Two Black Lives Matter signs were defaced in Roncalli Hall on Oct. 13, made to read “Black Lives Don’t Matter.” The perpetrator is unknown and the University is currently investigating the incident.
After returning from work, Caitlin Ashton Gardner, CSON ’20, found that her Black Lives Matter sign was defaced, as well as the one on her neighbor’s door. The signs have been on their doors since they attended a Sept. 17 march in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in Boston Common.
Two of her friends, Armani King and Daniela Herrera, both MCAS ’20, have also alleged bias-related incidents in Roncalli. They have had the words “Hispanic” and “Latino” erased from a whiteboard on their door promoting Hispanic Heritage Month numerous times. Gardner said in a Facebook message that the erasing became progressively worse during Hispanic Heritage Month, which ended last week.
The incidents have been documented and reported to the Office of Institutional Diversity for inclusion in BC’s Intolerant Incident database of offenses, according to Jeremy Weinberg, the Residential Life Administrator on Call. The BC Police Department has also been notified of these events and is carrying out an investigation alongside the Office of Residential Life, University Spokesman Jack Dunn said via a BC spokesman in the Official Boston College Class of 2020 Facebook group.
“Boston College condemns all acts of hate and will hold anyone found responsible accountable,” Dunn said.
In an email to residents of Roncalli, Weinberg emphasized that BC will not tolerate this behavior and that it is an unacceptable display of intolerance.
“This is not only an irresponsible act, but also a cowardly one that does not reflect your sensitivity and concern for one another,” he said.
In response to these incidents, Gardner and her friends have erased “don’t” from the signs and put Black Lives Matter signs on every door of their floors in Roncalli.
“As a student of color, this incident makes me feel less safe and less welcome on campus, and I’m hoping that the BC administration will be vigilant about taking action, as well as reaching out to support students of color who may be affected,” Gardner said in an email Monday. “Mostly, however, this isn’t about this one incident with one student and one sign; there have been multiple students on campus who have experienced similar and worse racist incidents.”
Emma Linville, MCAS ’20, spread word of the defacing through the Official BC Class of 2020 Facebook page Friday evening. She appealed to BC to hold the perpetrator responsible for these actions and create a welcoming community for all BC students.
“The minority population of the student body deserves to be respected and should be able to live in an environment in which they feel safe, comfortable, and accepted,” Linville said.
This article has been updated.
Featured Image Courtesy of Emma Linville and Armani King