Demand BC Admin Take Action - Ensure the Safety and Support of Black Students

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On Tuesday, June 2nd, Father Leahy released a statement to the Boston College community condemning the death of George Floyd. Although a letter addressing the issue of racial prejudice and injustice is a step in the right direction, it is not enough. The world is rallying around the Black Lives Matter movement. Boston College, as a tier-one institution, cannot afford to remain inactive, especially when acts of racism frequently happen on campus.

Father Leahy and the Boston College administration have traditionally remained silent throughout the decades of hate crimes that have taken place at our institution. Their silence has time and time again proven their reluctance to ensure that all Black students feel safe, welcomed, and included as part of the BC community. Black students often question why our own University President does not address the overt racist incidents that have and continue to happen. Father Leahy’s statement revealed he had the ability to speak up against acts of racism on campus in the past, but had simply chosen not to do so. As a result of this inaction, marginalized students have often shouldered this burden. However, this can no longer continue.

It is inappropriate for the BC administration to turn a blind eye and place the burden of progress on the oppressed. As students, our priority is to learn—not solve the deep-seated systemic issues embedded in and perpetuated by this institution. Boston College’s mission statement states that it strives “to seek solutions—as researchers, educators, leaders, and caregivers—that directly address the world’s most urgent problems.” This threshold is clearly not met by one announcement vaguely condemning racism. In fact, releasing a statement that does not address what further action will be taken not only oversimplifies the issue at hand, but it denies the racial oppression that occurs on our campus. “Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9). A Jesuit institution is obligated to reflect God’s words and, therefore, is required to use its voice and take action to stand against racism. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” The lack of actionable steps from the administration is disappointing and entirely unacceptable. We are requesting that Father Leahy and the Boston College administration release a list of tangible action-driven steps they will commit to taking to ensure the Black student body feels safe, welcomed, included, and supported by the institution.


Signed by, 

African Student Organization

Black Student Forum

Caribbean Culture Club 

Cape Verdean Student Association 

F.I.S.T.S. 

Haitian Association 

PATU 

Sexual Chocolate

United Front