Young Black and brown women living in a multicultural dorm at Boston College said they were startled awake in the middle of the night earlier this month as two white students ran through their hall, banging on doors and trashing the place. There’s growing frustration over how that and other incidents have been handled on campus.
“There’s a girls floor right below us, and that’s predominantly white girls and their floor was clean," said Amabelle Francois, a first-year student from West Warwick, Rhode Island. "Why was it just our floor?”
Three out of four colleges in the country reported at least one incident of racial or ethnic bias on campus during a two-year period, according to a 2019 survey from the American Association for Access Equity and Diversity. That general pattern appears to hold in the Boston area.
Elizabeth Rhodes, who has been a Hispanic studies professor at Boston College for the past 30 years, said, "what the university needs to do is sort of be true to itself. No more talk and some action.”
Over her years of teaching, Rhodes said she has noticed an influx of wealthy white students, pushing students of color to the margins of campus.
“The floor is supposed to be a multicultural floor, and what it has become is a silo for students of color, which makes them very easy to target,” she said.
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GBH's Diane Adame contributed to this report.