Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Update on UMass Dissenters protest efforts against Raytheon and subsidiary company

UMass Dissenters say email reveals their efforts have hampered Raytheon recruitment
Shilpa Sweth
Daily Collegian (2023)

On Oct. 6, the University of Massachusetts Dissenters posted an email from the College of Engineering on their Instagram purporting to reveal that Pratt and Whitney, a subsidiary of RTX Corporation, formerly known as Raytheon Technologies, has put UMass on a “cannot recruit from” list due to the Dissenters protesting efforts.

The email was obtained through a public information request from the Dissenters for any administrative correspondence mentioning the group. The Dissenters placed the request following a protest held at a UMass Raytheon networking event.

Member Joey Biers-Browne, a sophomore history major, said the email was “really exciting news” for the Dissenters. “It’s not really [going to] change our plan … Raytheon is still the big main target,” he added. The Dissenters plan to continue increasing pressure on RTX Corporation and the University.

Although the email Dissenters posted claimed that Pratt and Whitney had paused current recruitment efforts at UMass, Scott Civjan, the associate dean for undergraduate affairs in the College of Engineering, said that Pratt and Whitney has been at UMass three times since the email exchange from September.

“The original email quoted by the Dissenters was a question about whether anyone had heard about changes in company policy,” Civjan said in an email to the Collegian. “I did not take the content of the email as a statement of a changed policy when I received it. I would have to defer to the company on what their position is.”

In a statement to the Collegian, Pratt & Witney confirmed that they continue to recruit at UMass.

Additionally, director of communications for the College of Engineering, Heather Demers, said in an email statement: “We are not aware of any official change in posture on recruiting at UMass by Pratt & Whitney … Our priority is to provide all of our students access to a wide range of career and experiential learning opportunities.”

Pratt and Whitney is an American aerospace manufacturer. The aircraft engines that they manufacture are used in both commercial or private airlines and military aircraft. Andrew Skeete, a Dissenters member and junior anthropology major, said the email seemed to be in response to the Dissenters protests from last February. To the Dissenters, this email signaled their efforts are paying off.

The Dissenters recognize that if Raytheon pulls recruitment from UMass, students in need of ample job options will be impacted. The Dissenters are in the beginning stages of developing a plan to get alternative companies that promote peace engineering, the application of sustainable practices and cultural sensitivity to promote peace, to recruit at UMass.

Grace Lee can be reached at [email protected].

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