The New England Classic
BC Installs Oil Rig As Symbol of Dedication To Fossil Fuel Investment
"A university is a business, and an expensive one at that. Drill, baby, drill!” BC Installs Oil Rig As Symbol of Dedication To Fossil Fuel Investment

O’NEILL PLAZA — Looking to dedicate a monument to its passionate and continued investment in fossil fuels until the Earth runs out of them, Boston College has just finished the installation of a $600M state-of-the-art oil drilling platform in O’Neill Plaza. Its architect, Hugh G. O’Boss, believes its impressive presence will surpass Gasson as Boston College’s most iconic and photographed symbol because it represents the university morally and ethically stands for: “lots of money—no matter the means.”

The gigantic and fully functional piece of machinery will operate year-round, extracting nonrenewable resources from the depths of the Earth while also producing a couple of barrels of crude oil every day. The barrels will be sold, and the profits will be put toward Boston College’s landscaping and grass budget. This “green” action, a Boston College spokesperson hypothesized, should “significantly offset” the environmental harms done by oil drilling.

University students of around 400 colleges across America, from Stanford to Georgetown, have been keen to point out the irony that resides within a school’s profiting off an industry that is harming its students’ futures. Through demonstrations like sit-ins and candlelight vigils, these student activists have had their voices heard: They don’t want their schools to sit idly and profit on a dirty business. This passivity, they argue, is inexcusable. And their voices are echoed on the Heights.

“Divesting from fossil fuels is a political statement that universities can make in order to take a stand against the immoral practices of fossil fuel companies,” noted Stone R. Zack (A&S ‘18), a member of Climate Justice at Boston College, while blowing bong smoke out of a Walsh window and fantasizing about climate activist Bill McKibben. He went on to note that divesting takes away from the political power that fossil fuel companies hold and that “weed is tight, but divestment is tighter,” and the world would be a better place if everyone burned more “kush” and less petroleum.

A professor also offered her opinion on the new oil rig: “My question is why a school that invests so much in its students future would want to invest in the destruction of our planet? I get that winter sucks, but so does not having a habitable planet. And I haven’t even gotten into the social justice and human rights issues behind divesting, or that investments in fossil fuel companies grow riskier each year. A lot of faculty admit that this whole oil rig deal is kind of a dick move, to be completely honest. And I have tenure, so I’ll say whatever I want. I realize that divesting isn’t going to immediately save the world, but it’s better than doing nothing.”

Despite potential backlash, Fr. Leahy is showing no signs of budging. “Students often wonder if we’re ever going to divest from fossil fuels,” said Fr. Leahy while sniffing a fat stack of oil-stained cash. “I hope this oil rig answers their questions, once and for all. And to my critics, I say this: We don’t have the endowment of Harvard. A university is a business, and an expensive one at that. Drill, baby, drill!”

At press time, the oil rig was spurring debates about the immense complexity of the whole divestment issue in many a Courage to Know class.