Guide to Civic Engagement
Guide to Civic Engagement on Campus and Off-Campus
As a university guided by a Catholic and Jesuit mission, Boston College fosters the rigorous intellectual development and the religious, ethical and personal formation of its students in order to prepare them for citizenship, service and leadership in a global society. As such, discourse is central to this development and we encourage students to engage in the practice of dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect, civility and care. Within the context of this discourse, the expression of viewpoints, ones that are often strongly held, can invite or provoke responses from those with opposing positions and viewpoints that are also strongly held. The safe, civil and educational expression of opposing viewpoints is of paramount importance and is the responsibility of all members of our community.
As provided for in the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities found in the Student Guide, all Boston College students are provided the right to express opinion, which includes the right to state agreement or disagreement with the opinions of others and the right to an appropriate forum for the expression of opinion. Along with this right, Boston College students also have a responsibility to refrain from interfering with the freedom of expression of others; and to avoid disruption, interference and other materially adverse impact on the educational mission of Boston College. This brief guide provides a list of resources for students who are looking for ways to become more civically engaged both on campus and in the community.
1. Educate Yourself
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the plentiful opportunities both inside the classroom and outside of the classroom to educate themselves on the important issues of the day. Take a course that you believe might provide different viewpoints on a subject you care about. Attend a lecture on a topic that you know little about. For a list of University events, be sure to check the University calendar by clicking HERE.
2. Get Involved in Student Organizations
Boston College sponsors over 200 different clubs and organizations. Students interested in a particular activity or issue should consider joining a student organization that interests them. Joining a student organization is a great way to meet people who hold similar interests. If Boston College does not sponsor an organization to meet your needs, you can apply to start a new organization. For more information on existing clubs or how to start a new one, visit the website of the Office of Student Involvement by clicking HERE.
3. Write for a Publication or Write a Letter to the Editor
Another effective way for students to become civically engaged is to write for a campus publication. Boston College students are actively engaged with several registered and unregistered publications. Students are encouraged to get involved with these publications as a way to develop communication skills and to allow the student voice to be heard on important issues. Students should also take advantage of the opportunity to comment online or to write a letter to the editor for publication in order to express their opinions on crucial topics. See below for a sample listing of some of the student publications that are produced by Boston College students.
4. Get Involved in Local or Community Groups
The Boston area is home to numerous groups engaged in the community. Boston College’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center maintains a list of service opportunities with a host of organizations in the Greater Boston area. Visit their website by clicking HERE.
5. Write a Letter to Your Local Representative
Letter writing is one of the most effective ways to share your opinions with your elected representatives. This is particularly effective if you are registered to vote and write to your representative as one of their constituents. If you are not sure where or to whom to send your letters, you can click on one of these links to find your elected representative:
U.S. House of Representatives - https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Resources and Policies for Students and Student Leaders
Boston College Division of Student Affairs Administrators - Office Hours
Do you have a question or concern and not sure where to turn? Both the Vice President of Student Affairs (Dr. Barbara Jones) and the Dean of Students (Dr. Tom Mogan) have open office hours on Friday afternoons from 2pm-4pm. This is a great time to stop by and have a conversation with a senior student affairs administrator. If you cannot make the office hours, please stop by their offices (4the Floor Maloney Hall) to schedule an appointment.
Boston College Civic Engagement Website
Be sure to visit the Civic Engagement website of Boston College’s Division of Student Affairs for more information on voter registration, upcoming events, and more! Click HERE for more information.
Here are links to the selected student publications (not officially recognized by BC):
The Heights - http://bcheights.com/
The Gavel - http://www.bcgavel.com/
To ensure that public demonstrations do not violate directly or indirectly the rights of others by preventing the ordinary operation of the University, all activities in the nature of a public speech, rally, demonstration, march, protest or other coordinated event (“demonstrations”) must be registered and approved in advance by the Dean of Students. Boston College reserves the right to condition the time, place and manner of proposed demonstrations, and to withhold approval of proposed demonstrations which reasonably appear to be organized by persons or organizations that are not affiliated with Boston College, or which are intended or deemed likely to disrupt or interfere with University operations, or to adversely impact the mission of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic university. For more information on how to sponsor a demonstration, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 617-552-3470 or email@example.com or stop by 448 Maloney Hall. To view the full demonstration policy, please click HERE.
The Office of Student Involvement and the Office of Residential Life administer policies for the posting of materials in university buildings and on the campus grounds. To view the full posting policy for student organizations, please click HERE.
For a full list of student organizations sponsored by Boston College, please click HERE.