednesday night, shouting “He’s not my president.” This action, rather than complacency and acceptance, is the action that citizens must take to continue forward momentum during the next four or even eight years. To insist upon change is to advocate forcefully and consistently for equality and accountability.

The bewilderment on campus at the election results is a testament to the bubble that students in a liberal city, often from other liberal cities, live in every day. Generally speaking, many students at BC are out of touch with the realities many face in middle America. For many, it is challenging to understand the motivations that would compel someone to vote for a man with no political experience over one of the most qualified women in political history.

But until those motivations are understood, it will be impossible to continue moving forward. For as long as the opposition is a business tycoon shouting obscenities, hope can be hard to see. But if the opposition were a policy or a set of grievances—well, that could be something to work with.

It is important to note what Trump claimed to have run against: as someone with no political experience, he ran against an established political system that many of his supporters see as motivated by Wall Street and elite interests. Many of those who voted for Trump see him as someone who will advocate for them in a way they haven’t been represented recently. And that is not how those voters saw Clinton.

It is necessary to understand the motivations of those who voted for the other side because, until voters do, the chasm between them will grow only wider, and national change will come more slowly.

Trump’s political rhetoric has focused on exclusion. To the benefit of his own goals, he has excluded women with comments endorsing sexual assault. He has excluded immigrants with his demands to close borders. He has insulted, mocked, and belittled people of color and people with disabilities. Young people voted overwhelmingly against exclusivity, against hate. The future is for us.

So, take the week to digest the news. But then it’s time to organize for advocacy. Change comes slowly, via compromise and lost battles and hard fights. Change comes from advocacy and empathy and understanding and a true motivation to make this country great for everyone. Change comes from you, and your peers, and your tireless efforts toward the persistence of peace.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

Trump Takes the White House, Clinton Carries Massachusetts

Republican nominee Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. Early Wednesday morning, Trump won the electoral contest with an unexpected victory over his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton. President-elect Trump carried many of the states that had voted for President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. One of the most significant aspects of his victory was the support he received from all areas of the country in states he was not expected to carry.

This election cycle, one characterized by constant scandal and incessant controversy, came to an end with a result that was at odds with the predictions of the majority of news outlets and pollsters. Before the polls began to close, The New York Times predicted that Clinton had a 70 percent chance of claiming the election, a number that was quickly disproved by the vast support Trump enjoyed throughout the night, especially in states such as Pennsylvania and Florida, where he claimed important victories. While Trump obtained the necesary electoral votes to claim the election, Clinton claimed a higher percentage of the popular vote, in a situation similar to Al Gore’s defeat in 2000. The Republican party also claimed a majority in both the House and the Senate.

Clinton carried Massachusetts with 60 percent of the vote. Turnout for this election in the state surpassed that of 2012 and 2008, especially early voting, according to staff at the 5th ward polling center at the Boston Public Library. The state was called as soon as the polls closed.


2016 presidential election


Two Massachusetts ballot questions did not pass, and two did. Question 1, which would allow a second slots site, and Question 2, which would raise the statewide cap on charter schools, were defeated despite support from high-profile political figures such as Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican. Question 3, which prohibits farm animal confinement, and Question 4, which legalizes the use of recreational marijuana for people 21 and over, passed overwhelmingly. By approving the latter, the state joins others like Colorado, which approved it in 2014, and California, which also approved its use tonight, as part of a growing coalition of states that have legalized marijuana.

On campus, the Eagle Political Society (EPS) held an election results viewing event in the Vanderslice Cabaret Room until 1 a.m. Students at the event engaged in political discussion as the results came in. A recent survey of Boston College students conducted by The Heights found that 75 percent of respondents intended to vote for Hillary Clinton, compared to 8.4 percent who indicated that they supported Trump.

Luis Cardenas, MCAS ’18 voted at Alexander Hamilton Elementary School in Brighton, Mass. Cardenas voted for Clinton because he was offended by Trump’s comments about Mexicans and immigration, as his hometown is along the border between the United States and Mexico.


“I voted for Trump solely because my family has worked very hard for everything that it has earned.”

—Chloe Kargodorian, CSOM ’19


Cardenas believes that the U.S. economy benefits from being close to the Mexican border because of trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, which accounts for about 14 million U.S. jobs. He disagrees with Trump’s belief that a wall should be built along the border. Cardenas felt that it was disrespectful to his family and his culture and believes that Clinton is the most qualified candidate.

