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In Response to Stories of Racism on Campus, BC Says It Is Listening

Boston College announced on its Instagram account on Wednesday that it is observing the dozens of anecdotes of racism that have been shared anonymously by Black students and alumni of the University, and that it plans to listen to students’ experiences with racism through its Forum on Racial Justice in America.

“We are listening to your stories and acknowledge the often painful experiences shared through the @blackatbostoncollege account. We look forward to providing details on the Boston College Forum on Racial Justice as they are advanced in the coming months,” the post reads.

The @blackatbostoncollege account, which says that it is run by two anonymous Black students at BC, shares anonymous stories of racism that Black students and alumni have encountered at BC. The Heights has not been able to independently confirm the identities of the account’s owners.

The statement is the University’s second public mention of the account, after the University was accused of censorship last month when it untagged its Instagram account from @blackatbostoncollege’s posts describing students’ experiences with racism on campus.

University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. announced the establishment of the Boston College Forum on Racial Justice in America in June. The forum will sponsor speakers, panels, and seminars about race-related issues and be directed by BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau. The forum has two stated purposes: providing a place for dialogue on racism in the United States and promoting reconciliation and new perspectives.

BC’s statement was met with overwhelmingly negative comments on the post, with most commenters criticizing the University for not taking more tangible action to address, mitigate, and punish racism on campus.

“When will the burden of addressing structural change shift from the students who are working for free to the administration’s responsibility?” one user commented.

“I hope that this initiative includes tangible action towards making your BIPOC students, ESPECIALLY your Black students, feel safer on their own campus,” another user commented. “I hope you live up to your promise of being men and women for others. We’re tired of empty words, BC. Where is your apology? Where is the action?”

Associate Vice President for University Communications Jack Dunn could not be immediately reached for comment.

Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Editor

July 8, 2020