This past week, disciplinary action was taken against five Boston College students who were involved in the December “12 Days of BC Racism” protest. The protest involved the singing of Christmas carols which had been altered to criticize BC and the entering of Gasson Hall during a trustee luncheon. The students presented Dean Thomas Mogan with a proposed list of changes and caroled inside of the atrium until they were asked to leave. They then continued their caroling outside of the hall.
The five students were written up for disturbing classes in session at the time and for being involved in a protest which had not been granted a permit. The discontent from new development serves as a reminder that there are serious issues that the community should be working to address.
One of the most realistic and immediate ways for the administration to respond to these concerns and the complaints of groups such as Eradicate would be to institute an administrative position meant specifically to address these issues, an idea initially brought up by the Undergraduate Government of Boston College in its fall proposal. As race develops into an increasingly important and discussed issue on campus, it requires further attention. Instead of designating these issues to administrators who have numerous other responsibilities, the best and most efficient way to deal with these ongoing difficulties is to allow one person to head the effort, ensuring that he or she is able to give it his or her full attention and is provided adequate resources.
BC already has an office for Institutional Diversity, but it does not have a high-level administrator, such as Georgetown’s vice president for institutional diversity and equity or Marquette’s executive director for diversity and Inclusion, who would be meant to deal exclusively with issues such as the ones brought up by Eradicate. The purpose of this new administrator would be to craft solutions to the diversity and equality issues on campus, while also providing a strong voice for minority groups in administration discussions and meetings.
In difficult situations like this, it is easy for each side to become entrenched. A member of the administration tasked solely with addressing these growing issues and bringing about solutions through compromise and mutual understanding would be a good first step by the administration, demonstrating responsiveness to student activism while also working to bring about practical solutions.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor