Economic Study Continues

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

The Office of State and Community Affairs reports a positive response thus far in its efforts to develop a database documenting Boston College's impact on local communities, especially in the area of service and volunteer activities.

This database will form the basis for a report the University plans to make available next September to local officials and residents.

Earlier this year, the office sent letters throughout the University asking for examples of community involvement in Boston and Newton. Within several weeks, the office collected information on about 200 different programs and activities in which BC employees and students were taking part, such as tutoring, policy development and health awareness.

This fall, the office will work with the Undergraduate Government of Boston College to compile a list of potential volunteer opportunities for students, as well as historical information on the University's range of community service.

State and Community Affairs also is collaborating with the Social Welfare Research Institute to evaluate Boston College's local economic impact by examining the spending habits of students, employees, visitors and the University itself. This project will include, for example, coordinating with several BC offices to track how many University employees reside in the targeted communities. On another front, the office has sent out extensive surveys to 450 BC students and parents that will detail their expenditures in the area, covering categories such as groceries, restaurant meals, hotels and car rentals.

"The economic contribution BC makes is certainly critical, but the community involvement aspect is something we value enormously," said Community Affairs Director Jean S. McKeigue. "It's important there be a shared knowledge and awareness of the wonderful work Boston College does in the neighborhoods, so that we may enhance it. This will not only be helpful for the communities themselves to know, it will make for possible linkages between different programs and initiatives."

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