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September 14, 2005

The AHANA Leadership Council Continues Strong in 2005

Omolara Bewaji

      Unfortunately, the AHANA Leadership Council begins this year under the most humbling of circumstances. We are reminded of our brothers and sisters in Mississippi and Louisiana who desperately need our help as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. ALC has pledged to do what it can as an organization, to address not only the practical needs of the victims but also to raise awareness about the obvious role that classicism and racism played in the response to the tragedy. In keeping with our 2005-2006 theme of "achieving solidarity of purpose" within the AHANA community, we have reached out to the AHANA Caucus clubs and organizations in hopes of forming a cohesive front for tackling one of the most horrifying situations of our lifetimes.

      It is with solidarity that we aim to do all that is possible to help the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, as it is with solidarity that we will continue to represent the concerns of the AHANA community. A lot remains to be done here at Boston College, and the recent departure of the Director of the Office of AHANA Student Programs, Dr. Brown, has made the question of progress an immediate concern for the AHANA Leadership Council. As Boston College said goodbye to Dr. Brown, it also bid farewell to one of the very few administrators on this campus who refused to relegate the concerns of AHANA students to a mere afterthought. ALC has made it a priority not only to ensure that his replacement is an appropriate one but also to make certain that his efforts were not in vain. It remains to be seen how Boston College will honor Dr. Brown's legacy, whether it will use him as a measure of excellence and respond to the needs of AHANA students or whether it will continue to move "with all deliberate speed" in addressing some of the most pressing issues on this campus. ALC will accept nothing less than the former.

      The goals of this year's AHANA Leadership Council are related to matters that have been discussed long before ALC was created ten years ago. The recruitment and retention of faculty of color, the prioritization of the Black Studies, Latin American, and Asian Studies programs, and the diversification of the history core are examples of issues that seem to be inherited by student leaders year after year with very little noticeable progress. But ALC hopes that with this year's focus on solidarity, much will be achieved. It is with these high hopes that we ask the University to make this year, in honor of all of those who have worked tirelessly to make Boston College a better place, the year in which its commitment to diversity goes beyond just political correctness and where the needs and concerns of AHANA students are met with just as much momentum and Jesuit-loving-care that its brochures and marketing campaigns promise us. ALC promises to work hard this year to push the University towards this goal.

      Omolara Bewaji is President of the AHANA Leadership Council and a senior at Boston College.

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