Members of the Boston College administration met with the Undergraduate Government of Boston College as well as non-UGBC-affiliated students, as part of Boston College Looking Forward, an event meant to foster communication between the student body and the administration at the beginning of the 18-month strategic planning process. Students divided into small groups that then met with an administrator at a table, where they voiced their concerns and provided suggestions for the future of BC. The administrators marked down these concerns and suggestions for future use as the strategic planning process continues. These administrators will then meet with the Board of Trustees to present their findings.
UGBC has made progress in opening lines of communication with the administration and needs to work to ensure that they remain open in the future. Now that a line of communication is open, the administration should take these concerns seriously. In addition, the willingness of the administrators to hear concerns from the student body ought to be noted as a positive step. This communication between the students and the administration should lead to an inclusive and successful strategic planning process.
Katie Lamirato, UGBC director of transparency and MCAS ’18, and other members of UGBC proposed having this meeting every semester with the administration. Since the ideas presented were often very large-scale and require long-term discussion and action, a meeting every semester has the possibility for redundancy. Instead, it would be better to have a meeting every year. This helps ensure that as many administrators as possible can attend and the ideas presented will be adequately evolved from the previous meeting. The administration should continue to attend these meetings and work with UGBC to better understand student concerns in this way. As progress on the master plan continues, these meetings can be used to update the administration on changing student concerns and how well or poorly newly implemented programs have worked. This will help ensure that the master plan does the most possible to help students and improve student life.
One notable absence from this meeting was University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. Leahy should consider attending meetings like this in order to demonstrate a direct engagement with student concerns. Although much of the job of the University President involves fundraising and boosting University prestige, it is important that Leahy takes the time to meet with UGBC, even if it is just this meeting or similar meetings, to ensure that communication is taking place and that ideas are being heard.
Featured Image by Isabelle Lumb / Heights Staff