News, On Campus

UGBC Divisions Work to Bring Terrence Floyd to Campus, Discuss Health and Safety Initiatives at BC

Two divisions within UGBC are working to bring Terrence Floyd to campus next semester, Meghan Heckelman said at the Student Assembly (SA) meeting on Tuesday night. 

“His brother’s story is obviously captivating, and … I think that having someone like Terrence come to our campus and talk about some of these issues of civil rights and human rights and equality and how we can move toward that as a society is really productive,” said Heckelman, director of the Division of Student Initiatives (SI) and LSEHD ’25.

Floyd became a recognized activist following the police killing of his brother George Floyd two years ago, speaking at various universities across the country in the time since. He also founded the nonprofit We Are Floyd to address issues of social injustice in 2020.

The SI is collaborating with the AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC) to host a Q&A with Floyd moderated by UGBC members. Though the event is not yet confirmed, Heckelman said she is excited about potentially hosting Floyd at Boston College.

“We think that will draw a large crowd just because of the name recognition and the mission,” Heckelman said. “I think that it’s something that a lot of young people want to get behind and address these issues.”

Members of UGBC also discussed a host of health and safety initiatives at Tuesday’s meeting, including their bias-motivated research group, the introduction of a mental health tab on the Agora Portal, and improving the accessibility of student jobs on campus.

The SA also confirmed Paula Jimeno Lara, MCAS ’23, as a representative for the Class of 2023 and Abdul Umar, MCAS ’24, as a representative for the Class of 2024.

BC’s Center for Student Wellness and IT services approved Ryan Milligan and Delphine Gareau’s proposal to add a mental health tab on the student portal last week, according to Thompson Penn, Student Life Committee chair and CSOM ’25. 

The tab will link to the University Counseling Services website that lists a number of other resources, such as information for LGBTQ+ students, according to Milligan, SA representative and MCAS ’26.

Milligan and Gareau said they want to make mental health resources more easily accessible to the student body with a new, consolidated tab.

“The issue isn’t that the resources don’t exist, it’s that students don’t know about them,” Gareau, SA representative and MCAS ’26, said.

The mental health tab should appear on the portal in the next few days, Penn said.

Jonah Kotzen, the Council for Students with Disabilities policy coordinator and MCAS ’24, then spoke on UGBC’s new bias-motivated research group. The group, which works with other student organizations such as FACES, met for the first time on Monday, he said. 

“It’s very research-focused in terms of like, what are other institutions doing? What are other institutions’ administrators doing? Can we improve our own resources?” Kotzen said. “Just very, like, research-heavy, and we’re gonna be compiling some data in the next week.”

The SA then discussed improving student employment opportunities. Jessica Orrell, SA representative and MCAS ’26, said she is working with Eriliza Guerrero, the associate director of student employment, to make on-campus jobs more accessible for all students. 

According to Orrell, employers at BC can currently post job listings on both their website and the University job listing webpage, but a number of them post exclusively on their website.

“Basically, they don’t want people applying for the job because they have someone in mind that they want,” she said. 

This is an issue, according to Orrell, because it does not provide all students with an equal job opportunity. Orrell said she is working with student employment to ensure that all employers are required to post their job listings on the University webpage for at least five days to ensure equal access. 

The SA also discussed the inclusion of international students on campus. Josh Golden, SA representative and member of the Community Relations Committee, said he had a meeting with the Office of Global Engagement where they spoke about encouraging BC students to consider more diverse study abroad locations, increasing the office’s collaboration with culture clubs, and being more inclusive of international students at BC. 

“Their office really wants to work on greater hospitality and acknowledgement of international students,” Golden, MCAS ’25, said.

Members of the SA then turned to a discussion on solving laundry issues on campus.

Jon Shea, SA representative and MCAS ’25, said there are a number of broken washers and dryers on Lower Campus. 

“The only way you can find that out is by, sadly, using the broken ones,” Shea said.

UGBC Vice President Julia Spagnola proposed finding a way to notify students which machines are out of operation before they spend their money.

Multiple SA representatives asked about potentially reducing the cost of laundry on campus or making it free to students. Spagnola mentioned that the SA passed a resolution last year that Montserrat students could apply for a subsidy covering up to $20 of their laundry.

November 10, 2022