Last weekend the Boston College Bubble popped right before my eyes. No longer is the stretch of Comm. Ave. between Lake and Sutherland Streets a safe haven. No longer can I be assured of my safety because Gasson Hall is in view.
I awoke Sunday morning to a text asking if I had seen my friend Sarah, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy. Of course, I thought Sarah was sleeping in her dorm, having come home safely after her night off campus with friends. Hours later, still no one had heard from Sarah.
Through an RA that I had befriended last year, I learned that Sarah had been transported from her dorm to St. Elizabeth’s around 2 a.m. the night before.
Confused and anxious, my friends and I waited for her arrival back to campus. We were even more confused and then scared when she finally arrived and had scratches and bruises on her face, arms, and legs, and a moderate concussion.
Sarah doesn’t remember much from last Saturday night. She does remember meeting a group of boys while she was out. She also remembers having three to four drinks in her three-hour outing. She says the last thing she remembers from that night is deciding to go home.
While Sarah has been able to fill in some blanks, unfortunately, there are several important questions that will permanently remain unanswered.
Sarah’s saving grace was a BC student walking down Comm. Ave. at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning who saw her struggling against a man who was trying to lead her away from BC.
He stepped in and insisted on helping Sarah back to the nearest dorm building, where he called the police under the help-seeking policy. When they arrived on the scene, an ambulance was called immediately.
At the hospital, Sarah was not given a blood alcohol test.
Sarah was not tested for drugs such as roofies or other sedatives.
Sarah did not receive a CAT scan, despite the injuries to her face and head.
She was treated like any other underage drunken BC student, even though her case was—hopefully—very unique.
During her meeting with the Resident Director (RD), Sarah expressed her concerns about the lack of attention she received from the hospital and police officers. She also expressed her fears about the lack of answers she will ever receive about what happened to her that night.
The RD admitted that she was accustomed to handling underage students whose excuses for being out of control are that BC won the USC game or that they needed to unwind after a long week of classes.
Instead of resolving the matter, Sarah, like all other students who are documented under the help-seeking policy, was referred to alcohol consumption counseling.
Sarah will probably never receive all of the answers about last Saturday night. Her story, however, can be used as an example of the limits of the BC Bubble.
Admittedly, this column was written in the hopes that Sarah can obtain some closure about her experience in knowing that her story was told, and could possibly prevent other students from facing the same feelings of unease she now carries with her.
It was also written to send two messages to all students: If you see something that looks wrong, say something. Be the student who walks a struggling girl back to her dorm, rather than the one who looks away, because evil prevails when good people do nothing about it.
Secondly, if you are out by yourself, the BC Bubble is not as safe as you might think it is. Sarah was in view of Gasson Hall, but that would not have kept her from being taken somewhere she didn’t want to go. The safety of the BC Bubble depends on the people who are in it, not on your distance from campus.
Featured Image by Daniel Lee / Heights Senior Staff