Nov. 17, 2005 • Volume 14 Number 6
Making a difference
An engraved granite bench on the Bapst Library Lawn has been dedicated to the memory of US Army Major David S. Connolly '94, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in April.
Major Connolly was the first graduate of the Boston College Army ROTC program to die in combat operations since the Vietnam War.
The stone bench, which faces the lawn area where ROTC commissioning ceremonies are held each spring, was sponsored by Major Connolly's classmates and family.
The engraving on the bench includes the words "Can you do more, can you do better, can you make a difference?" - a favorite phrase of Major Connolly, who also attended Suffolk University Law School and served as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County before his Army Reserve unit was activated and sent to the Middle East.
Guest from afar
Students and faculty who participate in the University's spring service trip to Chiapas, Mexico, through the Pedro Arrupe, SJ, International Solidarity Program invariably make the acquaintance of Fr. Conrado Zepeda, a priest in the Parish of San Pedro Chenalho who accompanies the BC visitors for much of their travels during the week-long stay.
This week, BC has returned the favor by playing host to Fr. Zepeda, who has worked with many of the indigenous peoples in the troubled state of Chiapas, site of the Zapatista uprising. On Tuesday night, Fr. Zepeda discussed the conflict in Chiapas after a screening of a documentary, "Alonso's War," about the impact of paramilitary violence on Chenalho.
Tomorrow at noon in Hovey House, Fr. Zepeda will offer his perspective on how the ongoing strife in Chiapas has affected the area's indigenous women.
"I have been privileged to go to Chiapas twice as a faculty leader of the Arrupe Chiapas Immersion trip, and spending time with Conrado has been a high point of both visits," said Prof. Betty Blythe (GSSW). "His experiences living with the indigenous people in Oaxaca, Sonora, and Chiapas were what led him to decide to become a Jesuit, and he hopes that he can serve as a bridge between these communities and BC. It is his great humility and sensitivity - plus his great sense of humor - that allows him to make such strong connections with the BC students and the people of Chiapas."
On the case
With the US Supreme Court preparing to hear oral arguments on the controversial Solomon Amendment, the Law School presented a daylong conference last Friday that analyzed and previewed the landmark case, which affects universities and students across the country.
Hundreds of students and faculty attended the conference, which featured intense debate on the merits of Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR). An afternoon session featured a moot court session in which Prof. Kent Greenfield (Law) argued for FAIR and Howard Bashman, a prominent appellate attorney, argued for the government.
Greenfield, who is the founder and current president of FAIR, said he was impressed by the event and proud of the students who organized it.
"It was quite a success," said Greenfield. "We took a hard look at pressing legal issues and a current legal case, and looked at it from all different sides. We had 35 legal scholars from 10 different states, and we had over 300 people in the audience for some of the panels."
Congress passed the Solomon Amendment in 1994 in response to universities that barred military recruiters from their campuses because the schools' non-discrimination policies conflicted with the military's policy of excluding gays and lesbians. The amendment withholds billions of dollars of federal funding from universities that treat military recruiters differently than other employment recruiters.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the Solomon Amendment to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the case on Dec. 6.
They had names like "Bat Girls" and "The Candy Monkeys" and they scoured the city in search of people and places on secret orders transmitted electronically.
No, it's not the plot of a bad science fiction movie, just the latest offering from the Intersections Program and, unlike some sci-fi flicks, this one was a bona fide blockbuster.
Intersections, which aims to help undergraduates discern their possible vocations, recently sponsored the third annual "Campus Crawl," essentially a scavenger hunt that requires teams of seniors to perform certain tasks for points. Instead of retrieving objects, this week-long scavenger hunt prompted the students to make connections with BC alumni and faculty and explore the city of Boston in the process.
Some of the tasks for the event this year included taking a picture with the BC mascot Baldwin, meeting with professors or alumni at the downtown BC Club and visiting various monuments in around the city of Boston. Organizers e-mailed out the secret tasks to teams throughout the week.
"We were trying to look at what senior year is like at Boston College," said Intersections Program Director Burt Howell. "We heard from students that there was so much focus on the urgency of the future but getting started was very difficult."
In response, said Howell, some students came up with the idea of "The Crawl" which is specifically designed to get students together with their friends exploring the city, meeting alumni and talking to faculty.
"We thought it was a good idea to meet with others who are further along in their lives who already discerned their futures to some extent," said Howell.
An added benefit to "The Crawl" is that it gives students a reason to spend time with their friends while engaging in conversations about discernment and vocation, said Howell, who noted that 320 seniors registered for the event.
Like Halftime and the Senior Consilium, other programs run by Intersections, the Campus Crawl is both a social event and an enlightening experience for students looking toward the future.
This year's winners were a team of female students known as "Bat Girls," who earned a free trolley ride to the Commencement Ball; second and third place went to the teams "The Old Testament" and "Candy Monkey," respectively, whose members receive tickets to select Senior Week events.