This Wednesday, UGBC will be staging another installment of BC Ignites in O’Neill Plaza. This semester’s edition of the popular UGBC program will focus on mental health. It will feature Thomas McGuinness, director of University Counseling Services, as the keynote speaker. As a topic that is often neglected in higher education, it is encouraging to see a public conversation on the issue.
Since its inception in the fall of 2012, UGBC has organized three BC Ignites events. The first focused on race, the second on GLBTQ issues, and the third coincided with last fall’s Love Your Body week. Last spring, a fourth iteration on socioeconomic status was planned, but it was cancelled due to organizational problems. It is reassuring to see that, even after that setback, UGBC remains committed to continuing the tradition of BC Ignites. Connor Bourff, vice president of Student Initiatives and A&S ’15, has said that UGBC has plans to reschedule the BC Ignites on socioeconomic status for later this semester. UGBC should be sure to follow through on those plans, as socioeconomic status is undeniably significant to Boston College students but is infrequently addressed.
What has made BC Ignites so successful is the engagement of the student body with these initiatives. This is seen most clearly on the part of the speakers. It takes a lot of courage to stand before a large number of peers and discuss matters that are intensely personal and possibly painful, as the case has been with each of these topics. Those who choose to share their perspectives deserve immense respect from the student body—they provide a voice to many students who feel similarly, but cannot speak publicly about the issue at hand.
The success of these events also depends on the participation of the student body. So far, there has been good attendance by the BC community. Students should make a point to stop by this edition of BC Ignites on the O’Neill Plaza on Wednesday to show their support and to learn some things about the issue of mental health that will not be voiced in the classroom.
Featured Image by Eun Hee Kwon / Heights Staff