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Senior Admin Respond to Concerns Over Choice of B.o.B for Modstock

This letter was sent by Vice President for Student Affairs and Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley to professors Dan Kirschner, Ruth Langer, and Alan Marcus, as well as the leadership of Boston College Hillel. (It was also sent to The Heights.

The letter addresses the Campus Activities Board’s decision to invite the rapper B.o.B, who has endorsed conspiracy theories and has song lyrics that appear to espouse the views of Holocaust denier David Irving, to headline the annual Modstock Festival, which was held earlier this month. In response to the invitation, over 200 faculty signed a letter to Quigley and University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., calling for a “strong response” to B.o.B’s theories and statements.

Here is the full text of Jones and Quigley’s letter:

Dear Colleagues:

We write to provide an update on the concerns that were raised regarding the performer at this
year’s Modstock concert.

After hearing from several faculty and students, we have spent time reviewing the selection and
vetting process to consider how we as a community can make improvements and avoid such
incidents in the future.

It is clear that the vetting of this year’s performer by the student-run Campus Activities Board
was inadequate. The student leaders have acknowledged and apologized for their errors, and they, along with their advisors in the Office of Student Involvement, have committed to developing more comprehensive procedures for the evaluation and approval of musical performers in the future.

We recognize that members of our community were offended by B.o.B’s presence at Boston College, and his song lyrics that reference Holocaust denial. As ADL CEO Jonathon Greenblatt stated, “While it is unclear whether these lyrics are meant to be taken seriously, it is nonetheless troubling that B.o.B seems to have given new life to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory of Jewish control of the U.S. government while handing a free publicity gift to the notorious Holocaust denier, David Irving.”

We intend to work with others on campus during the 2018-2019 academic year to develop programming to address these issues and make clear to our students and entire community that anti-intellectual and anti-Semitic statements have no place at Boston College.

Working together, we know that we can use this incident as a learning opportunity, while affirming the University’s core values of integrity, dialogue and mutual respect.


Barb Jones
Vice President, Student Affairs

David Quigley
Provost, Dean of Faculties, Professor of History

Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Editor

May 18, 2018