Boston College students and faculty push to reject Koch funding — and Koch values

Religion News Service | 11/19/2019 | Staff
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (RNS) — As Boston College finalizes the details of a potential Koch Foundation donation to its political science department, some students and faculty at the Jesuit-run institution are hoping to pressure university administrators into reconsidering the grant.

“It feels like a violation that we, as the student body, haven’t been taken into consideration,” said Carmen Chu, a sophomore political science major. “We don’t want our school accepting money from donors who are actively trying to control the political dialogue in the United States. … Especially because the Jesuit education so strongly emphasizes scientific inquiry and searching for truth and social justice, and the Koch brothers so obviously don’t align with that.”

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At a rally on campus last week, organized by the student group Climate Justice at BC, Chu and other campus activists spoke to a gathering of 150 students, faculty and alumni, huddled in thick jackets while holding posters and candles.

“Are these our Jesuit values?” read one poster set up at the plaza outside the school’s O’Neill Library. Other signs accused the administration of accepting “dirty money” and urged officials to instead put the “planet over profit” by rejecting “climate denier dollars.”

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“As a Jesuit institution, we have a moral duty to put the common good above all else, and we believe the acceptance of this grant would legitimize the past, self-interested actions of the Koch Foundation,” a petition created by the Freedom Over Funding coalition reads.

The petition has been signed by more than 1,000 BC community members, including about 850 undergraduate students and six faculty members, organizers told Religion News Service. An informal group of professors from multiple departments, called Faculty for Justice, has also been meeting to discuss ways to halt the program proposal for the Koch funding. The liberal arts school, founded in 1863, has around 9,500...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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