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Student Assembly Resolution Calls for BC to ‘Affirm that Black Lives Matter’

The Student Assembly (SA) of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College passed “A Resolution Concerning Bias-Related Incidents” Tuesday night. Sponsored by Aneeb Sheikh, MCAS ‘20, the resolution comes as a response to recent racist incidents at BC and includes several demands for BC, including that the University “affirm that Black Lives Matter.”

The resolution passed almost unanimously just before the meeting time limit, with three members abstaining.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Connor Kratz, MCAS ’18; Savannah Clarke, MCAS ’19; Robert Casales, MCAS ’19; Danny Schantz, MCAS ’20; Ignacio Fletcher, MCAS ’20; Joe Okafor, MCAS ’21; and Patrick Madaya, MCAS ’18.

The resolution calls for the immediate investigation, suspension, and/or expulsion of all students who are responsible for the vandalism of multiple Black Lives Matter posters last week. It also advocates a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech, and a module similar to AlcoholEDU and Haven that teaches students about BC’s community standards regarding racism, hate speech, and cultural competency.

The resolution encourages the University to hire more faculty and administrators of color, “revitalize traditionally colonialist curricula with histories and contributions of people of color,” incorporate Multicultural Learning Experiences into every living community, and “acknowledge that institutional policy change is necessary to address the culture of racism” at BC.

Sheikh was quick to define the clause regarding the perspectives of administrators who are not of color, and whether they are capable of fully grasping the emotions of students of color.

“If you look at the current administration today, it is [for the majority] white and male,” Sheikh said. “The incident[s] caused a lot of emotions, and if there was an administrator of color, they could say that ‘the answer requires emotion as well’.”

When the resolution passed to debate, two amendments written by Michael Zuppone, MCAS ‘20, failed to pass. The amendments pertained to erasing the clause referencing the revitalization of traditionally colonialist curricula and adding a clause advocating for a possible major in the African and African Diaspora Studies program. Senators discussed revisiting the amendment at a later date.

As the meeting approached its 9 p.m. automatic adjournment time, Sheikh spoke up about the necessity of answering the qualms of the students of BC.

“If we believe that BC is institutionally racist or that there needs to be institutional policy changes to address the culture of racism here, then I would say vote for this resolution,” Sheikh said. “We can debate the minute details but what is that really going to solve? We need to make a statement as student leaders today.”

Featured Image by Samantha Karl / Heights Staff

October 25, 2017

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