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October 7, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 3

Around Campus

College of Arts and Sciences

Debating the debate

It wasn't exactly a ringside seat, but members of the University community were able to get a special perspective of last week's Presidential Debate, complete with post-event analysis.

A near-capacity crowd of faculty and students filled McGuinn Hall Auditorium Sept. 30 to watch a live broadcast of the Bush-Kerry debate, and stayed for a discussion with Political Science faculty members J. Joseph Moakley Professor Kay Schlozman, Prof. Marc Landy and Assoc. Prof. Dennis Hale.

"We tried to steer away from the whole 'who-won' aspect and focus on substance, not spin," said Hale. "The students did a very good job bringing out the difficulties in each candidate's position. Some dissected Bush's arguments on Iraq and Afghanistan, but one Kerry supporter criticized Kerry's stance on negotiations with North Korea."

The discussion also touched on what the candidates didn't say, said Hale. "Kerry didn't bring up the issue of Bush's National Guard service, for instance, and during an exchange on the international global warming pact, Bush didn't mention that the US Senate - of which Kerry is a member - had unanimously rejected the agreement, so it wouldn't have mattered if he had approved it."

Hale was pleased at the overall civility of the event. "We told the audience they were there to discuss the debate, not to join in the debate. There were a few guffaws here and there during the broadcast, but people were quite respectful and courteous."

Bird's-eye view

Those who watch the skies above the Boston College campus have probably noticed a striking recent addition to the regular traffic of crows, sparrows and other familiar feathered friends: a pair of peregrine falcons.

The falcons - who have been observed soaring majestically around Gasson Tower or over the rooftops of Ignacio and Rubenstein halls - are undoubtedly mates, or at least seriously courting, according to Director of Environmental Studies Eric Strauss.

"These birds form monogamous breeding pairs, although they do not generally mate for life," said Strauss, who is also science director for BC's Urban Ecology Institute.

Peregrine falcons are no strangers to urban areas, Strauss says - Boston has a famous pair on the Custom House Clock Tower downtown and a male nests in Manhattan's Central Park and is featured in a film called "Pale Male" - and have visited BC in the past, using Gasson Tower as a nesting place.

"They are one of the urban success stories with respect to city ecology," said Strauss. "Tall buildings provide excellent nesting habitat that is similar in characteristics to their traditional homes on steep ledges or cliffs."

Given the rich supply of local birds, Strauss believes the pair may stay for a while, depending on what happens with their winter migration. Peregrines aren't the only falcons to frequent the campus, he adds: Kestrels and merlins also have found the Heights to their liking.

Boston Collge Police Department

Captain Connolly

A veteran member of the Boston College Police Department who climbed through the ranks is now the first female captain in the department's history.

Boston College Police Chief Robert Morse recently announced the promotion of Lt. Margaret A. Connolly to the rank of captain. In this newly created position, Connolly assumes the duties of executive officer and will be in charge of the department's day-to-day operations. She has direct supervision over all uniformed officers and is responsible for their scheduling, deployment and delivery of services. She also oversees the implementation and enforcement of rules and regulations concerning proper parking controls and the safe and efficient movement of motor vehicles on campus.

"Maggie has the required knowledge, enthusiasm, and professionalism that will be essential in her role as second-in-command," said Morse.

Connolly, who just completed her 24th year at the Heights, said, "I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to helping the Boston College Police Department further its mission of providing a safe and secure community setting for all.

"This is a job that's centered on helping people. Whether it's being on the scene as first responder in medical emergencies, to crime prevention and parking enforcement, BCPD's mission is about serving the wider community - that is why I love this job and look forward to the challenges ahead."

As the BCPD's first female captain, Morse added, Connolly is only the third captain in the department's history.

"She has an acute awareness of the department's obligation to students, staff, and faculty. She possesses the understanding and sensitivity for safety and security issues on campus and is committed to being visible and accessible."

Lynch School of Education

Brown, race, diversity

Two upcoming Lynch School events will consider matters of race and diversity, one in the context of an historic Supreme Court decision, the other in terms of changing communities.

An Oct. 15 symposium will examine the state of educational excellence and equity 50 years after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case. Speaking at the symposium, which begins at 4:30 p.m. in Robsham Theater, will be Jean McGuire, executive director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) and a former Boston School Committee member, and Roger Harris PhD '00, headmaster of the Boston Renaissance Charter School.

For more information, see www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/soe/features/ls_symp04.html.

Oct. 15 also will be the start of the two-day fourth annual Diversity Challenge Conference, which this year is titled "Making Race and Culture Matter in Community-Focused Interventions."

More than 50 seminars, workshops, presentations and other events will take place during the conference, which this year looks at community-focused developments, as related to race and culture, in research, theory, community interventions, activism, and social justice initiatives.

Two LSOE faculty members, Kearns Professor of Urban Education and Innovative Leadership Mary Walsh and Prof. Brinton Lykes, are among the speakers scheduled to appear, as are twin brothers William and Bernard Goldberg, whose law practice includes advising minorities and immigrants with limited resources on business and real estate purchases, and Harvard University sociologist Charles Willie, who has done considerable research on school desegregation.

The conference Web site is at www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/soe/isprc/dc/speakers.html.

Student Affairs

Nicaraguan visitor

Nicaraguan Jesuit Rev. Fernando Cardenal, SJ, an advocate of education for his country's poorest citizens, will visit the Boston College campus next week to meet with students, faculty, staff and alumni to discuss his life and work, as well as the challenges in Jesuit higher education.

On Oct. 12, he will speak at a special session to which all freshmen are invited, as well as members of various undergraduate organizations, including the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, Emerging Leader Program and Half Time.

Fr. Cardenal also will meet with invited faculty, staff and alumni and, on his final day at BC, address Student Affairs personnel.

A figure of past controversy - he was expelled by the Jesuits for his political activities with the Sandinista government, but reinstated after he left the Sandinistas - Fr. Cardenal is the national director of Fe y alegria (Faith and Joy), a network of elementary schools that seeks to provide high-quality educational models for the poorest sectors of Nicaragua society, and to broaden the work opportunities of the rural and the marginal urban populations.

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