Chloe Kargodorian, CSOM ’19, is from California, where taxes are relatively high. She voted for Trump because she feels as though he would ensure her taxes go to a productive cause.

“I voted for Trump solely because my family has worked very hard for everything that it has earned,” Kargodian said. “My dad worked really hard to get into dental school, make a living for himself, and to establish his own practice.”

Anthony Masi, CSOM ’19, voted in favor of a third-party candidate who felt that voting for Trump or Clinton went against his morals. He believed that Clinton would provide the most economic stability, but that she could not unify the country.

During the months leading up to the election, various organizations and academic departments at BC hosted speakers with experience in politics and government who have commented on the election. In October, the Council for Women of Boston College hosted a panel that featured Mary Matalin, a campaign director for former President George H. W. Bush, and Donna Brazile, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee. The discussion focused on the role women in political leadership, although both panelists expressed their thoughts on the presidential race.

More recently, the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics invited former Attorney General Eric Holder to speak at its fall 2016 Clough Colloquium. Holder emphasized the need for the creation of a new Voting Rights Act with the aim of protecting voters from rigid Voter I.D. laws that have recently been passed in many states. The EPS also hosted screenings of the presidential and vice presidential debates in an effort to encourage students to become informed on the two major-party candidates in the race.  

All students at Boston College have access to TurboVote, an online application that helps students register to vote, apply for absentee ballots, and remain informed on local and national elections. Additionally, the Office of Student Affairs offered students rides to polling locations in the Boston area during Election Day. Students from out of state with absentee ballots had the chance to have their ballots notarized at Lyons Hall on Oct. 19th and 25th.

Featured Image by Savanna Kiefer / Heights Editor

Updated: 1:56 p.m.

Clinton, Trump, and the Changing Face of the Democratic Party

In 2008, President Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African-American president of the United States. With the 2016 presidential election coming up, this election is markedly dramatic—not only because the Democratic and Republican nominees are two of the most unfavorable candidates in U.S. history, but also because for the first time, a woman has been selected as a nominee of a major presidential party.

With the past eight years in mind and the next four years to look toward, one important question comes to mind: how do race and gender factor into the 2016 presidential election? I met with Marilynn Johnson, a professor in the history department, to take a look at the way these two controversial candidates are changing the way we look at the election.

There has been somewhat of a feminist revolution occurring more recently as a result of the election, Johnson said. It is expected that with a female candidate likely on the way to the White House, she would serve as a catalyst for this new feminist revolution. But according to Johnson, many argue that it is not Hillary Clinton serving as the catalyst, but Donald Trump.

It has less to do with Hillary than it does with Trump,” Johnson said. “I know a lot of women my age and older that feel strongly about supporting Hillary because she is the first woman nominee and she is very experienced. However, it seems as though Trump’s rhetoric has made gender an important issue in the election.”

The rhetoric Trump has used throughout his campaign has been exceedingly controversial and divisive. From referring to Latinos as “bad hombres” to calling Clinton a “nasty woman” in the third presidential debate last month, Trump has received significant backlash from the public for his comments.

Trump’s comments about minorities, immigrants, and women are going to play a huge role in the election, especially when it comes to voters in these demographics. The rhetoric in the campaign has caused greater polarization in American politics than ever before.

“America has been polarized for quite a while, going back to the Reagan administration,” Johnson said. “It’s become so ugly and visceral in this election with the personal attacks, which makes the polarization that much more dangerous. Many people are questioning the whole system and whether or not you can accept the results. People not having much faith in the process is something new. The whole level of political debate has been pulled into the gutter.”

Johnson noted that the response to the sexual harassment allegations against Trump are more pronounced than they have been in the past, as women are now more responsive and critical of issues of sexual assault. Trump’s rise in politics and the rhetoric he has used have made it clear to many people that women and minorities still face a level of systemic gender and racial inequality that was arguably more surreptitious before, according to Johnson.

She also emphasized the importance of the effect that Trump has had on the Republican Party, essentially splitting it between pro- and anti-Trump camps.

“The major question of whether or not they will be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again remains,” Johnson said.

When the Democratic nomination came down to either Clinton or Senator Bernie Sanders, it seemed as though younger women were more inclined to vote for Sanders. Why wouldn’t more young women and feminists want to immediately support the first woman president?

