Dear members of the BC Law community:

On Monday, the University provided an update on their planning efforts related to reopening campus this fall, and reiterated a target date of August 31. The update covered expectations of personal behavior to prioritize the safety of all in our community as you return to campus; the University’s goals for classroom teaching; the cancellation of fall study abroad programs; PPE requirements; and enhanced cleaning of facilities. If you have not yet read the email, I urge you to do so. The announcement also included the launch of a new website that will provide the latest University information as it becomes available.

At the Law School, we continue our progress toward a more comprehensive plan for reopening the BC Law Newton campus in August. We are hard at work on plans to virtually welcome our new 1L, LLM and transfer students to the BC Law community—a process we’re calling “The Incoming Student Experience.” 

Our Incoming Student Experience working group of administrators is especially fortunate to be joined by student leaders from the Admissions Ambassadors Program and LSA New Student Committee. Rather than focusing on a few orientation days just before classes begin, the goal of this year’s working group is to use the entire summer to inform and engage online with our incoming students. While we will offer some virtual “live” programming on the normal orientation days (August 26-28), we will also be hosting a number of webinars on various topics throughout the summer (we kicked this off yesterday with a webinar on Maximizing Your Financial Aid Dollars).

The other main goal of this group is to help our new students begin to get to know current students, faculty and each other. To do this, we will launch small incoming student cohort groups in July and pair them with community members in a series of virtual meet-and-greet and mentoring events.

I would also like to make sure everyone is aware of the Law Student Association Fall Semester Forum scheduled for June 26 at 5:30 pm. The LSA will host an opportunity for current and incoming students to share any questions, comments, or concerns that they might have about the upcoming school year, and will bring these questions and concerns to the administration. We are grateful to the LSA for hosting this important event.

Finally, I want to make sure we recognize that today is Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States, and commemorates the date when Union soliders came to Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free--over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed. This long delay symbolizes the immense resistance of many states and slave owners to the Proclamation, and is also symbolic of the systemic racism still present today. All of us can--and must--do better in becoming actively anti-racist. Join me for a webinar on June 22 on Race, Justice, and Catholicism sponsored by The Lumen Christi Institute, where I will be part of a panel discussion on whether Catholicism can embrace a new future and become part of the solution.

Vincent Rougeau
Dean, Boston College Law School | he/him/his