On Tuesday night, about 100 students and faculty came together on O’Neill Plaza for a vigil in honor of victims of recent tragedies across the country, including the natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Mexico, as well as the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Speakers at the event gave a window into how these issues may seem far removed from Boston College’s campus, but in reality, hit close to home.
In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican students at BC called for more focus on providing relief to the island. One student created a fundraising page that has raised over $3,300 as of Wednesday night.
Events such as Tuesday night’s vigil and the on-campus activism relating to the situation in Puerto Rico represent important actions taken by students to raise awareness of tragic events that many at BC may otherwise become desensitized to.
Students’ lives at BC are often fast-paced and it can be easy to forget about the larger world that exists outside Chestnut Hill. This concept of mental insulation is often referred to as the “BC Bubble.” In light of the disasters that have occurred in the U.S. and around the world in recent weeks, however, there is no better time to move beyond this sense of isolation.
Students at BC may read news of recent disasters and feel sad or empathetic, but it speaks volumes when only 100 students out of almost 10,000 show up to a vigil to express solidarity with their peers. It is imperative that students realize that while many at BC were fortunate enough to have not been affected by these disasters, some students were not, and support from the University community goes a long way.
Students need to recognize the value of empathy, and should attend events such as Tuesday night’s vigil in greater numbers in order to demonstrate their support for affected students on campus. One day, students currently at BC will say goodbye to this campus and enter the real world, where solidarity can no longer be an afterthought.
During this trying time, in which thousands of people outside the boundaries of the Heights are suffering as a result of natural disasters and violence alike, BC students must choose to break from the ordinary and practice compassion beyond what is expected.
Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor