The BCAAUP chapter is in its third year of activism, continuing to advocate for all faculty and graduate students. Established as an advocacy chapter in January 2010, BCAAUP now has over 120 members (tenured and tenure track, non-tenure track and grad students) and interest and membership continue to grow. BCAAUP responds to concerns raised by faculty on issues including academic freedom and tenure, governance, grievance and compensation and continues to engage the administration in on these matters in order to improve communication and transparency on all levels across the university.
The Boston College chapter of the American Association of University Professors is deeply concerned about the university’s recent letters sent to members of the BC Students for Sexual Health (BCSSH) threatening disciplinary action against them for distributing contraceptives in their dorm rooms. While it is the university’s right to distribute or not distribute contraceptives through the student health center, we believe that taking disciplinary action against students for lawful actions undertaken in the privacy of their dorm rooms constitutes an infringement of their rights. The issues regarding sexual health raised by BCSSH are important to the welfare of our students who come from a variety of faith traditions; taking disciplinary action against them on such matters of individual conscience sends the wrong message to the campus community, alumni, and prospective students.
The following op-ed by Susan Michalczyk, Boston College AAUP President, details the faculty’s ongoing quest for a university faculty senate and the sad state of faculty governance at a prestigious Jesuit college. Perhaps the reality of the first Jesuit pope, who is a man committed to social justice, will enliven Boston College’s administration to improve faculty representation in the name of genuine collegiality.