News, On Campus

Student Assembly Discusses Student Costs for Senior Week

The Student Assembly (SA) discussed the costs seniors pay out of pocket when attending Senior Week festivities in its meeting on Tuesday night. 

“There are a lot of out-of-pocket costs,” Julia Spagnola, UGBC vice president and MCAS ’23, said. “There are a lot of things that aren’t compensated by the University even though there’s a lot of events sponsored by the University. Dances, balls—things of that nature that aren’t cheap.”

Matt Razek, associate director for student programming at Boston College and primary advisor to UGBC, clarified to the SA that BC covers none of the costs for Senior Week social events and activities.

“Anything that goes into Senior Week comes out of the students’ pockets,” Razek said. “So BC doesn’t give us any budget to work with.”

Joshua Golden, chair of the Community Relations Committee and MCAS ’25, asked the SA if there is a way to influence the University’s frugality.

“Is there any way to like shock the stingy nature of the school out of it?” Golden said.

Spagnola informed the SA that she and UGBC President Lubens Benjamin, CSOM ’23, mentioned Senior Week programming in their latest meeting with the University’s Board of Trustees.

“I don’t know if they were all aware—from the looks of it, not really—but we did bring to their attention that this is something that is not paid for by the University and something that everyone does want to participate in,” Spagnola said.

Ryan Milligan, SA representative and MCAS ’26, noted that this was not the first time the Board of Trustees was seemingly unaware of a student concern.

“Why do you think there’s a disconnect between the Board of Trustees and how the school actually operates?” Milligan asked Spagnola.

Clarifying that this does not apply to everyone on the board, Spagnola responded that some of the trustees might not have a strong grasp on the student experience and culture at BC.

“They’re not as, you know, proximal to the student experience,” Spagnola said. “Even though that committee deals directly with the student experience, they might not know those specific things about what a student incurs in their day-to-day life on campus.”

Razek explained that the Board of Trustees will occasionally get involved in student issues but generally leaves most changes to specific BC departments.

“They’ll ask questions, and they’ll push for certain things but rarely—because of like the limited nature of it—will you see them fully pushing for something,” Razek said.

The SA later discussed student concerns about food cross contamination occurring within BC Dining, which representatives said affects students with allergies and dietary restrictions. 

Abdul Umar, SA representative and MCAS ’24, for example, shared that he often sees cross contamination of pork products with other ingredients in the omelet bar at Lower.

Jessica Orrell, SA representative and MCAS ’26, added that one of her friends with celiac disease had their gluten-free pasta cross-contaminated with a spatula in McElroy Commons.

“The cross contamination is terrible everywhere, I think,” Orrell said.

Meghan Heckelman, UGBC director of student initiatives and LSEHD ’25, said that BC Dining is currently constructing student focus groups to discuss food restriction–friendly dining.

“I know that’s not always great, you know, just because you have a dietary restriction, why do you have to now go to this focus group?” Heckelman said. “But, you know, it’s something, and I think maybe having one of our dining people show face at one of those meetings to voice these concerns might be a good way to move forward.”

February 8, 2023