The Heart of the Matter: Important Political Issues at BC


By Amanda Colwell Unigo Campus Rep at Boston College With November nearing, the BC campus swirls with political opinions. Political science professor Donald Hafner thinks the upcoming election has sparked a lot of interest because the candidates (both president and vice-president) break from the usual historical mold. “No matter who wins, this will be judged a ground-breaking outcome,” he said. Hafner cited the economy as the main concern of college students. He believes the current turmoil is bound to worry them. “It affects their ability to fund their current studies,” he said, adding that the state of the economy raises concerns about employment prospects after graduation. Senior finance major John Audibert is among the students who worry about the constricting job market. “Companies are unsure of what their hiring needs are going to be come graduation. They are hesitant to increase their workforce during this period of uncertainty,” he said. Audibert is a member of BC’s Finance Academy. The Finance Academy is a student-run organization at BC that was established to inform students of the business opportunities available to them. “The club holds events to keep students informed of the ongoing developments that are reshaping the financial industry. In September there was a lecture series that featured Richard Goldberg, a former BC student, current professor, and practicing M&A Investment Banker,” he said. The Finance Academy also held a “Wall Street Boot Camp” last spring.  Deemed by members as a “new Finance Academy tradition,” the boot camp featured a two-day intensive seminar designed to teach students everything they need to know for an internship or job in banking. Of course, not all BC students focus their attention on the monetary issues at hand. Senior political science major Josh Darr is the Massachusetts State Coordinator for Students for Barack Obama. Darr hopes the meaning of American moral values will enter political discussions. Hafner shares this wish. He hopes BC students will find the ability to remove themselves from their immediate worries and listen to the larger philosophies that the candidates are offering on economic matters. “This campaign, at heart, is about competing philosophies about the role of government and markets in shaping our economic futures, and these are enduring issues that have significance well beyond our most immediate economic worries,” Hafner said. Darr has been working toward bringing awareness to the philosophies of the candidates: he has rallied for Obama at BC and in Boston, worked in a financial office to learn about campaign finance, canvassed in New Hampshire and helped plan the Walk for Change event held in Jamaica Plain last June. Recently, he has traveled to Denver for the DNC, volunteered at a fundraiser with Barney Frank and taken over the day-to-day responsibilities of the Students for Obama blog. “As for getting involved, I just wanted to help elect Barack Obama president,” Darr said. “I saw that students were excited about this guy and organizing themselves, and while I couldn’t see our success coming, I could see what kind of campaign this might be.” Darr admires Obama’s ability to energize young people. He enjoys seeing excitement in politics again. “They were looking for volunteers to lead college campuses, and I wanted to step up. They’ve allowed me to, and every day has been exciting,” he said. Darr added, “I can’t believe there’s less than a month left, and we could actually win this thing.”

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