A group of protestors led an hour-long demonstration on the Quad to challenge “the various forms of oppression upheld through a culture [of] institutional passivity” at Boston College Thursday afternoon. The “die-in,” organized by the Black Eagles, a new organization, was held two days shy of the anniversary of last year’s “Silence is Still Violence” march. The “die-in” was intended to show the group’s continued dedication to the growth of that very movement. Fundamentally, it’s good that students continue to make it clear that the conversation the movement started has not ended and will not end.
At last year’s “Silence is Still Violence” march, student leaders issued a list of demands to address racism on campus. Thursday night, the Black Eagles released another list of demands in a letter to administrators. In the letter, they reflected on the first set of demands and the University’s responses and committed to holding themselves and the administration “accountable for specific steps and actions to achieve” those demands.
Last year’s march occurred with the intention that the University would do something in response. The protestors presented the administration with a list of demands, and the University answered—whether the groups in question find their responses adequate is a different question altogether. In this case, the die-in ensures that the University does not forget about the primary cause of the movement. By working to concentrate the University’s attention on the issue of diversity, advocates are ensuring that the administration adds to its efforts every year, getting closer and closer to the ultimate goals of the movement.
At the same time, the University has taken concrete and sizable steps to address the concerns outlined last year, including the addition of the DiversityEdu module requirement and ongoing efforts to increase AHANA+ representation among faculty. Lasting change isn’t something that is resolved immediately—that’s why it’s good that the Black Eagles are building on their initial list of demands and reflecting specifically on the administration’s responses, just as it’s a good sign that the administration has made progress on addressing those issues in the past year.
Featured Graphic by Nicole Chan / Graphics Editor