“Those ‘firsts’ aren’t important, because we can have a very good black president, but those race relations aren’t going to be resolved overnight,” Johnson said. “It’s the same with women. No matter how prominent your role is, systemic or inherent gender inequality is not something that can be changed overnight.”

Featured Image by Jake Catalina/Heights Staff

This Tuesday, Make the Right Choice

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. It’s morning again in America. On this day, Americans will wake up, having chosen from two very different visions. We can peer across the Atlantic to former master and current ally, England, and see how another country faced a similar suite of two dramatically divergent choices. Confronted with mounting resentment, feelings of doom and gloom, and a tidal wave of elusive and deceitful false promises, our English brethren opted for ‘Leave,’ spurring Brexit. The alternative option, ‘Stay,’ would have been a vindication of the European project, of internationalism, and of an optimistic outlook for the country and its position in the world.

With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Americans face a similar referendum. The former expounds a vision of robustness and vitality, one that—while conceding and addressing the many problems we face—is a fundamentally positive, proud, and hopeful—if a bit audacious—outlook. The latter serves as a loud wrecking ball to political norms and protocol, promulgates unbridled pessimism, has the instincts of a sophist and the characteristics of a demagogue, relishes in his swaggering egotism, and paints a picture of America as a country teetering on the brink of collapse while propping himself up as its lone redeemer.

Trump’s crass assumptions and dark depictions of America are shared by vast swaths of the electorate. His aversion to all things expected—following the teleprompter, chastising the alt-right and David Dukes of America, respecting the legitimacy and fairness of elections, and ignoring petty criticism or taunts—signals a watershed moment in American politics. His popularity and widespread appeal are indicative of an electoral tipping point. Resentment toward the ‘Establishment,’ immigrants, the United Nations, NATO, and other scapegoats has reached such a fever pitch that an inexperienced and unknowledgeable outsider like Trump has ascended through the ranks of the GOP and reached its apex, as the party toils through a new era of infighting and existential threats.

Clinton offers America a consummate career in public service, a cautious approach to decision-making, and a more rounded and nuanced understanding of the trials and tribulations of the hard choices required by public office. She is bedeviled by the normal issues that attend career politicians: a long paper trail of voting records and previous policy stances, transparency concerns, and fears of an unassailable alliance with entrenched and moneyed interests in D.C. and on Wall Street. She faces questionable and inescapable concerns, notably her record of hawkishness and a shady email server, which was emphatically brought once again to the fore just 11 days before the election by FBI Director James Comey (allaying any conspiratorial concerns that the FBI was in bed with ‘Clinton, Inc.’).

If he wins Tuesday, Trump will undoubtedly be an agent of change. It could not be more obvious that with his apolitical background, unique proposals, and cult-like following, he is the renegade candidate in this election, the one that will march into D.C. on Jan. 20 and proclaim that he is here to ‘stir things up’ (another unprintable three-word phrase might more appropriately describe his intentions). Some Bernie Sanders supporters, and even “some who saw change in Obama,” are flocking to Trump as a result of their dissatisfaction with staying the course.

Clinton, as detractors quip, is to some extent “four more years of Obama.” The Sanders movement succeeded in pulling her toward the left flank of the Democratic Party, so much so that she is the most progressive candidate in years, yet she has a center-left, relatively conservative record for a Democrat. Despite her shift to the left, she represents the pinnacle of Establishment and the embodiment of status quo.

And all things considered, Trump’s idea that a hegemony of business titans, journalists, editorial boards, politicos, and foreign leaders are backing Clinton isn’t false—it is undeniable. Clinton has received more than 200 endorsements from daily and weekly newspapers, including apolitical editorial boards, such as USA Today, and historically conservative ones, like the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, and the Arizona Republic. Scores of career Republicans, George Bush and Ronald Reagan staffers and high-level aides, and national security advisers have endorsed her. George H.W. Bush is voting for her. W. Bush very well may be, while the Libertarian ticket vice presidential candidate, Bill Weld, is ‘vouching’ for her.

Trump takes all of this in stride, chalking it up—in typical conspiratorial fashion—as a global Illuminati-esque scheme to stifle his candidacy. But these realities don’t reflect some sort of global, neoliberal, elite conspiracy in which a ruling class is trying to impose its dogma on the people writ large. Instead, these endorsements reflect what they are: self-interested, honest assessments of each candidate, from individuals who have experience and exposure to every realm of policy that the president must work in daily and meticulously.

