News, On Campus

CSA, JCBC Release Statement Condemning Post on BC’s Instagram Story

The Boston College Chinese Students Association (CSA) and the Japan Club of BC (JCBC) released a joint statement on Wednesday condemning the BC Instagram account for using a stock image to promote their upcoming formal.

Jasmin Yu, CSA public relations chair and MCAS ’26, said a freshman representative sent an image of BC’s post to the CSA executive board group chat, where members began to realize the picture was taken from the internet.

“Everyone kind of at first laughed, like, ‘Yeah, that’s not us,’ but then someone was like, ‘Where would they find it? It looks like a stock image,’” Yu said. “So they searched up ‘Asians celebrating,’ and that was the first image that showed up.”

The clubs’ statement called for a public apology on the BC Instagram account, as well as an acknowledgment of the mistake and the importance of cultural sensitivity. The statement also requested that BC implement a review process for selecting images when promoting future events and offer cultural sensitivity training for its staff.

The University issued the following statement to The Heights.

“A BC student worker posted a stock photo on BC’s Instagram account,” the statement read. “Once it was discovered to be a stock photo, it was removed and replaced with the organizations’ flyer. We regret any distress the posting caused to any member of the community.”

According to Yu, the BC Instagram account posted more personalized photos—with pictures of actual members—to promote other clubs’ events on the same day it advertised the CSA and JCBC event.

“I was kind of taken aback because all the other stories had more personalized photos, while ours was clearly a stock image,” Yu said. “It also kind of went off on Herrd, too, and other people were reacting the same way. So it just kind of showed the lack of respect for the culture clubs.”

When CSA and JCBC realized the picture used in the story was from Google, several representatives from each club direct-messaged the BC Instagram account. Yu said the administrators of the account sent the same response to every representative.

“We’re sorry this slide was posted in error,” the message read. “We apologize and it’s been taken down.”

According to Hana Vogeley, JCBC AHANA representative and MCAS ’26, representatives from JCBC asked the BC Instagram account to post another story promoting the formal after the original post was removed.

“They said it was posted in error, so we were like, ‘That’s okay, we understand, but we still do want to get our formal to be publicized and out just like any other club event,’” Vogeley said.

Vogeley said when the new story advertising the formal was uploaded later that day, it was a picture of the graphic each club had posted on its own Instagram page.

The clubs’ joint statement concluded by calling for a more inclusive space for minority students at BC.

“We hope that by addressing this issue and opening the conversation, we can work together towards a more inclusive safe space for students of color at this school,” the statement read.

April 28, 2023