March 16, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 13

The Fuego Dancers were among the student groups that performed at "An Evening of Unity," a multicultural event held Feb. 28 in Gasson 100 by UGBC. (Photo by Suzanne Camarata)

Around Campus

Chariots on ice

Two years ago, a group of Connell School of Nursing students working at the Massachusetts Hospital School had a brainstorm.

The students, whose ranks included members of the BC women's hockey team, were delighted to discover that the school had its very own sled hockey team, the Chariots, for its wheelchair-bound young patients. Why not, the students thought, organize a game to benefit the team - and give the kids a chance to play on the Conte Forum ice?

So it was that in March of 2004, a squad of CSON students and women's hockey players played against the Chariots, raising about $2,200 in the process.

This Monday, March 20, the Chariots will make their now-annual visit to Conte for the third benefit match. The previous two fundraisers have netted some $4,000 total, enabling the team to pay for new equipment, tournament participation and accommodations for players attending out-of-state tournaments.

For more information, contact Asst. Prof. Nanci Haze Peters (CSON) at ext.2-4271 or at

First Things second

Joseph Bottum has carved out a pretty good resume for himself since earning his doctoral degree in philosophy from BC in 1993.

After serving as poetry editor at the prestigious monthly First Things, Bottum went on to become arts and culture editor at the Weekly Standard, where in addition to reviewing books, museum exhibitions, music, dance and other cultural events, he made regular radio and TV appearances - "Meet the Press" and C-SPAN's "After Words" among them. Last year, Bottum returned to First Things, this time as editor-in-chief of the New York City-based publication, which is operated by the non-partisan, interreligious Institute on Religion and Public Life.

Bottum will be on campus March 27 to present "What Death Is For: Mortality in Philosophy, Art, Political Theory, and Religion." His talk, sponsored by the BC-based journal Religion and the Arts, will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Fulton 230.

It will be the second visit to BC in a month for Bottum, who chaired a session at the conference on Pope John Paul II organized last month by the University's Church in the 21st Century Center, and he's quite happy to return to his alma mater.

"BC was a great place to go to graduate school, if only because of the seriousness with which the scholars there approached their disciplines," he says. "I regret, sometimes, that I didn't become the scholar that my teachers were - but only sometimes, for life in the world of intellectual journalism has its own rewards."

Still, Bottum says he wonders whether his post-BC career has fulfilled the promise of his PhD: "They'll probably try to take it back while I'm up there," he quips.


War and justice

International war tribunals have become the means for resolving issues of justice in conflicts marked by mass atrocities like those in Yugoslavia and Rwanda - and now Darfur. But how effective are they, especially with the lack of a clear body of common law?

That question is the essence of the symposium, "Sharpening the Cutting Edge of International Human Rights Law: Unresolved Issues of War Crimes Tribunals," which will bring University Trustee and war crimes authority Pierre-Richard Prosper '85 and more than a dozen experts in international human rights law to Boston College Law School on March 24.

Hosting the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 120 of the East Wing, is the Boston College International & Comparative Law Review and the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

Along with Prosper, the former ambassador at large for war crimes at the US Department of State, guests will include: keynote speaker Areyh Neier, president of the Open Society Institute; Patricia Wald, the former chief judge of the US Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC; and Duke University Law Professor Madeline Morris.

BC-affiliated panelists are Law School faculty members Clinical Prof. Daniel Kanstroom - who is associate director of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice - Prof. Judith McMorrow and Prof. David Wirth, Asst. Prof. Devin Pendas (History) and Prof. Donald Hafner (Political Science).

The event will be divided into three panel sessions: "The Development of the Common Law of Tribunals," "The Function and Limits of the Tribunals" and "The State of Legal Concepts Not Clearly Governed By International Law." The symposium is free and open to the public, although seating is limited and advance registration is recommended by calling ext.2-8885.

More information is available at


A hand for those who lend a hand

The name's changed over the years, and so has the format, but later this month Boston College will once again honor the many volunteers who assist in the University's fundraising efforts.

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, will host the annual Distinguished Volunteer Tribute Dinner and Awards Ceremony on March 31 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, with University Trustee Thomas P. O'Neill III '68 serving as master of ceremonies.

The event's origins date back to the mid-1970s, when it was held to gear up hundreds of alumni volunteers for the University's national telethon. In 1990, after Boston College discontinued the alumni telethons and created a student telemarketing program for solicitations of annual gifts under $1,000, it became known as the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, to honor volunteers in the Annual Fund area. The final change came in 1995 when the event was renamed the Distinguished Volunteers Tribute Dinner to recognize all Development Program volunteers.

This year, six volunteers will be feted for their service: Paul T. Vanderslice '80, (John J. Griffin Sr. Class Agent Award); Patricia Lynott Bonan '79 (Philip Callan Sr. Memorial Award); Carol and Daniel (Din) Cahill (Outstanding Parent Volunteer Award); John Murphy '71 (John P. Curley Award); Patrick Roche '51, Hon. '01 (James F. Cleary Masters Award); and Lisa '94 and Mark '94 DeNatale (Rising Star Award).


World at your table

Graduate and undergraduate students are joining forces to raise awareness of hunger and equity issues through an event with a unique brand of role-playing.

On March 23, in collaboration with Oxfam America, the students will hold a "hunger banquet" from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Boston, Newton and Heights rooms of Corcoran Commons. But it's not just another sit-down dinner, according to the organizers: Each person attending is randomly assigned to a high, medium or low-income group - in ratios that reflect actual figures world-wide - which determines the contents and portions of his or her meal.

"Those who are assigned to the 'rich' group, the top 10-15 percent, get pasta, salad, and juice," explains Allison Sandella, a member of the Graduate School of Social Work student group Common Ground, which is helping stage the banquet.

"Those in the middle, about 25 percent, get rice and beans and water. And those in the lowest income group, about 65 percent, get just rice and water. So everyone does get something, but those in the lowest get the least variety and the least amount. It's a powerful demonstration of world hunger and social injustice."

How true-to-life is this distribution? Quite accurate, says Sandella - up to a point.

"Frankly, I think even the small amount of food the 'poor' group receives at the banquet is too much compared to actual society," she says, "but we don't really want to make everyone unhappy."

For more information on the event, contact student coordinator Justin Moeling at


top of page