Why would members of the press be favorably disposed to Trump, when he routinely threatens, sues, and berates them for printing what he says and does? Why would the national security community be inclined to support him when he boasts that he knows more than the Pentagon and senior military officials?

Alas, across the pond, Brexit may not be set in stone. A court ruled last week that Parliament must vote to approve Brexit. Amid unease in the financial services sector, the prospect of multinationals leaving the country, well-founded economic and trade concerns, and the prospect of Irish and Scottish withdrawal from the United Kingdom, members of Parliament very well may reconsider if Brexit is in the country’s best interests. In a similar vein, Americans would be well-served to question whether dramatic, unprecedented, misguided, and extreme change is in the country’s best interests.

This Tuesday, voters will cast their ballots, polls will close, tallies will commence, a winner will be declared, and Americans will fall asleep. The next day, it’ll be morning in America, but the sun could rise over two starkly different countries with completely antithetical prevailing beliefs and outlooks. One vision—like that of Reagan’s famous 1984 television advertisement—is optimistic, yet cautious and controlled; informed by reason and ambition, yet tempered by reality and experience; illustrative of a path forward, but cognizant of the difficulties and unsteady times of a turbulent world. The other vision resembles that of Barry Goldwater or Joseph McCarthy—daring and untested; hysterical and unsteady; extreme and unconcerned. The election is more than just a referendum on a package of policies—it is a decision on whether we steer our country forward or back, how we view America and its position and the world, and whether we tolerate jarringly un-American ideals and precepts.

Featured Image by Ross D. Franklin and Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

This Presidential Election, Vote for Progress

Roughly 16 months ago, the United States entered one of the most divisive and remarkable elections in recent memory. College students have been inundated with wide-ranging rhetoric from both sides and have absorbed the sometimes-vitriolic reactions of many to this political climate. In order to gauge how this political situation is affecting Boston College students and better understand where students stand on these issues,The Heights released a political climate survey for undergraduates earlier this month. Six hundred seventeen students responded to the survey, which was made available through Facebook and academic major listservs. According to the final result, 56.2 percent of respondents identified with the Democratic Party, 15.4 percent with the Republican Party, 23.9 percent were Independents, and roughly 4 percent chose “other.” Of these respondents, 8.4 percent responded that they would be voting for Republican nominee Donald Trump, and 75 percent responded that they would be voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Involvement, through just the simple act of voting, is paramount in every election. Considering recent polls that heavily predict a Clinton victory, BC students are in even more danger of slipping into the indifference that commonly characterizes 18 to 24-year-olds in an election year. Many students at BC come from historically blue states, which increases the probability of passive behavior on Election Day. The Heights fears that the expectation of a landslide election, combined with the general lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic presidential candidate, could lead to a low turnout.

The Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC) and the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) have both pushed for students to register through Turbovote. These programs demonstrate the importance of civic engagement among BC students, as both student and administrative groups push the issue. The political climate will be changed by this election no matter who wins, and those who would opine on politics in the future should participate in them now, or surrender their right to comment on future politically centered events.

BC students have already proven themselves to be politically aware and active, even if those interests are as locally confined as campus-wide policies. Recent demonstrations such as the “Silence is Violence” march in September and the activism of Eradicate Boston College Racism last year indicate a desire to improve inclusivity and accessibility on campus. Events of previous years also indicate a wish for more openness on campus, such as the unsanctioned flyers promoting free speech and the Rights on the Heights demonstrations. These events demonstrate the kinds of values that must be reflected in a student’s civic engagement. BC students who care about these causes have to make a choice: to vote for a candidate who represents these ideals and whose policies promote inclusion, or to vote for a candidate whose rhetoric has continued to proudly endorse xenophobia and racism.

The Heights’ political climate survey gave students the option to select multiple reasons that they are voting for their chosen candidate. The survey reported that 26.9 percent of Trump voters were voting for Trump because they support him, while 69.2 percent were planning to vote for him in order to avoid a Clinton presidency. On the other hand, 57.2 percent of Clinton voters were voting out of support for her, while 81.2 were voting to avoid a Trump presidency. This kind of negative mentality could lead to students’ opting not to vote at all, but this is not what they should do.

