In our new Strategic Plan, Boston College has committed to “enhance the culture of care and welcome all, including support for socio-economic and racial diversity within the campus community.”
Unfortunately, in October several Black Lives Matter posters were vandalized in residence halls, and a student created a racist Snapchat post that was met with immediate condemnation across campus. Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Jones and Dean of Students Tom Mogan issued statements denouncing the acts and “strongly affirm[ing] the rights of all students to live and study on a campus that is free from bias, discrimination, and hate.” In late November, after conversations with students, a group of administrators released a letter stating that, in addition to other commitments, the University would launch a learning module on diversity and inclusion that will be mandatory for all incoming first-year students. It also plans to conduct a survey in which students will share their experiences in areas ranging from diversity and inclusion to student life and academics, and work with all eight of Boston College’s schools to recruit more diverse faculty members.
Vice President Barbara Jones’s October 19 message to the student body as well as the late-November e-mail from administrators to students outlining the University’s official response can be found below.
Campus resources dedicated to supporting a welcoming, inclusive culture for all students at Boston College include:
- Boston College Campus Life Diversity Website
The Boston College Campus Life Diversity Website provides a central location for university news, current initiatives, campus events, resources, and departments that foster and promote a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion to all members of the Boston College community.
- Office of Institutional Diversity
In support of the University and its goals, the mission of the Office for Institutional Diversity is to facilitate efforts to advance and sustain an organizational culture and climate that welcomes diversity, equity and inclusion for all members of the Boston College community. Our objective, through effective management of diversity, is to create a competitive advantage for the University, and at the same time to help us live out the social justice imperatives inherent in our Jesuit and Catholic heritage. To learn more, call 617-552-2323 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Office of the Dean of Students
Students may report a fellow student’s suspected violation of Boston College’s Bias-Motivated Conduct Policy by calling 617-552-3470, e-mailing email@example.com, or filling out a report here. Dean of Students Tom Mogan also hosts multiple “Dinner with the Dean” evenings each semester, hosting students at his home.
- Residential Life
The Office of Residential Life and its staff strive to create a safe and welcoming environment for all students. Responding to October’s racist incidents, residence hall staff have held special office hours to discuss the racial atmosphere on campus; hosted events on equality, diversity, and inclusion; and led floor meetings at residence halls across campus.
- University Counseling Services (UCS)
Along with services for students, UCS offers online resources for parents and faculty, with links to authoritative information from sources such as the American Psychological Association (on identifying and coping with discrimination) and the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture (on racial trauma). Students can visit Gasson 001 or schedule an appointment at 617-552-3310.
- Thea Bowman AHANA (African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American) and Intercultural Center
With a vision to “promote equity, build community, and support opportunity,” the Bowman Center offers several programs to foster positive racial identity and cultural competency, including the RIDE (Racial Identity Development Experience) weekend retreat, a weekly Dialogues on Race discussion group, and Campus of Difference cultural competency workshops. In response to the recent racial incidents, the center (located in Maloney Hall Suite 455) has extended its office hours from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. (It remains open from 9:00 to 5:00 on Mondays and Fridays.) Students can use the lounge space to study, find support, or simply gather with friends.