Climate Justice at Boston College (CJBC) shared a statement condemning the recent decision of the political science department to accept funding from the Charles Koch Foundation as part of a proposed program on Thursday. In a separate post, Young Democratic Socialists of America of Boston College (YDSA) also voiced their opposition to this proposal, as well as declaring their support for the CJBC statement.
The statement, posted on Facebook, said that CJBC “unequivocally rejects” the decision by the department to accept funding from the Charles Koch Foundation. The statement proceeded to list six specific reasons why the organization opposes the proposal.
First, CJBC pointed to the “Kochs’ extensive history of undermining the science behind, and regulation of climate change.” Through their lobbying and vast network of political connections and contributions, they suggested that the Kochs have “contributed more 'per-capita' to sabotage government action than anyone in the world,” and that their actions are “antithetical to everything that science and universities stand for.”
Notably, CJBC shared that “a trusted professor” informed their members that the proposal stipulates that climate change cannot be discussed as part of the program. According to CJBC, this disregards “the fact that the climate crisis is the most serious security concern we face today.”
Secondly, CJBC condemned the Kochs' direct contribution to the climate crisis, calling out their history of vast environmental abuses, including “hundreds of oil spills, the release of toxic chemicals into waterways and communities, the illegal removal of oil from indigenous lands, and a myriad of other crimes.”
Furthermore, they accused the Kochs of having a “long history with and strong connections to white supremacists, racists, and rabid anti-semites.”
The statement then criticized the small-government ideals of the Kochs, calling it a “corrupt, self-serving ideology” designed to avoid “bearing the immense environmental and social costs” of their activities.
As their last point, CJBC affirmed the stake students have in this issue.
“If our education is to be censored, we deserve to have a say,” the statement declared. “We refuse to be complicit in neither the undermining of our education nor our belief in creating a more just world.”
In response to attempts to minimize the stakes of this proposal, CJBC wrote that “the notion of accepting money as an apolitical act is pure folly,” and that doing so would lead BC to betray its ideals and “lose its credibility as a university for others.”
"Ultimately, Charles Koch’s mission as a donor wholly disregards the ideals Boston College holds sacred," the statement concluded. "The Kochs’ past actions and history with other universities demonstrates that our commitment to free and unbiased intellectual inquiry will be severely compromised if this proposal is implemented."
After this statement was released, YDSA posted their own brief statement on Facebook, standing with CJBC “in denouncing” this decision by the political science department. In the post, YDSA reiterated some of the same reasons CJBC provided for opposing the Koch Foundation donation, specifically calling out its support of “climate denialism” and attempts to “compromise academic integrity,” as well as affirming their condemnation of the Kochs’ history of connections to white supremacists.