As members of a Jesuit community, students should consider what it means to be “men and women for others.” The ideals that BC students strive to excel in are, among others, leadership and service. View the right to vote as performing an act of community service, and the choice to watch an election to unfold without participating as an insult to people all around the world who are not granted the same opportunity to comment on their own political system. Vote to advance a candidate who does this, who advocates for the poor and neglected. Vote for the candidate who has continually strived for progress, not the candidate whose policies would set America on a backwards path.

One-sided poll numbers and a season of electoral discontent and vitriol could lead to students’ making the decision not to vote at all. Nothing is assured on Election Day and no student should be content to look at the polls and assume that the election is finished.

They must take part and should use their vote to promote the kind of progress that students have pushed for on campus. The only way to overcome the negativity of this election is to make a choice with your vote. Don’t let Nov. 8 go by without voting to preserve and advance inclusivity, Jesuit values, and progressive advocacy.

The Heights urges students to be a part of the generation that cares, to be a part of a generation that stands up for freedom and progress, to be a part of a generation that shows up—decisions are only made by those who do.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

Theology Professor Discusses the 2016 Presidential Election

Kenneth Himes, a theology professor at Boston College, utilized his expertise in both philosophy and politics to give a unique and nonpartisan perspective to this year’s election cycle.

“Last January it struck me that it might be worth trying to read the signs of the times in the United States in a national election season,” Boston College professor Kenneth Himes told the audience Wednesday night. “And so, last spring … I suggested this as the topic [of this presentation]. I have lost count as to how many times I have kicked myself since then.”

At his lecture, titled “The Catholic Voter and the Signs of Our Times” and sponsored by STM and the Church in the 21st Century Center, Himes identified six key factors in this election that he considers to be the distinguishing signs of our time. These six factors follow in the tradition of the second Vatican Council that urged Christian communities to do the same.

The first factor discussed the rise of anger among the general electorate and the increased use of populist politics. Himes defined populism as the moral opposition between the people, who are understood as the rightful source of political authority, to the corrupt elites, who are viewed as having abandoned the common good.

Whether voicing fears about student debt or immigration, populist rhetoric has been prevalent in this election cycle as a means for candidates to speak for the people. Himes asserted that this phenomenon shows a growing discontent among the general population with the ineffectiveness of the government and an overarching reconsideration of the role of the government in the United States.

The lecture then shifted to a discussion of economic conditions in the country. Himes focused his discussion on the prevalence of trade policies in political rhetoric and the reformations the Republican Party attempted to make in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election.


“Catholic Social Teaching encourages us to take seriously the claim that the quality of one’s life is measured, at least in part, by the quality of one’s participation in the democratic life of this nation.”


Himes explained that global trade creates both economic winners and losers, and those who do not benefit are the ones feeling more anger about the current economic climate in the United States. However, Himes was clear to point out that more jobs are lost to automation than to trade policies.

Himes argued that any measure to slow the growth of technology was futile at best, leaving trade policies as the scapegoat.

“The corporate elites want cheap labor, and the political elites want more votes,” Himes said.

These economic frustrations are deeply felt by the white working class, Himes’s third area of focus. Conditions for blue collar workers in America have declined in recent years, leading to increased social isolation and decreased economic stability.

Himes believes that the New-Deal era idea of a social contract between workers and employers is all but gone, leaving a group of newly vulnerable individuals in our society. This led to another of Himes’s social markersincreased economic inequality.

One in five children live below the poverty line in the United States, Himes said. In no state can a minimum wage worker rent a one bedroom apartment for 30 percent or less of their total income.

“When you put economic deprivation together with social isolation, you have dry tinder,” Himes said, citing author Robert Putner. “Trump just lit the spark … he did not create it.”

Himes also touched on the prevalence of race relations during this election. This generation has not seen social progress comparable to what their grandparents experienced during the Civil Rights movement, he said.

Himes described the Black Lives Matter movement as a political awakening for young African Americans. This movement, though not caused by the election, is an integral aspect of it, he said. Himes believes that the topic of race relations is still an uncomfortable one for many Americans, but its importance is undeniable.

These factors culminate in a general sense of pessimism about the state of American politics felt by nearly every voter during this election cycle. Rather than dwell on this point, however, Himes closed his talk with the role Catholics can play on election day.

“As Catholic believers we need to close the gap between our two identities as disciples and citizens,” he said. “Catholic Social Teaching encourages us to take seriously the claim that the quality of one’s life is measured, at least in part, by the quality of one’s participation in the democratic life of this nation.”

Featured Image by Isabele Lumb / Heights Staff