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Student Group Perpetuates 'Rich' Stereotype

A&S '14

Published: Sunday, February 17, 2013

Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 20:02


Social stigmatization dominates Boston College’s campus, likely one of the many reasons that BC ranks among the least diverse college campuses nationwide. The issue is brought to light so infrequently that even leadership groups that are designed to engage and provide for students, such as BC’s Residence Hall Association (RHA), contribute to its overwhelmingly degrading effect. BC RHA spread news of an upcoming dance next weekend with the following event description:
“You are cordially invited to RHA’s Snow Ball, held in none other than BC’s most classic and classiest of venues, Gasson 100. Gents, dust off those Vineyard Vines bow ties, and ladies, here’s the perfect occasion to debut those brand new pair of high heels you bought with absolutely no occasion to wear to. Join RHA in the biggest formal event of the season: The Snow Ball! Come enjoy a night of dancing, food, and winter merriment with all of your closest 300 friends.”
In its mission statement, BC RHA claims that its purpose is to “serve as the voice of the residence halls in the BC community.” But I urge you to ask yourself, is this an organization you support to speak on your behalf, pigeonholing the attending students to Vineyard Vines and new stilettos?
It is comments like these that BC must avoid in order to see progress. As a University that stands strong on being men and women for others and one of the few schools that guarantees 100 percent need based financial aid, social stigmatization still seems to plague our campus. Instead of RHA promoting a strict social structure, only accomplishable by excessive spending on $50 bowties and superfluous heels, perhaps it is more important to encompass the entirety of the student body, rather than those who can pay for a new outfit every week (or those that are pressured into scrounging up money to do so).
We must stop submitting our student body to elitist standards and face the facts—people come from all around the world, from all sorts of financial and political backgrounds, and it’s not fair to our image, our students, or those who sacrifice so much for us to be enrolled in higher education, to predefine us to near impossible standards. If you want to wear a new tie, by all means, but for an organization that strives to speak on behalf of the student body to demean us to material items is an insult to our integrity as a whole.

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