A group of administrators, appointed by University President William P. Leahy, S.J., to meet with student leaders following several racial incidents that occurred on campus this fall, has issued a letter to the students outlining the University’s plan of action to address diversity and inclusion matters.
The letter proposes concrete measures to build a more respectful and inclusive community at Boston College, including implementing a learning module on diversity and inclusion for all incoming undergraduate students, creating a student experience survey, continuing ongoing efforts to hire a more diverse faculty and recruit a more diverse student body, and enhancing learning and training opportunities.
Signed by Barb Jones, vice president for Student Affairs; David Quigley, provost and dean of faculties; Jack Butler, S.J., vice president for University Mission and Ministry; Tom Mogan, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students; Joy Haywood Moore, associate vice president for Alumni Relations; Patricia Lowe, executive director for Institutional Diversity; and Dan Bunch, special assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs, the letter condemns the racial incidents as unacceptable and in conflict with the educational and religious heritage of Boston College, and calls on all members of the BC community to treat each other with dignity, compassion, and respect.
The letter also summarizes progress that has been made in recent years—including the recruitment of the highest percentage of AHANA students ever (Class of 2021, 31 percent), and a record number of tenure-track faculty of AHANA descent (46 percent) in 2017—but states that more “can and should be done for Boston College to live up to its mission.”
The letter states that the University will:
• Implement a learning module on diversity and inclusion, similar to AlcoholEdu and Haven, which will be required of all entering undergraduate students.
• Develop and implement a survey to understand how students experience Boston College in issues ranging from diversity and inclusion to residential living and classroom teaching.
• Work with all eight schools and colleges to continue the ongoing efforts to hire a more diverse faculty and recruit a more diverse student body.
• Enhance learning and training opportunities for faculty and staff based on best practices for supporting diversity and inclusion in the classroom and on campus.
• Review and identify opportunities through Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Mission and Ministry and Human Resources to strengthen diversity and inclusion efforts that enhance the culture of care and welcome at Boston College.
Student leaders, led by UGBC President Akosua Opokua-Achampong '18, had met with administrators to request new programs and policies that would help heal the community in the aftermath of a student’s racially charged social media post and the defacement of several Black Lives Matter signs that raised tensions on campus.
The students, including George Boateng '18, Nina Bombole-Boimbo '21, Francesca Araujo '20, Michael Osaghae '20, Taraun Frontis '19, Victory Adikema '20 and Najat Goso '18, said they appreciated the meetings with administrators and plan to share the letter with fellow students when they return from Thanksgiving break.
Administrators confirmed that the student involved in the social media posting was no longer enrolled at Boston College and that the BC Police investigation into the defaced signs is ongoing.