September 23, 2004
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Twelve BC undergraduates demonstrated in front of the Raytheon Corporation table inside the Career Fair in Conte Forum today. Five students knelt in prayer in front of the Raytheon recruitmenct table, and had pictures of Iraqi civilians attached to their backs, while others held placards and handed out fliers. Dean Sherwood and the chief of BCPD arrived on the scene and threatened arrest if the students remained. Two students remained in prayer and protest until the Raytheon recruiters left, and as a consequence, face disciplinary action on Friday.
"I kneel in opposition to Raytheon, I kneel in opposition to the killing of innocent civilians, and I kneel in opposition to my University's complicity in the business of war and destruction," said Nick Fuller-Googins (Arts & Sciences 2006). Raytheon has often been a target of protest because of their business in creating missiles and other military weaponry.
"I find inherent contradiction between the Jesuit commitment to social justice and BC administration allowing Raytheon to actively recruit students to work for a corporation involved in the military industrial complex," said Eric Ares (Arts & Sciences 2005). The students knelt in silent prayer and protest for more than two and a half hours.
Ryan Ahern (Arts & Sciences 2005) held a sign quoting the Decree 4 of the 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, "Our Jesuit communities have to help each of us overcome the reluctance, fear and apathy which block us from truly comprehending the social, economic, and political problems which exist in our city or region or country, as well as on the international scene."
Earlier in the week, four students involved in the action met with representatives from the career center, requesting that Raytheon and two other weapons contractors be uninvited from the career fair. Stating Jesuit principles, the students contended that there is no place for a weapons contractor on the campus of a Jesuit institution.
A career center employee stated the companies mentioned would not be uninvited, and that Raytheon has a close relationship with BC, including recent grants in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. "I feel that by refusing to un-invite Raytheon, they are condoning the company’s policies, which to me are clearly contradictory to Jesuit philosophy," said Liz Varco (Arts & Sciences 2006).
Under threat of arrest, Joe Previtera (Arts & Sciences 2005) and Nick Fuller-Googins remained in silent prayer and protest, and now face two charges being brought by the BC administration. The two students stand subject to charges of disobeying the university demonstration policy and disregarding the order of a University administrator. "This is not just about the career center, but about Boston College playing a part in the military industrial complex at many different levels," said Joe Previtera.