BC2Boston Makes City Life Affordable For Students

Tickets went on sale for BC2Boston’s discounted dinner at the famous Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar on Friday, Sept. 12 at 8 a.m., and just one minute later, the tickets were sold out. For just $15, students could get a three-course dining experience at the iconic chocolate restaurant. BC2Boston, a committee completely dedicated to planning events within the city of Boston for Boston College students, has planned this same event previously, and both times it was met with phenomenal success.

Christine Cocce, director of the trips and excursions committee and CSOM ’16, gave insight on the event selection process. “It’s food,” she said. “But really, it is a specialty restaurant in the middle of Boston that is definitely more upscale and out of the typical student’s price range.” The Max Brenner dinner perfectly exemplifies the goal of BC2Boston, which is to provide students with unique opportunities to ensure that they take advantage of all the perks of going to school near such a bustling city.

“We want to get kids off the campus and into Boston,” said Garrett Newell, assistant director and A&S ’15. “We see this all the time, when people get sucked into the ‘BC Bubble’ and never get off campus.”

Many students want to know how BC2Boston gets its great deals. Newell has been working with BC2Boston since its inception, spending the majority of his sophomore and junior years working with concert and comedy events at venues like the House of Blues, Royale, and Paradise Rock club.

“Our goal is not only to buy something at one event, at one venue, but to establish a relationship with these venues,” Newell said. After years of work, BC2Boston has contacted many Boston venues and established good relationships in order to sell group tickets to BC at significantly reduced rates.

“A lot of the venues love the fact that we don’t do this for a profit,” Newell said. “We do it because we love that there are all these things going on in Boston, and they’re helping us give the discounted tickets to students who deserve them.”

The BC2Boston committee members appreciate the willingness of the venues to participate. The committee sends thank you notes and Christmas cards to all the groups with which they collaborate, just to remind them of how grateful both the committee and the students are for their services.

This year marks the first year that BC2Boston will no longer be a department within UGBC. Instead, BC2Boston is now housed within the Trips and Excursions Department of the new Campus Activities Board (CAB).

“All of us decided that it would be much more beneficial to both parties if UGBC really focuses on the policy and student life of BC and CAB focuses on programming,” Newell said. Although UGBC is still in charge of a few campus activities, like the Annual Ball, CAB will take on the task of arranging all types of other activities, from concerts and guest speakers to Homecoming and adventures inside and outside of the city.

Cocce said that she and her coworkers are excited about the switch to CAB, and they believe it will allow BC2Boston, as well as other subprograms, to expand greatly. “CAB helps us to have select departments that really can focus on what BC students want,” Cocce said. “Now, we have so much room to grow.” In fact, the department has already grown, as now a sister group called Beyond Boston has been created within the trips and excursions committee to further increase students’ opportunities to get off campus.

Although there have been many departmental changes, BC2Boston has hit the ground running, offering numeroff-campus opportunities within the first few months of school. Beyond the Max Brenner dinner, the group is offering tickets to The Lion King on Broadway, Red Sox and Celtics games, Cards Against Humanity night at Improv Asylum, a haunted Boston tour, and potentially a concert at the House of Blues.

Trips sponsored by Beyond Boston to New York City, Gloucester for fishing, Salem, and Honey Pot Hill Orchards will also take place within the coming months.

Because CAB is so new, its committee is avidly looking for new members and participants. Although a CAB website is not yet in existence, the group plans to have an area for suggestions and commentary about past and future events. Until then, students and potential members can email any board member with suggestions, as well as attend CAB’s open weekly board meetings that take place every week in Carney Hall.

“We are really so excited about what we do,” Newall said. “We are so open to any suggestion. The people that we see that are coming to the meetings and events are the people we want on the board.”

Cocce agreed, “We all spend a lot of our time here, like a lot of our time, planning these events, so we really want the events to be things people want to go to,” she said. “We love new, crazy ideas, and we want ideas that are out of the box.”

When asked about what the BC community should expect from BC2Boston in the future, Cocce said, “We are really hoping to expand our events. We want as many kids as possible to go to all of our events, so we’re really going to work to make sure that everyone who wants to come can come to our events.”

Although it strives to include as many students as possible, tickets are limited and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sold through the Robsham ticketing office, the tickets go on sale on a specific date at 8 a.m.

Cocce offered a piece of advice to anyone who is really determined to participate in a certain event. “Pro tip for all the BC2Boston hopefuls out there,” she said. “Set your alarm for 7:50 in the morning, go online, sign into your account click on campus activities, click on BC2Boston. As soon as it hits 8 a.m. click refresh and click the button on the event.”

Although they wish to give a ticket to every student who wants one, Newell and Cocce did not deny that they feel great when tickets for an event sell out. “We get so excited when we sell out an event for more reasons than one,” Newall said. “Not only does it mean that we’ve been successful and picked an event that the students love, but it means that we are actually responding to student interests. It gives us the warm and fuzzies.”

Featured Image by Samantha Costanzo / Heights Editor