Archive for the ‘Campus Highlights’ Category

Tommy Belton, 2013

In 2007, Brooks Dyroff and friend Kenny Haisfield, both students from Boulder, Colorado, started CEO 4 Teens, a non-profit organization focused on global education. They raised enough money to sponsor an Integrated English and Computer Skills class of 10 students in Indonesia. The duo continued sponsoring classes, and by the time they graduated high-school, they had graduated two more classes of identical size.

Brooks Dyroff is now a sophomore on the Boston College hockey team. He has just returned from Minnesota, where he received the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award, an award given  annually to a collegiate hockey player who serves the community. Dyroff won the award not only for his work abroad, but also for his cooperative work with the local St. Columbkille Elementary School in Brighton. Dyroff has organized a “Race to Educate,” a 5K race around Boston College on April 16th at 10 a.m. Registration can take place on race day or at http://www.bcracetoeducate.com.  He and his teammates have also been selling hats and donating all profits to St. Columbkille. I sat down with Brooks and interviewed him on the recent success of CEO 4 Teens and its future.



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Andrew Sexton, 2011

Our university takes considerable pride in its commitment to social justice. One of the school’s mottos reads “Men and women for others”. On the Boston College website, Father Leahy, the President of the University, writes “Boston College endeavors to educate a new generation of leaders for the new millennium—men and women who will be capable of shaping a new century with vision, justice, and charity—with a sense of calling, with concern for all of the human family.”[1] However, Boston College’s position on fair trade calls these elegant sentiments into question.


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Paulina Garcia, 2012

Arrupe International Summer Trips
Location: Cuernavaca, Mexico

Twelve students will be traveling to Mexico this summer with the goal of cultural learning. In this educational immersion trip, students will spend time in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, exploring the everyday life of the Mexican people and experiencing the issues that plague the region. The students hope to leave Mexico with a greater understanding of what is going on in the country: politically, socially, etc. Students will be exposed to and aware of social justice problems thought the world.

The Arrupe summer immersion trip lasts two weeks. Students will be doing a range of different activities all week during their stay at Cuernavaca’s CCIDD center. This includes listening to speakers’ perspectives on issues like politics and drug trade, their own lives, social justice problems, and more. Some time is also spent exploring the Cuernavaca’s market, nearby Aztec ruins, and squatter settlements. Furthermore, students will be interacting directly with people from Cuernavaca, listening to their stories, and getting to know them, their culture, and their lives.

Jamaica Summer Immersion Trip (Intersections)
Location: Annotto Bay, Jamaica

The Intersections program will take a small group of students to the town of Annotto Bay, Jamaica, with the goal to learn about the rural town and the lives of the people who live there. The undergraduate students will also reside and teach in Annotto Bay’s summer camp for children.

The trip will expose students to both the hardships of living in rural Jamaica and the larger social justice issues that the people they will meet actually experience. Students will learn a great deal about community living and lack of education in places like Annotto Bay. Discussion and reflection is key throughout the trip to allow students to reflect on what they have learned, and what they can do about it.

Witness looks forward to hearing the experiences and stories from participants who are going on these immersion trips this summer! Best of luck to all!


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Paulina Garcia, 2012
Colleen Vecchione, 2012

Most of us are aware that there are plenty of social justice groups around campus. So, what’s the big news? They are coming together for the first time. The newest initiative on social justice on campus is the Global Justice Coalition. This new collective effort involves many different groups such as Real Food, React, and Partners In Health, along with Witness.

On Friday the 18th of February, representatives from various groups got together in efforts to talk about having a new collective initiative dealing with social justice on campus. In hopes of creating a network within the social justice groups, each representative spoke about their own groups’ work. Furthermore, they offered suggestions of how to keep all of their groups in contact, creating a social justice community. Ideas included a cross-reference listserv, a council of e-board members from each group, and a social justice e-mail account. This community is open to welcoming any student or group that would like to also be involved in dealing with, addressing, and witnessing social justice issues around campus, in the city of Boston, and even throughout the world.

The Global Justice Coalition’s initiative kicked off with the Global Justice Fair that took place on February 14 where Witness was spotted. In the fair, more than a dozen student groups showcased their efforts involving social justice. Witness welcomed students to get to know more about the magazine and the online magazine. Talks about articles sparked great conversations about what students are involved in around campus and the city of Boston. Witness had a great amount of different students show interest in being involved with the magazine and social justice opportunities.

Witness is excited to see that the Global Justice Coalition provides a form for students to unite and share their passions for issues around the world that are important to them.

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Suzannah Lutz, 2011

“People asked me if Anna hadn’t died, would I be in the same place, and I said, ‘No.’ It took her death to open my eyes.” Mary Lou Wallner shared her story last Thursday at an event sponsored by Allies, “Mary Lou Wallner: “Reconciling Religion and Homosexuality.” This was the first time she was invited to a Catholic university. Brought up in a fundamentalist household, Wallner was taught that homosexuality was a sin. When her daughter, Anna, finally came out to her, it was extremely hard for Wallner to accept Anna’s homosexuality. Their stormy relationship continued until Anna’s suicide in February of 1997.


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Thinking about Suzannah’s piece and the effects of discrimination and mistreatment can have on young people, Witness thinks about our own campus. While the Jesuit influence at BC encourages openness and acceptance, our school is consistently rated high on the list of LGBT-unfriendly schools by The Princeton Review.

In what ways is BC not as welcoming as it could be towards GLBTQ members of the community?

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Cara Condon, 2012

Stephen J. Pope, social activist and Boston College professor, always has a dizzying array of projects underway. Internationally known for his work in mediation and conflict resolution in Africa, Prof. Pope has recently turned his attention to the nexus of theology and neuroscience. How does the way the mind works inform our understanding of metaphysics and cosmology?


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