Around Campus

Around Campus


Early closing today

All Boston College offices will close for the Thanksgiving holiday today at 3 p.m. and will reopen on Monday, Dec. 1.

Lecture on Islam and women's rights

Middle East legal scholar Ann Elizabeth Mayer will present the lecture "Women's International Human rights and Islamic Law: An Uneasy Existence?" from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Higgins 225.

Mayer, associate professor of legal studies at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics and has been a consultant on human rights issues in Africa and the Middle East for the US Department of State and Central Intelligence Agency.

Her appearance is sponsored by the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program and the Political Science Department.

Tree lighting, Breaking the Barriers on Dec. 5

Two of the University's most popular holiday season traditions will take place on Friday, Dec. 5, beginning with the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. in O'Neill Plaza.

All members of the University community and their family members are invited to the ceremony, which will also include Christmas carols and other seasonal music. Snacks will be available.

The festivities will continue at 6 p.m. in Gasson Hall with the 17th annual Breaking the Barriers Ball. Sponsored by the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, the event brings together administrators, faculty, staff and students for an evening of conversation, dining, music and dancing, as well as performances by BC bOp! and several a cappella groups.

Proceeds from the ball will benefit the Carol DiMaiti Stuart Foundation, which provides scholarships to residents of Mission Hill who attend college or vocational schools.

For more details, call ext.5-4380 or see the UGBC Web site at [For other seasonal events on campus next month, see here and here.]

"Candidates Debate" set for Dec. 9

UGBC will sponsor a debate-by-proxy on the 2004 presidential election on Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 7-8 p.m. in Higgins 310.

Nine students, representing each of the Democratic presidential candidates, will hold a 45-minute debate, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period. Audience members will be able to vote on which "candidate" they think won the debate.

For more information, call ext.6-2985.

Around Campus

College of Arts and Sciences

Havis joins A&S

The College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office received a boost this fall with the arrival of administrative fellow Devonya Havis, who is undertaking a variety of tasks to build her college-administration skills.

Havis, holder of doctorate in philosophy from BC and a former instructor in the PULSE program, advises students, prepares law school recommendations and evaluates nominations for the Order of the Cross and Crown, Dean's Scholars and other honor societies. She also helps assess and develop the school's academic policies and procedures.

The Jackson, Miss., native and Williams College graduate is a former staff reporter for the Bay State Banner and has an article, "A Critique of Black Philosophical Re-appropriations of Humanism," forthcoming in Philosophy and Social Criticism.

Spreading the word

The Boston College Irish Institute certainly knows the value of a satisfied customer.

Last Wednesday, the institute welcomed Ireland's Minister for Education and Science Noel Dempsey, who was in the United States to sign an international accord on education as part of International Education Week. A major reason for Dempsey's stopover at BC: His advisor Gerry Murray participated in the institute's Education Policymakers' Program earlier this year, and gave the minister an enthusiastic appraisal of his experience.

In addition to giving a talk in the Burns Library, Dempsey visited the Campus School, where he saw a demonstration of Eagle Eyes technology that enables persons with multiple handicaps to operate computers.

Sounding the drum

Prof. John Michalczyk (Fine Arts) premiered his new documentary, "Different Drummers: Daring to Make Peace in the MidEast," last week at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. The film is the fourth and final installment of a documentary series on conflict resolution, produced in partnership with the Boston Theological Institute. According to Michalczyk, the film's producer and director, "Different Drummers" is a one-hour portrait of several Israeli peacemakers who provoke others to join their voices for peace and justice.

"All the world often sees is the mindless violence of Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli house demolitions, punctuated by issues of Jewish settlements and territorial claims on the land," said Michalczyk. "On both sides, however, there are voices heard over the din that cry out for a just and lasting peace. Seen as traitors or collaborators, they courageously show us the road to peace."

Other films in the conflict resolution series have examined the role of religion and prospects of peace in areas of unrest such as Northern Ireland, the Balkans and South Africa. Part-time faculty member Rev. Raymond Helmick, SJ (Theology), and Rodney Petersen, executive director of the Boston Theological Institute, served as executive producers of the film series. Veteran Boston television journalist Clark Booth wrote the script for "Different Drummers."

Connell School of Nursing

Helpful conversations

Health care is high on the agenda for newly-installed Vietnamese archbishop Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, and so during his recent visit to Boston College he stopped at the Connell School of Nursing, where he spoke with Dean Barbara H. Munro, Associate Dean Laurel Eisenhauer and several faculty on the prospects for a collaboration with his archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City.

Roman Catholics are a minority group in Vietnam, Cardinal Man told the group, and he expressed his concern that their access to health care may be systematically marginalized. The archbishop said he plans to build a hospital to serve the holistic needs of Catholics, and he and the CSON representatives discussed a potential role for the school in preparing health care personnel to meet patients' needs, including those with HIV/AIDS.
Also during his visit to CSON, Cardinal Man watched "Women's Voices, Women's Lives," a video about Boston-area African American women living with HIV, produced and directed by CSON Media Specialist Chad Minnich with research assistance by Assoc. Prof. Anne Norris and Asst. Prof. Rosanna DeMarco.

Graduate School of Social Work

AIDS, Uganda and the world

To mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Graduate School of Social Work faculty and students will discuss their three-week service trip last summer to Uganda, during which they visited clinics, agencies and other organizations and individuals serving HIV/AIDS sufferers.

At the event, which takes place from 6:15-8:45 p.m. in the McGuinn Hall Fifth Floor Lounge, the GSSW presenters will display photographs, videos and print material to supplement their discussion of Uganda's dramatic success in reducing the number of AIDS cases from 29 percent of the population to 6.5 percent.

But patients and providers in Uganda, like most everywhere, often have to deal with AIDS-related stigma and discrimination - the twin focus of this year's World AIDS Day, notes GSSW Continuing Education Director Vincent Lynch, who co-organized the Uganda trip.

"In many parts of the world, discrimination prevents people with HIV from getting a job or providing for their families," said Lynch, founder of an annual conference on HIV/AIDS issues for social workers. "Discrimination isolates and marginalizes people with AIDS and HIV, and can prevent them from seeking or obtaining the treatment which could save their lives."

While the GSSW event is a continuing education elective for social workers, it is open and free of charge to the public. More information is available from Lynch at ext.2-4038 or via e-mail at

Law School

Open to negotiations

Two teams representing Boston College Law School in the Nov. 15-16 American Bar Association regional negotiation competition in New York City finished fifth and eighth in total scores out of the 28 participating teams. The BC Law representatives, Vanessa Olivier and Eleanor Williams, and Emily Armstrong and Matt McGinnis, were the only first-year students in the competition.

"It was a remarkable experience watching four superbly talented first-year students," said Prof. Paul Tremblay, who attended the competition. "The judges loved them. These students made me, and our school, extremely proud. They are amazing students."

At BC Law's negotiation competition earlier this fall, which determined the two teams that went to New York, 53 two-person teams negotiated on behalf of fictitious clients in matters related to sports law. Negotiations last 40 minutes and are followed by a short period during which teams evaluate their own performances and answer questions from the judges.


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