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BC Will Officially Integrate LGBTQ+ Programming and Support Into BAIC This Summer, Administrators Announce

Boston College will officially integrate its LGBTQ+ programming and support into the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center (BAIC) this summer, according to an email sent to the BC community on Friday afternoon.

Vice President for Student Affairs Shawna Cooper Whitehead, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Corey Kelly, Associate Dean for Student Outreach and Support Caroline Davis, and BAIC Director Yvonne McBarnett all signed the email.

“Yvonne McBarnett and Caroline Davis are collaborating to ensure that the LGBTQ+ student support and programming that has occurred during the last 10+ years out of the Dean of Students Office will officially be transitioned to the BAIC office this summer,” the email reads.

This announcement comes after Cooper Whitehead said in spring 2022 that the University planned to add LGBTQ+ resources to the BAIC’s programming. A month after that, Cooper Whitehead paused these plans after receiving feedback from students, alumni, and members of color on Boston College’s Board of Trustees.

According to the email, the BAIC is currently working to hire specific staff to provide LGBTQ+ resources and support.

“The BAIC leadership team is in the process of hiring a new associate director and graduate assistant whose roles will explicitly include LGBTQ+ student programming and support,” the email reads.

The email emphasized integrating LGBTQ+ resources into the center will not take away from the support the BAIC already offers to AHANA students.

“This transition will not detract in any way from the existing programming and support for AHANA students offered through the BAIC, but will add to and augment existing programs,” the email read.

The administrators wrote in the email that their ultimate goal is for all students to feel welcomed in the BC community.

“It is our hope that the creation of a more integrated intercultural center that intentionally serves students of color and LGBTQ+ students and actively engages the whole BC community, will cultivate and promote a more inclusive environment throughout campus,” the email reads.

To ensure this, McBarnett will host small conversations where students can express any concerns or thoughts surrounding the changes, according to the email.

“Given our desire to work together to understand, address, and support students’ needs, Yvonne McBarnett, in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Students, will be hosting small group conversations and listening sessions for all students to share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas,” the email reads.

The administrators concluded the email by discussing their hopes for a more inclusive campus.

“We look forward to working with you in our shared effort to create the most welcoming and inclusive campus community possible,” the email reads.

This story is being updated.

April 21, 2023